October 9, 2007
i read that tonight’s episode of “the hills” was a mid-season clip show and while i think clip shows raise some interesting conceptual issues, even i am not an obsessive enough fan to review a clip show. if there was anything of interest in the episode or any new content that you, dear readers, think I should be aware of, please leave a comment and let me know.
fan fiction is an important way for fans to interact with shows that they like. it is not something that i am particularly interested in doing, but i will try most things once and so i have written some plot summaries of episodes which do not exist. like all fan fiction, i think it fails because it’s trying to be something it’s not. or maybe i just wanted to make a grand pronouncement about something i know nothing about. anyway, because music is so important to the effects of “the hills,” i have appended a playlist, which you can download if you so desire (type in the security letters and hit enter, then wait for the counter to count down at the bottom of the page and click “free download”).
Episode 10 – Sex Tape
1. “Dancing on The Ceiling” – Frank Sinatra
2. “I Am Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You” – Jens Lekman
3. “Post-War” – M. Ward
Heidi and Spencer have decided for date night to go one of those restaurants where you eat in complete darkness. You can see a producer at the edge of the frame, visibly pissed off, as they enter the restaurant. For the rest of the episode, their scenes are blacked out. You occasionally hear Heidi say things like, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know that was your hand,” and “I don’t like foie gras.”
“Dancing on the Ceiling” plays as Lauren makes lasagna for Brody Jenner at her apartment. Audrina comes out of her bedroom and they chat about how excited Lauren is to be having a boy over and et cetera. Audrina reveals that Justinbobby’s band is doing well and may soon be signed by a major label. When she sleeps over he reads her lyrics from a moleskine notebook and then they drink absinthe. “You drink what?” Lauren says, checking the lasagna, but just then the bell rings. It’s Brody! Audrina makes herself scarce.
As they eat, Lauren receives a text message from her friend, D.X. Mack, who is a club promoter. It says “ask broD bout sex tape.” Lauren ignores it for a moment, but then asks Brody, “So what do you know about these sex tape rumors?” Brody looks down at his plate for a second and swallows, then says that there’s something he has to tell Lauren. Lauren puts her hand over his. “What is it, Brody? You can tell me,” she says, “really.” “Well, maybe I should show you,” he says. He pulls a DVD out of his man-purse and slips it into her DVD player.
It is hardcore pornography in which Lauren and Jason are having dirty, dirty sex. “I NEVER made a tape. YOU put up CAMERAS in my BEDROOM, you PERV!” Lauren says, with her trademark angry word elongation and stress. “No, no,” says Brody, “it’s not you, you know that’s not you.” He explains that he held a casting and found doubles for Lauren and Jason and used them to film the DVD during the first season of “The Hills.” He says that if Lauren will just say to the press that it’s really her, people will be so intrigued that the DVD will make millions. He offers her a hundred thousand dollars to go along with the scheme. “I’m not stupid,” Lauren says, “so unless you want to give me some points on the back end, you can get the hell out of my house.” He leaves.
“Post-War” plays. In tears, Lauren calls Lo and tells her that Brody Jenner is a big jerk and a totally lame boy. Lo comes over and they watch the movie “Can’t Hardly Wait” in sweatpants, drinking appletinis and eating chocolate covered popcorn.
Episode 11 – Theoretical Girls
4. “Toner” – Cornelius
5. “Infinity Girl” – Stereolab
6. “Advice to Medics” – Sun Ra
At the Teen Vogue offices, Lisa Love has installed large portraits of her face over the girls’ desks, ala Mao. It is the night that the December issue is set to close. Whitney is working hard – typing, making phone calls, et cetera. Lauren is playing a Flash game where she has to beat a kangaroo at boxing. An ad pops up on her screen – “Heidi or Lauren, what team are you?” Lauren clicks the button under her own face. Her computer screen goes black. Whitney screams. Her computer has crashed as well. How will they get the issue out on time?! As they freak out about what to do, the copier begins to hum, louder and louder. Lauren opens the lid and, in a flash of light, she and Whitney are sucked inside.
Meanwhile Spencer and Heidi have a fight at the recording studio, where she is working on her album. Spencer has paid Slash, previously of Guns n’ Roses, a significant amount of money to cut a guest guitar solo on one of her songs. When Slash shows up for the recording, Heidi is angry because she says her music isn’t the kind of music that needs a guitar solo and Spencer says that any music is improved by the addition of a guitar solo and he has paid a significant amount of money to procure the service of Slash. He makes some guitar solo noises with his mouth to illustrate how awesome a guitar solo would be. They yell back and forth, Slash standing between them eating some mixed raw vegetables from craft service, until Heidi bursts into tears and runs out the door.
“Toner” plays as Lauren and Whitney materialize in a mutant version of the Virtual Hills. It is kind of like “Tron,” but with lots of palm trees. In the sky above them is the giant disembodied head of Alex H. from Laguna Beach, which opens its pixelated mouth and spits fireballs at them. Lauren and Whitney run for their lives. All around them are digital copies of models from the magazine, advancing like very well dressed zombies. Lauren and Whitney don’t know what to do. Then they find a glowing box on the ground. Inside is a magic paintbrush and a magical stapler. Whitney points the paintbrush at one of the models and realizes that she can use her well-honed Photoshop skills to retouch the girls into disgusting hags. Lauren realizes she can use her well-honed skill at stapling things to staple the girls to death. “Infinity Girl” plays as they valiantly fight off the hordes.
In the real world, Heidi sits in a coffee shop, crying, mainlining pastry, and staring at her phone. Finally she breaks down and calls Lauren – the number is still 1 on her speed dial, she just never uses it. The phone rings and rings, but Lauren is still in the computer world and all Heidi gets is her voicemail. Heidi sighs and whispers something incomprehensible, which subtitles tell us is “I needed you, Lauren.” She drives back to Spencer’s condo as the guitar solo to “November Rain” plays. In a wide shot, we see Spencer open the door. Slash is beside him, his arm around Spencer’s shoulder. They all have a group hug, Slash’s long black ringlets hanging over Heidi’s back.
Heidi and Lauren fly through the air Matrix style to attack the giant disembodied head of Alex H. As “Advice to Medics” plays, the mutant Virtual Hills explodes in brilliant, shimmering color, not unlike certain shades of Revlon lipstick. Back in the Teen Vogue offices, Lauren and Heidi fly out of the copy machine and land on the carpet, holding each other. In front of them is a fully laid-out, fact checked, and edited glossy copy of the December issue of Teen Vogue. They both smile. Problem solved!
Episode 12/13 – White Gurl (Hour Long Diversity Special)
7. “White Gurl” – E-40
8. “Where I’m From” – Digable Planets
9. “Change Clothes” – Jay-Z
10. “People Get Ready” – Curtis Mayfield
Lisa Love calls Whitney and Lauren into her office. Inside, they find her wearing a baseball cap cocked to the side and an oversized Lakers jersey. A large gold chain hangs around her neck and there is a Warhol-ish print of Tupac hanging behind her. She tells the girls that Teen Vogue is doing an “urban fashion issue, bitches,” and that she is shipping them to see some real authentic black people in Harlem. That night, while packing, Lauren, Whitney, and Audrina watch the episodes of “Friends” with Aisha Tyler in them, taking careful notes.
Frightening shots of decidedly un-gentrified urban environs, set to “White Gurl.” Lauren and Whitney walk the streets, close together, Lauren’s right hand in her clutch, clutching a tiny pink can of mace. Lots of expressionist canted camera angles and jump cuts. As they wander, trying to find their hotel, the girls notice a hooded figure in all black following them. They quicken their pace and so does the hooded figure. The girls begin to run, but, confused and disoriented, they end up in a stereotypical dark alley. The hooded figure approaches them and they cower in the corner, Lauren’s finger on the trigger of the mace. The figure pulls back the hood to reveal…a lovely girl with beautiful blemish-free-nonthreatening-milk-chocolate skin and lustrous, well-conditioned auburn hair! It’s Teen Vogue NY intern Keisha! “What a funny misunderstanding,” Lauren says, hand still on the mace. Whitney runs her hands through Keisha’s hair over and over. “It’s so smooth,” she says.
Enthusiastic “Save the Last Dance”/”Bring it On” style montage set to “Where I’m From.” Keisha takes the girls all around town. Keisha, Whitney and Lauren eat fried chicken and collard greens at a greasy soul food restaurant, Whitney getting crumbs all over herself, Lauren wrinkling her nose at the smell of Black & Milds. The girls tour “urban” boutiques, taking lots of Polaroids and trying on fun and unique clothes. Lauren gets dreadlocks, which she says is something she has always wanted to do. They sit beside Spike Lee at a Knicks game. It is the best day ever! But then they see a flier for a “personal appearance by Heidi Montag to promote her new single ‘Body Language’.”
At the club where Heidi is to perform, the girls guzzle free drinks. Heidi comes out in a really slutty top and the club is buzzing in anticipation. She hears the beat start and nervously begins to sing. However, the DJ has cued Paris Hilton’s “Stars are Blind” instead of “Body Language” and the incongruity of her lip synching quickly becomes obvious. The crowd boos and Spencer appears with a blond fu manchu mustache and walks Heidi offstage. Cut to intern Keisha at the DJ booth, whispering in his ear. “Change Clothes” begins and the floor clears. A spotlight opens up on Whitney. She dances her heart out, busting incredible and improbable yet authentic moves as Lauren cheers from the sidelines and says “You go, girl!” It is kind of like that Soul Train scene in “Charlie’s Angels.”
The next morning. The instrumental intro to “People Get Ready” plays over establishing shots of a service at a historical black church, Lauren and Whitney in shiny choral robes, clapping. The girls sit at a prayer breakfast with Al Sharpton. Over waffles, they promise that when they get back to L.A, they will devote the remainder of the season to battling racism and economic inequality. After the breakfast, the entire cast of “The Hills” links hands with the entire cast of “Baldwin Hills” on a picturesque grassy knoll. Through careful use of filters and color correction, the skin tone of all the stars is averaged, so that they all look like one big upper-middle-class family. The camera rack focuses from them in the background to a small black girl and a small white girl playing in a sandbox. None of this will ever be mentioned again.
Episode 14 – L.A. Woman
11. “L.A. Woman” – The Doors
12. “Death Trip” – The Stooges
13. “The Sun is Still Sunny” – Dean and Britta
Episode opens with a long montage of Audrina, in black leather, hair spiked, riding on the back of Justinbobby’s motorcycle. All of this set, obviously, to “LA Woman.”
At the Teen Vogue offices, Lauren tells Whitney that she’s worried about Audrina. “Why are you worried?” Whitney asks, chewing a giant wad of gum. Lauren tells Whitney that she noticed a weird burnt smell coming from Audrina’s room and she opened the door and Audrina was sitting inside a circle of candles with her eyes rolled back in her head, chanting, and that there was this design painted in pink on her wall, “you know, one of those stars with a circle around it that badly dressed kids in high school drew on their notebooks.” Whitney agrees that this sounds troubling and says she’ll go with Lauren to Justinbobby’s band’s concert that night.
That night. Justinbobby’s band, Tenth Circle of Hell, is playing at the Roxy! Lauren and Whitney are supposed to be on the guest list, but that jerk left them off at the last minute, but they get in anyway. Justinbobby’s band is playing so loud that our girls have to stick their fingers in their ears. They go to get drinks and find Audrina dancing topless on the bar and wearing really trashy looking black lipstick. When she sees them, she is so happy and kneels down on the bar and her right boob hits Whitney in the eye, bruising it slightly. “That’s not COOL, Audrina,” Lauren says, “it’s not COOL to drink so MUCH and worship SATAN and hit Whitney in the EYE with your BOOB! And this is all because of the BAD INFLUENCE of JustinBOBBY!” Audrina, surprisingly eloquent despite being wasted, says, “You have real issues with men, Lauren, and I think you should see a licensed therapist who can maybe help you work through some of them in a productive way.” Then she dives off the end of the bar and crowd surfs to the stage, where she makes out like whoah with Justin Bobby, smearing the black lipstick all over their faces. Lauren and Whitney leave in disgust. They go back to Lauren’s apartment and watch the movie “Can’t Hardly Wait” in sweatpants, drinking mojitos and eating guacamole.
At 3 A.M. Lauren gets a text message from Audrina: “sick need help.” Audrina doesn’t say where she is, but, luckily, Lauren has GPS locators installed in the phones of all her close friends. In her pajamas, she drives to the mansion the band rented with their record company advance. The door is unlocked and, after some tip-toeing around the wrecked house, she finds Audrina sleeping on top of a white grand piano in a puddle of her own vomit. “Oh Audrina,” Lauren says, shaking her head.
The next morning, “The Sun is Still Sunny” plays over establishing shots of Audrina crashed out on the couch, the sun streaming in through the windows. Lauren brings her some weak tea and dry toast and they sit sipping and eating. “Gosh, I don’t know how I let Justinbobby let me get involved with a Satanic drug cult,” Audrina says. Lauren pats her on the head. “It’s OK, Audrina,” she says, “all that matters is that you’re okay and that you’ll never see Justinbobby ever ever again. Ever.”
There is a closing montage of them painting over the pink pentagram on the wall with a nice eggshell color.
Episode 15 – The Girl Who Didn’t Go to Paris (But Then Did)
14. “L’anamour” – Serge Gainsbourg
15. “L’appareil A Sous” – Brigitte Bardot
16. “Nostalgie” – Erik Satie
17. “The Park” – Feist
Lisa Love calls Whitney and Lauren into her office. Inside, they find her wearing a beret and a vintage Chanel dress and smoking a Gitane. “L’anamour” plays softly in the background. An elegant string of pearls hangs around her neck and there is a print of a Cartier-Bresson photo of a baguette flying through the air on the wall. She tells them that Teen Vogue is doing a “French Fashion issue, mademoiselles” and that she is shipping them off to see some real authentic French people in Paris. That night, while packing, Lauren, Whitney, and Audrina watch the episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie goes to Paris, taking careful notes.
“L’appareil A Sous” plays over a montage of French landmarks. Lauren and Whitney are so excited. They get to the Teen Vogue office and Whitney immediately begins speaking fluent French. Lauren taps her on the shoulder says, “Hey Whit, how about speaking some English, or, like, introducing me or something.” Whitney gives her a perplexed look and says “Excusez moi?”, then turns back to her French friends. Lauren blushes and pretends to examine her nails. Whitney and her friends leave the office and Lauren trails behind them.
There is a montage of Lauren being awkward and not fitting in in Paris. She asks for a non-smoking table at a cafe and gets laughed at. She tries to buy an eclair and is handed a baguette. Other funny and embarrassing things which highlight cultural differences happen. She window shops at all the boutiques but is afraid to actually go inside.
“Nostalgie” plays as she lies on her bed in the Teen Vogue apartment. Alone, she stares out the window, at the rain. It is French rain, which makes it even more sad. She watches the episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie goes to Paris and realizes how similar her situation is to Carrie’s. She does some free writing in her notebook about this connection.
When the rain stops, she walks through a park. It is damp and the sky is gray. “The Park” plays to stress the fact that she is feeling melancholy and is in a park. She sits down at a small cafe and orders a cafe au lait. Suddenly, a familiar face passes in her peripheral vision. “Jason!” she yells, but he doesn’t stop. She flings a few Euros onto the table and runs after him. He’s walking fast and the street is crowded. She catches him and grabs his shoulder.
“Jason,” she says, as he turns around, “what are you doing here?” She can’t believe it’s him, she can’t believe he came to Paris.
“Excusez moi?” he says, with a perfect French accent, “Jason? I am Phillipe”
He looks exactly like Jason. “Sorry,” she says, sighing, “you look just like someone I know.”
“Ah, oui?” he says. “It is serendipity.”
“Oh my god, I love that movie,” she says.
They have coffee and she falls in love with him. He is exactly like Jason but with a French accent to mask his stupidity and French cultural mores to explain his infidelity. But, alas, she lives in The Hills and also films a highly rated TV show there, so, after she and Phillipe share one passionate kiss at the top of the Eiffel tower, Lauren and Whitney fly back to L.A. On the plane, Lauren cries her eyes out on Whitney’s shoulder. She says that if she could just be the girl who stayed in Paris, she wouldn’t have to cry any more. Whitney coaxes her to sleep by reading “The Devil Wears Prada” aloud in a warm and soothing tone of voice.
October 3, 2007
lauren – the notebook – standard girl crying movie, fitting for lauren’s status as sort of “everygirl” narrator, a status she is self-conscious of (“i know it’s not very original”). “i remember i was watching it in my apartment alone and i felt like a really big loser.”
heidi – armageddon – mass market bruckheimer explosion movie, which heidi admits to having seen many times. heidi is in a relationship- probably this is also (or solely) a favorite of spencer’s. “i know i’ve seen it, i know what happens, but it’s still just as sad.”
audrina – disturbia – teen psych thriller, echoes of hitchcock and faux-edginess of title underline audrina’s psychological issues w/re:to justinbobby and choices w/re:to eye makeup. “i cried when the car accident happened.”
whitney – click – the adam sandler movie. strange, completely apropos of whitney’s intense idiosyncracies. “i got so sad when he messed up his life with the clicker.”
October 3, 2007
October 2, 2007
[splashcast KRGC4481UC CKDF1975PG]
- spencer, a star? whatever you think of his black, black heart, he killed in that climactic scene at don antonio’s, under the tarnished, dying sun. his eyes! my god! the way that, because of the highlights catching in them, you could see the slightest movements of his pupils as they tracked over heidi’s face, barely holding back the tears.
- that scene was a total continuation of the swapped parody of traditional gender roles thing i was talking about two weeks ago. heidi, the businesswoman, has to leave the anniversary dinner to go to work and spencer, the househusband, is upset (“i say it’s rude to answer the phone at anniversary dinners.”) and has an emotional outburst (she says “i love you,” he says “no you don’t”). i love this costume for heidi. where is the chewed up stogie in the corner of her mouth? when will she start complaining about her ulcer and knocking back double scotches when she gets back to the condo at night?
- it’s great how heidi is shot at bolthouse, always through the door of her office. it’s claustrophobic, it emphasizes how isolated she is from everyone and how out of place she is. simple but effective.
- fascinating how people in “the hills” can’t seem to tear their eyes away from their computer screens while conducting dramatic scenes in a television show. you see it most often at teen vogue with whitney and lauren (whitney makes a fetish of it, almost), but it’s also in heidi’s scene with brent bolthouse in this episode. when she does it in that scene, it’s like the equivalent of a sixth-grader smacking gum or something.
- lauren, as always, works wonders with her operatic eye movements. notice at the end of her scene with frankie, when he’s trying to convince her to hook up with brody jenner. the whole scene, she’s been projecting this mask of like “oh, you’re full of shit, frankie, whatever.” then he breaks through the armor. her first look is this head tilt with an imploring upwards full-eyed stare. then there’s a cut, and in the next shot, her eyes are to the right, as if she’s accessing her memories of brody and processing this new information, trying to filter out truth. then she closes her eyes and when she flips them back open, she looks at frankie for a second, one last question mark to his intentions, and then she looks out the window as she sips her drink, fantasizing about the possibilities.
- brody jenner is decent on “the hills,” though he’s no justinbobby. he’s having to play a kind of good guy here, but i think he probably defaults to more of an asshole. i liked his aborted fox reality show “the princes of malibu” in which he and his rich brother did fun and wasteful rich guy things to fuck with his rich dad. it was formulaic, but fun. (ed: whoah, i totally didn’t realize that the spencer who was brody jenner’s loser friend on “princes of malibu” was actually spencer from “the hills”. trippy. maybe more on this in the future)
- the scene with elodie and heidi was interesting on a number of levels. like for example, elodie’s line “so you want me to cover for you” is obviously looped. now, if she’s really a person that hates heidi, can you imagine what it would feel like for her to have to take time out of her day to go rerecord this looping? standing in the recording booth, fuming. maybe the producers have even scheduled heidi to record right before her, so as elodie is smoking a last nervous cigarette outside the building, heidi walks out in her sunglasses and they have a terse exchange.
- and i continue to get this “six characters in search of an author” style meta-drama from elodie. it’s not like she hates heidi the person, it’s like she hates heidi the character. she plots to mess up plots. when she goes “duh duh duh,” when heidi walks in, it’s like she’s trying to insert her own music cue.
- even though the elodie plot twist was stupid and fake(how did heidi, who has a management position at this small company, not know that an employee was quitting) it was necessary and the end result (the scene with spencer at don antonios) was totally worth it. in the previews, lauren talks about how she needs friends with “less drama”, and it’s interesting to think about the multiple meanings of that word. because the person lauren needs friends with less drama, but, of course, the character doesn’t. while i would be happy watching an episode of the hills that’s just lauren and whitney going to the grocery store and buying groceries, i think most people need the drama. the hills is successful because it’s one-half this fascinating discovery channel nature documentary about young rich kids and it’s one-half this crack-like addictive soap opera, with simple and obvious but powerful storytelling.
- the editing in the “introducing vegas” montage felt too self conscious to me. cutting with the descending bassline of the song? i don’t know. although i probably wouldn’t have put a song about las vegas in an episode about las vegas (except maybe that old tearjerker “leaving las vegas” for some slight irony ala the piano ballad version of “girls just wanna have fun” in the season two premiere)
- i liked the way lauren kissing brody was handled. it’s like i’ve said, the way the “hills” aesthetic represents things is different than anything else in film or television. in the beginning, there are these close-ups of lauren and brody doing faces, like the way chimpanzees slap themselves before mating. then there’s a short shot of audrina watching, which is so realistic and true. then the cut back to a close-up of lauren, alone in the frame with the flashing lights. as she turns her head, the look on her face starts to turn, as, off-frame, brody puts his arm around her neck. and the resulting kiss fills the frame and it’s awkward, all we can really see is hair, but that adds to the veneer of the real. then the next shot is this completely left-field medium shot of lauren’s back, which is notable because you see the muscles in brody’s forearm flex as he pulls lauren in. then back to the previous shot, where lauren is looking down, squinting and touching her nose. then back to audrina, who is like “well, as a viewer of this show i was really waiting for that to happen” and then back to lauren, who is staring into brody’s eyes and it’s notable because besides this big smile and wide eyes, she’s not doing any of her face acting histrionics, she’s still.
- and the choices lauren makes, like the way she plays with her cup in the final scene with brody, holding it on his stomach as if it’s going to rest there all night because he’s stable, then deciding to put it somewhere else.
- there was no whitney in this episode. bullshit
- part of the problem with discussing the nature of performance on the hills is that there’s not a good lexicon and i am constantly having to attach qualifiers to the things that i saw. i am thinking of some compounds i would like to coin, including faukward (faux-akward) and fauthentic (you get it). i got this idea from the delightful slang usage of “britney” in this episode (“i just saw lo’s britney.”).
- poor jill. i’m sure she’s absolutely a lovely person, but if people even noticed her, she’s going to go down in history as lauren’s ugly friend. i wonder if she watched the show with her friends and family, what they said? did they silently eat popcorn and look at each other for positive encouraging things to say? she isn’t even named until the second scene she appears in, like she’s not important enough to be named right away! and when she is named, she’s off to the side of the frame; the camera’s focus is obviously not on her. i am working on a piano ballad called “all the ugly people in the world should be shot.” it is really upbeat and peppy.
- speaking of types (“the ugly friend”), i see lo really coming into her type as that sort of “mom” girl in the group, you know, the one who plans stuff (“okay, first bet, first bet. the first person to make justinbobby smile…wins!”) and is always trying to get everybody excited for things and then takes it really badly when things go wrong. usually when an actor is playing to type that’s bad, because they’re not doing anything we haven’t seen a thousand times. but lo is great because she’s using specifics to reveal what is universal (like drunk lauren hitting on the british guy). she’s doing what we’ve seen a thousand times, but instead of making it look like the thousandth time, she’s making it look like all of the thousand times added together and then divided by a thousand. i’m not good at math.
- though the looping of lo’s lines at the pool was crazy. it’s like they didn’t even treat the sound to try to to make it like it was recorded outside. maybe the editors think that if they continue to be more and more bold with their looping, it will just become natural, we’ll stop noticing, eventually the show can be like that fellini myth, where the actors just say “1, 2, 3, 4” and all the dialogue is added later.
- the revolving bed was really underused as a staging device. it should have been going through the entire “justinbobby hates us!” scene, with the cameramen in an arc around the bed, catching this rotating tableaux. but then lo might have puked, so i guess i understand.
- i thought that the season was about to end and i was really palm-sweat panicked about it. i had planned a whole week of activities like a second grade teacher, and then like any idiot i googled my concern and found out that there are 9 episodes left. my hands have stopped shaking.
- in other breaking news from that three month old press release, ‘kaya’! from the previews, i think tony di santo, who is otherwise a fucking genius, is really wrong about this show, which is listed in the press release as a “pet project.” it looks dated and bad and the lead is not that good looking or talented seeming. the actors play things so big when compared to the subtlety of the hills; it looks like bad community theater. the promo for it i saw tonight had stepped back from proudly describing it (with bold text and a voice-over) as “m.t.v.’s new scripted drama” to simply calling it (no voice-over) “m.t.v.’s new show,” which is at least a baby step in the right direction. as if the audience for “the hills” wants to watch a scripted drama. maybe have the lead actress get caught doing a couple of bumps in the bathroom of area and get some real life drama going, some buzz. the promo for the tila tequila show was incredible, though. the other show i am most looking forward to is “pageant place.”
in the player is my cover of “imitation of life” by r.e.m. i have never been a huge r.e.m. fan although my favorite episode of that ‘iconoclasts’ show on sundance was definitely the one with michael stipe and mario batali. there’s a great, absurd shot of the two of them riding on batali’s vespa, stipe either putting his arms around batali’s rotundity or maybe nervously hanging on to the back (one time i rode stoned up a steep hill on the back of vespa trying to hold onto the back because i didn’t want to look gay and i don’t know if i’ve ever been so scared). i like how nervous michael stipe seems during the whole thing, there’s a part where he’s sweating in the back of a limo and it’s like he’s in a teen movie on his way to pick up his prom date. it’s really endearing. and there’s a scene in a pretentious indie record store where he is awkwardly shopping for CDs and he’s talking to pretentious indie record clerk and he looks awkward and uncomfortable and i have felt exactly that feeling. anyway, this is the one r.e.m. song that i really love. i know there is some cryptic ambiguity to the lyrics about the nature of celebrity and the cost of fame and the fleeting joy of the hollywood experience but really all i hear is the major key chorus and the hooks. this is my attitude about a lot of things – all i (want to) hear is the hooks.
p.s. i broke down and bought the ‘us weekly’ with the heidi interview at the supermarket. i stuck it under a bag of dog food like it was porn. i wanted the ‘seventeen’ interview with lauren more but i was not prepared for the look i thought i might get for buying ‘seventeen’. anyway the rest of the interview was not that great at all, they really excerpted the good things on the website. there was one good answer, when ‘us weekly’ asked “Does Spencer like your bigger chest?” and she says “I think any guy would be excited! He was like, “I loved you before and you looked great before, and I love you now and you look great now.” what a diplomat. there were also several unsubtle pictures of her boobs.