One Tree Hill: The Complete Seventh Season (2009)

Genre(s): Drama
Warner Brothers || NR - 924 minutes - $59.98 || August 17, 2010
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2010-09-08


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Mark Schwahn (created by)
Cast: James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Galeotti, Sophia Bush


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Episode Commentaries
  • 3 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

Imagine "The Simpsons" without Homer. Or "Seinfeld" without Jerry. It's tough for a show to lose one of its core characters the show was really based upon, but in "One Tree Hills" case, it lost two. After the departure of Chad Michael Murray and Hillary Burton last year (Chad wanted more money, CW said no, and without him Hilary really had no chance of being on the show alone), the show scrambled to figure out how they would go on another season without them (the show was renewed back in February 2009, so it was coming back either way). So the show did something interesting - it focused more on Nathan and Haley while bringing in some new fresh faces.

The journeys of those who hail from the town of Tree Hill have been vast, from Nathan and Haley's first kiss to marriage, a son and, most recently, Nathan's return to the basketball court. Now in its seventh season, "One Tree Hill" continues to explore the journeys of its beloved characters, while seamlessly introducing new favorites. As the series jumps ahead 14 months, these new relationships infuse the history and change the lives of those who live there. Through it all, these friends and family members realize that life always leads you right where you belong.

So let's discuss the season and the changes that were made to get the show back on track.

First off, the show was only renewed for 13 episodes. "One Tree Hill" has had such a teeter-totter relationship with WB/CW that they typically wait until the last minute to renew it and typically it's only with a 13 episode order. Only one time did the show get picked up far in advance (the show was almost canceled at the end of season four, but they deiced to pick it up over "Everwood"). So with only 13 episodes, the show went an interesting route of bringing in new characters to hopefully reboot the show (for a third time). I will go ahead and note that in an unusual step, CW has ordered 22 episodes for season eight. This is pretty much unheard of for "One Tree Hill", but I suspect it's gearing up for its final season and wants a long enough lead time to finish off the dangling plot lines. Another reason is the Soap Network will soon be shutting down, and they currently own the syndication rights to the show and without them, the show won't be as profitable to Warner (and let's face it - 8 seasons is a freakin' great run for a show that got pummeled out of the gate by "The O.C.").

Before I start, I need to mention the show jumps in time about a year. Now, this was really needed because Jaimie is clearly growing and we can't just keep him the same age for ever. Bart Simpson he is not. The time jump also helps flesh out a few new characters who already have relationships with the core ones. One of those is Clay.

Clay (Buckley) - Filling in for Chad Michael Murray, he is Nathan's agent and now his best friend. Nathan leans on him as does the entire Scott family. When we first meet him, he appears to be a 'player'. He hooks up with random girls, but it soon becomes apparent he has a dark secret. But soon he opens up and starts a relationship with Quinn, Haleys other sister.

Quinn (VanSanten) - How many sisters does Haley have? Here we have a new one we never heard of before, but here she is, ready to start her life anew after her split from her husband. She quickly fits right in with the cast.

Nathan (Lafferty) and Haley (Galeotti) - Since they are now the core couple of the show, we see them go through several problems including Nathan possibly sleeping with another girl (and getting her pregnant), Nathan not getting on the Basketball team he wanted, Haley producing another record and dealing with the death of her mother. Throughout it all, they remain the real reason to watch the show and continue to bring a much needed grounding to other characters who seem a bit too much like cartoon characters at this point.

Brooke (Bush) and Julian (Nichols) - All the drama from last Season is over, and they are ready to start a life together. Aside from Brooke bringing her mother back into the mix, her plot points this year are not all that exciting. She tends to yell a lot and smoke imaginary cigarettes. Julian decides to follow his dreams and produce a film with newcomer Alex (Kramer) who has a very deep crush on him.

There are some other minor characters I am ignoring (Mouth, Milly, Skills), but the reasons are obvious - they have little to no action in this season and with season eight coming with a budget cut, I suspect they will get trimmed from the cast. But aside from a few missteps, I still found this season to be excellent (in terms of how great a teen show can be). There were some dud episodes (one that involved re-creating scenes from John Hughes films and Jaimie going on a Goonies-Inspired treasure hunt), but overall I was happy the show managed to go on without the two leads. Other shows should really take note (*cough* "The Office" *cough*).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

This release in housed in attractive slip cover.

Commentaries for the following episodes:
"I and Love and You" with Mark Schwahn and cast members Robert Buckely, James Lafferty, and executive producer Joe Davola
"Almost Everything I Wish I'd Said the Last Time I Saw You" with cast members Robert Buckely, James Lafferty, and Stephen Colletti

Return to Camp (8 Minutes) - This is actually pretty interesting as it follows the first table read (and first episode) for some of the new cast members. This is essentially reboot number three for the show so it's neat to see how the old cast members react to the new ones.

Directing Debut of Sophia Bush (13 Minutes) - I don't know what it ism but when a show runs five years, it's a given that some of the cast members will eventually direct (or even write... like last year’s horrific episode by Chad Michael Murray) an episode. But this was entertaining to watch as she tried to figure out how to direct and episode and what actually went into a 42 minute show.

Spring Break (16 Minutes) - Two lucky winners were able to guest star on the show and this is their journey (CW aired most of this back when the episode was new).

Rounding out season seven are a handful of Unaired Scenes (10 Minutes) and a Gag Reel (3 Minutes).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“One Tree Hill” Season Seven presents all 22 episodes in Anamorphic 1.78:1 Widescreen spread across 5 DVDs. While these are obviously not going to be as nice as the ones that aired on the HD version on The CW, they are still very nice. A little bit cleaner than Gossip Girl before it. Season Seven is on par with the previous season.

Warner has include an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track that suites the show very well. This season has a very high emphasis on music and the 5.1 track helps bring that alive. Dialog comes across very clear from the center channel speaker.



.::OVERALL::.

Season seven continues on with a selection of great episodes...along with some poor ones. But overall I was once again entertained by the misadventures these twenty-something year olds get into and wonder why my life is so boring and tame. I guess not everyone I know is a professional basketball player, singer, TV sports caster, sports agent, movie producer, actress... alright, alright. It's a show.