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July 23, 2014

The CW's 'Life Unexpected' and 'One Tree Hill' Crossover: How Was It?

by Jean Bentley, posted Oct 13th 2010 1:20AM
'Life Unexpected' and 'One Tree Hill' CrossoverAll that promotion for two measly scenes?

After weeks of heavy P.R., the loudly trumpeted 'Life Unexpected' and 'One Tree Hill' crossover on The CW Tuesday night amounted to, well, not much.

Haley and Mia traveled from their home in Tree Hill (at 8PM on The CW's Tuesday night lineup) to a music festival in Portland hosted by Ryan and Cate's radio station (in the timeslot immediately following their own). To an unfamiliar viewer, the concept of their transplant into 'Life Unexpected' could've felt contrived. In fact, it was quite believable within the 'One Tree Hill' world. Mia and Haley are established musicians on the show, so actually broadcasting one of their concerts (instead of just vaguely referring to offscreen performances) was not out of the ordinary at all.

As for 'Life Unexpected,' the integration of the musicians wasn't any worse than the uber-'90s bands of the week on any given episode of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' but one of the writers is clearly a HUGE Ben Lee fan.

The first scene between Cate and Haley was essentially the full version of the trailer we saw last week -- they meet, realize they both got pregnant in high school, were valedictorians and were impregnated by sports stars named Nathan or Nate. The second saw Haley giving Cate some much-appreciated advice about dealing with her mother. And...that was it. Lovely songs by Mia and Haley were featured at the beginning of the episode, but Ben Lee's music got more screen time than either of the Tree Hill ladies'.

Presumably, the idea of the crossover was to get 'One Tree Hill' fans watching 'Life Unexpected.' And a lot of them probably did. But how many of them will actually stick around? The rest of the 'Life Unexpected' plot contained much of the best and worst aspects of the show. The snappy dialogue gems -- Cate's mom threatened her daughter until she spilled a secret by saying "Start talking Cate, or I'm going to get the wine and day drink it out of you" -- were bogged down by the cringeworthy duds -- Baze invited his 16-year-old daughter and her friend to "'all bring dates" to the concert. Creepy.

Sadly, the final scene might've been the most telling part. Sarah McLachlan, a guest earlier in the episode, provided the soundtrack to the closing moments -- "I WIll Remember You" played while the characters all learned their lessons. Yes, the singer's 1999 hit. 'Life Unexpected' has gotten a lot of comparison to The WB shows of yore, but who knew they were actually striving to be as '90s as possible? I'm all for the nostalgic family drama owning a spot among the spoiled rich kids on The CW, but until this wildly uneven show can find a more tolerable cheese-to-drama ratio -- and this is coming from someone who loves cheese, drama, creator Liz Tigelaar AND every single actor on this show -- I think its days are numbered.

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Ajay

I have never watched One Tree Hill and enjoyed the fact that it wasn't a really lame obvious crossover. I started watching old episodes of OTH after the crossover and just watched the OTH episode. I was a little annoyed that the characters from LUX weren't in the OTH episode at all, but if you look at it from the surface, it's not pushy. I think having a crossover last season would have been better because as anyone who actually watches LUX would know, it's not exactly a show that is going to make sense if you jump straight in. I think the way they did it was quite good, with the slight problem that it wasn't such a great overall LUX episode. So much happened in LUX in season 1 and newbies going in just to see Haley James Scott and Mia in the episode aren't going to understand alot. They're not going to understand the chemistry between Baze and Cate. They're not going to understand Ryan's issues with Baze. Their not going to understand Lux's story - the whole foster home and hole-in-heart thing. The backstory from season one is important. LUX isn't the sort of show you can jump straight into so I think that wouldn't have helped.

And there should have been more in the OTH episode to hint at going to Portland for the festival - I think the scene that it was in lasted less than a minute and most of that was a horny Haley trying to get some on the pool table.

October 19 2010 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
diemfdie50

It was ok. I liked the Roswell plug

October 14 2010 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tutorwife93

You can tell whoever wrote this review is either more of a OTH fan or had never watched LUX before.

This episode was amazing! It had a ton of drama, humor and heart warming moments like usual, but it get even more like season 1 than any other episode this season.

Where are the comments on the actual LUX moments rather than complaining about not enough Mia and Haley and too much Ben Lee?
This review seemed to focus on the negatives. If anyone reading this hasn't seen the show/crossover, watch it (on the CW website because it counts for ratings!) before you take this reviews word for it!

October 13 2010 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ari

SWEETNESS!!! Love OTH and LUX!

October 13 2010 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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