When the teen angst drama One Tree Hill , created by Mark Schwahn premiered on September 23, 2003, audiences were introduced to the denizens of the fictional North Carolina town of Tree Hill.
One Tree Hill, which was filmed on location in Wilmington, NC to give a more realistic feel, followed the lives of follows half-brothers, Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) an aspiring writer, and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) a high school basketball jock with dreams of a pro career. With heavy focus on the high school years of the Scott brothers and their rocky relationship with their father Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) and their respective romantic entanglements with Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton), Haley James(Bethany Joy Galeotti) and Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) One Tree Hill ran on steady course of ratings success for The CW Network (a merger of WB Network with UPN).
Season Five of One Tree Hill saw pivotal changes for the drama series, as creator Mark Schwahn made the decision to move the characters out of high school by advancing the timeline four years into the future, thrusting the characters into adulthood. Season Six saw the departure of Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton and a new direction was in order for season Seven. Now with that seventh season available on DVD, 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.
With the loss of two of it’s popular characters Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer-Scott, One Tree Hill season seven was in need of an infusion of new blood and a revitalization of older storylines. To this end, creator Mark Schwahn chose to bring in new-combers Robert Buckley as Nathan’s sport’s agent Clay Evans, Jana Kramer as sassy conniving actress/model Alex Dupre and Shantel VanSanten as the older more free spirited sister of Haley Scott. One Tree Hill: The Complete Seventh Season contains a fun and entertaining bonus feature, “Return to Camp One Tree Hill” that takes an inside look at the experiences of these newbies.”
To revitalize some older storylines Schwahn chose to bring back Dan Scott .who was last seen going to prison for killing his brother Keith while still dealing with repercussions of a genetic disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Along with Dan Scott, Schwahn brought back popular bad girl, Rachel Gatina (played by Danneel Harris). Rachel Gatina was last seen being helped by her old friend Brooke get her life back on track. Instead of accepting the help, Rachel disappeared taking an envelope full of Brooke’s cash with her. In a shocking turn of events, Dan, whose had a change of heart figuratively and literally via a black market heart transplant in Mexico and Rachel return as the man and scheming wife team behind a motivational television chat show.
Season seven of One Tree Hill also contained the directorial debut of long time series regular, Sophia Bush. Bush took on directing duties for the ninth episode of season seven, titled “Now I lift My Eyes to the Sun”. One Tree Hill: The Complete Season Seven on DVD contains a fascinating behind the scenes feature that documents Sophia Bush’s journey as she makes her first time directorial debut.
One Tree Hill: The Complete Seventh Season also has a very funny gag reel and two other enjoyable special features, “Spring Break with One Tree Hill” where two contest winners get the chance to spend time as production assistants on the series and commentary by creator Mark Schwahn, cast and crew members on two of season seven’s episodes.
If you are long time fan of One Tree Hill or a recent convert to the series, One Tree Hill: The complete Seventh Season on DVD is well worth adding to your DVD collection.
Episode Quality B+
Special Features B-
Overall Grade B