December 4, 2016

Today is a little different. The show has 187 episodes, but today I am covering the special that aired right before the series finale. Tomorrow will be the final day of this epic rewatch. The special can be found on YouTube and is in three 10 minute segments.

How it Began: The show debuted on September 23, 2003 to extremely low ratings. Mark informs us this is the cas because the network changed it to an earlier start date and it took awhile for people to realize it was on the air. But my twin sister made us watch it so we watched it air LIVE on its premier date. If I’m not mistaken, this show was pre us having a DVR. Don’t quote me on that, but I’m fairly certain. So we had to watch it live, record it on a VHS tape using a VCR, or finding other ways. And that’s the long and short of it.

Mark also informs us that he originally wrote a movie script titled Ravens, but Joe Davola convinced him that it would make a better TV show. The execs said, Why spend 2 hours in a world when you can spend 22 hours a season. They probably thought it was  the wrong move because the ratings were so low and it was constantly on the bubble for cancellation. But it ended up gaining a large and loyal fan base. And it for sure stayed on the air for 9 seasons. Various members of the cast are in awe and grateful as not many shows can tout that long of or series run.

The Inspiration: Mark is cheesey. Probably cheesier than Lucas. The show isn’t so much inspired as it is inspiring. He chose classic lit like Shakespeare to help tell the story pretty much because he felt as though those general concepts fit so well the general concepts of his characaters’ triumphs and troubles.

Wilmington: Mark says that he wanted to film in Illinois, where he’s from, but the network turned it down. They instead showed him Wilmington and he knew he could make it work, the locations were so great. He says that the lights seen on the other side of the river from the River Court was lit by the design people. The show put in all that light. Pretty cool, wonder if the town got to keep it! It’s also mentioned that the basketball was made so much easier by the fact that James was already playing basketball for his high school team. They asked him to dunk in a scene and he dunked.

Soundtrack to Our Lives & On Tour: Always planned to have music play an important part of the show.  Mark thought it would be cool to send Joy on tour at the same time he sent Haley on tour. Every tour date SOLD OUT! Also, it’s becoming pretty clear that Mark is really full of himself. Hey, he ran a show that lasted 9 seasons, so I guess it takes a little of that. Oh, I didn’t realize that they really went on a USO tour in Season 6. Cool! Oh, Gavin DeGraw shout out. They really did totes give his career a boost. His album was a “flop” in that no one had ever heard of it and it had already been out a year. This show’s fans took it to platinum. The fans are the best and show up from all over the world to go to conventions and stuff and even to visit the set.

Honey Grove: Cover the contest to bring OTH to their town. Of course a town in Texas won.  Whoo hoo! Everyone had a great time filming there and had a great time with the fans. Sophia says no other show on television has created such a bond with its fans. I think she’s totes right about that. Oh, a Joy song is playing over this part. Sweet.

Landmark Moments: Mark understands the show was a guilty pleasure for some, but also thinks other fans found it to be poingnant and real. Sometimes he wanted the quiet moments to be the big moments. They highlight ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’. Eye roll. One of the top 3 most over the top episodes of the show! Oh, the Championship game! Now that was great! And of course the Jimmy Edwards episode. Mark thinks that episode was the cornerstone of getting the show to a season 9.

At Its Best: Mark thinks the show was at its best when it helped people through moments in their life. James said he had fans tell him as much. Mark really likes the one where Keith’s spirit visits Lucas because we’ve all lost someone and that one helped people. Sophia thinks the show is awesome, ok?! And it is AWESOME!

A Story of Character: Mark says if you want people to come back, they have to care about the characters. True. And I do care about these characters, even the ones I hate. Joy says she and her character grew up together.

The Jump: This covers the time jump between S4 and S5. Now they can make 20 somethings show about fathers and sons.

Final Season: Everyone was excited to have Paul back. Everyone feels accomplished. Everyone enjoyed making the final season.

A Final Farewell: They became a family. The actors think we’ll be satisfied by the final episode. They also think we might get teary eyed. They certainly all got emotional by all of the last times that took place.

That’s a Wrap: Awww, Shantel (Quinn) gets a little emotional. James says he owes his accomplishments from here on out to the show. They all thinks this is pretty huge. They all get emotional as the series wraps for them. Mark loves the show and his cast and crew and the leap of faith they took with him.

The Series Finale Starts Now: Mark gives a quick, hearfelt intro to the Series Finale.

This was acually a lot better than I remember it being when it first aired. I think I was really disappointed that they didn’t really go into Naley and we barely see any of their interview snippets. But watching now after rewatching the series as someone a little bit older, I dig it. I’m sad it’s ending all over again.

Until next time…tooda loos!