One Tree Hill: The Complete Fifth Season (2007)
|Warner Brothers || NR - 810 minutes - $59.98 || August 26, 2008|
|Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-08-28|
Writer(s): Mark Schwahn (created by)
Cast: Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Galeotti, Sophia Bush, Paul Johansson, Moira Kelly
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Much like The O.C., I caught One Tree Hill on DVD before I started watching the show religiously on The WB. After watching Season One on DVD in a matter of three days, I quickly tune in to the premiere of Season 2 and have been watching faithfully since. While I thought most of the season were weak, Season 5 starts off strong and finishes a bit weak (mainly because of the writers’ strike), but still remains my favorite season besides the first.
In an unusual move for a television show, the story picks up roughly four years in the future. We skip all the college drama between the core group that often hampered other popular teen dramas (90210, The O.C., Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and start at a great spot to re-introduce out characters. Before we begin, I should explain that while we are 4 years "in the future" we are still in our present day and time. It may seem a bit weird, but it would be really odd to see Peyton or Luke using an old iPhone or playing a 4 year old Rock Band game, right? Skipping college and all that other useless drama really helped One Tree Hill and I am glad they decided to do this (no doubt because The CW wanted to change things up a bit and make a stale drama a bit more useful for them to market).
Four years in the future we find all of our characters in different parts of America and all still have their issues to deal with. Lucas has since published his first book (which was hinted at in Season 3) and is struggling with ideas for his latest novel all while dating his editor, Lindsey. Peyton is in L.A. working for a record label and is not feeling what she had hoped by finding new talent. Brooke is now a successful clothes designer who owns her own company, ‘Clothes over Bro's’. Nathan and Haley still reside in One Tree Hill where Haley is starting out as a teacher while Nathan is unfortunately suffering from depression after being forced out of basketball due to an injury. Dan is still in jail for the murder of his brother and Mouth and Skills, also still in One Tree Hill, share an apartment together.
It takes a few episodes but eventually all the main characters we have come to love make their way back to One Tree Hill looking for something. Through a series of well-done flashbacks we see what some of them have done - including Peyton saying no to an engagement proposition by Lucas. This season is filled with everything that made One Tree Hill great and I was relieved to find myself watching each week as if I was watching Season One again.
When shows introduce new characters I often groan - especially kids. Remember Oliver from The Brady Bunch? What about Seven from Married with Children? Ugh, or Olivia from The Cosby Show? In this case, the addition of a young son to Nathan and Hailey named Jaimie (born at the end of Season 4) adds so much to the show that if they were to have a One Tree Hill spin-off starring just him, I'd watch. This kid is not only a very talented young actor, but cute as a button. Although he has a few story lines this season (him with the Nanny, trying to get his dads spirits back up), next season appears to thrust him more into the spotlight.
Other new characters include Brook's mother (Daphne Zuniga), a co-worker and future love interest for mouth name Millicent (Lisa Goldstein), a new badass for the basketball team Quentin (Robbie Jones), a future rock star that Peyton signs, Mia (Kate Voegele) and Lucas' new girlfriend Lindsey (Michaela McManus). Phew. Seems like a lot, but I'm sure I missed a few additions to the cast and while some of them don't last the entire season, they sure helped start off a fantastic season.
When the strike ended, One Tree Hill came back for an additional five episodes and I feel out of all the shows I watched that did this, these were by far weaker. While the potential season finale ended with an unlikely family reunion, when the show came back on the air a few months later the characters seems a bit confused on what to do, almost as if the writers thought the show was ending and wrote a great potential series finale. But when they not only came back for an additional five episodes (and another season!) they stumbled on what to do next. While I didn't hate them, the magic of the previous thirteen episodes seemed lost.
Commentary Tracks for Mark Schwahn and Cast Members - A great set of tracks that brings some useful information regarding the two episodes at hand. Too bad we didn't get more of these. Episodes: “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “For Tonight You’re Only Here to Know”.
Unaired Scenes - Nothing here of any real importance; mostly cut dialog and throw away scenes. Still worth a look.
Fast Forward - This is broken down into small 2-3 minute segments that showcase each character (both new and old) and give a little background on where they are and where they will be going within the show. If you watch this before you watch Season 5 you will spoil everything about it, but if you watch it after it doesn't really reveal too much.
OTH Musical Stars - Guest stars Kevin Federline (K. Fed) and Kate Voegele gives us a short behind the scenes look at working on the show.
One Tree Hill at 100 - A short featurette that showcases the party held at the Cameron Art Museum celebrating the 100th episode.
Digital Copy of the Entire Season - In an unusual (but great!) move, Warner has included a certificate that when entered in iTunes instantly starts downloading the entire season in iPod format! Kudos to Warner!
Also included is a gag reel and Kate Voegele (who plays Mia) music video.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
One Tree Hill Season Five is presents all 18 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 of\n The CW, they are still very nice. A little bit cleaner than Gossip Girl before it.
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.
It takes a lot for a show to improve its ratings so far in the game, but Season Five of One Tree Hill did that. With improved ratings came improved story lines for all of our characters and I’m happy to report Warner came through with a great DVD set of the show.