A Family of Friends in OTH – Ally Harper

Ever since I did my first blog about the characters on Friends, I have been thinking about another show that I love just as much (even a little more) and that is One Tree Hill or OTH. Similar to Friends, there are six main characters in OTH: Brooke, Peyton, Lucas, Nate, and Haley. And like Friends’s Monica and Ross, Lucas and Nate are half brothers while Brooke, Peyton, and Haley are best friends.

But the character dynamics are not just what makes Friends and OTH similar: both shows have a phenomenon where anyone that watches the show can relate to one of its main characters. You are either a Lucas, or a Peyton, or a Brooke, or a Nathan, or a Haley. Again JUST GOOGLE IT. P.S. I’m a Brooke, even though my favorite character is Peyton. Oh well.

And also like Friends, I would define OTH as a “family of friends centered sitcom.” In both shows, you rarely see parental figures and instead you learn about a group of friends that in OTH act more like adults than kids (while the adults act more like kids than adults– see characters, Deb and Dan for reference).

I am interested in seeing how similar these two shows are and if a “friends centered sitcom” is a new genre . . .Did Friends influence OTH? I have no doubt.


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7 Responses to A Family of Friends in OTH – Ally Harper

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve been noticing this group of friends serving as a family in television shows a lot lately too. I think this has been a trend recently because there is this desire to appeal to teens and twenty-somethings, to make them feel as if their voices are being heard. These friend group centered shows do a great job of playing into that need and marketing themselves to a younger audience in this way. -Valerie Medoff

  2. mediaphiles says:

    One Tree Hill is the best! I watched this show when I was younger because my older sister was in highschool, at the time, and she watched it every week. But last year I went back and watched every season on my own and when I could understand it a lot better. I completely agree with you about how you often see “friends sitcoms” rather than “family sitcoms” more often. -Jenna Romano

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Ah I miss One Tree Hill. It’s cool to see how a sitcom like Friends could have potentially influenced the way One Tree Hill came to be, even though OTH is an hour long light drama I definitely see parallels between the two shows. I’m pretty sure I am just reiterating what I commented in your last post about Friends but I really do think that a family of friends sitcoms/television shows have the potential to teach/influence their audience more than regular family centered shows. -Courtney Green

  4. mediaphiles says:

    One Tree Hill is one of those shows I’ve seen an absurd amount of times, and will probably watch from start to finish again at some point. I often try to connect Friends with other sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother, but have never thought to compare it to a drama like One Tree Hill, even though the friend structure is similar! (I’m Peyton Sawyer according to Buzzfeed, by the way).
    – Sarah King

  5. mediaphiles says:

    I wish we as viewers could go back to Tree Hill. This show is so wonderful in so many ways! I love the comparison you made between OTH and Friends, I think the influence is definitely there, but I think this can be said for many situational comedies about a group of friends. The story-lines are recycled, just with different characters. When I first saw this post though I wondered whether or not OTH could be considered a sitcom? I feel as if it might be more of a drama because the story-lines are so cross-episodic. Really though? Can we even make the distinction anymore? – Katie N

  6. mediaphiles says:

    I love your comment about identifying with a specific character in these constructed families. When there is a traditional family on the screen, I feel that there are less choices to identify with other than the role you yourself fill in your family. For example, in Gossip Girl there seems to be a constructed family of all the Upper East Siders because their actual families are terrible or distant. I always identified with Blair. I enjoy have the choice of identifying with a specific character, because it adds an extra element to being a viewer. – Andrew Guido

  7. marymdalton says:

    Lee Norris (“Mouth”) was one of my students while he was also on the series. I have to admit, however, that I’ve only seen a handful of episodes and just watched for him in those!

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