It will come as a shock to exactly no one who knows me that I enjoy watching bad television.
One Tree Hill is currently my bad show of choice. I began watching the show when it premiered and found it pretty boring. Something about the inclusion of Moira Kelly but the exclusion of the phrase "toe pick," or the forced "Dawson and Joey" vibe they were trying to pull off between Lucas and Haley, or the insistence that I like Chad Michael Murray as the protagonist was just not winning me over. But it was programmed in a time slot where nothing else was on and week after week I found myself tuning in. Eventually, I grew to love it. I can remember the very episode that won me over - "Life In A Glass House" in which Dan throws a party at his house for the team and the boosters, Lucas and Peyton almost have sex until Lucas practically proposes marriage and Peyton flips out and bails (rightfully so), Karen asks Haley to bring sweets from the cafe to save Deb's cake-less ass and then Nathan attempts to flirt with Haley until a drunk and viciously bitchy Brooke unleashes some humiliation on ol' Tutor Girl leaving said girl and Nathan both heartbroken. And then the whole thing wraps up with Jake (Jake!) sitting on his bed, strumming a guitar and sweetly singing Elliott Smith's "Say Yes" to his DAUGHTER! DUN!
My heart was effectively won over and it continued to belong to the folks in Tree Hill through several cat fights, love triangles, custody disputes, a surprise teen-marriage, a heart attack, three life-threatening car accidents, at LEAST 5 pregnancy scares (seriously, it's like birth control doesn't even EXIST in Tree Hill), blackmail and reverse blackmail plots, a bigoted neighbor who couldn't act, three near-divorces, two weddings, a fire, a school shooting, two returns of Jake (Jake!), several trips to rehab, Pete Wentz, dozens of hair don'ts (mostly perpetrated by Chad Michael Murray), and Rachel the red-headed ho-bag. But then it just got too ridiculous when season three ended with Peyton (who clearly belongs with Jake!) and Brooke (who was breaking up with him anyway!) fighting over Lucas - AGAIN! I developed a real sensitivity to going back to the triangle well too many times during the 6 years I spent with Dawson's Creek. Especially when the well was never giving you digestible water in the first place!
That's how I fell out of love with OTH and deleted it from my TiVo Season Pass Manager while season four carried on without me. Unfortunately, one night last spring, I was overcome by boredom and stumbled upon an episode wherein Peyton and Brooke were being held hostage on prom night by some guy who was stalking Peyton. Apparently our intrepid heroines were still in the throes of hating each other when it all went down but somehow managed to overcome the wackadoo stalker and become friends again. It was the cheesiest bit of awesome I'd seen in a long time, but I wasn't going to let that convince me to start watching again. I have my self respect! Or at least I did until I saw the promo for the next episode which featured the triumphant return of Tyler Hilton as the hilarious Chris Keller in a story that included a road trip which thoughtfully combined two of my biggest weaknesses into one big steaming pile of genius.
And THAT is the story of how I fell back in love with One Tree Hill.
So now here we are, smack in the midst of season 5 which has fast forwarded through the college years and landed us in our characters' early adult lives. Brooke is the famous and rich queen of a fashion empire built on the foundation of the internet-only line she started in season 3 (otherwise known as the fall of her senior year in high school), and she's using some of her money to fund the creation of a record label that Peyton is running out of the insanely huge un-used space off of Tric which Karen (and Deb I assume, though no one ever mentions her anymore) have owned all this time but never used for anything. Lucas is a famous writer, despite the fact that he couldn't even come up with pseudonyms for his frakking friends before he published a book about the intimate details of their lives. He's also the coach of the Raven's varsity basketball team. Skillz is his assistant coach. Nathan is also sort of an assistant coach but he doesn't get paid for it because apparently the endorsement deal he signed before he was even drafted into the NBA paid him ass-loads of money even though he ended up breaking his back and ending his career in a bar fight the night of the draft. So he doesn't need to work to pay for his giant McMansion, his wife's Range Rover or the live-in nanny who recently went all Hand That Rocks The Cradle on his hot ass and may have provoked the end of his 6-year marriage to Haley. Who, by the by, is a high school English teacher slash record producer. Mouth is a cub reporter at a local TV station, Dan was just released from prison last night, Karen is traveling the world with Illegitimate Spawn 2: Dead Keith's Boogaloo, Rachel may or may not be a recovering heroin addict, Fergie and Junk live with Mouth and Skillz but have no apparent means of supporting themselves and almost no screen time to speak of. Nathan and Haley's son Jamie is the cutest child since...ever. Tim and Bevin ended up married and working as a pizza delivery man and Macy's sales clerk respectively and have a son named Nathan (hee!). Brooke has a mom who is Daphne Zuniga and is evil.
Next Tuesday is the 100th episode. A wedding, several surprise returns, at least one shocking development and 10 pounds of awesome in a 5 pound bag!
If you're not watching, you really should be.