Monday, 25 January 2010

The Hills Review

I can imagine my idol Che Guevara looking down from Heaven at our modern world, one colonized by mega corporations and owned by the elite who we of course worship dearly – to such an extent we don’t even notice our cruel masters branding the word ‘Sheep’ into our fucking foreheads. “Oh well, so much for World Revolution” he would sigh before returning to his idyllic paradise of eternally stalking Karl Marx. Just to clarify in my previous statement when I referred to ‘we the sheep’ I did of course mean the gormless public who jump when Simon Cowell tells them while saying “How many singles should we buy while doing so master?”, and not myself because I ignore social trends much like how I would ignore the Jewish man in the Good Samaritan parable.

Yes time was we were willingly to risk our very freedom to overthrow our betters, now we seem to not only accept it as a matter of fact but also enjoy having our faces rubbed in their fabulous wealth. I am of course referring to the prosperity and subsequent aggrandisement of shows following the obscenely wealthy youth of America be it fictional i.e. ‘The O.C’ or a documentary such as the Hills. The appeal of said shows is in the words of the prostitute with the broken jaw “a little hard to swallow”. It’s the equivalent to the starving man standing outside subway all day looking in the window longingly. Maybe you need to be highly stylized to truly appreciate this, which is a shame for me as my predetermined style appears to be whatever I could steal from Metal bands’ recycling bins circa the eighties.

To steer this ship back on course to Moby Dick, The Hills is a documentary series following the privileged life of the young folk of LA, who are convinced their lives are spectacularly arduous despite having more then I will ever have even if I take to cat burglary. The show is entirely interchangeable, seen one episode you’ve pretty much seen them all. One of the brats will almost certainly be feuding with another because Party B has the ‘audacity’ to wear the wrong coloured bag on the wrong day or Party A made out with the guy who works in Starbucks when Party B expressed her interest in him; there are so many rules for being a socialite it's like a fucking game of Dungeons & Dragons,

If you enjoy shows with more depth than a half-filled freezer bag, then chances are you won’t enjoy this. The versatile subjects range from Fashion, Shopping to Romance and Partying – the stuff Barbie dreams about. Add to this more bitchiness than backstage at a beauty pageant for female dogs, and you have a one way ticket to Ohdearsvile. The cast in this charade primarily involves: Audrina, Heidi, Lauren, Whitney, Kristen, Spencer and everyone else who makes up their entourage, like the proverbial drunk driver I’ll quickly run through some of these (The ones who annoyed me the most).

Firstly we have Lauren Conrad former star of Laguna Beach, who narrated The Hills until she left in season 5. She tends to over react and thinks everything is a conspiracy against her – America personified. Like every rich woman to have the brain cells required to throw on some clothes she has released her own fashion range. Heidi Montag – formerly a close friend of Lauren’s but the duo fell out because Heidi’s boyfriend Spencer spread rumours that Lauren created a sex tape (of course she didn’t everything is done on DVD these days). Heidi receives my wrath for creating an utterly shit album ‘Superficial’ – an electropop album because we need another one of those the same way we need more bloody children. Her promise of "This is the first album of many to come. As long as I can keep affording it and keep doing it, I will because it’s my love and my passion", gives me the same ominous feeling I would experience from walking through a sanctuary for starving Bears wearing only a suit made of meat. Spencer Pratt (rather befitting last name) is the true meaning of Machiavellian. The last time I saw a man this sinister I was watching footage of a Nuremberg rally circa 1939. Seriously he would only attend his own mother’s funeral for the free food at the wake. Lets not forget Audrina Patridge who is leaving the show in the sixth season to pursue other things, namely star in a reality show called ‘The Audrina Show’ that follows her everyday life as she tries and fails to have a successful modelling and acting career, which to all you naysayers is nothing like The Hills!

Of course there are more, but frankly who really cares. All the guys in the show are painful rich douche types, who treat people like shit and yet women still fall at their feet like they have a deadly plague, whereas the girls are all ‘half-empty’ types – by which I don’t mean pessimists but rather that they are as intelligent as a bowl of Muesli.

At 20 minutes each the episodes are far too long, this feels as though it should be web series with episodes that are five minutes long because at their current length it has become like trying to cover over an Olympic size swimming bath with a single roll of Clingfilm. Also twenty episodes per series (on average) may sound unnecessary but on reflection perhaps it helps when trying to unravel the group’s complex relationships – a task like trying to make sense of M.C.Escher’s Relativity. I won’t divulge into the directing style because it is a reality show and if so far you have never seen one then your mind deserves to be preserved so you can be the beacon of hope for Humanity. But basically several cameramen follow the girls around at an overly eager stalker’s distance and what passes for scene transition is gratuitous aerial shots of LA usually accompanied by a cheesy American pop song.

A considerable number of events in the show are believed to be manipulated by producers for dramatic effect/production purposes – so obviously they have been getting their ideas from Millie-Vanillie. This isn’t reality; reality is a group of middle aged men sat in a wet field getting overly excited about finding a piece of medieval toilet brush. No, what this is, is teen drama that heralds the charade of being real, the lyrics ‘Master of Puppets’ ring true when the show’s producers manipulate events such as prolonging Heidi and Lauren’s fractured friendship or Spencer and Heidi’s ‘fake’ wedding. Not that it matters it doesn’t stop the show from being any less boring, but I would appreciate being told if that what I’m buying isn’t a bottle of Apple Juice but rather steaming piss.

So this is the part where I tell you whether the show is good or not, and quite honestly no it isn’t. I found the show the be extremely tedious with only one or two relevant events happening in the entirety of the show’s five season run – such Holly Montag’s drinking problem and she isn’t even a main cast member. I also find this style of show to be the epitome of a capitalist system gone wrong but I doubt light social commentary is on the minds of its target audience. If you are a 13 year old girl or have the mind of one then I’m sure you’ll get some entertainment out of it even if it is just from looking at the pretty attire.

Begrudgingly I will admit that I admire the show and as the blind woman’s gambling addicted lover said “bet you didn’t see that coming”. The reason for my out of character behaviour is because that it takes a subject that is so stodgy and pretentious it might as well be renamed Hideo Kojima, into a successful franchise running several shows (The Hills, Laguna Beach, The City, The Audrina Show). Which is impressive because even Jesus only turned water into wine and while certainly a way to win friends it would be a handicap if you plan on working in a water treatment plant.