Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to have better optical intercourse in just one hour

The television in our living room lacks a remote, which explains why I am watching "The Hills." When I turned it on and sat down, I realized that it was already on channel 57, a.k.a. MTV. Unfortunately, I was already solidly ensconced on the couch and obviously couldn't be bothered to get up and find something else.

Whilst waiting for someone to walk by so I could ask them to change the channel for me, the unthinkable happened. A marathon re-cap of "The Hills" came on, and I was forced to watch it for the rest of the afternoon. Season Four premieres tomorrow, which explains the all-day debauchery today, and despite my rancor toward reality television in general, and especially the SoCal kind, I couldn't stop watching.

"The Hills" and its prequel, "Laguna Beach," never cease to amaze me because they both succeed at two things: 1), Fueling the irrational obsession with Cali glamor and 2), sensationalizing conflict and poorly equipping their viewers for properly dealing with it in their own lives.

"My favorite thing about 'The Hills' is the drama." --Whitney Thompson, recent winner of "America's Next Top Model"

"'The Hills' is like crack [or porn for girls, perhaps?]," dramaholic gossip blogger Perez Hilton said during a segment that relived the top ten most thrilling moments of the show. "When Lauren chose Justin over going to Paris, the entire world said, 'What the f--- are you thinking?'"
Enough said. "The Hills" is full of people that are pros at creating discord and then responding to it poorly. Beyond their cash and pretty faces, these young ladies are famous largely for making bad decisions, because making good ones just doesn't equate to entertaining television.

Lauren Conrad, the star of the show, has been doing just that on national television for the last four years. Four years of lovers' trysts and friendships (if you can call them that) falling apart. Four years of viewers smacking their foreheads in disbelief.

But that's what makes the show the highest-rated night program and keeps 3.6 million pairs of eyes tuning in every week, greedily having optical intercourse with the drama-oozing lives of several 20-something kids that lead overly charmed lives.
"They feel like the cast is their best friend." --Perez Hilton
And past all of the artificial drama--which, thanks to the show, has become not so artificial anymore--is a fake reality that very few people in America desperately crave but can't actually relate to.
People get "to live this dream, aspirational L.A. life that they would never normally get to see." --Melanie Bromley, West Coast bureau chief for "Us Weekly"
That said, the fourth season airs tomorrow at 9 p.m., and I'll be on my couch, eyes peeled.

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