The Hills: Finale for Thought

Let’s cut to the chase. After last night’s final finale of The Hills, we have multitudinous unanswered questions.

Why the hell is Kristin going to Europe? Is it just some BS positioning of a vacation by the MTV producers? Will Brody be able to maintain his sheen of cavalier cool in her absence? The guy obviously loves her, right? Didn’t those trucker hats go out of style three years ago? What in the name of Jiminy Cricket is wrong with Audrina’s eyes? Could Lo, like, say “like” any more than she currently does? Can the end of a television show really denote the resumption of intelligent cultural discourse merely by sparing us its rampant, weekly vapidity?

Yes, I know all their names and know that this is the old cast. So sad.

I will always be the first guy at the table to admit I’m a hypocrite. Here’s a sample Tuesday-night discussion between my female TV-watching companion and me.

She: “I’m so excited! It’s Hills night!” [And The City. Which needs its own post, especially in light of Whitney’s tragic disloyalty to Kelly.]

He: “No way. I’m not watching this crap.”

She: “OK, you don’t have to.”

He: “Well, I do want to spend time with you. I’ll sit here and read The Economist while it’s on.”

She: “Stop talking. The Hills is on.”

Without fail, I do stop talking, because I’m also engrossed in the banal banter of the rich and talentless. By the end of each episode, I find myself fantasizing about being Brody Jenner when I grow up, and then I take an interminable shower, whence I scrub so violently my skin bears the tell-tale wounds of life-sucking reality TV. There is no loofah abrasive enough to de-Hills my soul.

There’s no great secret to reality TV. Most people want to be famous, and for the moment, being on TV still makes you famous. When we see folks like us (sort of) doing stuff like us (sort of) broadcast to the universe, it makes our ridiculously unattainable fantasies seem just a tad more believable, and that feels good. Maybe next week I’ll finally be on the other side of the velvet rope, invited to a Malibu beach party filled with young, unemployable hotties. Probably not, but at least The Hills helped me define that pathetic dream.

It’s no wonder that the cast members are extremely concerned about their post-Hills futures. I remember my friends and I having similar misgivings as college concluded, although we were a few years younger, graduating from an elite university, and well-qualified for any number of respectable occupations.

That said, these pretty idiots will continue to get paid for some time to come, thanks to trust funds and residuals, a true manifestation of the gorgeous inequity of capitalism.

God bless ‘em, every one.

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