Does anyone else remember the short-lived 2004 WB series The Mountain?

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 05: Actor Oliver Hudson attends the Pro-Am Race at the 19th Annual Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest at Deer Valley Restor on December 5, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 05: Actor Oliver Hudson attends the Pro-Am Race at the 19th Annual Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest at Deer Valley Restor on December 5, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images) /

The WB’s forgotten ski resort drama The Mountain starring Oliver Hudson is a show no one remembers and everyone should know.

Short-lived series often sort into one of two camps: beloved cult classics like My So-Called Life and Freaks and Geeks or long-forgotten misfires that slip through the pop culture cracks. Both types of ill-fated series can differ in quality, but they each have one thing in common: One way or another, they managed to miss making a viable connection with the mainstream audience. The Mountain knows what I’m talking about.

The WB’s one-and-done ski resort drama The Mountain, starring Oliver Hudson and Barbara Hershey, without question falls into the latter category of short-lived series. Somehow, the 2004 one-season wonder, which turned 15 years old last month, wandered so far off the map that not one person I polled knows of the show’s existence. If a shows flops and no one remembers it, did it actually happen?

Naturally, The Mountain’s elusiveness charmed, intrigued, and fascinated me beyond all comprehension. When I first discovered the series, on a total accidental whim after falling down a routine Wikipedia rabbit hole, I could think of nothing else. All I wanted to do — no, all I needed to do — was learn every single minute detail about this unearthed WB fossil. A show that maintains zero relevance in the (or any) zeitgeist? That’s basically my Game of Thrones. This is my Peak TV.

The discovery of The Mountain exploded my mind in ways it hadn’t been rocked in a very long time, mostly because I couldn’t believe there was a show from The WB that I didn’t know. I pride myself on being something of a WB scholar, having been raised on the frog network’s “fresh episodes” during its prime era. But I also couldn’t believe that the show, in all its ’00s glory, was real.

The snow-p opera premise. The Blink-182 theme song (“I Miss You”). The aggressively photoshopped promotional poster (google it). It was all perfectly peak 2004 and almost too corny to be something my mind didn’t create in a fever dream. Every new piece of the puzzle I put together made more giddy than the last. Imagine my delight when I found all 13 episodes on YouTube.

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Obviously, I dove head first into a binge-watch of The Mountain while everyone else was wrapped up in the newest season of Stranger Things and whichever summer shows had been taking off. Hudson stars as David Carver, the unlikely heir to Boundary, the family’s mountain resort. When his grandfather dies, the irresponsible David assumes responsibility of the business, much to the surprise of his mother Gennie (Hershey) chagrin of his business-minded brother Will (Anson Mount).

While the series centers itself in business drama, like The O.C.’s dabbling in the politics of California real estate development, it wouldn’t hail from The WB without a generous helping of romantic entanglements. Will and Maria (Alana de la Garza) near engagement, but her past relationship with David (yes, the brothers have a girlfriend in common) boils back to the surface upon his return.

David also becomes involved with Max Dowling (Elizabeth Bogush), the daughter of Boundary’s fiercest competitor. Meanwhile, David and Will’s Olympics-bound little sister Shelley (Tara Thompson) finds herself in a love triangle between Michael Dowling (Tommy Dewey) and lifelong friend Sam (Penn Badgley, appearing in his second of three main roles on The WB within four years, before breaking out in The CW’s teen drama game-changer Gossip Girl in 2007).

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NEW YORK – DECEMBER 17: (U.S. TABS OUT) (L-R) Actors Ed Westwick, Penn Badgley, and Chace Crawford pose for a photo backstage during MTV’s Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios December 17, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images) /

On paper, The Mountain wasn’t doing anything differently than its contemporaries, such as the aforementioned The O.C. — aside from seemingly taking place on-location in a wintry locale. It’s no small wonder that the series shares executive producers in McG and Stephanie Savage. The love triangles, the melodramatic plot twists, the family conflict, and the Green Day-heavy soundtrack were all emblematic of the times. Unfortunately, that doesn’t equate to success.

Due to “very low ratings” (figures which are no longer accessible on the internet, if they ever were) and a presumably pricey production budget, the series ended in January 2005 after completing its 13-episode run. Weirdly, The WB gave the show the rare opportunity to air its order in a time when networks weren’t afraid to pull the plug even two episodes in. Even weirder, Warner Bros. has never attempted to profit from these 13 episodes on any platform, from a home video release to streaming on Netflix or the CW Seed, a platform that houses many forgotten favorites.

After watching the 13 episodes that comprise the complete series via low-quality ripped videos on YouTube, I’m somewhere between baffled that the show was greenlit and wanting to do nothing else with my time and energy but get a reboot off the ground on HBO Max. It’s a mess of a show, and that’s not an insult because my heart beats almost exclusively for messy early-aughts WB dramas. (Hello, Popular, Everwood, et al.) But it’s no One Tree Hill or Gilmore Girls.

Photo Credit: Gilmore Girls/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center
Photo Credit: Gilmore Girls/Netflix, Acquired From Netflix Media Center /

You could estimate that the network banked on the series hitting a homerun with the audience that devoured the resurgence of teen soaps just one season prior. But its mismatched lead-in Smallville more than likely lent it no favors, and the apparent notes from the network — “Bring back the dad! Stunt-cast Spike! Tackle teen pregnancy! Take Oliver’s shirt off more!” — created a narrative chaos that interrupted the flow of a unique show that could have had something interesting to say.

The Mountain lacked staying power and a cohesive focus. No less than two season’s worth of story were plowed through with reckless abandon, like a snowboard gliding across fresh “powder.” But the series also felt very lived in and comfortable, conducting itself with the same nonchalance as a fourth-season show aging out of its heyday. There were ingredients present that could have made The Mountain a massive or moderate success, but lightning can’t always strike in the snow.

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Still, I am and always will be fascinated by The Mountain. My hope for this series is that Warner Bros. dusts it off for a second run down the slopes on its new streaming service next year. We’re rooted in a period of content where nostalgia sells, and even if the same audience that allowed The Mountain to melt away into oblivion ignores it once more, at the very least, I will be watching again.

What does it say about me that I’ve become inexplicably consumed by a television series with such little impact that our paths didn’t cross for nearly 15 years? Hopefully it says that I’m more willing to dip back into the archives to watch shows with untapped potential than I am to write off a show that was canceled after one season. I miss you, The Mountain, and I hardly even know you.

The Mountain currently isn’t available to officially stream online.