Posted by Jesse July 16th, 2010 at 04:22pm In The Hills
Hey, you guys, The Hills is over! Related question: do you remember The Hills? It was insanely popular sometime in, oh, let’s say, 2007 maybe? I’m not quite sure. I know that Tifaux’s very own Cristin used to write hilariously detailed Hills recaps, and that sometime after I moved in with Tifaux’s very own Marisa, I got acclimated to the white noise of The Hills and began to find it weirdly soothing. Which is a pansy of saying I have seen at least the last three seasons of The Hills. And, for that matter, almost every episode of its spin-off, The City.
But clearly I came into the fake-cinematic-reality genre on the downward slide. Far fewer people seemed to care about The Hills in its last few years, as professional passive-aggressive blank slate Lauren Conrad left and aggressive-aggressive-yet-still-kind-of-passive Kristin Cavallari stormed back in with no mention of the limp acting gigs she was unable to string into a career following the demise of Hills originator Laguna Beach. This can only be healthy for the country. It’s difficult, anyway, to care about what happens on The Hills because anyone who watches the show knows that nothing happens on The Hills, which is all the more hilariously apparent when the show tries to sum things up for a season or, gulp, series finale. Case in point: when something started happening with Heidi and Spencer, the show averted its eyes: possible story! It turns! Now we’ll never know if Spencer was able to re-form the Dark Crystal and save the gelfling race!
For a show that’s clearly shaped in the editing room, it’s odd how often The Hills decides on its story arcs retroactively — not just after the faux-events “happen,” but well after episodes have aired. Which is how, in the twilight of its existence, the show sort of decided that it was about Kristin putting her heart out there and taking a wild chance on a guy she already dated in high school and presumably continued to fuck a bunch of times since then. Yes, The Hills decided it was basically a Kristin/Brody rom-com-dram, oh and also about the whole gang growing up.
And in case you’re skeptical about the maturation capabilities of the type of twenty-three-year-olds who go on “spring break” without ever enrolling in college, check out those milestones: Audrina moved for the tenth time in two years, Lo manipulated her boyfriend into an early marriage pre-proposal, and Stephanie went on a second date. Slow down, there, Stephanie; if you’re not careful, you could wind up with a job, or a conversation with any content whatsoever.
Speaking of not speaking: the show also retroactively decided that Kristin, Audrina, Stephanie, and Lo all like each other at all. This used to be vaguely more plausible when Lauren was around, not because Lauren seemed remotely interesting, but because I could buy that one of those people was somehow friends with Lauren (introduced by their mutual friend, the casting agent). But: Kristin, Audrina, Stephanie, Lo. None of these people are friends with each other. None of them even like each other. And yet there they were on the last episode, catching up in someone’s living room. Conversations on The Hills always sound prompted, of course, but these particular girls sitting on couches discussing their lives straight up plays like a talk show: The View without opinions. The No Views.
Somewhere along the line, Kristin, who has been spurned by Brody for a suspiciously unseen harlot (most suspicious: the idea that Brody would date someone who doesn’t want to be on TV), decides she needs to find herself. Stacie the bartender gets right to the point: “Where would you go?” My thoughts exactly, Stacie, and I must point out that Kristin does not answer with the first thing that pop into her head, because she does not say “beach,” “Brody,” or some kind of made-up place based on her favorite word, “done,” like “Donesville,” “Donetown,” or “SOdonesburg.” She does, however, say “Europe” in a way that suggests she is repeating something she saw on another TV show, and leaves it at that for the rest of the episode. Yes, she’s rich enough to move to Europe for spite.
Meanwhile, Brody and perpetual birthday boy Frankie (seriously, doesn’t it seem like they all go to a birthday party for Frankie like three times a year? While simultaneously avoiding so much as eye contact with him?) and the other bros play golf; just in time for the final episode, they complete their quest to participate in every single douche-y looking bro activity ever created. It’s a good thing The Hills is ending; otherwise, someone would have to invent some kind of new douchetastic boring fake sport for Brody and the boys to half-play while wearing ugly hats and chatting about who Brody is putting the blocks to. I think this sport would maybe involve driving four-wheelers around artificial sand dunes while wearing lacrosse jerseys.
Kristin’s new life plan continues. Here’s the plan: 1. Decide you’re going to Europe. 2. Tell everyone you’re going to Europe. 3. Go to ex-boyfriend’s house 4. Tell him you’re going to Europe. 5. Plan a goodbye party. 6. Invite ex-boyfriend. 7. Wait for him to arrive. 8. Talk about leaving some more. 9. Find out what “Europe” is. Do they have another language or something? Every time Kristin mentioned “Europe” and “leaving” without seeming to make any actual plans beyond the goodbye party that looks like every other party everyone on this show attends, I thought: guys, I think someone should check Europe after Kristin leaves. Just to see. If you can’t find her, return to greater Los Angeles, go around to any restaurants that don’t care if you order any food, and that’s a bingo.
Everyone else spends the episode reflecting on how far they’ve come and what might “happen” to them in the future (no one on The Hills does anything; stuff just happens!). People on this show reflect almost as often as they leave restaurants without ordering anything. They’re also rich, which I’m pretty sure makes The Hills sort of like if Sofia Coppola directed a commercial for being the worst person in the world. (“Lost in Translation” was actually the title of the season and/or series finale of The City — you know, that other fake reality show, the one where almost everyone as a job).
But let’s try to stay positive: Lo has looked so content this season! This may have less to do with her stable and loving relationship and more to do with, in the absence of Lauren or Heidi, other characters asking Lo for advice. This represents a stark change from earlier seasons, during which I made a game of finding moments where anyone actually spoke directly to Lo, and wondered if perhaps she had died shortly after Laguna Beach and continued on as a ghost.
Anyway, Kristin moves to Europe, by which I mean: has a goodbye party. Brody shows up and asks her not to leave. Then he shows up again the next morning, before she “leaves.” But then the camera pulls back to reveal a backlot! And Kristin’s fake car ride stopping! And Kristin getting out to hug Brody! Could it be?! Is Kristin Cavallari not actually moving to Europe?!
I’m sure the show intended this to be a cheeky, ambiguous nod to the slippery nature of reality television, but I pretty much just pictured Kristin getting into the towncar, asking to go to Europe, and getting pissed off when the driver asked one of any number of follow-up questions. So she told him to stop the car, she’d just go bone Brody instead. Regardless: the show left as ephemerally as it aired, with a weightless retroactive question to consider: was this show exactly as fake as everyone thought? Or was it two percent more fake than that? If this episode didn’t provide a sufficient answer, well, then maybe they can revive the franchise with a new show called The Europe.