DVD Review: One Tree Hill The Complete Seventh Season

In two weeks at 8/7c on The CW, One Tree Hill will premiere its eighth season! Two weeks! Two weeks! Two weeks! Until then, I am catching up on the show by watching One Tree Hill The Complete Seventh Season on DVD.

Release Date: August 17, 2010
Rating: NR
Running Time: 924 minutes

The journeys of those who hail from the town of Tree Hill have been vast, from Nathan and Haley’s first kiss to marriage, a son and, most recently, Nathan’s return to the basketball court; from Brooke’s dedication to her clothing line, Clothes over Bros, to opening herself to the possibility of love with Julian; and from Mouth’s battle to win back Millie to Dan’s battle to win back his family — and his life. Now in its seventh season, 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 of Tree Hill 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.

Season seven is packed with scandals, relationship conflicts, career conflicts, death, depression, and so much that I will not spoil. I was thrilled to see Bess Armstrong guest star as Haley’s mother. She did a fabulous job and her character’s death brought upon acting range from Joy that I don’t believe we have seen before. Joy blew me away this season. She went above and beyond and really led this season. In a way she reminded me of Holly Marie Combs on Charmed who performed phenomenal monologues. I was also thrilled to see Rachel return to Tree Hill. She always brings the drama and this season’s arc was no different. Aside from the series regulars and past Tree Hill favorites, there were a handful of new characters that I enjoyed.

Though there were some characters and some story lines that I could have done without. Grubbs forming a relationship with Miranda seemed to be a waste of time. Clay’s story line with his wife was heartbreaking and I enjoyed learning about his back story but I did not enjoy Clay being stalked by his wife’s look a like. This story line reminded me of the soap opera Nanny Carrie story line that I hated. The way that Quinn and Clay were introduced was sweet but the way that Quinn broke away from her husband was wrong. I did not enjoy the “us against the world” mentality that I felt between Quinn/Clay and Haley/Nathan. Thankfully, that tension died down. Joy and Sophia really held this season down and Naley going strong is what we all expected, so this season overall was actually very substantial.

Yes, Hilarie and Chad are not in this season..and yes that breaks my heart. Though this show has been on for seven seasons, so there are bound to be some changes. Some of the changes I enjoyed, some not so much. But when it comes down to it, this is a show that I have been in love with for a long time and will continue to be in love with for better or worse. The show took some risks and many of them worked. The majority of the new characters worked. This season worked. This season was great and although the season finale left me feeling satisfied with the series as a whole, I am looking forward to another season this fall. Though before I get ahead of myself, let’s check out the bonus features.

Bonus Features:

Unaired Scenes – In the episode, What Are You Willing To Lose?, one deleted scene shows Skills (Antwon Tanner) and Lauren (Allison Munn) on the beach having a lovers quarrel. It’s funny but it’s more pathetic than sad what their relationship became so I am glad that this was not included. There are quite a few unaired scenes from the episode Some Roads Lead Nowhere. In the first, Millie (Lisa Goldstein) exchanges a dress for drugs. We do see this scene on the show, it is just slightly altered and honestly, either scene would do. In the next scene, Brooke (Sophia Bush) & Julian (Austin Nichols) are talking outside of the hospital about Alex’s suicide attempt and about their relationship…I wonder why this didn’t make the cut. I loved the scene and find it a disservice that this was not included. In the next scene, Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) are talking about Clay and his new agency. At that point in their relationship, I was quite annoyed with these two and this scene doesn’t help me feel otherwise. In the next scene, Julian (Austin Nichols) is talking to his father on the phone, pitching the idea to make a movie with Alex. I like the scene but I can understand why it was cut. The next scene shows Grubbs (Michael Grubbs) and Miranda (India de Beaufort) at Tric and I was never intrigued with this story line so any scene of theirs that is cut is fine with me. In the next scene, Skills (Antwon Tanner) leaves the apartment as Mouth (Lee Norris) asks about if there would be a goodbye between Skills and Lauren. This scene was touch to watch simply because of the tension. Yes, tension is good but at some point it becomes unbearable, so I was satisfied with this scene being cut. In the episode, My Attendance Is Bad But My Intentions Are Good, Grubbs (Michael Grubbs) and Miranda (India de Beaufort) talk about relationship and as you know, I am not the least bit interested in this story line. So in the episode, At the Bottom of Everything, there are a few unaired scenes that were included in the bonus features. In the first scene, Mouth (Lee Norris) looks out of his apartment window as Owen (Joe Manganiello) is being a friend to Millie (Lisa Goldstein) for the day. The relationship between Millie and Mouth is so sad at this point, and in this scene it is even more depressing on Mouth’s part so I am glad that this was cut. In the next scene, Victoria (Daphne Zuniga) asks Brooke (Sophia Bush) for daughter/mother advice aka relationship advice. This is the number one unaired scene I wish would have made it into its respected episode. This scene is just too adorable. Victoria is in love and vulnerable. How often can we see Victoria in this state? This is my favorite unaired scene this season. In the episode, The Last Day of Our Acquaintance, Mouth (Lee Norris) talks to Millie (Lisa Goldstein) about Owen and then tells her that he asked Lauren out. This was an entertaining scene that displayed jealousy, curiosity, and a hint of moving on. I liked it. In the next scene, Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) tells Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) that she is leaving the hospital to go get Taylor. Based on how the episode played out, I can understand why this was cut. In the next scene, Julian (Austin Nichols), Alex (Jana Kramer), and Brooke (Sophia Bush) are on the set of the movie and Brooke gets upset while she overhears Julian talking to his father. This scene displays a mini break down of Brooke’s that I wish I could have skipped. Brooke is better than this, so thankfully this scene was cut. In the next scene, Clay’s stalker has a mini meltdown and her room mate has a few words for her. I had a strong dislike for this story line, and this scene had a soap opera feel, so this scene being cut was a smart decision in my mind. In the next scene, Clay (Robert Buckley) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten) are at the hospital and this scene is a skipper. In the last unaired scene for this episode, Mouth (Lee Norris) talks to Millie (Lisa Goldstein) as she packs her things to leave the apartment for good. The two talk about transitioning from being more than friends to just friends and it is so honest and sweet. I am dumbfounded as to why this scene was cut. In the episode, Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You there are two unaired scenes with Alex (Jana Kramer) and Josh. One of those scenes takes place in Utah at the red carpet premiere of Julian’s film. Julian (Austin Nichols) and Brooke (Sophia Bush) also appear in that scene. Fans may or may not be satisfied with this scene being cut, though ultimately it does nothing to advance the story line. In the next scene, which also takes place in Utah, Nathan (James Lafferty) asks Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) how she is holding up. but before Haley can really get into too much detail, James (Jackson Brundage) comes in to ask if they can play. This is a great scene that Naley fans and parents will love, appreciate, and be thankful that it made it on this feature. Overall, the unaired scenes are a jumbled mix, though there are a few gems that are worth the watch.

Commentary – The commentary for I and Love And You is conducted by series creator, Mark Schwahn, co-star Robert Buckley, co-star/director James Lafferty, and executive producer Joe Davola. Commentaries for this show are always interesting and by no surprise, Mark always takes the lead (even though James Lafferty directed this episode). Mark talks about the TCA press tour, the Dan and Rachel story line, what he learned throughout the season and after filming the season, and more. James talks about the challenges during shooting, including his least favorite part about directing, which is directing himself. Listeners will also find out that James sticks to the script while directing. Something I found quite comedic was the talk about making Rob look older as Nathan’s agent. This talk lead to quite a funny mustache story! There’s plenty to learn and laugh about in this commentary. One Tree Hill fans will not be disappointed.

The commentary for Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You is conducted by series creator, Mark Schwahn, co-stars Robert Buckley, James Lafferty, and Stephen Colletti and executive producer Joe Davola. They conducted this commentary on the last day of shooting season seven and were unaware of the show’s fate. Mark dominates the commentary of course and gives plenty of insight into filming this episode. The guys joke around quite a bit, so it’s a very fun and laid back commentary. Since there are only two commentaries for this DVD, you should definitely listen to both. Sadly, none of the ladies of Tree Hill participated in either commentary, but both are still worth the listen.

Return to Camp One Tree Hill (17:52 minutes) – Mark opens up this behind the scene feature as he talks about the new cast members this season. Footage from the first day of the season seven table read and the first day of filming season seven are shown. One fun fact to learn from this feature is that Shantel read for the role of Alex but was asked to read for the part of Quinn, which she ended up getting. All of the cast members talk on camera at some point in this feature and even special guest star and NFL Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice makes an appearance in this feature. This is a fun film to watch that I will be sure to check out again right before the new season, as it is really refreshing and gets me pumped up for new episodes, new characters, new settings, and new story lines.

OTH The Director’s Debut: Sophia Bush (13:28 minutes) – This feature takes viewers behind the scenes of Sophia Bush directing her first episode of One Tree Hill, episode 709, “Now You Life Your Eyes To The Sun.” In the beginning, Sophia explains why she finally decided to direct an episode of the show, despite originally wanting her first directing job to be outside of the show. Sophia shows viewers her binder (includes blocking charts, etc..) both on a location scout and on set. As the feature goes on, viewers will get to see the challenges Sophia faced…one if which was a rainstorm, which added 5 hours to the shooting schedule one day. I really enjoyed seeing Sophia sitting in the director’s chair while shooting a scene with Austin Nichols, as their characters are talking on the phone. I also really enjoyed watching Mark visit Sophia on set and talk about how great she is with details and being prepared. Many of the cast talk about their experience working with Sophia as a director. Sophia herself talks to many of the crew members, including grips, DP, lighting, art department, props, etc… Director of Photography, Peter Kowalaski, First Assistant Director, Chad Graves Executive Producer, Greg Prange, and Script Supervisor, Michael Leone also appear in this feature. This is a must see feature for not only Sophia Bush fans but aspiring directors and One Tree Hill fans who want an actor’s perspective as a director.

Spring Break with One Tree Hill (16:08 minutes) – This feature opens up with Mark Schwahn messing up his lines in a message to fans, letting them know about the chance to be on set for the filming of the season 7 finale. Then viewers get to follow those contest winners, Tiffani Walters from West Virginia and Brandon Bradley from Pennsylvania. Tiffani and Brandon were lucky enough to go on a set tour, visiting the sets of Nathan and Haley’s house, Mouth’s house, Brooke’s house, Alex’s hotel suite, Lucas’ old bedroom, the wardrobe studio, and more…and they bump into a few of the stars while on the set visit. The two have many roles over the next few days on the set of One Tree Hill. First, the two work as stand ins as Mark does blocking at the recording studio. Over the next few days, the two also work with key set production assistant, Scott “Sabre” Oberholzer as PAs, as extras in a nightclub, and they work with the props department, Greg Messer & Jim Nelson. The two not only meet all of the cast members filming over time but also watch Jackson filming a scene as well as Jana shooting a scene. Overall, viewers can see that Tiffani and Brandon had quite a fun experience on the set of One Tree Hill. Any OTH fan will be envious while watching every moment of this feature…so watch at your own risk!

Gag Reel (2:43 minutes) – This gag reel is incredibly short, so it is disappointing in length. Though the footage shown somewhat makes up for it. My favorite moment is when Jackson reacts to the disgusting “prop” soap in his mouth which is actually real soap. Bethany and James are laughing hysterically, as Bethany manages to say, “Your mom said it was okay.” So the reel opens with Robert Buckley dancing to his own tunes, and continues on with footage of Jackson getting into his actor vibe, Bethany singing, Shantel and Jackson becoming distracted by a bug, the cast messing up their lines, awkward smooches, bad acting, the use of spit cups for food scenes, odd noises, and more. Aside from the soap incident, this is not my favorite OTH reel, though it is still worth watching.

Own One Tree Hill The Complete Seventh Season on DVD today.