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?