Taking “The Voice” Worldwide: How Does Each Version Stack Up?

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I’ll be honest, I don’t usually watch reality TV shows from other countries. For one thing, I watch more than enough TV as it is, so why would I watch shows from other countries? I know American Idol started as Pop Idol in the UK, but I never watched the original. I watched clips of the original X-Factor after I heard about Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis, and subsequently tried to somewhat keep up with the show for a few seasons, but I can’t say I was deeply invested. Though I did watch enough to keep track of favourites and knew of One Direction before they invaded all forms of media. This was before. Lately, I’ve found myself not only watching The Voice that we know and love on NBC, but I’ve also been watching versions of The Voice from the UK and Australia. Like I have been putting in the time and effort to be keeping up with these shows, even trying to find ways of getting the song downloads. At one point in April, I distinctly remember commenting on GetGlue how I couldn’t believe that I was watching 3 iterations of the same show and yet I still love it.

[Note: I know that NBC got the idea from The Voice of Holland, but for all intents and purposes, I’m using the U.S. version as the base of comparison. Like American Idol, the concept really took off after the Americans did it so there’s that.]

One of the biggest things for me is that I find The Voice so fascinating. I’ve said it before, but The Voice is just so much more entertaining and satisfying as a fan of music and television than Idol and X-Factor these days. Don’t get me wrong, Voice has had some frustrating moments of its own over its first two seasons and there’s still room for improvement as far as the voting system, but overall, it’s still a better show in my opinion. A lot of it has to do with the talent and the fact that it’s a free-for-all in terms of song choices. However, the coaches are a big selling point of the show as well, which is exactly why I decided to watch the UK and Australian versions in the first place (and be honest, it’s why we started watching the US version too). So how do the UK and Australia compare to the US version? Let’s take a look.

THE VOICE UK

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For coaches, the UK got will.i.am (from the Black Eyed Peas), Danny O’Donaghue (from The Script), Jessie J, and Sir Tom Jones. With the inclusion of Tom Jones, the UK got themselves quite an interesting lineup. In comparison to our coach lineup of Christina, Adam, Blake, and Cee Lo, we can see some similarities but also some differences. Danny is sort of like Adam in that he can get the crowd going and brings the funny. Jessie’s the sole female and holds her own amongst the boys, but she is different from Christina. You always see Jessie singing along to the song and really enjoying herself. will.i.am is like Cee-Lo only in the sense of the name-dropping but you see Will taking the artistic approach when it came to convincing singers to join his team because of his skills as a producer. That leaves Tom as Blake, but they aren’t similar at all in their coaching. I suppose due to the age difference between him and the other 3, Tom sort of takes a backseat, particularly during the blind auditions. Tom says very little and even when trying to convince singers to join his team, he’s very professional and easy going about it – he let’s the others fight it out. Occasionally, he’ll do some name dropping on his own to match, if not beat will.i.am, but he definitely brings his decades of experience. As a collective, the 4 don’t bicker like our coaches. It’s a different type of teasing that they have going on. During the blinds, you often saw them talking to each other and trying to get the others to turn their chair around. One thing I must say about these 4 as coaches is that they really are taking their position seriously, particularly in their critiques (not that this is a slight to the others, just an observation). It does cause some tension between the coaches, but for the better part of things, it is all in trying to help the contestants. Then during the live shows, actually the results show, when the contestants are doing group numbers, if they are really feeling it, the coaches will get up out of their chairs and dance + have some fun.

As far as overall production, the UK managed to finish the battle rounds in 2 episodes. I’m watching the show online after the fact so I’m not entirely sure about commercials, but it came out to be 10 battles in roughly 2 hours, which for TV is a lot because of all the stuff they fit into the pre-package. Due to the fact that they do put a lot in the pre-package, this felt a little rushed at times. As for the live shows, the results are given in roughly 30 minutes (again, not sure about commercials). They’ve had the contestants sing as a group and then one guest performer, with results in between – moves along very nicely.

At the time of this posting, the UK is preparing for the finale performance show, with the final 4 contestants: Bo Bruce (Team Danny), Tyler James (Team Will), Vince Kidd (Team Jessie), and Leanne Mitchell (Team Tom). All 4 bring a little something different to the table, so it’s really nice to see such stylistic diversity. I know this is for the UK, but of the 4, I’d really like to see Bo win – she’s such a unique voice and though I’m not entirely sure, I think she has the potential to be a great crossover artist and make it in North America. But that’s just my thoughts.

THE VOICE AUSTRALIA

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In Australia, Keith Urban, Delta Goodrem, Seal, and Joel Madden (from Good Charlotte) get a seat in the awesome spinning red chairs. When I first heard of the lineup, I thought it was pretty awesome, almost as good as the US. Now having watched it, I’m changing my opinion to that they are on par with the US coaches. Not that it’s a diss to the UK because all 3 sets of coaches have a dynamic that works and are entertaining in their own ways. But there’s something about the coaches from Australia (technically only Keith and Delta are Australian) that’s fun to watch, and it’s in a different way from watching the US. What I said before about Jessie J singing along to what the contestants were singing? Here, all 4 of the coaches are singing along to practically every song and are totally having fun and completely into it. This singing along has been going well into the live rounds as well, with Keith Urban doing it the most, even singing along to a One Direction song. When they are fighting to get the singers on their team, you don’t see them name dropping or really bad mouthing each other. They really are about helping and nurturing the artists to be better and convincing the singers of what they as coaches can do for them – this is about the only way that they try to one-up the other. One of the funniest things coming out of the blinds is seeing Seal’s attempts at luring singers to his team and not in the sense that he’s bad at it, he’s actually quite good. In the US, you see Christina always complaining about Adam’s salesman pitch; well, Seal does that at a higher level, but he’s so laid back in his delivery of persuasion that sometimes you don’t even realize what he’s doing. Delta’s a very nurturing coach and to me at least, I think that stems from who she is as a person. She doesn’t have a diva personality, but you can tell when she’s coaching and critiquing  how important music is to her. [Sidenote: I have no idea why Delta is not a bigger artist outside of Australia. She is just such a great singer/songwriter and I’ve been a fan since she released her first album, “Innocent Eyes.”] The biggest surprise for me was Joel. I was never really a big fan of Good Charlotte, so I didn’t quite know what to expect from him. For one thing, it turns out Joel was quite the popular pick early on during the blind auditions. More importantly though, he’s shown to be quite insightful as a coach.

Thus far, the production of the show has been pretty good. 6 episodes for the blind auditions might have been a little much, but I think that was moreso them trying to show the auditions of all the singers that made it through. The battle rounds clock in at 3 episodes, which is just the right amount – doesn’t feel rushed like the UK but also doesn’t feel dragged out like the US. One aspect about the battle round that Australia added in that I quite liked was the time-out. Last season on The Voice US, we saw the mentors sit beside the coaches during battle rounds and give their input; this season, with each of the coaches having 2 mentors, we didn’t see them sit in on the actual battles. In Australia, the mentors sit behind the coaches and if the coaches are having a tough time deciding who to take through to the live rounds, they can take a “time-out” to talk to the mentor. When using the time-out, the coach presses their red button to turn their chair around and quickly discuss with the mentor (so the spinning red chairs still get put to use!)

As far as the talent goes, I have to say I have been incredibly impressed by these singers in Australia. They are all so good, so talented and each brings a little something different that I can’t even decide on a frontrunner. They are just simply THAT good. Extra dancers and whatnot have been kept to a minimum, so as to really focus on the contestants and essentially, their voice, which is something I do appreciate.

So at the end of the day, which version comes out on top? Well, none and all of them. Each iteration has its own merits and are all fun to watch. If anything, I’d say it depends on how much you like the coaches and the talent on the show – personal preference. But will that change with the news that NBC will be airing 2 seasons of The Voice a year? Quite possibly. 2 seasons in one year seems a little like overkill. Add to that, there’s no way all 4 of the current coaches will be staying for both runs; they do have actual careers going on, which includes promotion and touring. So they are going to have to find other artists to basically replace whichever coach won’t be able to come back. This is beyond the point of this post. What it comes down to is, regardless of which version of the show you watch, whether it be the U.S., the U.K., Australia, or whichever other country, it is awfully fun to watch. At the very least, you can marvel in the talent from other countries and if they become big stars, you can say you heard them before the rest of your friends.

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TV Renewals, Cancellations, and Pickups 2012 – In Preparation of the Broadcast Networks Upfronts

May. It’s the month that TV fans love to hate. We love our TV shows for the amazing work that they give us, ramping up the action and drama. We love hearing about our shows getting renewed for another season. We love getting excited about the possibility of new favourite shows from a batch of pilots getting picked up. On the other hand, we hate knowing that with all this great writing, cliffhangers abound, leaving us with an agonizingly long wait until our show comes back. We hate waiting for word on the fate of our other favourite shows and we hate it even more when our favourite shows get cancelled to make room for undeserving pilots. It truly is a love/hate relationship. With that being said, upfronts are just around the corner, and over the past week, the networks have slowly begun to announce which current shows are getting renewed, which pilots are getting picked up and which shows are getting cancelled. Below is a rundown of what’s been renewed and what’s been picked up (as usual, my thoughts on the pilot pickups will be reserved for the Upfronts blog postings next week).

THE CW

  • Renewed: NIKITA!, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, 90210, Hart of Dixie, Gossip Girl
  • Pilots Picked-Up: Cult, First Cut, Arrow, Beauty and the Beast, The Carrie Diaries
  • Cancelled: The Secret Circle, Ringer

Most people leave CW for last but for my own personal and selfish reasons, I’d like to highlight the network first. And why exactly? Because I had 2 shows that I absolutely love (for different reasons) that are on the bubble, Nikita and Hart of Dixie. It certainly didn’t help matters that the network had already decided to renew arguably one of its weakest shows creatively, 90210. I mean I know, it gets pretty decent ratings compared to most other shows on the network, but how do the CW expect to get taken seriously, when they renew shows like this? Turns out all my worrying was all for naught, as both Nikita and Dixie got renewed. Gossip Girl got renewed as well for a sixth and final season, with a shortened episode order.

Ringer was an obvious choice to get cut, despite the fact that it was Sarah Michelle Gellar’s return to TV. Unfortunately, what started out as a film noir-type thriller, turned into a campy, ridiculous mess. As for The Secret Circle? Personally, I liked it, but I didn’t love it. It seemed like a great idea this time last year, when it was announced that TSC would follow The Vampire Diaries on the schedule, but now I feel as though that became a detriment to the show. TVD has done such a great job with their storytelling that for TSC and the similar supernatural element that it has, it became too easy to compare the two shows. Not for a lack of trying, but TSC just missed some sort of spark that TVD has.

Now, rumours are swirling that CW might be considering cable-style (re: shortened) seasons for some of its shows (for the record, Nikita is renewed for a full 22-episode season). If this is the case, then I don’t see how this is anything but a win-win situation. The network gets to try out new shows, while at the same time keep a good chunk of their current slate on the air, even if it is for a shorter episode count. With the pick-up of 5 new shows, one thing is for sure: less reruns.

FOX

  • Renewed: FRINGE!, Glee, American Dad, Bones, New Girl, Raising Hope, The Simpsons, X-Factor, Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, Kitchen Nightmares, Touch
  • Pilots Picked-Up: The Mindy Project, Goodwin Games, The Following, Ben & Kate, Mob Doctor
  • Cancelled: Alcatraz, The Finder

I had already made a post when Fringe got renewed, so clearly I was excited about it. I didn’t watch The Finder, but did watch Alcatraz, and despite the fact that it was a J.J. Abrams show, I couldn’t really get invested in it. They had a pretty cool premise to start with, but they never seemed to use the premise to its full potential (the show instead decided to do typical case-of-the-week cop procedural stuff, which I find incredibly boring). Of the 5 pilots picked-up, I can say I’m legitimately interested in 3 of them, mainly based on cast alone.

CBS

  • Renewed: The Amazing Race, Survivor, 2 Broke Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, CSI, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, Mike & Molly, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Person of Interest, Undercover Boss, Two and a Half Men
  • Pilots Picked-Up: ???
  • Cancelled: ???

CBS had actually done a mass renewal spree back in March, not that there was much surprise in which shows did get renewed. Actually, HIMYM and TBBT, when they were renewed last season, got a 2 season pickup – so we knew those two for some time. At the time of this posting, there was no word yet on what new shows were getting picked-up and which shows on their current slate was getting cancelled.

NBC

  • Renewed: Community, Parenthood, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Up All Night, Grimm, Law & Order SVU, Smash, Fashion Star, Whitney
  • Pilots Picked-Up: Chicago Fire, Revolution, Go On, Save Me, 1600 Penn, Animal Practice, The New Normal, Guys With Kids, Do Not Harm, Infamous, Next Caller
  • Cancelled: Awake, Harry’s Law, Are You There Chelsea, Bent, Best Friends Forever

Though I didn’t get a chance to do a write-up for it, I was really hoping for NBC to renew Community because it is one of the smartest and creative comedies on television. Critically acclaimed Parenthood got a renewal (thank goodness), despite lackluster ratings, but it has such an incredibly talented cast and the writing is just perfection. The network also renewed 30 Rock for a 13-episode final season, while freshmen series’ Smash and Grimm were both renewed earlier last month. For me the most surprising renewal has to be Whitney – critics don’t like it, its got a very limited audience…so what justified the renewal?

As for the shows cancelled, Bent never stood a chance (the network burned off its 6 episode season over 3 weeks with little to no promotion) and I never really cared for to watch the other 2 comedies. I certainly feel bad for Awake; it was one of the shows I was really excited about when I heard about it last year, and then once it started airing mid-season, something just didn’t click with me (not for a lack of trying though).

Once again, we see NBC continuing its hardest to get themselves back up the ranks with this coming season’s string of pilot pick-ups. With almost all of its current comedy slate renewed (deals are still being made for The Office), I’m quite surprised by the number of comedies the network picked-up. Will any of these pilots (comedy and drama) help save NBC? We’ll see…

ABC

  • Renewed: Once Upon A Time, Revenge, Happy Endings, Modern Family, The Middle, Suburgatory, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, Scandal, Dancing With the Stars, Shark Tank, The Bachelor, Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23, Private Practice, Body of Proof, Last Man Standing
  • Pilots Picked-Up: 666 Park Ave., Last Resort, How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life, Nashville, The Neighbors, Malibu Country, Family Tools, Red Widow, Zero Hour
  • Cancelled: GCB, Missing, The River, Pan Am

Like CBS, most of the shows renewed were kind of no-brainers. Low rated Private Practice and Body of Proof managed to score themselves a renewal. When it was picked-up last year, I said that there’s no way Missing can possibly sustain itself for a full season, let alone multiple seasons, so I was not surprised at all that it got cancelled. I’m a little sad but not entirely surprised that GCB didn’t get a second season – it was by no means a great show, but it was a guilty pleasure. I obviously won’t go into details about the pilots just yet, however I have to say I am really happy/excited about 666 Park Avenue getting picked up and am quite interested in where it’s going to fit into the schedule.

Upfront announcements begin tomorrow (Sunday, May 13th) with NBC, followed by FOX, ABC, CBS, and ending with The CW.

Save This Show!: Cougar Town (ABC)

In this third entry, I want to put focus on the best terribly-named TV show, Cougar Town. I’ll admit, at the beginning, I was one of the people who were turned off by the show because of the title (and that’s despite having Courtney Cox, who I love from Friends). But once the show got past its initial premise, CT became a wonderfully funny and heartwarming show about, well, friends.

I’m sure they don’t want the show to be considered as “Friends – 10 years later” but the conceit that these functionally dysfunctional people who are perfect friends, make for the inevitable comparison to Cox’s famous series.

Creator/producer/writer Bill Lawrence has done just about everything to get people to watch Cougar Town. As previously mentioned, after the show played out its original conceit, it became a truly funny and heartwarming comedy about family and friends. It wasn’t your typical family comedy, but at the same time, it wasn’t a comedy about twenty-somethings, which when you think about it, might be the root of the problem. I say root of the problem, but only in a marketing sense and getting the ratings/viewers it needs to stay on the air. Because their self-realized, broad comedy is wonderful as it is. Anyone who enjoyed Lawrence’s previous show, Scrubs, should enjoy watching the Cul-de-Sac crew of CT, just as much as the gang from Sacred Heart Hospital. When ABC benched the show to a to-be-determined mid-season air date this season, they didn’t just sit idly by waiting for the network to give them a premiere date. Obviously, they had to actually film the show, but they also did their own promotion and marketing to get people to watch the show and be prepared for when the show did come back. Ratings may not have been the best or enough to show that their hard campaigning paid off, but you can’t help but commend them for trying their damned hardest to get word out there.

I know this entry seems short compared to what I wrote about Nikita and Fringe, but that’s not because I love CT any less. CT is just plain and simple, a funny show that more people should watch. There’s no other words to describe it. A funny, well-written show, and in a world where hour-long procedurals/dramas rule the networks, comedies like these seem to fall through the cracks.

The Voice: A Case of Contestants With Connections

One of the best things about The Voice is that it is open to anybody, and in particular, it gives formerly indie artists an opportunity to achieve greater success. In two seasons, we’ve had numerous artists who’ve already had varying forms of success, and are looking to this show as a second (or third, fourth, etc.) chance. Javier Colon, last season’s winner, had a record contract previously, but didn’t really go anywhere. Dia Frampton, last season’s runner-up, was known from Meg & Dia, her band with her sister. Most people knew Frenchie Davis from American Idol and she was also on Broadway for some time. This season, we’ve got Juliet Simms from Automatic Loveletter, Tony Vincent comes from Broadway, Jordis Unga previously competed on Rock Star INXS, Jamar Rogers previously competed on American Idol, and Tony Lucca who has released many albums independently but is widely known right now as a former Mouseketeer.

At the same time though, at what point does them having a career (or some notoriety) prior to being a contestant hinder their chances here? Or a better question is, does it affect them at all as a contestant on this show, at this time? I bring this up because of what happened on last night’s show with Christina Aguilera and Tony Lucca. At this point, everyone knows that Christina and Tony were both Mouseketeers, and we all know that those Mouseketeers were clearly a talented bunch, as evidenced by all the stars who are well-known in the industry now. Christina made a mention of how Justin Timberlake was tweeting his support for Tony, and how she wanted the show to be strictly about the contestants’ singing and not celebrity sway.

Christina makes a good point – it should be about the contestants and how well they sing – but at the same time, celebrity sway/endorsements/support/etc. can’t be avoided. It’s a tricky situation for Tony to be in, because it just so happens that his connections are made more aware. For Tony, he’s been a working musicians all these years, he’s toured with Sara Bareilles and obviously still friends with Justin and Matt Morris from MMC, and it was just inevitable that these artists would support him in his venture. Plus the added awkwardness that Christina didn’t initially recognize Tony and he’s on Adam’s team, and I feel a sense of her giving Tony a harder time because she knows him. We’ve also been told on numerous occasions that Jermaine Paul used to be one of Alicia Keys’ backup singers and they also got her calling him to give him support. So how different is all of this to any other celebrity calling favourites? We live in a Facebook/Twitter-filled world and it would seem that other musicians/actors/celebrities watch television too; they watch The Voice, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and they voice their opinion on who their favourites are to their followers and who they think should continue on in the competition. How is that any different from Justin tweeting his support for his friend Tony?

We can’t count out the fact that viewers of the show, do have their own minds and are capable of making a decision without any celebrity sway. We know what we heard and saw on our TV screens. And regardless of TV show, some contestants may already come in with a decent fanbase or develop a good fanbase while on the show and a lot of fans will vote for their favourites no matter what. Look at DWTS: the pros at this point are sometimes more famous than their “star” partners, so you can’t deny that some people vote for their favourite pro dancer moreso than voting for the best dance. Point is, bias is inevitable. It’s the name of the game.

So yes, Christina had a point in saying that votes should be based on the singing and not celebrity connections. But where reality competition TV is concerned, when voting among the masses is required, there may be rules in place as to how to vote and the number of votes, but that’s about it.

There’s Only ‘One Tree Hill’: 9 Crazy Seasons of TV’s Greatest Underdog Comes to An End

Today, April 4th, 2012, One Tree Hill will air its final episode. 9 seasons. 187 episodes. Not bad at all for a show that fell in the shadows of the more high-profile teen drama The O.C. when they both premiered in the fall of 2003. While The O.C. was about the lives of rich teenagers + their families, and the outsider who changed their world, OTH was a more grounded drama (despite some of the crazy plotlines that it might be known for). Really, both shows couldn’t have been more different. But now we’re here with OTH ending only now after so many years of being on the brink of cancellation. OTH really was the little show that could, thriving when so many had shot it down.

When OTH first began, it was about Lucas and Nathan, 2 brothers related only by the same father, Dan. Their struggles to come to terms that they are related and their shared love of basketball, along with the usual teenage problems. But really, at the heart of this show was the idea of family and its many forms. Karen being a single mom to Lucas. Uncle Keith, also Dan’s brother, who acted as a father figure to Lucas. Dan, Deb, and Nathan and their tattered version of family. Brooke, completely distant with her family. Peyton, having only her father Larry, who was also away for work a lot. Actually, Haley was the only one with a pretty stable family, but we didn’t really meet them until later. So in a show that at its core was about family, we watched these friends become family to each other. Lucas and Nathan were nowhere near friends at the beginning and slowly embraced the idea that they were family. Haley and Lucas were already best friends, and truly became family when Haley married Nathan. Peyton and Brooke were also best friends and family to each other, because of their lack of real family.

We watched the struggles of the characters as they developed from teenagers to adults, which was made all the more real in season 5, when the series fast forwarded past the “college years” and into adulthood.

One of the greatest things about OTH is that, while you have these wonderfully grounded characters and at times truly real drama, at other times these characters are thrown into ridiculous scenarios/plotlines. We’ve had honest to goodness real drama over the years: high school in general, the school shooting with Jimmy, Lucas’ health issues, Naley’s teen marriage, Peyton meeting her birth mom who then died of breast cancer, Brooke trying to adopt, the multitude of careers, and again, family. On the other hand, we have also had a multitude of crazy plots that fans have come to appreciate over the years for being pure OTH: Psycho stalker Derek, Psycho nanny Carrie, Dan’s heart troubles (most notably that time when an EMT dropped a cooler containing the heart Dan was supposed to receive and a dog ate it), Psycho doppelganger Katie. Can’t forget to mention the long-running “joke” that everyone gets into some sort of car accident (I think the official count is 5 within the 9 years).

The heart of the show never changed, but after original castmembers Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton left at the end of season 6, the show did feel a little different. Maybe because Chad was such an integral part of the show from the beginning, to see him leave, it just felt weird. Austin Nichols’ Julian Baker, a recurring character from season 6, became a regular for season 7. The show added Robert Buckley as Nathan’s agent, Clay Evans, as well as Shantel VanSanten as Haley’s sister, Quinn. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but I look at the show now and I just see a somewhat different show than what it used to be. Maybe because the characters actually grew up and matured (although even at the beginning, beyond the usual teenage problems, all the characters were kind of old souls). Or maybe it’s the fact that I grew up too, alongside these characters through high school, university, and now the “real world”. You know what? I’m going to stick to that – the show feels different because it allowed all the characters to grow and allowed us fans to grow with them.

One of the best aspects of One Tree Hill was definitely the music. I don’t think I have ever seen a show that integrates music like OTH has for the past 9 seasons. Music wasn’t just part of the background; at times music was a part of the storyline, just as much as basketball was in those early years. The producers obviously caught on to the fact that they had an incredible talent in Bethany Joy Lenz, who plays Haley and is also a singer-songwriter. We heard Joy/Haley sing in the first season and that became part of her story, where she eventually went on tour and then in these later years, took over Red Bedroom Records. We also had Bryan Greenberg who played Jake, a fellow Raven and one-time Peyton love interest,  sing a few times while he was on the show. Nowadays, Bryan balances his acting career with a solid music career (he’s got 2 albums out, and working on a third). Then we had Peyton, who was just in love with music – music was a part of everything she was. The funny part of this (to me at least) was that Hilarie Burton came from being an MTV VJ to working on the show. Now Peyton was a character that really brought music to the forefront, from being in charge of bringing bands/artists to play Tric to creating the aforementioned Red Bedroom Records.

Speaking of bands and artists that came into the world of Tree Hill, I really think it’s safe to say that because of its integration of music, the show was a master of cross-promotion. Sure you had some acts like Sheryl Crow, Fall Out Boy and Lupe Fiasco who came onto the show just to perform. But then you had the likes of Tyler Hilton, Kate Voegele, Michael Grubbs, and Laura Izibor, real artists who were written into the show with characters of their own – Chris Keller, Mia Catalano, Grubbs (bartender at Tric) and Erin – and this is alongside Bethany, Bryan, and Jana Kramer. When any of these characters released a song or album in the show, their counterparts actually did release the song/album in real life. Our first real proof of the OTH cross-promotion was in the second season when we saw Haley decide to go on tour with The Wreckers & Chris Keller, despite the strain that it caused to her marriage with Nathan. The plotline was not just some storytelling device – Bethany, The Wreckers and Tyler actually did a concert tour in real life, and were sometimes joined by Bryan and Gavin DeGraw. After that in the third season, we saw a storyline involving Peyton and her birth mom, Ellie, putting together a benefit album for breast cancer; that was subsequently released as the second soundtrack for the series titled “Friends With Benefit.” The third soundtrack for the show, “The Road Mix”, got released coinciding with episode 4×17, where the gang (appropriately enough) go on a road trip to save Mouth and Rachel. Then within season 8, we saw OTH do a little cross-promotion with another one of The CW’s shows, Life Unexpected, with Haley and Mia performing at a music festival sponsored by the radio station where 2 of LUX’s characters work. See? Master cross-promoters.

I’ll end this post with one of the main reasons why I fell in love with this show in the first place. Throughout most of the first 5 seasons and then sporadically in the last 4 seasons, One Tree Hill gave us quotes by famous writers or sort of the inner monologues of some of the characters to cap off an episode. Sometimes we even got really thoughtful lines within the episodes. Without a doubt, I loved these quotes. For me, I look to these as inspiration, as it would to the characters. I also saw these as one of the ways in which the show was different from other teen dramas; it drove the point that OTH had a lot of heart and soul, and was about so much more than the typical teenage drama. It might not have been a critically acclaimed show, but for a lot of us fans, we grew up with these characters watching this show. There’s nothing but love for the series that showed us that whatever life throws your way, whether it be accidents, psychos or loss of a loved one, you’ll come out the other side stronger and wiser.

Thank you Mark Schwahn for bringing this show to life in the first place, as well as Michael Tollin, Brian Robbins, and Joe Davola. All the cast members over the years: Sophia Bush, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Lenz, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton, Paul Johansson, Lee Norris, Rob Buckley, Shantel VanSanten, Jackson Brundage, Austin Nichols, Stephen Colletti, Antwon Tanner, Moira Kelly, Craig Sheffer, Barry Corbin, Barbara Alyn Woods, Danneel Harris, Lisa Goldstein, Tyler Hilton, Kate Voegele, Jana Kramer, Bryan Greenberg, and all the multitude of guest stars. You have all made the past 9 years quite memorable.

FAVOURITE QUOTES

WHITEY: There’s no shame in being afraid. Hell, we’re all afraid. What you’ve got to do is figure out what you’re afraid of. Because when you put a face on it, you can beat it. Or better yet, you can use it.

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours. – Ayn Rand

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeoning of chance, My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears, Looms but the Horror of the shade. And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. – William Ernest Henley

Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering. – Ida Scott Taylor

ELLIE: Every song has a coda, a final movement. Whether it fades out or crashes away. Every song ends. But is that any reason not to enjoy the music? The truth is, there is nothing to be afraid of. It’s just life.

WHITEY: Looking back on what I said all those years ago, all the hopes and dreams I had, I’ve come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to as a measure of a successful life, then some would say I’m a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life’s disappointments. Learn to let go of the past and recognize that everyday won’t be sunny. And when you find yourself lost in the darkness of despair, remember that it’s only in the black of night, you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you don’t get everything you wish for, maybe you’ll get more than you could’ve imagined. Who knows where life will take you? The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination.

NATHAN (V.O.): You know it’s been said that we just don’t recognize the significant moments of our lives while they’re happening. We grow complacent with ideas, or things or people and we take them for granted and it’s usually not until that thing is about to be taken away from you that you’ve realized how wrong you’ve been that you realized how much you need it, how much you love it. God, I love this game.

Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live…Before they know it…time runs out. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

When so many are lonely…as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish…to be lonely alone. – Tennessee Williams

Who knows what true happiness is, not the conventional word, but the naked terror. To the lonely themselves, that wears a mask, the most miserable outcast, hugs some memory, or some illusion. – Joseph Conrad

Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometime we lose them there again. – Stephen King

He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream, and he sometimes wondered whose it was, and whether they were enjoying it. – Douglas Adams

To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle in which any human being can fight and never stop fighting. – E.E. Cummings

PEYTON (V.O.):  At this moment, there are six billion, four hundred seventy million, eight hundred eighteen thousand, six hundred seventy one people in the world. Some… are running scared. Some… are coming home. Some tell lies to make it through the day. Others are just not facing the truth. Some are evil men, at war with good. And some are good, struggling with evil. Six billion people in the world – six billion souls. And sometimes…All you need is one.

Live each season as it passes – breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit-and resign yourself to the influences of each. – Henry David Thoreau

There is no privacy that cannot be penetrated. No secret can be kept in a civilised world. Society is a masked ball, where everyone hides his real character, then reveals it by hiding. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

LUCAS (V.O.): Tree Hill is just a place somewhere in the world. Maybe it’s a lot like your world. Maybe it’s nothing like it. But if you look closely, you might find someone like you. Someone trying to find their way. Someone trying to find their place. Someone trying to find their self. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, or unsatisfied or barely getting by. But that feeling’s a lie. And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it all for another day, someone or something will find you and make it all okay. Because we all need a little help sometimes. Someone to help us hear the music in the world. To remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there and that someone will find you.

LUCAS (V.O.): There are moments in our lives where we find ourselves at a crossroads. Afraid, confused, without a roadmap. The choices we make in those moments can define the rest of our days. Of course, when faced with the unknown, most of us prefer to turn around and go back. But once in a while, people push on to something better. Something found just beyond the pain of going it alone. And just beyond the bravery, the courage it takes to let someone in, or to give someone a second chance. Something beyond the quiet persistence of a dream. Because it’s only when you’re tested that you truly discover who you are. And it’s only when you’re tested that you discover who you can be. The person you want to be does exist. Somewhere on the other side of hard work and faith and belief and beyond the heartache and fear of what lays ahead.

LUCAS (V.O.): There comes a time when every life goes off course. In this desperate moment, you must choose your direction. Will you fight to stay on path? Will others tell you who you are? Or will you label yourself? Will you be haunted by your choice? Or will you embrace your new path? Each morning you choose to move forward or simply give up. There comes a time when every life goes off course. In this desperate moment who will you be? Will you let down your defenses, and find solace in someone unexpected? Will you reach out? Will you face your greatest fear bravely? And move forward with faith. Or will you succumb to the darkness in your soul?

HALEY (V.O.): You can choose to blame your circumstances on fate or bad luck or bad choices. Or you can fight back. Things aren’t always going to be fair in the real world. That’s just the way it is. But for the most part, you get what you give. Rest of your life is being shaped right now. With the dreams you chase….The choices you make….and the person you decide to be. The rest of your life is a long time. And the rest of your life starts right now.

Collective Quotes (From Episodes 2×22 & 2×23)

LUCAS: And Hansel said to Gretel, “Let us drop these breadcrumbs so that together we find our way home, because losing our way would be the most cruel of things.” This year, I lost my way.

NATHAN: And losing your way on the journey is unfortunate, but losing your reason for the journey is a fate more cruel.

PEYTON: The journey lasted eight months. Sometimes I traveled alone. Sometimes there were others who took the wheel… and took my heart. But when the destination was reached, it wasn’t me who arrived… it wasn’t me at all.

BROOKE: And once you lose yourself you have two choices: find the person you used to be or lose that person completely

MOUTH: Because sometimes we have to step outside the person you’ve been, and remember the person you are meant to be. The person you wanted to be. The person you are.

BROOKE: George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.” Clearly, Shaw had his heart broken once or twice.

NATHAN: As far as I’m concerned, Shaw was a punk, ’cause you know what? Tragedies happen. What are you gonna do? Give up? Quit? No. I realize now that when your heart breaks, you gotta fight like hell to make sure you’re still alive. Because you are… and that pain you feel, it’s life. The confusion and fear, that’s there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better… and that something is worth fighting for.

HALEY: This year, I got everything I wanted and everything I wished for but, in a way, I lost even more.

LUCAS: Shaw was right. As we strain to grasp the things we desire, the things that we think will make our lives better—money, popularity, fame—we ignore what truly matters—the simple things— like friendship, family, love—the things we probably already had.

MOUTH: So Mr. Shaw thinks that getting your heart’s desire is a tragedy? I say he’s wrong. I mean, clearly, Shaw never kissed Erika Marsh.

PEYTON: Yes, losing your heart’s desire is tragic… but gaining your heart’s desire… it’s all you can hope for. This year, I wished for love. To immerse myself in someone else, and to wake a heart long afraid to feel. My wish was granted… and if having that is tragic, then give me tragedy. Because I wouldn’t give it back for the world.