If you're a big fan of One Tree Hill
fan and pay attention to the online rumor mongering and general discussion, you're probably well aware of the "spoiler" I'm about to discuss. Even if you read our exclusive interview with One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn
, you'll know what I'm talking about. It concerns the writers' plans for the next season (the fifth) of One Tree Hill
. Nevertheless, if you don't want the surprise ruined, read no further. Although I won't be relaying any specific plot information, this plan, if they go through with it, will greatly impact the direction of the show.
I was watching a rerun of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
the other morning and it made me revisit our interview with Mark Schwahn. It was the 5th or 6th season of Buffy
and she was out of high school. It was in the midst of the "college years". The episode was fine (it was about witches), but it made me think of how superior the high school years were to the subsequent college seasons. Unfortunately, this is a universal TV phenomenon.
Dawson's Creek, Beverly Hills 90210, Buffy, Saved By the Bell
, and a multitude of other have attempted a smooth transition into their characters' post-High School lives, but all failed to some degree. Even when the shows continued on, it's hard to argue that any get better once at college.
High School is a perfect venue for drama. Everyone is forced into the same building, conflicting personalities must try and coexist, people are evolving, laying the groundwork for the person they will become later on in life. Once graduated and in college, people tend to scatter, find their own niche, and once that happens, conflict disappears. For television shows, this becomes a problem. How do you realistically get characters who clashed in high school to interact when they aren't forced to see each other anymore?
Also, it's terribly unrealistic that a group of friends will all attend the same university. This method has been employed before (Saved By the Bell, others) and it never works, always seeming hopelessly forced. So, how does one solve the college conundrum?
One Tree Hill
creator Mark Schwahn may have hit upon the perfect solution. Season 5 of One Tree Hill
will fast forward five years, picking back up once all the characters are finished with college and back in Tree Hill. While, at first, this may seem like a crazy idea, it really isn't. To retain the essence of a program like One Tree Hill
after high school, it's really the only option.
All of the main players will, presumably, be back living in the same town. This sets up any number of plot lines and gives the writers an absurd amount of freedom. They can create huge back stories about what each character went through in college. There can be mystery about each person's past, moments they'd like hidden, forgotten. There can be awkward and tender moments of characters reconnecting, trying to ignite what consisted of their relationship before heading off to college.
Why hasn't this been attempted before? Well, previously, popular television shows were wary of thinking outside the box. Why do something drastic to an already popular show? The advantage (if you can call it that) One Tree Hill
has is that, for the last few years, the show has constantly been on the verge of cancellation. This being the case, the network has a reason to give the writing staff leeway to try and invigorate a fan base with a seemingly extreme measure.
The plain truth is that teen dramas lose momentum in college. Really, it's unavoidable. However, One Tree Hill
has crafted the perfect solution. While it may take an unprecedented leap of faith by fans who've been anticipating their favorite characters' college years, I have faith that the move will prove to be beneficial in all meaningful facets of the show.
Let's just hope they go through with it.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer