The Hills: We’ll Never Be Friends
August 19, 2008

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate.

And we’re back.  I’ll say this much: the first scene involving LC and Whitney talking while “working” at People’s Republic gave me hope.  One of the funniest parts of this show was the “Whitney as sounding board” bit back at Teen Vogue.  You know, where she says “So, what did you do” and then LC recaps what happened in the last scene we just saw and then Whitney says “Wow, how did that make you feel”.  Its so obviously meant to be an expositional tool, and its the obviousness that makes it funny.

Lauren went on a date with an old friend.  She decided if the guy was interesting, she’d invite him to Audrina’s birthday party.  Apparently sitting across from each other and not saying anything for minutes at a time counts as an interesting date.

Heidi (who’s hair gets blonder every minute) knew her sister Holly was coming to crash at her apartment for the weekend.  Of course she wouldn’t mention it to Spencer.  What would they fight about otherwise.  Sigh.  Oh, by the way, in case you weren’t sure whether or not the Heidi-Bolthouse marriage was one of convenience before, the fact that she didn’t get fired in the wake of that ridiculous stunt in last season’s finale is proof enough.  And Holly looks like Heidi and Whitney’s lovechild.

Dear Lo: we all get it.  You want to stay on the show by being the witch and pulling LC’s strings.  The funniest part of Lo’s conversation with Audrina was that she pretty much cut off Audrina’s sentences just to make her own part.  As always, Whitney and Audrina remain the only bearable people in this “reality”.

Pretty much the same ole same ole.  Man, producers, if you’re going to manipulate things, at least manipulate things in a new way.

Final Grade: C

PS  MTV, what was up with all the mainstream music in the episode?  If nothing else, this show is good for debuting a new artist every now and then.

The Hills: The Next Move Is Yours
May 13, 2008

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM 

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate.

So here we are, at the end of the “season” and Spencer is still a douche.  I mean he always was but man, this guy moved exponentially throughout this season.  When Stephanie prefaced telling Spencer where Heidi was by saying “don’t do anything crazy”, what did she expect?  And man, did he go nuclear.  I mean racing from his car into the club?  There’s a thin line between devoted and obsessive.  And Spencer passed that line about a season and a half ago.  Obviously Brent Botlhouse wasn’t happy with the display (or was asked to act annoyed for the sake of the scene).  Either way, Heidi made the ridiculous choice of choosing Spencer over her job.  And she did it in wreckless fashion by not even showing up for her morning meeting.  She does remember that Spencer doesn’t have a job either, right?  My guess, SBE decided they wanted to end their relationship with “The Hills” ala Teen Vogue, and so they wrote them out like that.  Remember, this is only a reality-ish show after all.

Whitney’s back.  Its been a while.  She was back to her typical “really?  what happened?  tell me about it?” ways, but honestly, she’s a breath of fresh air compared to the stale wind that comes out of the normal cast.  She also tends to be the only reasonable one anymore.  She advised LC to talk to Audrina about this distance that LC’s been feeling; a distance which got a physical manifestation when Audrina walked by the kitchen, skipping out on dinner with the girls.  So at Lo’s urging, LC finally went to talk to Audrina in her house behind their house.  Audrina confesses what I’ve always believed: Lo is what’s pushing them apart.  And push comes to shove, LC picks Lo.  At least Audrina was actually assertive.  Which was completely different for her.  And so that’s another friendship in the trash for LC.  Well done.  Oddly enough, Audrina is the one who comes out looking like the winner.

So at the end of another “season” we have winners and losers.  Of course, Spencer is a synonym for loser.  So we won’t even address that.  But Heidi, who was a loser by the distributive property of Spencer,  became her own loser with that idiot SBE move.  Lo gets a loser award for trying so desperately hard to be on this show.  But the most surprising loser is LC.  This girl simply has not grown.  Period.  She’s the exact same girl 3 seasons later.  The winners are the two girls who seemingly get no screen time.  Whitney is finally moving forward in her life.  She is actually making smart decisions (albeit with MTV’s help) about her career.  The other winner is Audrina, who finally has started standing up on her own two feet.

PS, season 4 looks like the terribly lame old stuff its has been.

Final Grade: B-

The Hills: No Place Like Home
May 5, 2008

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate.

Lets start with this: Can we stop thinking that Bolthouse lets Heidi “work” at SBE for any other reason than the promotion from being on The Hills.  Last season it was Les Deux, this season S Bar.  Lets call a spade a spade, ok?  Heidi asked Brent for more responsibilities, specifically those which would take her out of town.  I swear that the way Heidi described her responsibilities far exceeded anything that Bolthouse said in the meeting, but isn’t that The Hills?  Heidi arriving with Bolthouse and “Sam” in a Bentley to take their private jet was a bit much of Bolthouse playing to the camera.  I loved Stephanie’s statement that if Heidi leaves, Stephanie will never get rid of Spencer.  How very true.  Man, this kid is five years old.  I admit that I regress when I’m with my sister, but this is rather ridiculous.  “Lalalalalalalala…go away.”  Really?  The only thing worse was Spencer longfully moping around Heidi’s empty apartment.  Seriously man, dignity please.

Speaking of using The Hills for promotion, this episode was all about letting the world know how great The Alkaline Trio is.  Subtle.  The awkward tension in the studio while the girls watched the Trio was…awkward.  This just further widened the gulf between Audrina and the Laurens.   Lo’s feelings about Audrina seems pretty obvious to anyone but LC.  Audrina was the new friend who took Lo’s place when LC moved and Lo wants in the door and wants to shut the door behind her.  She made this clear when she told Audrina that Chloe (their new puppy) had two moms, while all three of them were in the room.  She pours her heart out of Justin-Bobby, who by the way is far more bearable with short hair.  Audrina also finally seemed human during her conversation with J-B.  Its odd that she hasn’t ever seemed that way when talking to LC.  I guess that’s the difference between being in a conversation and being a sounding board.  Audrina walked away thinking its about time she looks for her own place.  Thankfully this “story” is moving somewhere.

Final Grade: B

The Hills: A Date With The Past
April 28, 2008

MTV, Mondays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Watch What Happens When MTV Stops Being Real And Starts Letting Producers Manipulate

This episode set the tone really early.  The fact that Audrina has her own “house” in the back of the girls’ house kind of gives you an idea where everyone stands.  Sure, this could be about the girls being older and needing privacy, but methinks this is a bad sign. (We’re not going to talk about how I think the girls can’t afford the house.)  Also, LC and Lo talked about how LC couldn’t go shopping with Audrina but now her and Lo could hang out all the time.  If you didn’t think the days of LC and Audrina weren’t numbered before…

If memory serves me right, Lo was the one who began the Justin-Bobby mockery when he first arrived.  Audrina didn’t like it then.  Why did Lo think that Audrina like it now?  I would say that Lo is just insensitive, but I prefer to think she’s smart enough to know what she has to do to stay on the show.  A cleaner cut Justin-Bobby arrived at the A-L-L House Warming party and sat down with Audrina, who let her feelings about everyone else’s feelings about her and Justin be known…to Justin.  

Dear Heidi, stop saying “you’re kidding” everytime that Stephanie brings up hanging out with LC.  If she wasn’t kidding the first time, she’s not kidding any other time after that.  And yet you managed to guilt Steph into skipping in favor of sitting and watching a movie with Heidi.  Score one for Team Heidi.  I guess.  The fact that this “story” hasn’t moved forward in a couple episodes is rather…well…annoying.  Stephanie has begun filling Whitney’s old role as exposition girl.  She’s now the girl who says “really?  what happened?”.  

Stephen Colletti.  Apparently he took enough time off from guest starring on One Tree Hill to pop back in for his requisite appearance.  Isn’t he dating someone famous?  I also don’t know this for sure, but was LC wearing one of her own designs to the dinner?  Turns out the least front and center people are the most insightful.  Last week it was Justin-Bobby.  This week it was Stephen who pretty much told LC if she wants to be in Audrina’s life, do it.  Well anyways, as expected, Stephen crushed LC’s too high expectations that they’d get back together.  It was pretty close to desperate that LC had to keep reaching back to high school to make Stephen care.  Didn’t this exact same thing happen with Jason last season?  LC at least had enough dignity lie to Lo and make it seem like she didn’t want Stephen.  

Spencer complains about loyalty blah blah still has no job blah blah sits around blah blah.

Man, nothing happened in this episode at all.

Final Grade: C-