Good thing season 1 of The Hills is only 10 episodes, because as usual, we have a LOT to say. We powered through the latter half of the season (and may or may not have taken a sneak peek into Season 2 in the process) of the crew’s first year in L.A.
Brooke, start us off. How did LC’s first year as an LA-er go? On a scale of 1 to 10, how fake is this show? How much are you hating me for making you watch this (also on a scale of 1 to 10, we’re civilized)?
B: I’m pretty positive that absolutely nothing positive happened to LC in the second half of this season. We left her when she was all huffy at Jason for being a real boob at his birthday, we came back to him being mad at her for a dude calling her, having a job where she comes into contact with male models and breathing.
We watched her buy him DIAMOND ENCRUSTED dog tags in the middle of all of this while claiming that their relationship is in a good spot. We watched him nearly break up with her on New Year’s Eve only to be taken back in by his friends and more likely the producers prompting him to make a romantic gesture. We watched him half plan a romantic thing for her birthday and try to force her to go out when all she wanted was to stay in.
We watched all of this and then we watched LC get stars in her eyes when he said he wanted to spend the summer at the beach with her. And that prospect ultimately causes her to turn down a Teen Vogue internship in Paris. I. CAN’T. EVEN. The one thing that could have put a positive spin on her entire year and LC turns her back on it. (But seriously, Whitney probably deserved it more anyway, so at least she got some justice.)
Now, I list all of this for a number of reasons. First, to illustrate the fact that MTV didn’t do a great job of glamorizing her life in LA. Second, to provide context to your second two questions.
Scale of 1 to 10, how fake is this show? I’m going to say a 7 at this point, but it creeps ever upward with each episode. I’m reasonably confident Jason is only making the effort he is is to keep getting a paycheck and funding the vices that are making Lauren so miserable. I said way back in Laguna Beach that I thought Heidi sought Lauren out specifically to get on TV. And though we’ve seen some moments of genuine sweetness and friendship between them, there are still those moments where it’s clear that Heidi is after fame and money.
How much do I hate you for making me watch this? Zero. How much do I hate that I couldn’t rage quite when LC did the dumb thing (as I predicted) and said no to Paris? 9. How curious am I about how much more terrible this is about to get with all the new people we’re going to meet? 7.
Okay. Initial rant over. There are a lot of things we need to look at on a much more granular level. First, let’s talk about Lisa Love and the aloof 30-something named Elodie that Heidi is always calling on the work phone to discuss things. (Thank goodness we have Slack — seriously, how would we snark all day?) We had a lot of conversations about their role in the respective girl’s lives and their potential to fulfill my need for anyone in this universe who puts it out there was plainly as Kristin did with Jessica.
A: Well, when you put it like that, it’s a wonder that LC even stayed a part of this show and/or stayed in LA. There’s some wonkiness with the timeline (How do we go from LC’s birthday in February to “it’s almost summer!” in less than one episode?) for sure, and I’m sure there were good moments along the way that we don’t see: fun nights out with friends, good times with Jason, sunny beach days, an “A” on a test, a compliment from the stone-faced Lisa Love, etc.
Speaking of which, I firmly believe Love’s the only magazine editor on earth to not have a computer at her desk. What exactly does she do if not attached to a screen? The mystery of LL deepens.
I also believe that her encounters with LC and Whitney are among the more scripted, and probably for good reason: she’s a busy (presumably real) editor of a big magazine, has lots of responsibilities and I truly doubt would normally have that much face-time with interns. That’s likely Blaine’s job and/or some other mid-level editor’s. It’s fine, I like that they include her, so I’ll take the script in stride. If we didn’t have Lisa Love, then we would not have the best moment in MTV history. It’s technically a season 2 moment, so we’ll save that for another day, another Required Viewing post.
Yes, it’s completely clear that LC should have gone to Paris. When you’re watching the show without knowledge of Jason’s drug abuse, it feels ludicrous. What 20-year-old woman would NOT go to Paris? Especially one in the fashion industry, who presumably already has aspirations to start her own business? I’d go to Paris even if I was blind, ate no carbs ever and also wore burlap sacks. It’s just a place you need to go at least once in your life. Perhaps LC’s tony upbringing afforded her the opportunity to get to France when she was younger, but still. This had all the trappings of a dream internship. You would work your ass off, but you’d make connections that you simply would not make otherwise. Get it, Whit.
However, with the knowledge that Jason was indeed struggling with drugs and alcohol, certainly putting a huge strain on LC, it makes more sense. Not only did she love him, she was worried about his safety. I think we as women take a lot of responsibility for things we shouldn’t, and this is a prime example. I can imagine she was very, very worried about what would happen, and thought she might be able to actually fix the problems if she stayed in California. Of course she couldn’t, and was destined to fail, but I really don’t fault her for trying. We’ve all tried to change the bad boy, in some form or another.
Heidi’s motivations were clearly to become famous. I think she genuinely cares for LC and is a good friend. She’s a bit flighty, but she’s a good listener, spends good quality time with her roomie, and has her best interests in mind. At least for now. (Cue ominous music.)
Now, a moment with Heidi’s fake-ginger man friend. Heidi and Jordan go from judging LC and Jason’s troubles in one episode as they do weekend laundry together to a 180-move the next. He’s screaming at her and being cruel and she cannot take it anymore. Again, there’s clearly a leap ahead to keep this from being in real time, but the contrast is jarring. Relationships (even when you’re 20) don’t fall apart overnight, and unlike LC and Jason’s issue-plagued go at love, Heidi and Jordan appeared to be in love (jealous a lot, but in love).
Brooke, is there anything remotely of interest when it comes to Audrina? I couldn’t remember one moment that stands out, aside from her super minor involvement in the Male Swimsuit Model Scandal of 2006, as her receptionist job was also the site of the go-see. Boooooorrrriiinnnngggg. We’ll see what happens in the future.
Whitney continues to be my favorite, with Elodie coming in a close second. Also, Brooke, what did you think of the brief introduction of Kelly Cutrone? What kind of role do you think she’ll play (if any) going forward?
I’m glad you don’t hate me for making you watch this. It’s a candy-coated train wreck so I’m glad you’re willing (for now) to come along for the ride.
B: Okay, back to the whole LC-Jason-Paris thing for a minute, because I think we’re coming back around to LC’s fatal flaw. I acknowledge that it’s unfair for me to put this expectation on a girl who grew up with happy parents in an extremely wealthy and privileged corner of the world where people with any kind of issue get whisked away to rehab before the rest of the world can get any real sense of what’s happening.
But, I didn’t grow up in that world, by that point in my life I had known addicts and had seen the toxic nature of that disease and I would have dropped him like a bad habit looooong before Paris ever came up. Yes, young Brooke had a soft spot for emotionally damaged boys (see the Donnie Darko and Heathers installments of this series), but she would have begged LC not to try and save him. LC’s a kind person and we watched her moon after Stephen and try to fix his far less major issues for two seasons of Laguna. We even watched her try to deal with Jason’s at that point in time.
But here’s the disturbing thing. We also watched Jason come back into her circle through a lot of gestures that feel a bit instructed. We watched him be just present enough to film things. We watched Lauren in misery, embarrassed and frustrated by him in social situations. And we know that this is how the producers and creative minds behind this show chose to cut and present the story. From what we can see, they didn’t care that Lauren was in this toxic entanglement, as long as it made for good TV. And as she’s a girl you can’t help but to cheer for, watching her go through them worked for this. And that makes me feel pretty gross. Someone involved should have been human enough to tell Jason he needed help, rather than enabling him through so many MTV-supported social scenarios. They should have told Lauren to protect her heart. And our little sneak peak of season 2 tells me we’re going to have more to say on this topic next time.
But until then… let’s talk about Audrina. The girl still doesn’t register for me at all. She’s less of a presence than Lauren’s seat-filler/body guard. That guy leaves an impression and serves a purpose! For real though, how on earth did she get second billing?
Kelly Cutrone … I have no idea who that is. Remind me just a little bit? Wait, was she the one who was like one of the Alexes or Morgans on Laguna Beach? Help me, I’m poor!
Since I temporarily failed at that question, I will say that I was deeply amused by the reappearance of Jen Bunney. I hope that we’ll be getting more of her in the near future. Preferably along with a full-time return of Lo. I need someone around to make exasperated faces and be terrible at feigning interest in her assigned dining partner for the day.
AM, exactly how many headbands/scarves has LC worn to this point? Did you emulate the look?
A: Brooke! Kelly Cutrone was the briefly seen PR manager who wouldn’t give LC more tickets to the Big Fashion Show until she produced the actual names of the Important Vogue Editors for whom the tickets were intended. It’s ok that you forgot, though, because she wasn’t there long. But she made an impact, I’d argue, i.e. with the line, “Who? I know every Vogue editor.” Kelly don’t take no shit from NO ONE, and I told you when we were watching that she was the feminist hero you need.
I do agree that the Jason situation feels heavily manipulated and choreographed, and poor LC’s emotions are definitely trotted out for our entertainment, as it were. I can’t imagine LC can look back on those episodes at all. I can’t think of a decision I’ve had to make like that, where there’s so many reasons to pick the right choice and you can’t help but make the wrong one. I consider myself lucky.
Anyway, I think LC’s wearing her favorite headbands and head scarves multiple times at this point, with the black leather one making several appearances, along with the bright ’60s inspired print. It’s a cute look, and I for one cannot pull off the last headband look of the season, a head-wrapping white band that I usually wear to wash my face and she wears on the mystery drive. Will it be the airport? Nope, Malibu. We also commented during the watch that she wasn’t really dressed for a long plane ride (strapless dresses and heels have no place on a 15-hour flight) so we should have known from the beginning that she’d be shacking up with Jason. However, Heidi is saying goodbye with lines like “Don’t make any new best friends!” which makes you think she’s going across a giant ocean and could very well find a new Parisian BFF. Mixed misdirection here, but ultimately, she’s dressed for the beach.
I do enjoy me some Bunney hopping in for brief moments in time, and I will give you a bit of a spoiler alert to tell you we will indeed see us some Lo!
Any final thoughts from you, Brooke? Wrap us up!
B: How could I forget Kelly Cutrone?! She was fantastic. I loved that lady. She was getting shit DONE. I sincerely hope she comes back into play. And as much as I want LC to get some traction here, I’m definitely hoping that Cutrone becomes LC’s Newman. A menace who shows up to thwart her at every single turn. It would bring me a lot of joy. I also just want to watch her work, it was really impressive to see her do roughly 87 things at once and still have time to snark at LC. “You’re going to have to move a lot faster than that if you want to make it in this business.” *mic drop*
I’m so glad we get some more Lo in our lives, LC needs allies, and we need to leave this Jason storyline in the dust. I’m ready for the insanity of season two.
But first, it’s my pick. And AM has sportingly agreed to break her NO HORROR MOVIES EVER rule to watch a genre classic, Halloween. I’ve promised her that she won’t be as scared as she thinks, that she will enjoy herself and that she can punch me in the arm every time she curses me for making her watch this movie while we’re watching the movie. Will AM start to love the final girl trope as I do? Will my arm bruise? Will she become a genre enthusiast? Join us next time to find out.
- Required Viewing: Go - June 20, 2017
- Required Viewing: Center Stage: On Pointe - June 8, 2017
- Required Viewing: Sweet/Vicious - May 31, 2017
- Required Viewing: The Saint - May 10, 2017
- Required Viewing: The Hills, Season 3 Part 4 - April 27, 2017
- Required Viewing: Pretty in Pink - April 26, 2017
- Required Viewing: Zodiac - April 13, 2017
- Required Viewing: The Sound of Music - April 7, 2017
- Required Viewing: Mary Poppins - March 27, 2017
- Special 20th Anniversary Required Viewing: Buffy the Vampire Slayer - March 23, 2017