Character development played a big role throughout the run of classic One Tree Hill. The characters were constantly surprising you because one second they’re this villain who you think has no redemption, but in my opinion, Mark Schwann has handled developing characters better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
The characters on One Tree Hill affected how I felt about the show, since the reason it became one of my favorites so quickly is because there is so much weight and power in every episode, plot line, and character.
One of my favorite examples of character development in this iconic show was watching Brooke Davis evolve from a skanky, insecure cheerleader to a confident wife and mom of twins, as stated by an article in Hollywood Life.
During the high school years, which encompasses the first few seasons of the show, Brooke made her way around Tree Hill, in terms of guys. There was one point towards the end of their high school career where she joined an abstinence group called Clean Teens to catch the attention of her latest crush, which I admired because she generally followed through with the rules and tried something she wasn’t used to.
Prior to that though, her relationship with Lucas created a lot of friction between the friendship between best friends Brooke and Peyton Sawyer. Throughout their high school years, Brooke and Peyton went back and forth in what felt like a never-ending love triangle with Lucas Scott. At the time, Brooke was desperate for love and companionship from a man and sought that out with Lucas, denying that Peyton had a strong emotional connection with Lucas, although she was dating his half-brother at the time.
After reading a post of Pixar Perfect’s about the importance of character development, he talked about how found “Brooke’s quest for both love and children to be the most endearing story lines for her character.” As he states, Brooke always dreamed of her wedding day. When Lucas cheated on her, she took a real hit and her hopes of being married seemed so far away, especially after more failed relationships with Chase and Owen.
However, Julian Baker, filmmaker from Los Angeles, who also happened to be Peyton’s ex-boyfriend, ended up being the one for her after patiently waiting for years. I think it shows so much about the purity and depth to their relationship when Julian says he fell in love with Brooke when he walked in on her dancing to “Don’t You Forget About Me.” He wasn’t interested in her for her looks, wealth, or social standing, like everyone else saw her for. He got to know the real Brooke Davis, not the high school Brooke she was ashamed of, but the one she wanted to be, and loved her for it.
In their adult years, Owen asked Brooke, “What’s underneath all the clothes, Brooke Davis?” trying to find out who she was underneath the facade she put up. While at first glance, people may see her as this shallow bitch, but there’s so more than just her looks and how she may first come off. To quote her ex-boyfriend Lucas Scott, “Brooke Davis is going to change the world someday,” and that couldn’t have been more true.
There are many characters that often go under the radar in terms of character development, and while I don’t think that’s the case for Brooke because she had a drastic change, it’s always worth acknowledging. I believe she had some of the best development ever because from seasons 1 to 9, she went from being shallow, popular party girl, to the smart, hard-working, determined girl on the Wall of Honor. Her development genuinely surprised me because I figured she was going to represent the girls who peak in high school and show how they’ll never change their petty, insecure ways. But One Tree Hill proved me wrong.
She refused to let high school define her, and proved that no matter what your past is, you are in charge of your future and who you will become. I found this concept for her character to be inspiring because while I wasn’t the cheerleader who could’ve coasted by on her looks, I like that she didn’t let her reputation define her and she made it into what she wanted to be known for.
If you told me at the start of season 1 that Brooke would become this empathetic, caring friend who focused more on being the best cheerleader and masking her insecurities by getting drunk at a party or naked in a guy’s car to impress him, I would not have believed how much she accomplished. I think that’s part of her character development too because most people wouldn’t think she’s capable of change, but she proves everyone wrong.
With her incredible determination and talent, she created her own fashion line and ultimately became a successful business woman. She made it to the top and found she was unhappy, so she took control of her situation and moved back home to where she was truly happy, while still running her business.