May 23, 2009

guest roundtable: changes on the hills

You may have heard there are big changes afoot on The Hills. LC is taking her leave to be replaced by none other than Kristin Cavallari, her Laguna Beach rival. I was a big Laguna fan, but have to admit never getting into The Hills, so this development hasn't exactly rocked my universe.

However, two guy friends saw this as an opportunity to examine the ramifications for the future of The Hills and Kristin herself. So, I'll let them do the talking.

Guest roundable: Egan and Rob

EGAN: I'm assuming you heard the news about K Cavs' replacing LC on The Hills. My mind is racing with the possibilities: more awkward stepfather Dennis moments, more car breakdowns when she fails to put gas in the car, a triumphant return to Cabo, and--dare I mention it--the return of Stephen? This could turn out to be the best decision Liz Gately ever made.

Let's face it, The Hills is/was starting to get a little stale: There's not even a pretense of friendship among the characters; the show has lost all the spontaneity that came with being a fake reality show; and LC is just plain boring. Yeah, I said it. She spends at least 60% of her time on the couch drinking wine and rolling her eyes. Not to mention working, which is *not* why I tuned in to watch the sequel to Laguna Beach. And let's not forget that the LC-Kristin switch is exactly what they did between season 1 and season 2 of 'Guna, and that resulted in the greatest season vs. season debate of all time.

My thoughts are jumbled. I need to sleep on this, dreaming of Kelly Clarkson montages to come. Welcome back Kristin: Our lives sucked without you.

ROB: Kristin Rulz. On the surface, it sounds like some "out of the box" thinking by the MTV brass. In reality, I think it's a smart, conservative move. Too many MTV shows have been plagued by overproducing good looking people who have the personalities of piles of dirt. If you don't believe me, look no further than The City. That show is unwatchable, this from a person who has the DVD box set of There and Back: Ashley Parker Angel.

Kristin is a proven commodity in the reality TV world - a saucy girl who has a natural gift for drama. SHE DATED MATT LEINART WHEN HE WAS A NOBODY!!! More importantly, this could be the greatest story of redemption since Valerie Bertinelli's return to her bikini weight.

Kristin's had some major flops recently, most notably her unwatchable UPN reality show Get This Party Started. I think it was cancelled after two episodes. To put this in context, more episodes of the XFL ran on the UPN than Get This Party Started.

The obvious snub in all of this is Audrina Patridge. Would've liked to be a fly on the wall when she broke the news to Justin Bobby. I'd imagine his response was probably to laugh in her face and then leave to bone some girls.

EGAN: Agreed on all accounts. I was trying to think about the sports equivalent of this. The best hypothetical I could come up with would be if Kobe left the Lakers and then they brought back Shaq. In both cases its a calculated move to bring back someone with proven entertainment potential rather than try a new direction. And in both cases the protagonists wear thongs. Elephant stripe.

Did you read K Cavs quotes about coming on the show? She reminds us multiple times that it's "just a TV show" and even speculates about what setups the MTV producers might be planning for her character. On one hand, I'm thankful she blew the lid on The Hills "reality" status. On the other hand, I think she's being modest about her undisputed talent for making well-produced TV programming seem real. I'll go to my grave believing Laguna was at least 80% real, and Kristin's believable stupidity was a major part of that. The girl is magic infront of (well-placed, hidden) cameras and (high-powered, ultra-receptive distance) microphones.

Need proof? The "handoff" of the Hills supposedly occurs at Heidi's wedding to Spencer. KRISTIN CATCHES THE BOUQUET!!!! Explain that.

ROB: I'll counter Kobe-Shaq with this: Ken Griffey Jr. "Mr. Reliable" (reliable for chronic hamstring injuries) comes back to Seattle to finish his career. The Mariner's front office can't expect great things out of him, but if nothing else he's guaranteed to fill seats and sell some jerseys (both current and retro).

But I digress, because this is a TV blog about The Hills. Based on my experience, we're talking 85/15 female-male. It'll be an interesting season finale, that's for sure. Are viewers expected to believe that Kristin would actually be invited to Speidi's wedding? I mean, unless somehow the redheaded kid with the mohawk from Laguna Beach that invited KC to the prom somehow remained friends with Heidi (or maybe his parents are friends of the family's) AND he was still in contact with Kristin AND he had the courage to ask her to a formal event again, it's unbelievable to think that she should be at that wedding.

Has MTV taken this "reality" show to unreal lengths? Will viewers finally tune out? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on any potential Laguna Beach characters returning to The Hills, ala Lo Bosworth. Something tells me Trey, what with his liberal arts degree from Bard College in the depths of a global recession, might just have some extra time on his hands.

EGAN: You read my mind. I think if Kristin has anything to say about it, LC's friends in LaLa land are in for a rude awakening. Sure they'll keep Brody Jenner around for 2 episodes so Kristin can perform her seduce/hook up/dump ritual a la Species. From a literary standpoint, this will serve as the passing of the venerial torch from LC to Kristin. After that, I bet Liz Gately green-lights a full housecleaning.

Lo was always a personal favorite and the perfect foil to LC, but let's face it: there's no need for such plot nuances in K-Cav's Hills. Bosworth doesn't stand a chance. I think the producers will keep Audrina around based on her fan appeal (she posed nude), but by the end of the season she'll have been edged out and they'll be running a separate story-line about her on-again/off-again relationship with Shannon Leto. Other than that, anything's fair game. Which is exactly what's getting me through the day.

In no particular order, here are my top 5 Laguna Alums that I expect/want to make appearances on The Hills now that Kristin's running the show:
  1. Stephen - one of the greatest reality show leads of our time
  2. Alex H. (NOT Alex M.)
  3. Polster - famously yelled "this is the biggest thing since Women's liberation!!!" at one of Trey's ambiguous cause fundraiser concerts. This guy has major untapped reality show potential
  4. Talan Torriero- if his budding music career permits
  5. The Mormon girl from first season who applies to only one college (BYU) and is crushed when she finds out, on national TV, that she didn't get in. The world's been waiting for an update on that one. Et tu?
ROB: If I could:
  1. Stephen - Agreed. My judgement on his true character might be clouded by his performance in Laguna, but the guy's a class act. And by that, I mean that he will toy with any girl's emotions for the sake of the TV show.
  2. The Mormon Sisters - Always thought this family would make an interesting reality show.
  3. Talan Torriero - The only reason I'm not putting him higher on this list is because he's already made a bit of a name for himself on the pages of gossip rags. I'm afraid of what his presence on the show could bring, notably, Nicole Sherzinger. Once we get a member of the Pussycat Dolls as a recurring character, it completely changes the dynamics of the show. On a side note, I'm pretty sure they broke up three years ago.
  4. The New Girl - Remember the new girl in season three who lived in that ridiculously nice house? There was something a little off about her. During the graduation ceremony they briefly showed her parents. Her mom was pushing 40 (with a lot of work done) and her dad was a ghostly 95 years young. At the time I did some research into them and it was an odd story, yet one that I don't remember. Point is, I'd like some follow up.
  5. Alex H. - I always thought she was one of the hotter girls on Laguna Beach, although is probably about 7 inches taller than me in real life.
And now we wait.


Post a Comment