Answer: exactly the same, but with less squinting. Seriously. The only difference I can see are a few new faces, a random and unnecessary 14-month time jump, and much, much more naked flesh. I could take or leave the first two, but the last one? I could definitely get on board with that.
Instead of a chronological recap, let’s quickly get caught up with both our old and new Tree Hill residents, shall we?
OUT WITH THE OLD
Even though he disappeared after getting his prospective transplant heart eaten by a dog last season (and can I say it again: Best. OTH moment. EVER!), Dan is miraculously still alive and now some sort of random talk show host/cult leader with a program called “Redemption.” Um, okay?
Playing for the Bobcats, but in the middle of some dicey contract renegotiations courtesy of his new agent (more to come on him later). He’s also endorsing lame products
like body spray. Ew. Unfortunately, he’s also about to be embroiled in a cliche scandal involving a groupie who claims she slept with
him on the road last season. Oh no she didn’t! And, you know she didn’t. The day they break Nathan and Haley up is the day I grow wings and fly.
Haley is still recording her album and is now also running Peyton’s label in her absence. Peyton’s label backers show up and announce they are shutting down the label.
It’s his 7th birthday. Lucas and Peyton send him Luke’s old basketball for a present, which was originally a gift to Lucas from Keith. Aw. He also gets a visit from Jerry Rice, because all modern 7-year-olds are big fans of athletes who retired before they could tell time. I will admit that playing a pickup game with Jerry Rice would be pretty cool, no matter how old you are.
Brooke & Julian
They’re still going strong, but Brooke is having a hard time with Julian leaving to go on movie sets. Which is his job, and always has been since they’ve know each other. Whatever, Brooke. He asks her to go with him, but she refuses because “Tree Hill is home.” Julian decides to give up his big break producing a big budget film because he wants to do important films (not necessarily big films), and he doesn’t want to be away from Brooke for 10 months. Um, aw? I don’t really care about their story right now, but Austin Nichols is all kinds of hot. Dayum.
Got her promotion last season and is busy taking over the world, or at least Clothes Over Bro’s. (That misplaced apostrophe will always, always bug me.) Still dating Mouth.
Hints to Skills that he should move out, then denies he is actually asking Skills to move out. The then annoyingly and passive aggressively tries to force Skills to move out by doing things like hanging around the house naked. And now I have to bleach my brain after seeing Mouth naked. Thanks, show.
Still dating Lauren. Still giving inappropriate gifts to Jamie, like his old collection of rap CDs. Tupac? Biggie? For a 7-year-old? No, Skills. Just no.
IN WITH THE NEW
Haley’s sister, who is visiting for an indefinite period of time because she just left her husband. I like her, because she teases Nathan about sleeping with their other sister Taylor. Ha!
Nathan’s agent (played by Robert Buckley, of “Lipstick Jungle” fame). Hot. Complete workaholic. Really hot. Likes to have sex with random women and then stare into the ceiling like his life is empty and meaningless. Supernova hot. Has some sort of mysterious dark spot in his past that makes him not believe in love. And did I mention hot? Too bad the rest of his character seems kind of predictable and boring so far. But the hotness…
- Peyton lets someone else run her label? Really? Yes, it’s Haley…and I know she’s all blissful and happy and la dee dah…but I seriously doubt Peyton could give up her first “baby” so easily.
- I covet the asymmetrical purple dress Brooke wore to Julian’s premiere. So gorgeous.
- Note to Brooke and Julian: skinny dipping does not involve underwear. Or pants. They were practically wearing burkas in that scene! Just call it swimming, folks.
- As annoying as it is to have the show go on without its two leads (even though I didn’t like either character very much) it is nice they are still mentioning Lucas and Peyton and keeping them alive in the world of the show.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they really should let Bethany Joy Galeotti sing more often. Her voice is lovely.
- “You are terrible at this. Just so wooden!” – Clayton, to Nathan about his acting skills (So many jokes, so little time…)
- “Peyton used to say people always leave. Who knew she was talking about her stupid ass?” – Brooke
What did you guys think? Are you happy to see the new faces? Do you miss Lucas and Peyton? And do you think Clayton is as hot as I so obviously do?
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