One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season
marks the beginning of a genuinely engrossing series that maintains, for a long while, an unusual focus on a single, powerful conflict defining the destinies of two characters. Adolescent half-brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan (James Lafferty) Scott have lived parallel lives in One Tree, North Carolina. They share a common father, Dan Scott (Paul Johansson), who has disregarded the existence of Lucas, his son by a one-time flame, Karen (Moira Kelly), whom he dumped years before to accept a basketball scholarship to college. While neglecting Lucas, Dan--whose hoop dreams never materialized--has spent his time almost perversely micro-managing every one of Nathan's moves on and off the court at his old high school, where the lad is currently an arrogant superstar under gruff-but-wise coach Whitey Durham (Barry Corbin). Nathan (whose mother is separated from Dan) is a child of privilege and has been raised to disregard teamwork, compromise, or the feelings of others. He regards Lucas, a basketball sensation on neighborhood playgrounds, as trash, and his own girlfriend, Peyton (Hilarie Burton), as a pretty bauble he can abuse and dismiss at will. Still, he's sympathetic; one can see glimpses of the human being struggling to emerge from under Dan's control.
Meanwhile, Lucas helps Karen run her café, hangs out with platonic best friend Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz), and pines for Peyton (herself a punky misfit at heart). He also turns to surrogate dad Keith Scott (Craig Sheffer)--actually his uncle and Dan's older brother--for support, and sees himself as a perpetual and doomed outsider in One Tree. All that changes when Whitey invites Lucas to join the b-ball team that Nathan dominates, a move that challenges the status quo of multiple relationships in a small community. For about a third of its episodes, this series from creator Mark Schwahn (who wrote the hit film Coach Carter) stays true to the suspense surrounding Lucas's and Nathan's changes in fortune. Then a bit of padding follows to the end of the season; there are 22 episodes to fill out, after all. But even as various distractions (a kidnapping subplot, a car accident and coma for a major character) and random events creep in (Dan, rather incredibly, takes over the team from Whitey at one point, thus coaching both his sons), One Tree Hill remains highly watchable. The writing is shaped well and organic, while performances are consistently excellent. (It's especially good to see Sheffer, perhaps best known for A River Runs Through It, again.) --Tom Keogh
Same town. Same team. Same father. Different lives. Half-brothers rival each other on and off the basketball court in the wildly popular high-school drama that tallied a whopping 185% audience growth among W18-34 from it series premiere to the first season finale.DVD Features:
Additional Scenes:Over 48 minutes of Unaired Scenes with introductions
Audio Commentary:Commentary by the cast and crew on The Pilot (Disc 1), To Wish Impossible Things (Disc 5), The Games That Play Us (Disc 6)
Documentaries:Building a Winning Team: The Making of One Tree Hill - a never-before-seen making-of documentary with interviews with the cast and crew. Diaries From The Set - A behind-the-scenes vignette with the cast of One Tree Hill.
Gag Reel:Christmas Elf Gag
Music Video:Oh, Chariot musical performance by Gavin DeGraw