Channel Surfing with C.T.

I seriously fall more in love with ONE TREE HILL every week, Trust me, no one on the planet is more surprised by this development than me. But this show isn’t just a guilty pleasure… it is the guilty pleasure of the season. I mean, last night’s episode gave us everything… including the rare male bitchwalk. (You know… that scene in every show from BUFFY to POPULAR in which a group of hot chicks strut down the hall in slow motion to a pulsating soundtrack… which is exactly what we got when Lucas, Nathan and the team entered the gym for the game.) I was never a fan of Peyton… until the show turned her into a viper.When Brooke urged her gal pal to take the high road, I was shouting “No!” And damned if things didn’t go to hell when she blew Lindsay out of the water with news that Lucas had given her a hand-me-down ring. (Although frankly, I’d have held onto that bombshell until the wedding day.) And didn’t it seem odd that Mouth opted to cover his first game by sitting in the school’s hallway? But I really love that a shooting which happened four years ago continues to haunt the characters. Sure, that probably wouldn’t be the case were it four seasons later as opposed to a result of the fast-forward, but I’m still gonna give the show props.

I can only compare CBS’ BIG BROTHER and Showtime’s live AFTER DARK presentation as perhaps the best illustration ever put forth of the difference between edited, pre-packaged “reality” and unfiltered, uncensored reality. For every night when the camera focuses on such incredibly boring yet oh-so-real minutia as Joshua brushing his teeth or Ryan smoking his millionth cigarette there are the jaw-dropping moments such as Natalie and Chelsia’s full-frontal striptease followed by the orgiastic make-out session held by the housemates in the pool. Yeah, CBS definitely got their money’s worth out of that inhibition-loosening margarita party. And every time the camera cuts to showmancers Chelsia and James making out, I can’t help wondering how she’ll react upon re-emerging into society and learning about that videotape making the rounds in which he swaps spit with a guy before… well, you’ll just have to google it. God knows Julie Chen won’t get the reaction shot I’m dying to see. After Jen proclaimed that her boyfriend was a racist — and then vehemently denied having said as much when confronted by the guy — my best friend and I wondered what the girl was thinking. But when Jen and Parker were evicted and Julie Chen failed to ask, “How do you think Ryan will react to learning that you did, in fact, call him a racist?”, the real question became how Chenbot keeps her job.

There’s not a single original thought behind QUARTERLIFE… but that might not actually matter. What with being closer to starring in a show called HALFLIFE than one with this title, I’m not exactly the demographic that the producers are seeking out. (Hell, there’s nobody out there actively seeking out my demo.) And truth be told, I tuned in having a pretty good idea what to expect: THIRTYSOMETHING meets websoap YOUNG AMERICAN BODIES by way of MY SO-CALLED LIFE. Sure enough, QUARTER didn’t disappoint. The show isn’t re-inventing the wheel, but maybe you don’t always have to. Maybe having an appealing cast who look like real people (at least in warped Hollywood terms) and act with a balls-to-the-walls style that works more often than it doesn’t is enough. Anybody else check this out? Thoughts?

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  • Ju-Ju

    I’m WAY disgusted with the difference between the “afterdark” sessions and what is actually aired on the CBS hourly show on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
    Although I’m sure the producers are happy to see a lot of the explicit action, as a fan, I’m left with an overwhelmingly dirty feeling this year. Anyone else feel the same?

  • Reese

    One Tree Hill continues to suck. Their misogynistic treatments of women is offensive and embarrassing. Chickfights? Really? Over a douchebag a-hole who’s not even worth it? No thanks.

    Not to mention the showrunner is a talentless, overly sensitive tool.

  • Bob

    OTH misogynistic?!? You’re too funny!

    The show’s target audience is females under 34.

    Reese, you sound like a real pleasant and positive person. I hope you enjoy watching your non-mysogynist shows like Two and a Half Men and Family Guy and chickfightless shows like ANTM and PCD:Girlicious.

  • CT


    I’m curious. Did you feel this way before the fast-forward? As most r regular readers know, I HATED the show before the “jump” and am now, much to my surprise, a huge fan. I can’t say that I saw theepisode as particularly mysogonistic…

  • Reese

    I don’t think I’m the first one to say this show is misogynistic. The first season of the show was just generic teen fluff, but still watchable. But now, I think it’s deteriorated into a mess. The fast forward was okay, but then in this episode, they decided to pull out the chickfights. It was just unnecessary name-calling for no reason. With this show’s track record, I was surprised no one got punched.

    Not to mention the fact that the season is being wasted on Lindsay, a character who is inevitably going to leave the show anyway, and the girls are fighting over a boy who doesn’t even deserve it.

  • ct

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Lindsay sticks around. the character has a lot of potential, and I think fans who aren’t rabid about Peyton have really taken to Lindsay. And let’s not forget that the secret to any good soap’s longevity is the ability to weave new characters into the canvas.

    Obviously, as a new viewer, I’m not familiar with the show’s histroy, but I can’t say I find it misogynistic. And it’s the first time I’ve ever heard that particular complaint about the show.

  • Amy

    I had high hopes for this seasons of OTH after the ff, but apart from a few good moments it’s been as bad as the last two seasons.

    Brooke continues to be the only character I care about at all – I’ll watch it just for her until the very end. Peyton is a petty, childish, unlikeable character – she’s become the Marissa of OTH for me and most people I know. The only time I could bear Lucas was when he was with Brooke, but apparantly the writers have decided we should forget they ever even dated, let alone were completely in love. I don’t mind Nathan and Hayley but the nanny storyline has been written in such a cliched way that I can’t watch those scenes. I really like Lindsay actually and wish she wasn’t only sticking around to drag out the will they – won’t they of Lucas/Peyton.

  • Kristen

    I am absolutely obsessed with Quarterlife. I am facing some of the things they’re facing so I think that may have to do with it.

  • ct


    I hav to admit, I was stunned by the low viewer turnout for Quarterlife. I thought that the show’s pedigree alone would draw bigger numbers. But in this day and age — especially with the post-strick dirth of programming — how stupid is NBC to pull it from the schedule? When will they learn that sometimes, shows need time to grow? I hope when it shows up on Bravo, the ratings surge and NBC winds up looking like the myopic morons that they’ve proven time and again to be.