To be honest, I'm too young to really know what exactly my mom is referring to when she says this sometimes, but I get the impression that it was basically Melrose Place v1.0: attractive, yet disturbed and/or morally bankrupt people live in (too) close proximity, melodrama ensues.
While that description fits for some of the small towns I've been around, too, the town named Peyton has been in Colorado--and to some extent, national--news lately...and not because life there is like a soap-opera (as far as I know). It's a teeny-tiny town near Colorado Springs that is in some ways similar to the rural Colorado community I grew up in. So I thought it was a little bit intriguing to see it cropping up in two independent stories with national implications. First, Adam Brickley, a 21-year-old from Peyton who is now interning in DC, received a lot of credit for building the "buzz" around Sarah Palin with the blog I linked to here last week, "Draft Sarah Palin for Vice President."
Also, there is Kristi Burton, the 20-year-old law student from Peyton who wrote the "Colorado Personhood Amendment" (which would define personhood as legally starting at conception) and is serving as an at-large delegate to the GOP convention this week. I imagine these two "kids" are probably the talk of their hometown this month, and it warms the cockles of my heart a little bit to see rural Coloradoans out there on the national stage.