I love The Hills. Yes, I just admitted that in a public forum. I love it. I love that it is real and fake, I love that its a spin off show - not an original - I love that its perhaps the best from of entertainment around.
Many people have theories on the Hills and why it is important or significant or revolutionary. These theories are all generally true, even the conflicting ones, even the ones which disagree with each other. This is the basis of my theory of why the Hills is imporant/significant/revolutionary.
The Hills combines reality with drama. It proposes itself as a 'reality show' but when you watch it you know its not real. There's something fun in that I know its star Lauren Conrad is a real person, and thats her name and when I watch it I can point at things that are hers, such as 'that's her house', 'that's her roommate Audrina', 'that's her boss', 'that's her dress that someone gave her to wear to look good for the show' and so on.
But I know that even though 'that's Lauren with her friends' that everything other than the existence of these people is sculpted to form the parts of a drama. Drama requires situations and conflict and tension. On The Hills the situations and conflicts and tension are constructed by people other than Lauren Conrad. This is what makes this show important. The Hills gives us everything we wanted from Big Brother but didnt get. The creators of the show saw that too much of the conflict and tensions in reality can be boring and drawn out. What was needed for reality shows to work was something other than reality.
And why is this significant? It's significant because its something we have never seen before. Sure most reality shows have some element of fakeness to them, a little bit of constructed drama here and there but The Hills goes all out. It's shot on film and there are no talking head moments and more importantly we never see anything to do with the fame that being on The Hills has brought its stars.
The way each episode is presented is to tell the viewer that all of this is real, but the way it is shot tells the viewer that all of it is fake. Fake in the sense that Friends and Sex and The City are fake: a bunch of people paid to play out the lives of characters.
I cant wait for the rest of season three to begin. In the meantime I watch full episodes on mtv.com and pray that the writers strike wont affect the production of season 4.
All photos from mtv.com. For better Hills coverage than I could ever provide visit songs about buildings and food.
By Brigitta Ryan on Thursday, January 24, 2008