You’re sitting on the couch, remote in hand, scrolling through your queue on Hulu. Nothing you’ve saved is catching your eye when suddenly, you see it: One Tree Hill. As soon as the nostalgia-inducing tones of Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want To Be” drift into the air, invading your consciousness, you get flashbacks of all the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the torrent of emotions that this show inspired within you all those years ago.
Of course, you might have heard about Drama Queens, the new One Tree Hill rewatch podcast with leading alumnae Bethany Joy Lenz, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and Sophia Bush at the helm. After years of not watching the show (since the episodes themselves aired actually), these women decided to take a trip down memory lane and bring us along, making now the perfect time for a One Tree Hill rewatch. Still not convinced you say? Here’s a list of Drama Queens-inspired reasons why One Tree Hill should be at the top of your (re)watch list right now.
The Year of the Reboot
2021 has been the year of the reboots — some good, some… not so much. It’s refreshing to see a show like One Tree Hill go back to its roots instead of back to the drawing board to create an entirely new storyline. Drama Queens has done a phenomenal job of making the old content feel rejuvenated with fresh takes and behind-the-scenes insight into what the cast members’ lives were like throughout the experience. Instead of taking a gamble at risking what was in my opinion one of the best ways a show has been tied up in the series finale, the lovely leading ladies have simply put a new spin and brought new perspective full of thoughtful and empowering takes to the show we love so much.
Ain’t No Drama Like an Early 2000’s Drama
2000s television was built different. With massive hits like Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls, and The O.C., dramas were simply the place to be. One Tree Hill seamlessly slid itself into the lineup of the greats with its small-town, broody teenage feel. As the trio highlights on the podcast, television programming is very different these days. Modern popular dramas tend to lean towards the fantastical; shows about the supernatural, superheroes, and things of the like reign supreme. While those did have footholds back in the day (i.e. Smallville, Charmed), early 2000s drama focused more on the common human experience, and that’s one reason why One Tree Hill is so beloved. While the events were obviously dramatized for entertainment purposes, the small-town feel of Wilmington and the teens we saw on screen felt like holding up a mirror to viewers’ own high school experiences to some extent. The things seen on screen weren’t things that could only happen to the select few, the “chosen ones,” it was a reflection of people’s everyday lives and struggles.
Burton, Bush, and Lenz Shedding Light on Their Experiences
One of the best parts about Drama Queens is getting to hear side-splitting anecdotes from the hilarious trio of women on a range of topics — from memorable things that happened on set while filming to the gang’s wild adventures as a gaggle of young 20 somethings. Through their eyes, you come to learn more about the familiar backdrop of Wilmington, hearing about the cast’s experiences on and off set and getting deeper insight into the events that stitched this cast together as a ragtag little family. Getting to learn about those experiences while simultaneously watching the actresses and characters grow alongside their commentary is a truly unique experience that can only come with time and perspective.
Additionally, on a bit of a darker note, as the three ladies have talked about on the podcast, there were some shadier dealings going on behind the scenes of filming One Tree Hill that audiences weren’t privy to. While all had been in the entertainment industry in some capacity before joining One Tree Hill, the three women were in their early 20s when the show started. The trio has spoken on the range of inappropriate experiences that they encountered as young women on set, ranging from being put into situations they were highly uncomfortable with to verbal harassment and more. While undoubtedly a difficult subject to touch on, these women have continued to speak out about their mistreatment on the show and shed light on their experiences, showcasing their bravery and strength and continuing to serve as role models for young women advocating for themselves in male-dominated industries. Watching the show back with that added depth of knowledge, it’s amazing to see how the characters’ personalities were able to grow and morph into versions that the actresses could be proud of, imbuing parts of themselves and aspects that they had fought so hard to include to make these characters deep and multifaceted women that could serve as role models to the young teens watching the show.
Bringing One Tree Hill to a Whole New Generation of Fans
For me personally, watching One Tree Hill alongside the podcast has been such a great experience. There’s nothing like turning on the pilot of a show you were enamored with years ago and instantly remembering why it was something you held so dear in the first place. However, the podcast’s recent launch and the recurring fervor it has brought back for the show has opened up One Tree Hill for a variety of new fans, young and old. Watching the show alongside new fans brings new interpretations of events and the characters’ behaviors to light as fans analyze the plot through an (arguably) different time lens. And isn’t that what art is all about? People being able to take a singular work and examine from all angles, drawing their own conclusions and lessons from it?
A Testament to the Trio’s Beautiful Friendship
Lastly, Drama Queens has easily illuminated the love that these three fantastic women have for one another. Rewatching One Tree Hill and gaining perspective through their eyes makes it clear that this show was a labor of love between the cast and gives viewers the tools to appreciate it that much more. The women’s decades-long friendship and support for one another over the years, both in real life and onscreen, makes for a wonderful tale of women supporting women — and succeeding! –, and that’s something that we’re always here for.
While there’s only one Tree Hill (ba dum tss), there’s also only one podcast that you go along with and get this amazing experience of rewatching a show with so many new angles of perspective like this. With Sophia Bush, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and Bethany Joy Lenz only on the first season of the rewatch on Drama Queens, there’s still a lot of One Tree Hill left to re-experience (or experience for the first time if you’re a new fan). That being said, there’s still time to jump on the rewatch train if you haven’t begun, because these ladies will certainly make it worth your while.
A new episode of Drama Queens drops every Monday. One Tree Hill is available to stream now on Hulu.