Wednesday, July 28, 2010

LC WAS RIGHT (over The Hills)*

Okay. I know The Hills ended weeks ago which in internet time is like five years, but I have to say: LC was right. She knew early on that Spencer was bad news.

And you know what? The producers should have listened to her. I have this feeling that one of the reasons she left The Hills is that she was fed up with being pressured to film with Hedi and Spencer, and maybe also a little annoyed that she had to keep pretending that there was some on-again/off-again thing with Brody. If the producers had simply gotten rid of Heidi and Spencer -- who were ridiculous and boring anyway -- and refocused the show on Lauren and other young women exploring their careers in Los Angeles, The Hills might have ended on a note that secured its reputation as a pop-culture phenomenon. Instead, it was like a sad little gasp.

I re-watched the first episode of The Hills during the incessant marathon that preceded the series finale, and I was struck by how different the show had become by the final season. The first episode is filled with close-ups of faces and details, silences, and the main story is that Lauren is starting fashion school and trying to get an internship. The women are ambitious and optimistic, and the main relationships are those among the women. The boys are on the periphery. Even into season six, when there was little interesting left, the show's most compelling moments continued to be those between the women.

There's been plenty of discussion about The Hills closing montage. It was effective at acknowledging the constructions of real/unreal that pervaded the show and characterize its environs, but why did it focus on Brody? Initially, I was somewhat baffled that Brody was the subject of the closing shot, but I've come to the conclusion that his silhouette against the painted backdrop actually recalled the initial disruption and symbolized the subsequent fall of the show. In this way, it is probably a fit ending. Jason was bad, but he was *really* Lauren's boyfriend. It's been widely acknowledged that Brody and Spencer hatched a plan to get on the show by dating the leading ladies, and they did. And we all know how that turned out.

In a perfect world, there would have never been a Brody or Spencer on The Hills, and the closing shot of the series might have been one of Lauren confidently striding down the runway at the finale of her own first fashion show. But Lauren left the show, perhaps because she was too real for the contrived drama of the hothouse. So instead we get Brody -- chiseled and robotic -- bidding farewell to Kristin (whose total lack of ambition kept her presence rather vague and pointless). As Kristin's car pulls away, Brody cuts a generic silhouette against the fake hills on a studio lot in the valley of the real hills as, somewhat half-heartedly, footage from the past six seasons flickers through a familiar and almost plain boring montage. When at last the painted background is rolled away and we see the cameras and the cranes and the crew, there is a reminder that at one time this show was interesting.

But LC moved on, and this is just what's left.

*this is just a sneak peek at our next project, CELEBRICIDAL (coming soon!)