I agree with rebecca...I can't even explain why S4 was so different sand horrible and weird to me. Everything was different to me. It just felt darker, not like the SL's were darker, but the actual like lighting of the show was darker, and it was depressing tbqh haha! Ugh it depresses me just thinking about S4.
And I also agree wit the soap opera thing...it's like S4 was just this series of shocking moments and SL's, which never got any real development or focus on the CHARACTERS, which is what I loved so much about S1-S3/ S1-S3 was about the individual characters, and their drama was sometimes over the top, but mostly it was focused on their feelings and how the each dealt with everything. S4 was like 'oh, lets have a psycho attack 5 billion times...then someone can get run over...o and a heart attack! that'd be dramatic!' I just felt like they were trying soooo hard to be all 'shocking', but lost the root of OTH, which is the characters themselves, and the REALISTIC reactions and feelings they ave about what they're going through. We never really got back to having realistic, character-based drama after S4. Or at least it wasn't anywhere near as good as it was the first 3 seasons.
Also all the characters were horribly OOC, IMO. Nathan was a pod...he did like a complete 180 from how he was in S3. Brooke, well it's debateable if she changed, or if she was just reverting back to form, either way she was completely different than she had been in S2 and S3. Haley was just a baby-carrier this whole season, she had no SL except forgiving nathan alot and being his baby's mama. Lucas...who knows what the hell he's gonna do/feel on a day-to-day basis, so I guess he was in character, and Peyton was annoyingly desperate/clingy/cheesy.
So yea, I definitely feel like a huge line should be drawn between S1-3 and S4. I didn't enjoy S4 at all. There are a few Naley clips I watch from this season, but other than that...just no.