So what's new?

So what's new?

“Brothers by birth, enemies by choice,” Star World advertorial banners play out at the bottom of my TV screen, urging me to check out their new teenage sitcom about American high schools, basketball teams and cheer squads, and of course, a complex teenage love equation.

Revolving around rival half brothers — Nathan and Lucas Scott — One Tree Hill follows the relationship between the two brothers, who start off as enemies, but bond as the series progresses.

In a series of flashbacks, we learn that the brothers’ father — Dan Scott — had refused to accept Lucas as his son, a son he bore out of a high school romance with Karen Roe. Having left both Lucas and Karen, Dan settles down with Deb, with whom he has his second, legitimate, son — Nathan.

The first season focuses on the boys’ junior year in high school, their rivalry as they compete for the State basketball championship, and the standard love story: a blooming romance between Nathan and Hayley, who, as it turns out, is Lucas’s best friend; a love triangle between Lucas, Brooke Davis — the it-girl of Tree Hill and cheer captain — and Peyton, who, as the show opens, is initially involved with Nathan. And before I forget, there is a love rectangle of sorts between each of the boys’ parents as well.

Confused? Don’t worry, so am I. Here’s a simple solution: think back to your own high school wonder years, and hike up the drama with a few more jock achievements than you might have actually made, and a ‘pom-pom-ing’ cheer squad that has much of your attention. Cut back on those class hours and replace with time spent wooing the girl of your liking, and ta-da: you have most of what forms the core of One Tree Hill. Minus the rival brother of course.

One Tree Hill explores general themes of love and betrayal, friendships and rivalries. There is also the father-son angle to add to all the relationship drama. Complex love story aside, if there is anything I’d have to particularly find fault with, it would be for the fact that there is quite a bit of drug abuse and alcohol consumption depicted in this show, that too amongst high school juniors.

I’m not sure if what they’re going with is a depiction of American high school reality — I am in no position to know — but given that this show caters to a younger audience, one would think these storylines could have been revised to suit the primary viewer.

Perhaps it’s because I’m no longer a part of that section of the audience that might find such shows appealing, but I’m increasingly left with the urge to call it an early night rather than watch One Tree Hill.

As I switch off the telly longing for something with a bit more substance, and a little less headache, I’m left with just one lingering thought — six seasons of the previously televised medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy,  that graced our television screens every night at 10 on Star World has found, at first glance, an even more dissatisfactory substitution: a high school drama that has little to do with high school at all.