^ I agree with you when you say that it feels like they settled with Julian. It's like you said, they always had a hard time finding a guy for Brooke. The only guy that really worked with her and that audience responded to was Lucas. And obviously that relationship was never going to happen again so they kept trying to find a guy that did work. But the audience never responded to her with those guys (Chase, Owen) so when Julian came along and people actually liked them together they ran with it. I've just never felt like their relationship was developed well. You could tell right from the beginning of s7 that they set out for him to be "the guy" for Brooke. There was absolutely no question that this was the guy she was going to end up with. And maybe that took away from their relationship in a way?
Like, I dunno, I feel like the reason why so many people were so heavily and emotionally invested with couples like NH, LP, BL and JP was because, at least during the first 3 seasons, you weren't sure if they were going to work out. All those couples had so many trials and tribulations and build up that they had to go through in order to be together. So if/when they did get together it felt immensely satisfying. Because you saw everything they had to go through, and work for, in order to get to that point. But I've never felt that with BJu. I've never been emotionally invested with them because it felt like they just sort of happened. We've never really had to see them fight for their relationship. Aside from the minor Alex drama and Brooke's infertility. Which really should have been a big trial for them, but it was just sort of swept under the rug. Not to mention that fact that last season they were practically shoved down our throats. Every scene with them may as well have come with a flashing neon sign over them that said "THIS COUPLE IS AMAZING AND YOU WILL LOVE THEM". They were just trying way, way too hard to make them into this amazing/epic couple.
What's also hurt them is that fact that Julian's never really been developed as a character outside of Brooke. What do we know about him? He's a producer, is passionate about movies, was a nerd, has divorced parents, chased butterflies and dated Peyton. That's it. And they've never really made an effort to have him develop friendships outside of Brooke. Nathan he's only hung out with a few times one-on-one, and it's obvious that if their wives weren't friends that probably wouldn't have even happened. He's never had a relationship with Clay, Chase, Mouth, Skillz or any other guy. And obviously not any of the girls either. Not even Haley, baring two convos they've had with eachother. They only real friendships he's had with anyone in Tree Hill were with Alex, who's now gone, and Jamie, a child.