Thematic Implications: Popularity Contest?

The only thing that really annoys me about One Tree Hill is that they make it seem like the only way that a person can have fun in high school is to be in the popular crowd. It ultimately comes down to the argument of individualism vs society.

Many characters in OTH have many unique characteristics and hobbies, and yet they all still conform to others in high school. An example of this would be Peyton Sawyer. It began when her character was expounded. She was a cheerleader who’s the least cheeriest person in the world, ironically. She’s belongs to the popular crowd but felt most of an outsider. She’s angry and she’s alone and most of the time she uses her selfish boyfriend Nathan as an excuse to be mad with despair. She is an individual because she has the amazing talent of being an artist. She draws from her inner most feelings to create works of art that mean something. In episode “Where I end and you begin,” I was captivated instantly with her ritualistic recklessness whenever her mother’s death anniversary arrives. She would dash into the night when the red light blinks since this was the reason her mother died; she ran a red light and it ended right there. I found it beautiful and morbid. I was convinced that she’s gonna be a favorite of mine because she was damaged and I like lead girls like her who are so complex. Peyton’s style is considered modern gothic and she considers herself a loner, but at the end of the day, she is still a cheerleader for the Tree Hill Raven’s. Even though she is my favorite, I don’t like how she conforms to the other popular girls to be with her best friend Brooke. Another example of a character who conforms would be Lucas. At the beginning of the series, no one really knew who he was except that he was the half-brother of Nathan Scott. Now that he is on the basketball team with all of the other popular athletes, he is now getting more attention from people. He is getting more “hellos” from girls in the hallways, and more high fives from guys when he walks by. Later on in the season, Haley is needed as a fill-in cheerleader for a competition. After being a cheerleader for a night, people are noticing her more and a guy she has never talked to before smiled and waved at her. What message is this sending viewers?  That guys can only be noticed if they join the basketball team? Or girls can only be considered “hott” if they are a cheerleader? Are cheerleaders the only girls who can get basketball/jock boyfriends? This is the wrong message to be sender younger viewers. The should be seeing messages that involve success with being an individual and not following the crowd. They should know that to be excepted into society does not mean they have to be apart of the popular crowd.

This link shows people how to “fit in with the popular crowd.” I think this is ridiculous. Why should someone try to be something they are not? Overall I think that One Tree Hill sends good messages, but when it comes to this one issue, I think that they could have handled it better. They should be sending the message that it is okay to be yourself and you can be popular and have friends by doing so. Even as society progresses, I think that there will always be the stereotypes of the “popular jock” and the “hott cheerleader” no matter how we try to get rid of them.

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Contextual Analysis: Insight into Important Quotes Throughout the Show

Lucas has two huge passions in his life; aside from basketball, his greatest passion is literature. One Tree Hill features quotes at the beginning of each episode. They are spoken by different characters, but most of the time by Lucas. Some of the One Tree Hill quotes are classics from literature. These are my favorite One Tree Hill quotes. Some are just interesting. These quotes usually pertain to what the episode is going to be about. It is a kind of foreshadowing that is very artistic and it gives greater insight to Lucas’s passion as a writer. Here are quotes from the beginning of the first three episodes.

Original One Tree Hill quote from the very first episode: Spoken by Lucas

“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. But omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves- or lose the ventures before us.”

-William Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar

One Tree Hill quote from the second episode: Spoken by Lucas

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It’s yours.”

-Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged

One Tree Hill quote from third episode: Spoken by Lucas

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight. And never stop fighting.”

-e.e. cummings

This show does not just follow the main characters around in their drama, but we as viewers get to see how the characters learn and grow through it all. They overcome things like death and broken hearts while staying true to who they are. No one is expected to go through those kinds of things alone, and in this show, they all become one big family to help each other get through the tough times. I feel like, when I watch this show and hear those inspirational sayings, I too can become something great someday. It helps me dream and aspire to be better. I think this goes along with what other people feel when they watch this show. People who watch this series, particularly teens who are the same age as the characters, feel like they can relate to the situations that the show presents. Every day high school boys and girls go through breakups, or parents divorces, or deaths in the family, and so do the characters in One Tree Hill. Watching this show makes them feel like they are not alone in how they are feeling. It can give them inner strength to overcome the obstacles in their lives just as the characters do.

(Other quotes can be found on the page “Lucas Scott Quotes” or here

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Episode 3 “Are You True?”: Close Reading

So many tangled relationships and it’s only the third episode! In this episode titled, “Are You True?”,  Nathan is growing even more frustrated with Lucas’s growing popularity among the team and the school. Some of the more bitter team members including Nathan, start hazing Lucas. Nathan also searches for Lucas’s weak spot… which seems to be Lucas’s best friend Haley. Haley has been Lucas’s best friend since they were in grade school. She works at the cafe for Karen and she is in a lot of Lucas’s high school classes. Haley tutors for students at Tree Hill High School, and she loves helping them out, “When I’m tutoring someone, and they get it, and that light goes on, I feel good! I feel worthy. The same way that you feel when you play basketball” (Hayley to Lucas).  Nathan is failing one of his classes, and gets the idea that if Haley tutors him, it will make Lucas lose focus and become jealous. Haley only agrees to tutor Nathan if the hazing stops. He also can’t tell anyone especially Lucas that she is tutoring him. Lucas and Haley are only friends, but if he were to find out that she was helping the “enemy,” he would not understand that she is doing this to help him not be hazed.  Meanwhile, Peyton is furious at Lucas for submitting her sketches to the magazine without her knowing. Brooke, Peyton’s best friend and also captain of the cheerleading squad, moves in on Lucas. Peyton claims that Lucas is only and acquaintance to her and nothing is going on between them. Of course Peyton is lying to herself, but she insists that he means nothing to her. Brooke takes this as she can now move in on Lucas without having to worry about Peyton. “Wanna know what I think? I think Nathan likes tutor girl. But I think tutor girl likes Lucas. And I know I like Lucas. And I don’t know who the hell you like anymore. This is all turning into one big love… rectangle plus one, whatever that is” (Brooke to Peyton at a basketball game).

Lucas thinks that if he can stand through all of the hazing and be the bigger guy, things will start to turn his way. He believes this to be true when the hazing stops and Nathan starts to be a little more civil towards him. What Lucas doesn’t know is that Haley is the one who stopped the hazing. What Haley didn’t expect was that she would start to have feelings for Nathan. She tries to hide them as best as she can, but she can only hide them for so long. She sees Nathan when he is just himself and when he is not trying to put a show on for anyone else. He also confides in her a lot about what is going on with his family. He tells her he feels like basketball is tearing his family apart, but he can’t stop playing because his whole future rides on a scholarship from basketball. Haley tries to tell Lucas that maybe Nathan isn’t that bad of a guy and that he should try and see it from Nathan’s perspective. Lucas takes this in a bad way, and thinks that Haley is trying to stick up for how Nathan acts. Nathan is putting a strain on their relationship and this is what he wanted all along. But as he also starts to feel something deeper with Haley, he begins to slowly change his ways. This episode is truly about Haley and how being yourself can make other people comfortable enough to show their true personality. Nathan never talked about his family stuff with anyone, not even his girlfriend Peyton, but when Peyton breaks up with Nathan, Haley is he girl he turns to for comfort.


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Episode 2 “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most”: Close Reading

Lucas may have won the one-on-one battle with his half brother Nathan in the last episode, but that doesn’t mean that he is going to have an easy time from now on. In Lucas’s first basketball game with the team, he chokes and is humiliated in front of everyone including his crush Peyton. Then, the Scott boys have a fight in class about their dad Dan, when really their problems are within themselves. Everyone in this episode struggles with their own inner battles. Nathan and Lucas are struggling with their motivation and goals and their relationship with Peyton. Peyton is an amazing artist that doesn’t think her work is good enough to submit into a magazine. Her drawing talent impresses Lucas enough that he enters her work for publication without her knowing. Lucas is also struggling with the fact that his mother is having a hard time with the whole basketball thing. She wants Lucas to be able to play, but at the same time, she hates going to the games and seeing Dan there and reliving her past. Lucas sees this, and he thinks that he should quit team. She ultimately overcomes her past and goes to watch her son play where he scores the winning basket. Also introduced in this episode is Nathan’s mother, Deb, who was away on a business trip. She is now back, and she feels like basketball is tearing their family apart. She can see that Nathan no longer plays basketball to enjoy himself, but he plays for Dan. At the end of the episode, Deb is seen at Karen’s Cafe to make peace with Lucas’s mom. She tells Karen that just because they have a lot of history, doesn’t mean it has to be their future too. This is the start of peacemaking between the families, except that Dan only believes Deb is out of her mind trying to make peace with Karen and Lucas.

In this episode, each character overcomes issues within themselves. Lucas was afraid to play again because he feels like every time he plays in that gym, Dan has a piece of him, and he doesn’t want anything to do with Dan. When Lucas was little, he used to play on the same team with Nathan, “Guys kept teasing me about it, about how Nathan’s dad was my dad, too. So I asked my mom, and she said he wasn’t. But I get home, and I hear her crying in her room. I knew it was true. So I never went back. I told my mom it was because I didn’t want to have to see his face. But, it was mostly because I didn’t want her to have to” (Lucas). Lucas has a very strong relationship with his mother, and even though they both hate seeing Dan, they don’t want to let him win. If Lucas quits the team, that would make Dan happy, and all they want to do is prove that Lucas deserves a spot on that team just as much as Nathan does. Nathan is also struggling with the pressure that his father Dan is putting on him to be better than Lucas. Nathan feels like he is trapped and in one of the scenes, it shows him and Peyton talking about running away from it all. Even though Nathan would never do that, Peyton was so willing to put cheerleading and the whole facade behind her. Peyton’s mother passed away when she was only 12 years old from running a red light on her way to pick her up from school. Peyton is only a cheerleader because when her mother was in high school she was a cheerleader. She still struggles with the loss of her mother in the early episodes of OTH. It is a huge part of her identity and she uses her art to express how she is feeling. This episode shows the inner workings of each character, and how they came to be who they are. It not only gives the viewer insight into the mind of Nathan, but it shows us how he came to be the way he is.

Mother and Son

Karen talking to Lucas about playing for The Ravens basketball team


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Episode 1: Close Reading

The first episode of One Tree Hill, begins with a hodgepodge of events.  As the camera follows high school junior, Lucas Scott, dribbling his basketball down the street, he is almost hit by Peyton’s car. Peyton is one of the cheerleaders that cheers for the Raven’s basketball team. She is also the girlfriend of Nathan Scott, who is the star of the basketball team, just like his proud father was back in his day. Now, Dan Scott, his father, pushes Nathan even harder than their team’s coach does. In the next scenes we see Nathan scoring the winning basket and they proceed to celebrate their victory by “borrowing” a school bus. Dan Scott manages to get Nathan out of trouble with the authorities and some of his teammates, but not all of them are that lucky. As the team searches for new players, Keith Scott, who is the brother of Dan and the uncle of both Nathan and Lucas, tries to get the team’s coach to take a look at what Lucas can do. Lucas does not play basketball for the school, but he plays with his friends on the river court. Keith convinces Coach Whitey to watch Lucas play, and he is impressed with what he sees. The coach decides to invite Nathan’s half-brother Lucas Scott to join the team. Nathan is furious; Lucas seems to be stealing all of his thunder, and he also seems to get on with Nathan’s steady girlfriend Peyton. The star dares Lucas to a one-to-one game for high stakes: if Lucas wins, he can be on the team and he can also have Peyton. And so the games begin.

Throughout the course of this episode, Lucas struggles with his and his mother’s past. There is a lot of history and scandal that still remains in their small town of Tree Hill. Dan Scott and Karen Roe both went to Tree Hill high school where they fell in love. In her senior year of high school, Karen got pregnant with Lucas. When Dan did not show up to the hospital, Dan’s brother Keith was there for Karen, and he assumed the father figure role for Lucas even though he and Karen are nothing more than friends. Dan went on to play basketball in college where he met Deb. A few months into college, Deb became pregnant with Nathan. Dan married Deb and now all of them live in Tree Hill again. Love triangles seem to be something that really stands out in the first episode. There is so much tension between Peyton, Lucas, and Nathan, and also between Karen, Keith, and Dan. These relationships are very interesting to watch. Also, the relationship between the two half-brothers Nathan and Lucas makes the viewer question whether they will ever actually get along. The rivalry makes it seem like they will never be able to play like a team on the court or act like family members in day to day life. This episode opens so many issues and topics that will be explored in later episodes.

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One Tree Hill is more than just a show. OTH has been associated with a generation. It has been associated with people emotionally and psychologically, and it has helped shaped lives and makes people realize how important the little things are in life. It also makes people realize that there really aren’t “small” decisions in life and all decisions are significant.

Based in North Carolina, One Tree Hill began as a show that was just about how two half-brothers had issues through early years, but came to terms during their high school years. But then, the show grew larger, out of the canvas, and into something that was much more than just a story. It explained what friendship truly means, and it helps people of all ages how to deal with hard situations that life can throw at you. This show gave meaning to love and what it takes to hold on to it through ups and downs. One Tree Hill is an excellent show, which continues to amaze people around the globe with its one-of-a-kind plot. There is only ‘One’ Tree Hill.

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