Sophia Bush, Hilarie Morgan, and Joy Lenz never shy away from the good, the bad, and the ugly of their experience in their late teens and early twenties shooting One Tree Hill in 2003. As they rewatch the first season on their podcast Drama Queens, they’ve praised the strength of the writing and the characters, but have also been refreshingly forthright about how oversexualized they were at such a young age, their struggles with the writers and creator to properly represent (and speak to) young women, and things that haven’t aged well with time. In this conversation, they share their thoughts about episode 8, “The Search for Something More.”
It was a strong episode, they agree; the “Deb of it all” was great, from her “clapback” to the players about Karen’s Cafe to her generous offer to Karen to keep the cafe operating while she’s in Italy. Both are clearly plot devices more than anything; the actress, Moira Kelly, was pregnant, so they needed her character out of the way for awhile so she could have her baby – but they also needed Karen’s Cafe to stay open because it was a central location in the show. Still, they all agree it was done pretty well, though Sophia complains they didn’t do anything cool with the camera to hide Moira’s pregnancy better, and they all laughed at the awkwardness of her heartfelt goodbye to Keith “and then walking like three steps away to stand in a line!” Hilarie points out, “That’s airport goodbyes for you though. You say goodbye like 37 times!”
They also loved how clearly “the music became a character” in this episode. One Tree Hill is noted for its soundtrack and song selection, but the first few episodes hadn’t quite established that style yet. Hilarie muses that “we all got really involved with MTV,” so suddenly, “Peyton went from being an artist to being obsessed with music. Haley went from tutor-girl to musician. We leaned into it because we realized the fans….liked that better than my colorin’ books!” However, Peyton’s attack at the party could have been handled better, and they talk about the icky feelings the storyline brought up for them all. Hear the entire fun and fascinating breakdown of One Tree Hill on this episode of Drama Queens.
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