The Hills: Fuck This Show In The Face Until It Dies (Season Finale)
Spencer has changed. Says Spencer. He has breakfast with Heidi’s long suffering mom, Darlene, and explains that he’s been going to therapy. He’s already done the early-20’s “sleazy guy thing,” he tells the mother of his future wife. But he’s not 22 anymore. He’s 25 years old. His beard is made of wisdom, and he combs his thick mane of hair with liquid experience. Heidi’s mom reluctantly pretends that she believes a word he is saying. He asks for her blessing in his upcoming marriage to her daughter, and she gives it to him, sort of. Begrudgingly. Who cares? Spencer has lunch with Brody and explains that he’s been going to therapy, that he’s a changed man, that he hasn’t taken other people’s feelings enough into account. Brody says that he is lying and that he hasn’t changed at all, but that he is pretending that he has changed. Spencer insists that it is true, but Brody has heard all that he needs to. Tiger don’t change its stripes. Goatbeast don’t change its goatbeastness. Has Spencer really changed? Is he sincere in his efforts to present himself as a new man? Does it really matter? No. Because the fact of the matter is that Spencer is over. He’s no longer compelling as a monster, which perhaps is the motivation to show a wider character arc, one that ends with the classically pleasing narrative catharsis of redemption and personal growth, but the truth of it is that we don’t care. We cannot. Goodbye Spencer. Goodbye everyone on this show.
Stephanie is hurt because Heidi asked Holly to be her maid of honor. Well Holly is her fucking sister. This false drama created to add tension to the wedding that this show has teased out for two seasons now is insulting in its disregard for the audience’s intelligence, and its cruelty towards the show’s participants. Heidi asked her sister to be her maid of honor, and even Stephanie Pratt, who is truly the botched result of a science experiment in how stupid a human being can be while still functioning in Los Angeles society, would not question or get in the way of that. But she does. Supposedly. How can Holly Montag be the maid of honor if she isn’t writing down who brought what gifts to the bridal shower? How can Holly Montag be the maid of honor if Stephanie and Spencer are rolling their eyes at her speech at the rehearsal dinner? Nonsense. Utter garbage. Holly throws a french fry and it hits Heidi’s handbag, and Heidi is disgusted, and Spencer explains that he’s 25 and he doesn’t throw food. I’ve never seen a 25-year-old more confused about what being 25 means. He is an elder statesman. In his mind. His awful mind. Holly breaks down in furious tears over her constant mistreatment at the hands of the man who is to be her brother-in-law, and once again a long-suffering Darlene must comfort her other daughter. For a moment you think that perhaps Danielle looks at Holly as her last chance at having a normal daughter with human relationships, but then you remember that when Holly moved to Los Angeles the first job she took was as a personal assistant to Joe Francis. What is wrong with the Montag family? They’re like a Monster Factory.
As Heidi is getting ready for her princess wedding, a flower girl walks in wearing a laminated badge.
You know, normal wedding stuff. Just real people living their lives. Anyone have a tissue?
Will Lauren go to the wedding? Yes. But let’s pretend for just a few more moments that she won’t. OK, have we pretended long enough. Here she is. Lauren surprises everyone (no one) by showing up at the last second and having a heart to heart moment with Heidi about her one true desire,
to get her Kohl’s line into Mervyn’s Heidi’s happiness. It’s supposed to be a touching moment? I guess. The thing is, I have my own friends that I can worry about. I’ve got absolutely no investment in someone else’s friendship. Could the stakes be any lower? “I wonder if they will ever write meaningless birthday messages on each other’s Facebook walls ever again?”
Whatever. Lauren takes her place in the audience by literally walking in front of the alter where Spencer is waiting, and up the aisle. Class act. Completely just a normal way to take a seat at a wedding without inadvertently drawing all the attention to yourself. Everyone is there. Lo, Audrina, Justin Bobby, Sleazy T, Jade, STACY THE FUCKING BARTENDER. What is this show? I’ve no longer got any idea what this show even is. Kristen Cavallari is there! Everyone is like “fake no way!” She’s wearing the same colored dress as Lauren, which is a nice touch. Good job, producers. You don’t deserve an Emmy, but you deserve a tossed-off congratulations, buried in a disdainful blog post. That is your legacy. As everyone gathers on the front steps after the ceremony, Lauren slips out the back. Oh good, there is a camera crew there to artfully capture her with the wedding party far off in the distance. She has “quit” Peoples Revolution, where she “worked.” There was one last party at Lauren’s house, I guess. She has given Heidi her benediction and now she is gone. None of it matters. This is the most anti-climactic departure from American television since Jay Leno left the Tonight Show.
What is obvious as this show dramatically embraces (via Heidi and Spencer’s wedding kiss) its total irrelevance is that someone is owed an apology. Two seasons ago, when the intellectual critical establishment was going crazy for The Hills, there was a not small contingent of non-believers who voiced their dissent. When the show became some kind of cultural touchstone for the New Yorker, there were still people who said “what are you talking about? This show is stupid and awful and it makes me concerned for the direction of our culture.” These people were brushed off like Gwyneth Paltrow critics are brushed off by Gwyneth Paltrow. They just didn’t get it. The show was “fascinating.” The show “defined a moment.” Well, no. It turns out that the show was not fascinating. And the show did not define a moment. It was a red herring, and it’s incredible that it took five seasons and countless hours (including The Hills Aftershow) to realize that the vapidity and careless materialism of the show wasn’t a commentary about vapidity and careless materialism. There was nothing deeper going on here. It was just a constant look at trivial people going about their barely-heightened-for-dramatic-purposes lives, kind of. Kind of going about their lives. Going about something. It was the dramatic equivalent of a caramel frappucino. Empty calories. Sickly sweet. Not even enough caffeine really. And costly. Overly costly.
I am sorry people who knew better. You were right. This show was a disaster. Shut it down.