Premiered: September 23, 2003
On: The WB
Starring: Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Paul Johansson, Sophia Bush, Barry Corbin, Craig Sheffer, Moira Kelly, Barbara Alyn Woods, Lee Norris, Antwon Tanner, Bryan Greenberg, Brett Claywell, Cullen Moss, Vaughn Wilson, Bevin Prince, Sarah Edwards, Thomas Ian Griffith, Emmanuelle Vaugier & Shawn Shepard
Unlike many teen dramas, One Tree Hill starts with a normal storyline and its first season – for the most part – does not spiral into a dramatic mess.
Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) is raised by single mom Karen Roe (Moira Kelly). His estranged father Dan (Pail Johansson) is furious with high school basketball Coach Durham (Barry Corbin) when Lucas is added to the team and pit against his half-brother Nathan (James Lafferty).
The character dynamics feel normalized with Lucas having good reason to ignore Dan and resent Nathan. The development of Lucas and Nathan’s relationship over the season happens at a slow, but reasonable pace.
Between Karen, Haley James (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Deb Scott (Barbara Alyn Woods), there are some strong female characters in the show that set great examples.
Final say: A great beginning to a long-running show. ★★★★★