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'One Tree Hill' pilot nostaliga recap: Scott v. Scott

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “Pilot” | Aired Sep 23, 2003

Nine years after The Lion King hit theaters, One Tree Hill came along to remind us how entertaining it can be to watch two brothers who hate each other. Launched on The WB three years before a merger would turn it into The CW, One Tree Hill was the quintessential high school drama.

Set in fictional Tree Hill, North Carolina, OTH follows the lives of Nathan and Lucas Scott, two boys who share the same father and nothing else. They do both happen to attend Tree Hill High, but they’ve managed to avoid each other their entire lives. Join me on this journey back in time as we revisit the Scott boys and their friends, and remember why there will only ever be one Tree Hill.

The Deal

Way back in high school, handsome terrible person Dan Scott (Paul Johanasson) was dating the kind and good Karen Roe (Moira “toe pick” Kelly), a woman he wasn’t remotely deserving of, but … high school. When he got her pregnant, he quickly abandoned her, moved a few miles across town, and proceeded to never speak to her again. He also was so horrified with himself for getting a woman pregnant that he immediately did it again. This time, though, he decided to stick around. Don’t overthink it; the details aren’t important. The point is, there are two Scott boys that both live in Tree Hill, and Daddy only raised/loves one of them. Guess which one is better off.

The Jerk

Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) is Tree Hill’s most popular jackass. His father runs him ragged, putting extreme pressure on him to be a successful basketball player. He has also created in Nathan a sense of entitlement so magnificent that the kid thinks he walks on water. His invincibility convinces him there will be no consequences when he steals a school bus, takes his friends on a joyride, and almost gets his teammates killed. He’s right, too. Though he was the one driving the bus, the police have him listed as one of the team members who wasn’t involved in the incident. Many of his buddies aren’t so lucky, though, and they get suspended from the team, leaving the Tree Hill Ravens quite short on talent.

The Good Guy(s)

Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) was raised by his mother with no help from the creep across town with whom he shares some DNA. In all these years, he’s managed to avoid his half-brother (mostly by depriving himself of the enjoyment of actually playing basketball for his school team), but all of that is about to change. When the basketball team finds themselves in this conundrum, Coach Whitey (Barry Corbin) is approached by Keith Scott (Craig Sheffer, of Some Kind of Wonderful fame).

Who is Keith Scott, you ask? Great question! He is Dan’s estranged brother; he recognizes that his brother is THE WORST. That’s right, folks. Two generations of rivaling brotherhoods. To make matters even more symmetrical, Keith has spent the last 16 years making up for Dan’s mistakes by taking care of Karen and Lucas. So just to clarify: It’s Lucas and Keith Scott on team good, and Nathan and Dan Scott on team terrible. Keith goes to see Whitey to inform him that Lucas—the other Scott boy—is a wildly talented basketball player.

The Girlfriend

Falling somewhere in between those two teams is Nathan’s girlfriend, Peyton (Hilarie Burton). She’s dating Nathan, so she has to be held somewhat responsible for that choice, but he treats her terribly and she appears to be more than mildly horrified by most of his behavior. She’s an audiophile with a webcam, and it is clear that there’s a lot more to her than Nathan has cared to uncover.

When her car breaks down, Lucas arrives with the tow truck from Keith’s repair shop (it’s a small town). Peyton sits on the curb waiting for her good-for-nothing boyfriend to come pick her up. We’re all shocked when he doesn’t show. Lucas is enamored with his brother’s girlfriend, and it looks like the feeling may be mutual.

The Best Friend

The last person in Lucas’ corner is his BFF, Haley James (Bethany Joy Lenz). I promise promise promise that this character is not as annoying throughout the series as she is in this pilot. Haley works for Karen at the cafe and spends her time eavesdropping, butting in, and interrupting. Everyone thinks it’s cute; I don’t. She and Lucas have a strictly platonic brother/sister vibe happening. She wants him to be successful and show Nathan his worth, and she doesn’t find it utterly ridiculous that he knows that a flock of ravens is called an unkindness.

The Bet

Nathan and Dan hear the rumblings about Lucas joining the team, and Dan orders Nathan to shut it down. Dan has worked too hard to make his son great to have his other son whom he completely abandoned come in and steal the glory. Nathan’s version of shutting it down is to offer up a challenge: a one-on-one basketball game. Nathan is so full of himself that he sets super-stupid stakes. If Nathan wins, Lucas returns to loserville and never thinks of the basketball team again; if Lucas wins, though, Nathan quits the team.

Nathan tells Lucas to pick the time and place, and Lucas picks midnight at his spot, the River Court. The whole school shows up to watch the duel go down and, because the show wasn’t written by George R. R. Martin, Lucas scores the victory. Just when it looks like Nathan is off the team, there’s a twist! Lucas only agreed to the bet with the caveat that Nathan had to stay on if he lost. Lucas is a psychological mastermind, and he knows just how to torture his nemesis.

Weekly Beverly Hills, 90210 Comparison

Dylan McKay was not present in the pilot of Beverly Hills, 90210. Come back next week to find out which major cast member doesn’t appear until episode two!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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