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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Review of One Tree Hill Season 2

And now for Season 2.

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This is a season I loved and a season I hated. This
is a season that I could watch over and over and a
season I never want to watch again. Given that,
expect this review to maybe be a bit confused. This
season brings up so many contradictory emotions and is
hard to accurately talk about as a result.

First, I'll get the easy stuff out of the way: the
guest stars, i.e. Felix, Anna, Jules, and Andy.

I can't really stand Felix. He is an arrogant little
prick and at best I tolerate him as necessary. See, I
like Dan as a bad guy. Dan has style and is great.
Felix isn't. He just comes in, causes problems, and
then expects to be loved. While my hat is off to
Michael Copon for created such a character, I still
can barely tolerate the guy. His only redeeming
qualities were that he (at least sometimes) protected
Anna and Brooke.

Anna I actually liked. I know alot of people hated
her, but I never did. I am not fond of how she blew
off Peyton during the whole "dyke" thing, but she
ended up redeeming herself. Daniella Alonso played
that character so wonderfully that I have to say
kudos. She was a really good friend to Lucas and
normally a good friend to Peyton.

Jules I just feel sorry for. I can't really hate her.
I hate the fact that she let herself be used to hurt
Keith, but I feel for her. She was in an awful
position and Dan used that to manipulate her. And
then a she fell in love with Keith.

I really liked Andy. I remember at the time that I
thought Andy was a plant like Jules. Odd in
retrospect, but given that Dan had shown himself fully
capable and willing to ruin the lives of people around
him, not a totally out there thought.

Now for the main characters. I am saving Naley for
last because that is going to be the hardest section,
so I'll start with Dan.

Dan reaches new levels of nastiness this season. I do
get the whole being pissed off at Keith and Deb thing.
But the way he manipulated Lucas as a test,
threatened Whitey's job, manipulated the situation
with Andy, and used words to help bring down Naley
were absolutely despicable. But I gotta admire the
guy for his style. He manages to never do anything
halfway. He so thoroughly pisses off so many people
that by the time the fire came about, almost everyone
was a suspect. (ED: A message I wrote at that time will
be put up soon :-) )

Brooke grew up so much this season. She and Peyton
patched things up, she sorta started down the slutty
path; albeit a monogamous one so that's an
improvement. But ultimately, she pulled herself
together in typical Brooke fashion. Part of that was
thanks to Karen being such a wonderful mother and part
of it was thanks to Lucas being such a good friend.
But mostly, it was Brooke being strong enough to know
that she could do it. That girl has nothing to be
insecure about. She is strong and a totally rocking
girl who I would love to have as a friend.

Lucas has seriously recovered from his downfall last
year. He also has alot more deviousness than I would
have given him credit for. The way he single-mindedly
went after Dan and used Dan's affections as a way to
get in was brilliant. Unfortunately, Dan was playing
the same game on a higher level. The serious screwups
of Lucas' were not getting the HCM test in the first
place and lying to Nathan about going to see Haley and
about the investigation of Dan continuing. While all
of these were totally understandable, they did hurt
him and his relationships in the long run.

Peyton never seems to change much. She is still Ms.
Issues, but at least this season she had Jake to
depend on for a while. That was wonderful to see.
She made alot of mistakes where the drugs were
concerned, but she ultimately pulled through.

Don't really have a whole lot to say about Whitey,
Deb, Karen, or Keith. They are all pretty much
playing second fiddle to the kids. While I loved
seeing what happened to them, it paled in comparison
to what comes next.

And that is the near dissolution of Naley. Probably
one of the most painful and drawn out storylines in
One Tree Hill. There is so much that happens that it
is hard to do justice to any of it. Things got so
tangled up and so complicated that it is hard to think
through with any sense of rationality. But, I'll try.

First, I do have to say that I am grateful this
happened so that we could have Chris introduced.
While the guy is a self-absorbed @$$hole, he is
hilarious. He is almost a miniature Dan. Of course,
this reflects furture knowledge, but I just had to say
that.

Now, onto the hard part. Alot of people look at what
happened and instantly blame Haley. I don't see it as
being that simple. Both Nathan and Haley share the
blame for what happened. Nathan was insecure about
himself as a person, gave up a dream for Haley, and
had Deb and Dan sitting on his shoulders whispering
doubts into his ears. Haley had a dream that she
wanted to pursue, had a husband who demanded that she
choose her dream or him, and saw a sister who lived it
up. Add it all up and you get Haley leaving. Was it
right? No. Was it all her fault? Hell no.

And Nathan was right when he said that if they didn't
chase their dreams that they would be bitter. If they
gave up on their dreams and hopes to stay together,
then eventually they would have become Dan and Deb, a
bitter, spiteful couple who couldn't stand to be
together. And that would have been a real shame.

Ultimately, I think that Dan, Deb, and Chris also
share some of the blame for what happened. Dan and
Deb were so pervertedly overjoyed at seeing Naley
falling apart that they helped it happen, in fact they
even partially caused the falling apart with their
words. And Chris played the part of the tempter,
tempting Haley towards music.

But none of that would have worked if Nathan and Haley
were more sure of themselves as Naley. Their own
doubts and insecurities opened cracks in their
relationships that allowed Dan, Deb, and Chris to work
their stuff and to split them up.

Tonight, I start Season 3.