For the last several years, the big ticket in town has been the teen melodrama One Tree Hill, which was on the WB and is now on the CW Network. Don’t let the off brands fool you, though; a surprising number of people watch it, maybe even you, for all I know. It’s one of the worst TV shows ever made, and I seriously do not mean that as an insult. It’s bad in the way that Mexican TV is bad, superstylized bad. Good bad. Indeed, there are times when the particular campiness of its badness, although I can sense its presence, is in fact beyond me, beyond my frequency, like that beep you play on the Internet that only kids can hear. Too many of my camp-receptor cells have died. Possibly One Tree Hill is a work of genius. Certainly it is about to go nine seasons, strongly suggesting that the mother of its creator, Mark Schwahn, did not give birth to any idiots, or if she did those people are Schwahn’s siblings. The One Tree character who supposedly lived in our house was Peyton, played by one of the stars, Hilarie Burton, a striking bone-thin blonde. Think coppery curls. I’d seen her on MTV right at the moment when I was first feeling too old to watch MTV. Superfriendly when we met her, superfriendly always.

“Peyton’s Place.” — John Jeremiah Sullivan, GQ

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