Thursday, December 29, 2011

There is only One Tree Hill

I fought watching this show for SO MANY YEARS. I felt like I had lots of good reasons. When UPN and The WB merged back in the day One Tree Hill was picked up and my favorite Everwood was not. My feelings were hurt and I can hold a grudge like none other! I had also heard a ton of stories about unrest on set, fights to keep it on air and fans who were wildly unimpressed with later seasons.

Thankfully I had a group of wonderful friends, kind enough to hound me into watching it. Finally. (Thank you Sandi. Again).

There were a lot of things about One Tree Hill that I found silly. A lot of things I found ridiculous. And many more things that I found absolutely maddening!!

And yet...... And yet.....

I fell madly in love. With something I wanted so badly to hate. There is probably a lesson in all of this. A totally "make me want to barf for having these kinds of feelings" lesson, but a lesson just the same.

So what did I fall madly in love with? Too many things to count, name or catalog. But here is a start:

Favorite Couple:
I want to get this one out of the way quick because everyone on twitter has been asking me about it since I first started: Nathan and Haley. No doubt, no question. They survive, they love, they make it SO REAL. They have problems, they suffer through life. And still.... they make dreams come true. They feed each others' souls. They have so much passion. They don't always agree but they do make it work. They talk, they doubt, they believe, they fight. And even when they tease each other they believe in their love above everything else. That makes them so real to me. And real is very sexy. Real is beautiful.

Favorite Character:
This one is pretty easy too. There have been a lot of characters that I started off hating and ended up adoring. And I love being wrong about characters. None more so though than Nathan Scott. I thought he was such a dick in the beginning. And then he became the anti-hero. And then an actual hero. And then everything any girl would ever dream of. He is faulted and troubled but, he is also sweet and noble and strong. And he's a really great dad. Is there anything hotter than that? Watch him do it and I DARE your ovaries not to ache. And holy LORD he looks good with his shirt off. Hello arm porn!

Favorite Episode:
This is a super-duper hard choice to make. There are a lot of things that go into a great episode of TV. And because I watched 8 seasons in less than 2 weeks, it is very difficult for me to pick just one. Or 6. So... I've chosen my top 3 Happy and my top 3 Sad. And that is the best that I can do!
  • Sad #3: 3x16, "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept." There is not a whole lot more devastating in a high school than a school shooting. Especially when you lose a friend. Especially when you lose someone you love. Tree Hill and everyone in it was forever changed after these events. And not so much for the better.  
  • Happy #3: 3x14, "All Tomorrow's Parties." What's more fun than a class trip? Scott brother bonding and cheerleaders gone crazy!! And when the entire routine goes to crap in a totally hilarious way, the girls make the most of it and have the time of their lives! How can you not dance along?
  • Sad #2: 7x18, "The Last Day of Our Acquaintance." No matter how much Haley and her sisters prepare for the death of their mother, her loss is no easier to bear. Watching the girls try to let her go is so beautiful and yet so hard to see. Haley's subsequent breakdown is no picnic either. 
  • Happy #2: 4x21, "All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone." This episode did not have a happy start. The song  (Lightning Crashes) was epic and sad and beautiful, but did not give away our happy ending. Two babies born. One of them being the beloved James Lucas Scott. And then the High School life of our darling Ravens ends in a game at the River Court. Even Dan Scott couldn't take that happy away.
  • Sad #1: 6x03, "Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly." Another character I hated at first and grew to love. And then he died. The death of Quentin was so much harder than I ever thought it would be. But he was Jamie's friend. Haley's student. And Nathan's inspiration. And when Jamie spread his cape over his coffin I wasn't sure I would ever recover. Because he was a true hero to my favorite OTH family and truly missed by all. 
  • Happy #1: 6x24, "Remember Me As a Time of Day," started out pretty intense. Would Peyton make it? Would she live to see the little girl she sacrificed herself to make? Certainly. And Peyton and Lucas and baby Sawyer got to be a family and drive off in the Comet into the happy blue yonder. Then Nathan too, got what he always wanted. The NBA. The thing he had worked toward his entire life. With his always supportive and loving wife and son by his side, he got to walk onto the court of his life long dream. What on earth could be happier than that?
Favorite Moments:
There are so many things that I have loved throughout these 8 seasons. Big things. Tiny things. Things that have made me clap my hands together in giant bouts of joy. Things that have made me bow my head in absolute sadness.Things that have made my heart swell into something 10 times its normal size. So many things.

  • 5x13: Nathan & Haley make up and get down after way too much time apart. And Nathan. UGH! "You know, sometimes I find your goodness staggering."
  • 6x22: When Brooke says goodbye to Sam. "You'll always be my first mom."
  • 6x14: Lucas & Nathan bond over children. "What's going on?" "Just playing walkie talkies with my brother."
  • 3x13: Nathan and Haley make up in the rain. "I was hurt, Haley, but I was still proud of you, everyday."
  • 4x16: Even in a fight, Brooke risks her life to go after Peyton. "Welcome to prom P. Sawyer."
  • 6x13: Peyton shares amazing news with the love of her life. "I'm having your baby, Lucas Scott."
  • 4x10: Haley fights for her life after a terrible accident. "Please… Please don't take her from me. Don't take our child from her."
  • 7x15: Reenacted bits from all of my favorite 80's movies. And my favorite couple plays my favorite couple! "I already have everything I ever wanted."
  • 8x11: Jamie & Brooke fight to escape an accident during a terrible storm. "Brooke! Don't leave me baby!"
Musical Moments:
One of my favorite things about One Tree Hill was the constant music and recurring talent. Bethany Joy Galeotti (as Haley James Scott) and Kate Voegele (as Mia Catalano) provided so many beautiful songs. But there were others too. Music and lyrics to fit the most amazing moments!
  • 1x08: "Dare You To Move" by Switchfoot: Nathan & Haley kiss for the first time.
  • 4x09: "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez: Lucas realizes his love for Peyton.
  • 6x03: "Quiet In My Town" by Civil Twilight: Quentin's funeral.
  • 7x22: "Timshel" by Mumford & Sons: Haley jumps into the pool & reflects on her life.
All of these moments and quotes and songs are just a small taste, a small portion of the magic that I found in Tree Hill over the last couple of weeks. Not bad for something I set out to hate huh?

Now Brooke has her boys. All three of them. Nathan and Haley have all they've ever wanted with a baby girl on top. What comes next?

Can't wait to watch Season 9 with all of you who love this show as much as I have grown to. Thanks for keeping me company during my marathon! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

To All the Television I've Wept Before

For some reason, over the last several days on Twitter, we’ve been chatting about the most sob inducing television episodes of ALL TIME. Bless my dear friend MelissaLeaman for starting this trend and my friend Carrie Raisler for dubbing said episodes as #cryisodes.  I guess the holidays are really starting to wear on us. Either way, I suppose it’s best to get all of the creys out now instead of next week over gifts and too much eggnog surrounded by family. Right? So let’s get to it. Grab a glass of wine (or 6) a box of tissues (or several) and read all about my favorite television breakdowns.

P.S. These are not in any kind of order. It seemed wrong to rank my points of emotional annihilation.

P.P.S. I decided to choose only one episode from each show so all mentioned shows get a “Runner up”

*Dawson’s Creek 5x04 “The Long Goodbye”
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Reason for tears: Dawson loses his dad in a car accident and blames himself.

Quote: (Telling Dawson about his last conversation with Mitch) Mr. Brennan: “Well, when I mentioned your name, his whole face just lit up. He said you were this brave kid, but he had no idea how you got to be that way. He said you had a romantic streak a mile long, and he said he was proud to know you. I'm sorry if that makes you sad, Dawson, but I figure if somebody says that about you, you ought to know it.

All the feels: I lost my own mother just a month and a half before this episode aired. Dawson’s Creek was always something my sister and I shared and we always felt like it was a pretty big part of our lives. Never before though had we related to the characters so much. Holding each other while watching this one will always be a bitter-sweet memory for me.

Runner up: 6x24 “...Must Come to an End”
 – The death of Jen Lindley – please never again make me watch that video she made for her daughter. “Hi Amy, it's mom. Well, by the time you see this, I won't be here anymore, and I know how much that sucks, for both of us. So seeing as how I won't be around to thoroughly annoy you, I thought I would give you a little list of the things that I wish for you.”

*Grey’s Anatomy 2x27 “Losing My Religion”
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Reason for tears: Izzy risks her career and everyone else’s to get Denny a new heart only to have it give out on him after she leaves to get dressed for the hospital prom.

Quote: Izzie: "An hour ago he was proposing. And now... and now he's going to the morgue. Isn't that ridiculous? Isn't it the most ridiculous piece of crap you've ever... " (starts sobbing. Alex picks her up, cradling her, and sits down on a chair holding and rocking her while she sobs).

All the feels: If she hadn’t been so damn happy when she left to go get dressed, if she hadn’t crawled into bed with him after he died, if Alex wouldn’t have cradled her the way that he did to get her to let him go, maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. Except that it was SO BAD.

Runner Up: 6x24 “Death and All His Friends” 
– Nearly everyone at Seattle Grace is shot by the husband of a dead patient – please never again make me see Christina’s tears as she is forced at gun point to stop performing surgery on Derek. It only makes me think of “She’s my person.”

* The O.C. 4x01 “The Avengers”

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Reason for tears: Months after Marissa was killed in a car “accident” the residents of Newport are still reeling from her loss.

Quote: Ryan: “Face it. I always bring troubles. Trey, Volchok. You and your family... You're better off without me.

All the feels: Because Ryan Atwood chooses to cage fight instead of cry about losing the love of his life, I feel like I must cry extra for him. He has shunned anything resembling love and comfort as some kind of punishment he doesn’t deserve. Which makes the unveiling of his Origin Story that much more heart crushing. Comic books are not supposed to make people cry. SETH! 

Runner up: 1x27 “The Ties That Bind” 
– Everyone mourns when Ryan feels he must leave Newport – please never again make me witness Kirsten Cohen breaking down as she folds up Ryan’s abandoned bed clothes. Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” serenades everyone’s pain perfectly.

*Buffy The Vampire Slayer 5x15 “The Body”
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Reason for tears: In the land of all things supernatural, Buffy loses her mother to natural causes.

Quote: Anya: “But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens, how we go through this. I mean - I knew her, and then she's... there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And... and Xander's crying and not talking, and... and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, "Well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch - ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever," and no one will explain to me why.

All the feels: Again, because I have lost my own mother, this episode is especially hard. But Joss Whedon did something with this episode that no one else has tried before or since for a major character death: silence. There was no score or soundtrack or song. Just the normal sounds of the opening and closing of doors, of birds chirping outside. Which just made it all so much more REAL. Because when you lose someone in real life, there is no orchestra standing behind you to score your emotional breakdown. There is just loss.

Runner up: 2x22 “Becoming, Part 2” 
– Buffy is forced to send Angel to hell in order to save the world just as he gets his soul back – “Close your eyes.” Please never again make me listen to "Full of Grace" by Sarah McLachlan.

*Castle 3x24 “Knockout”

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Reason for tears: Beckett learns more about the murder of her mother and then is gunned down at a friend’s funeral.

Quote: Castle: (After gunshot) “Kate! No Kate... Ssh. Kate please. Stay with me Kate. Don't leave me, please. Stay with me okay? Kate... I love you. I love you, Kate.

All the feels: We all knew Beckett wouldn’t actually die. Obviously. But watching her get shot and Castle’s subsequent reaction proved to be more than my emotions could handle. His confession of love when it may have been too late didn’t help much either.

Runner up: 4x01 “Rise” 
– Beckett fights for her life after being shot – please never again make me suffer through Castle screaming at Beckett out of love and anger when she never called him post recovery.

*Friday Night Lights 4x13 “Thanksgiving”

Reason for tears: After getting caught running an illegal chop-shop Tim Riggins takes all of the blame so that his brother Billy can care for his new family.

Quote: Tim: “You are my brother. You are all that I have. You have a family now. You are a father. You need to be one. This is my decision. This is what I have decided. This is what’s gonna happen. You’re my brother.”

All the feels: Tim messed up a lot. But most of the time he just got crapped on. Time and again. And then he took all of the blame when the law came down just so that his brother could be a father in a way that their father never was. He gave up everything for family. And while he never had lofty goals, I doubt being in prison a year after his senior state championship game was ever on his list. It’s probably easier to choose FNL episodes that DIDN’T make me cry but this one will always bring the rain.

Runner up: 4x05 “The Son” 
– Matt loses his dad – please never again, I just cannot. “I gotta get up there in front of everybody and say good stuff about this man. And all I really want to say is 'Hear lies Henry Saracen, his mother annoyed him, his wife couldn't stand him and he didn't want to be a dad so he took off to be in the army because that's the only way he could come up with to get out of here and ditch all your responsibilities and no one could call you out on it and that worked out great so you just decided to enlist four more times and that ended up getting you killed and now here you are. And all you left behind is a mother with dementia, a divorced wife and a son that delivers pizza. Thank you for coming 100 people I do not know.' You know what the worst part is? Even if I did get up and say all that I don't even know if I'm saying it to him because I don't know what's in that damn box. It's a closed casket-- might be someone else, someone funnier or a bunch of rocks. I understand Matt. I really do.

*Angel 5x15 “A Hole in the World”

Reason for tears: Moments into realizing true love with Wesley, Fred loses her battle with a supernatural virus after opening an ancient sarcophagus.

Quote: Fred: “I need you to talk to my parents. They have to know I wasn't scared. That it was quick, that I wasn't scared. Oh God!” Wesley: “I need you to fight, you don't have to talk, just concentrate on fighting. Just hold on.” Fred: “I'm not scared. I'm not scared. I'm not scared. Please. Wesley. Why can't I stay?

All the feels: Wesley loved Fred from the moment he saw her. And isn’t it Joss’ way to take her away from him just as he gets her. And Fred, always so brave. Of course, it gets worse for Wes and the rest of Angel’s inner circle when Fred’s body becomes the God Illyria who couldn’t be more different from Fred. Too bad Illyria insists on wearing Fred's face. You know it’s bad when even Spike is suffering. “There's a hole in the world. Feels like we ought to have known.

Runner up: 5x12 “You’re Welcome” 
– Cordelia comes out of her coma to give Angel both a proper goodbye and what he needs to win – “Don't make it hard, Angel. I'm just on a different road...and this is my off-ramp. The Powers That Be owed me one, and I didn't waste it. I got my guy back on track.” Please never again make me see his face when he realizes that she has been dead the entire time. 

*The Vampire Diaries 2x21 “The Sun Also Rises”

Reason for tears: Despite everyone’s hard work to keep death at bay, Aunt Jenna is turned and then murdered by Klaus.

Quote: Elena: “Just turn it off. Jenna turn it off. You won’t be scared anymore.”

All the feels: TVD has never shied away from killing major characters. And it has always hurt. But none quite like this one. Even though a lot of us made fun of Jenna for being a mostly drunk door opener, her loss had us all hitting rock bottom. In order to really feel the pain we were forced to face those who loved her most. Jeremy, Elena and Alaric. And all of their tears came together to create a Molotov cocktail of sorrow no one was prepared to swallow. Making the cocktail stronger is “Skinny Love” by Birdy. OUCH.

Runner up: 2x06 “Plan B”
 – Elena gives up her relationship with Stefan to keep her family safe - please never again make me watch Paul Wesley cry like that. When he cries like that all of my unicorns stop eating and nearly die. It’s gut wrenching. (Made worse/better listening to “Wires” by Athlete).

*Bones 5x16 “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole”

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Reason for tears: After revisiting their first case, Booth gives his heart to Brennan only to have it refused.

Quote: Booth: “Well then let's go for a different outcome here, all right? Let's just, hear me out alright? You know when you talk to older couples who, have been in love for thirty or forty or fifty years alright? It's always the guy who says ‘I knew.’ ... I knew, right from the beginning.” Brennan: “Your evidence is anecdotal.” Booth: “I'm that guy. Bones, I'm that guy, I know.” Brennan: (crying) I- I am not a gambler. I'm a scientist. I can't change. I don't know how ... I don't know how.

All the feels: After overcoming years of a “we’re just partners” partnership and his own insecurities, Booth finally lets Bones know just how much he loves her and is immediately shot down because Bones doesn’t know how to feel her feelings. And it is not for her own sake that she stays away, but for his. Because she doesn’t feel that she has the love to give him for the 30-40-50 years he wants and deserves.

Runner up: 6x22 “The Hole in the Heart” 
– Intern Vincent Nigel-Murray falls victim to a hunted sniper – please never again make me watch Brennan tell him he will be ok.

*Supernatural 5x22 “Swan Song”
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Reason for tears: Knowing that there is no other option, Sam gives himself up to Satan in order to help Dean stop the Apocalypse.

Quote: Dean: “Sam. Sammy. It’s ok. I’m here. I’m not gonna leave you." Sam: “It’s ok Dean. It’s gonna be ok. I got it.”

All the feels: It’s hard for me to even talk about this one. Dean finally lets Sam grow up. But letting Sam grow up means letting him go. Dean has to trust Sam to take on Satan himself. It’s so hard to watch Dean take that brutal beating before Sam gets the reins back, but Sam wins. Except that when Sam wins, the Winchester brothers who have spent the last 5 years together, saving people, hunting things, lose. Because they lose each other.

“So what's it all add up to? It's hard to say. But me, I'd say this was a test... for Sam and Dean. And I think they did all right. Up against, Good, Evil, angels, devils, Destiny, and God himself, they made their own choice. They chose family. And, well... isn't that kinda the whole point? No doubt--endings are hard. But then again... nothing ever really ends, does it?”

Runner up: 2x22 “All Hell Breaks Loose: Part II” 
– Dean sells his soul to bring Sam back from the dead – There isn’t much in this world more powerful than one brother trading his life for another. Please never again make me watch Dean take the blame for losing Sam. “It's like I had one job. I had one job, and I screwed it up. I blew it, and for that, I'm sorry. I guess that's what I do. I let down the people I love. Y'know, I let Dad down, and now I guess I'm just supposed to let you down, too. How can I? How am I supposed to live with that? What am I supposed to do? Sammy? What am I supposed to do?”

So how did I do? Did I make you cry? What did I miss? Go ape shit in the comments. After I recover from putting this soul sucking list together I may read some of them!