For the Love of TV… I Guess

Whatever happened to Lucas and Peyton, anyway?
Whatever happened to Lucas and Peyton, anyway?

The verdict is in. Don’t be embarrassed, I won’t tell anyone, just be honest. How much television do you watch per week? I’ve tallied my votes and yes, this is my final answer: I have a whopping 15 hours of TV that I must watch every week, not counting the hours upon hours of just random shows I have on while I’m doing my homework, eating my breakfast, and so on. But as I was watching my “favorite” TV shows last week, a thought occurred to me: why on earth am I watching this? Do I really enjoy the show, or am I simply suffering from an unquenchable desire to see how the show will eventually and inevitably crash and burn? After six never-ending seasons of “One Tree Hill,” I can’t deny that, at this point, any ending to come in the next ten episodes would be a happy one.

Like all top TV shows, “One Tree Hill” started off with a bang. It was a fun show with a unique and attractive cast, with a following of 3.5 million its first season, according to the ABC Medianet website. The ratings went up from there into the successful 2nd-4th seasons, and then… kerplunk! Now in its 7th season, ABC Medianet reports 2.53 million viewers, making it one of the CW’s lowest ranked shows. I myself, an avid viewer since Lucas and Peyton’s first intense gaze into each other’s eyes from afar, have to force myself to turn it on every week: yet, without fail, I still do. It’s the same with “The Hills” and “90210.” Are these shows all going down the drain, or are there still surprises left for us? Can any of the shows redeem themselves before it’s too late?

After Lauren Conrad (better known as LC) left “The Hills,” Kristin Cavallari took over in a big way. This girl knows how to put on a show, and after just one season, she has brought the already unbelievable show to its breaking point. Who seriously moves to L.A. for no apparent reason and immediately moves in on the ex-boyfriend of a potential friend? And who in their right mind would choose Justin-Bobby over Brody Jenner? No one, that’s who.

Come Back, LC!

I can’t stand any of the characters on the show, yet I enthusiastically tune in every Monday at 10 PM. Why is that? Am I really that bored? I can think of a hundred other things I could be doing during that half hour: homework, exercising, cleaning my room, sleeping, spying on people from my giant window in Stuvi2. Or is it because there’s just something deeply satisfying about watching people who are much richer and more than me crash and burn? Honestly, what could be more satisfying? These people have everything: fortune, beauty, and fame – just from living their lives. They go about their daily routines and millions of people worship them for it. Hey, MTV, come film me! I have way more drama in my life than they do! Let me in on some of that fame and fortune!

No matter how fun it is to watch pretty people fail, eventually people get bored. After watching Brooke fail at 4 serious relationships with 4 seriously hot guys on “One Tree Hill,” I don’t think I’m up for a 5th, even if the guy is British. I don’t even care if Kristin dumps Justin-Bobby and runs off with her girlfriend Stacy on “The Hills.” And most of all, I don’t care if Adrianna on “90210” overdoses for the gazillionth time or if Liam keeps another secret from Naomi.

But then, crash-and-burn television, you pull a fast one:

Jasper flirts with Annie without letting on that he knows her secret

The entire last season of “90210” got worse and worse as it progressed, and I almost gave up on it several times. After all, it’s only a couple seasons in, so I’m not fully committed yet. But, boy, am I glad I stuck around for that final episode. I thought they had completely abandoned the only story-line that I cared about, but then, that last 30 seconds blew my mind. When Jasper told Annie he knew about her hit-and-run accident, I jumped out of my chair like a gazelle and threw both fists in the air. Yes! Finally!! A real surprise! None of that mysterious hocus pocus from “Lost” or the silly OMG moments of “Gossip Girl.” They really hit the spot, bringing back a case we thought was closed, and then BAM, credits. I wasn’t that absorbed with “90210” before, but now I’m chomping at the bit for the new season to start.

So what’s the point of all this? Hope. Yes folks, there’s still hope out there in TV land. Some writers still know how to thrill and torture us when we least expect it. I’m not saying “90210” will be the next best thing since sliced bread – I still fully expect this show to crash and burn. But now I know that even though my favorite shows are kicking the can, I have a reason to keep tuning in every Monday night, just so I don’t miss the big moment that lets me sigh with relief. Is this good or bad? Who knows? Maybe it will all just be a big waste of time, but at least now I can hope it won’t be.

About Bailey Sheats

Bailey (COM '11) is a Television writer for the Quad.

View all posts by Bailey Sheats →

4 Comments on “For the Love of TV… I Guess”

  1. i completely get what you meant about 90210. the whole time i KNEW he had to have known what she did. no offense but he’s a wierdo. he’d never have approached her if he didn’t know she felt so guilty already. it is KILLING ME to wait for the new season.

  2. LOL at the inaccuracies in this article. No fact-checkers?

    -There aren’t 10 episodes of OTH left this season. Episode 7.16 airs tonight. There’s only 22 episodes in the season. You do the math. (Again.)

    -The ratings didn’t go up in the “successful 2nd-4th seasons”. The average only went up in season 2. In seasons 3 and 4 (as well as 5 and 6), they were below the 3.5 million the 1st season had.

    -One Tree Hill is not one of The CW’s lowest-rated shows. That (dis)honor belongs to Melrose Place, 90210 and Gossip Girl. Week after week, One Tree Hill beats all of those and gets ratings that are on par with Supernatural and Smallville.

    -“Whatever happened to Lucas and Peyton, anyway?” While not explicitly said, we know they are traveling abroad from the letters Jamie has received, Julian’s use of Luke’s house and–oh, yeah–the title of the season premiere: “4:30am (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)”

    -You may not be “up for a 5th guy, even if he’s British” but Alexander is Australian.

    -How is 90210 “a couple seasons in” if it’s only in season 2?

  3. Melrose Place may not be the highest rated how on the CW…but Melrose is far more entertaining and intriguing than One Tree Hill.

  4. @TeenDramaWho:

    -the titles of OTH episodes are named afters songs featured in the show and are not necessarily related to the events of that episode. if you’d been paying as much attention as i have you’d know that they simply moved away. they’re not traveling.

    -the australian/british thing is excusable. according to Dr. Gregory House ‘you’ve got the queen on your money. you’re british’

    -a couple IS 2.

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