Let me take you to a place where brothers bicker, best friends clash, families collide, and all the while love is an overarching hope and desire of all those considered. One Tree Hill, is one of the most heart felt, and beloved shows of all time, through the eyes of any average high school or middle school teen. Not to my disbelief, I have nothing poor to say about the show that single handedly captured my heart from the moment I started watching it. Not only did the show open up my eyes in many different ways, but it seemingly captivated my attention from any stress or problem I had going on in my life at that given time. Let me enlighten you on not only how One Tree Hill granted me an escape from my high school dramas and life, but also allowed me to feel better about the crazy life I seemed to have thought I lived all along.
The concept of escapism in television is the idea that we have the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities that may appear in our everyday lives, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. This show, along with many others, grants us the ability to tune into the lives of characters we think we know, solely based off of our emotional appeals to them as we get further and further into the series. One Tree Hill, like no other, displays a melodramatic lifestyle of friends and families, who deal with evidently everyday problems you would typical relate to in your own life when it comes to love, and heartbreak, yet also takes it to the extremes with shootings, and psycho stalkers. Yes, these are all real problems that occur in our world today, but the way the show depicts and overcomes them so seamlessly allows us to think of our own problems as not being as big of a deal anymore.
Likewise, through our wants to connect and relate to the shows we watch, and in this case One Tree Hill, we begin to identify with the characters as being those of which we view as our own personal friends and family. We begin to identify with the problems they face and the feelings they feel which creates this idealistic fantasy world which we tune into. For example, Season 4 episode 9 of One Tree Hill, revolves around the basketball teams state championship game. I remember watching this episode over and over again reminiscing on all the joy and excitement I felt in the very moment they had won the game, as if it were my own team. Of course the show brought along many moments of myself screaming at the computer screen, and crying as if it were one of my own who had passed away, but all of the little moments that each of the characters faced, became moments I felt I identified with, due to how in tune to the show I had become.
Nevertheless, One Tree Hill was one of the only shows that I binge watched throughout high school that was able to most truly depict the many feelings of the ups and downs that come along with almost everyone’s experiences. As said by writer Lauren Clohessy, “The show offers numerous life lessons to help viewers on an everyday level. Whether those lessons come from Brooke, Lucas and Peyton’s continuous love triangle throughout school, Nathan dealing with his parents split… it’s real.” In regards to what she addresses, I agree with everything she says due to the fact that the show does indeed depict many situations that we face in our everyday lives but also shows how people try to overcome them and the range from the good to bad methods of working through them. In corroboration to this point, I believe that this leads to the overall idea that television programs, and for myself One Tree Hill, become mediums that which allow one to cope with their own problems and escape to a world, even if it be for a short amount of time, where problems are faced head on, and solutions come about effortlessly.
Overall, I was able to find an everlasting comfort, new life lessons, and guidance from a television show. Some may say that’s pointless and or meaningless because it is only that of a fantasy. Nevertheless, sometimes we all need a get away space to seek comfort with the hardships in our lives, and sometimes we need to identify with a character to feel good about ourselves. Nathan Scott, one of the main characters in the show, emphasizes this, “It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.” For me, that someday happens to be today! The day I am sitting in my college dorm, reflecting on how far I have come in my life so far, and how just from watching and falling in love with a show, it can prove to leave a lasting impact on your life.