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    Here's An Unofficial Ranking Of Every "One Tree Hill" Season, And I Said What I Said

    *Plays "It's my opinion" Vine before any of you come for me*

    9. Season 5

    a woman holding the hand of a man at the altar, getting married
    The CW

    This season was pivotal for the show as it was the first season following the four-year time jump. The basics were there and had the storylines this season been better, it would have been near the top. Alas, this was not the case.

    By messing with Naley's storyline once again by throwing too many things at the audience and couple, it disrupted the stable nature of the two that the audience found solace in. Nathan's accident would have been a good enough storyline on its own had they really focused on the recovery and effects it had on the family. Instead, they threw in Nanny Carrie (arguably the show's worst choice) and a kidnapping. Not sure where to start but it was messy, and quite frankly, completely disrespectful to Haley's character.

    Not to mention the entire Leyton cheating storyline again. Seriously...why? As a Leyton shipper myself, even I was completely done with that shit. And to play devil's advocate, even if they HAD to be separated, why introduce Lindsey?

    The only saving grace to this season was Brooke who was certainly at her best compared to her worst during the previous season. Oh and Haley's teaching storyline, especially with Quentin, once again proved how amazing she really was.

    8. Season 8

    three people have their arms crossed while they look at an uncooked turkey
    The CW

    This season was just all-around boring. The numerous storylines of dead wife impersonators, investment fraud, ghosts walking around between life and death, stalkers, the romance between two 7-year-olds and more just made it feel like the show had no idea what they were doing.

    Every time the show tried something, it went too far. The dramatic episode featuring a dead wife doppelgänger stalker was just a bit too OTT and then the following episode with the bachelorette party was too messy and irrelevant. Not even mentioning the Valentine's Day and the superhero episodes which were both just 40 minutes of irrelevant one-episode storylines. I have to say, the season's saving grace was Brulian, from their wedding to their struggles with conceiving.

    It certainly didn't help that they show's actor with the most range, Bethany Joy Lenz (Haley), was limited with her storylines due to her IRL pregnancy. Sure Haley being even goofier due to her pregnancy hormones was cute, but for a full season? Nope. The show did one thing right during the other seasons by harnessing Lenz's talent.

    7. Season 2

    three teens are at a school dance with relaxed faces
    The CW

    After a promising first season, the second season was a bit of a letdown. It started off strong with fun episodes but quickly spun out of control. Firstly, of course, there was Naley's separation. The storyline had promised to depict struggles of marriage after the honeymoon phase was over, but the writing executed this questionably. Of course, both were in the wrong, and Haley definitely made mistakes with communication, but the villainization of female characters (a theme seen frequently in the show, sadly) was unnecessary. Say what you will, but she deserved to go on tour with complete support rather than an ultimatum. And Chris Keller was just an all-around pain in the ass.

    The second season also lacked the presence of the show's launchpad and core: basketball. Some will disagree, but I loved the seasons featuring basketball games. They added anticipation to the show and were certainly fun to watch.

    The storyline with Lucas trying to take down Dan was also rather weird at times. Had he and Nathan teamed up, then that would have been better. Instead, it was Lucas trying to take care of his mother and his brother, all whilst trying to take down the piece of crap that was Dan Scott. Messy.

    The introduction of Anna Taggaro was a promising one: the storyline of a WOC struggling with her sexuality would have been groundbreaking and important for 2000s teen television. Instead, they brushed her under the mat and reduced her to a short-term love interest. Instead, they gave her screen time to her brother Felix, which we can all agree was just...ugh.

    6. Season 6

    a man and wife hold hands at the altar getting married
    The CW

    This season had its up and downs for sure. Watching Leyton finally be happy was a win for sure, as well as watching the budding romance with Brulian, who was finally a man who treated Brooke right.

    Another gem was the storyline about Haley's teaching, once again proving how one good teacher and kindness really can change someone's life...which takes us to Sam. A fun and spunky character, it was always fun to watch her on-screen. Plus her developing relationship with Haley and subsequently Brooke was definitely one of the show's finer moments. Wish she had stayed tbh.

    Nathan's comeback was kind of boring, but it was important, and I'm happy it happened.

    One of the places in which the season fell short was through its incomplete storytelling. Firstly with Haley's encounter with Nanny Carrie — she was literally chased by a crazy murderer who tried to steal her identity, yet she was completely back to normal the next episode? Huh? And secondly, the An Unkindness of Ravens film storyline. It just got cancelled? Out of the blue? Strange.

    Where this season fell the most though was with Dan. From having to watch a crazy nanny feed him live cockroaches to watching a dog eat his heart transplant...words fail me. Literally, no words.

    5. Season 4

    a woman in a dress stands among high school graduates in graduation robes. they run toward two paramedics rolling a body out on a stretcher
    The CW

    Again, this season had its up and downs.

    What went right? The individual episodes, in particular, were the "State Championship" episode, the "Pictures of You" episode, and the "Honeygrove" episode. They were fun and entertaining to watch.

    What didn't work? The repeating of storylines. Enter the Lucas/Peyton/Brooke drama once again. Hadn't we already gone through this? I have to say, the "psycho Derek" storyline was entertaining to watch but all in all too weird. And the clean teens storyline...why? Not sure what purpose it served.

    Brooke also was at her worst this season which was a shame. Thank god she went back to normal in Season 5. Also, as much as I love Naley, I wish they hadn't gotten pregnant so early on.

    Not super strong in long-run storylines, but the brilliant writing of a few individual episodes was enough to place this season at No. 5.

    4. Season 9

    two women working in a restaurant, one wears an apron, the other a polo
    The CW

    This may be controversial since this is the same season that featured Clay forgetting about his own son, but hear me out.

    First off, the relationship between Haley and Brooke was at its finest here. Together with running a cafe, providing memorable moments when trying to take down the rival cafe was also a highlight.

    This may be controversial too but I actually appreciated Brulian's storyline with the kids in the car AND Mouth's storyline regarding him putting on weight. In what can be considered rare for the show, these storylines were actually very much relatable and applicable to real life, rather than crazy stalkers, teenage pregnancy, and honesty, having no parents around. These storylines, whilst some may consider boring, brought the ridicule of the season down and were very much needed. They showcased the characters as real people for once.

    Before moving onto the highlights of the season I do first have to mention where it felt short. It became clear that the writers were running out of storylines. With the return of Xavier, a storyline once again repeated and, tbh, was not needed. Another example was, of course, the Clay/Logan storyline. I don't think I need to say much more about the matter.

    BUT moving onto the highlights, we see the season's shining stars and saving graces: Bethany Joy Lenz and Paul Johansson. Lenz's acting was Emmy-worthy. Genuinely. From the scene in the morgue to the restrained strength she had to showcase for her children, Lenz's acting never failed to deliver. As for Johansson, he proved himself a man of immense talent. I was sure that I would never forgive Dan for his actions, yet as the season drew to a close, he pulled at my heartstrings and left me with conflicted feelings for a character as I had never had before. Of course, we had been graced with his raw talent in previous seasons, demonstrating the sharp turn between an abusive father to a remorseful one desperate to make amends, but Season 9 served as Johansson's curtain call.

    Chris Keller was back, but loveable and hilarious this time. A great writing decision.

    And of course, this season also gifted us with THAT Naley scene. The reunion with Florence and the Machine's "Never Let Me Go" playing? Perfection.

    All in all, the season finale was a perfect way to end the show, leaving all fans happy for sure. An applaudable attempt to bring such an iconic show to a close.

    3. Season 3

    four women and pete wentz from fall out boy all put on makeup
    The CW

    Season 3 was truly a shining point for the show. I am aware that most would have this as their favourite season and I do understand why.

    Firstly onto the not-so-going moments: Season 3 had many focusing on the reconciliation of Naley. I feel conflicted about the way this was handled. Whilst I adore the season for providing us with some of the couple's best moments in the latter half, the beginning was questionable. Haley returning and Nathan subsequently being wary was not surprising. Hell, I would be too. But as the episodes went on, it became apparent that Nathan was manipulating Haley, knowing that she would do anything for him. Anytime he gave her a sign that things were getting better, he pulled the rug out from under her. Whilst Haley definitely needed to make SOME amends, I would have liked to see a more balanced and mature conflict resolution rather than "let me ignore you." I would have also like to have seen Haley stand her ground a bit more and defend her choice for going on tour. She had a lot to apologise for, but chasing her dreams was not one of them.

    Peyton during the beginning of the season was...troublesome. I love P. Sawyer, don't get me wrong, but her treatment of Haley was questionable. I honestly don't care that she was personally mad at Haley, I mean, you do you. However, what was completely unnecessary and out of line was her constant attempts to involve herself with Naley and their issues. Like...it's not your relationship? Get out of it? She made life so difficult for Haley and therefore Nathan, by the time Season 3, Episode 8 came around I was ready to pull my hair out.

    Low points aside, nevertheless, this season shone. Most notably, the school shooting episode, Season 3, Episode16. It was beautifully written, the severity of the situation was not romanticised and the acting was amazing. This episode marked a pivotal turning point in the show with the death of Keith. Lucas's heartbreak was heart-wrenching and later finding out that Karen was pregnant just iced the cake. That family truly deserved better. It is also worth mentioning the handling of Jimmy's storyline — most shows would have forgotten him and never brought it up again. One Tree Hill did an amazing job at making sure his storyline was well-told and completed, with mentions of him all the way 'til Season 9 thanks to Mouth. Say what you will about Mouth, but his action of getting people to sign a yearbook for Jimmy's mother and promising to continue with their dream of sports broadcasting was truly a testament to his character.

    Other highlights include Season 3, Episode 18 (the cabin episode) and the season finale with Naley's wedding. I wish that wasn't ruined though, I think we can all agree that we deserved to see them in London on their honeymoon.

    The later half of Season 3 truly gifted us with some of the BEST Naley moments.

    For Brucas fans as well, this season was a treasure trove: a much healthier relationship compared to Season 1, and whilst they ultimately did not last, it laid the foundations of their true understanding of each other, which is something that can be seen throughout the later seasons of the show.

    Overall, this season saw the growth of characters from children to adults, and the writing, acting, and directing shone like never before.

    2. Season 7

    a woman lies in a hospital bed while a younger woman stands above her, they are both smiling
    The CW

    This may seem controversial as it appears that people either hate this season or love it. This season marked the first one without the show's leading characters, Lucas and Peyton. I will admit, I was hesitant at first (I mean shows rarely continue at the same level when characters begin to leave, see That '70s Show and Grey's Anatomy, but the season did not disappoint.

    Again, I'll start where the season fell short. First off, the Renee storyline. I mean, by this point we had all dealt with the "Had Nathan cheated or not?" storyline far, far too many times. I mean come on! I truly don't know how Haley was so patient. But, the storyline gave me my favourite Naley moment ever: the "Lose her [his dream]? She's right here," scene. Shivers every time.

    Another downside was Quinn. Again, don't get me wrong, I like her character but her storyline at the beginning of Season 7 was all over the place. She appeared out of nowhere and gave no real reason as to why she wanted a divorce. Whilst she had every right to want to end her marriage, I don't think she handled it well. She tried to make David the villain, but truth is, he was a pretty reasonable and stand-up guy. Nevertheless, the introduction of Quinn gave us one of the best relationships on the show, Haley and Quinn. Truly sibling goals.

    Now onto the highlights: Clay Evans. He was amazing. Robert Buckley managed to walk the fine line between cocky and sweet perfectly. He was arrogant but not in an early-Season-1-Nathan kind of way. You could see the love he had for Nathan, Haley, and Jamie. In Season 7, Episode 7, the episode where we see flashbacks of him and his late wife Sara's relationship was a highlight of the season. In less than 45 minutes, we meet, fall in love with, and grieve over their relationship. It truly broke my heart.

    And to what I consider the best part of the season: Haley's depression storyline. Many shows try to tackle mental health storylines, but few do it with the consideration, understanding, and grace required. One Tree Hill was not one of these shows. Firstly we have the beginning of the storyline. What made it so much more heartbreaking was the fact that unfortunately, so many people can relate to this. The desperation of her children and other people who love her trying to find a way out, trying to find a solution to her inevitable death is a true reflection of the way in which anyone would react had the situation really happened. You can see Haley, Quinn, and Taylor going through the five stages of grief trying to understand what to do, how to deal with this unfair curveball.

    After Lydia passes, Haley's depression isn't seen suddenly and outright. There are subtle signs much like would appear in a real-life patient; she tries to hold it together for family, she tries to say she’s fine, but slowly we can see her breaking apart. This all accumulates and she begins to become distant, tired, and emotionless. The scene with her crying in their garden was heart wrenching-only being able to hear Lenz's sobs brought light to the severity of the situation. You can hear the absolute grief in her cries. When we see Haley talking to her mother on the phone as if she is still there...no words.

    What also adds to the beauty of the storyline is the way her recovery was handled. She didn't just wake up one day and bam, it's like nothing ever happened. We see her go to therapy, try to be okay for her son, and a gradual recovery process through Season 8. Well written, and beautifully understood.

    The highlight, of course, is Lenz's acting. I've already sung my praise for her raw talent but anyone who watches this season cannot deny that she is incredible.

    1. Season 1

    two teenage boys wearing hoodies are playing basketball outside
    The CW

    I'll keep this short and sweet. Rewatching this season always gives me nostalgic and fresh vibes. It's simple, sweet, and focused on high schoolers, but there is something so innocent and natural about this season. Maybe it's because there were no outrageous storylines, maybe it's the basketball, maybe it was because we met the characters for the first time, or maybe it was the incredible soundtrack. Whatever it was, this season laid the foundations for a successful show beautifully, and rewatching it is like a breath of fresh air. Individual episodes and continued storylines alike, relationships and friendships, this season was perfection.