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STUDIO: MTV
MSRP: $19.99
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 220 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
• The Bitch is Back featurette
• After Show Remixes
• Deleted Scenes












The Pitch


Those people from The Soup in their own spin-off.

The Humans

Kristin Cavallari, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Stephanie Pratt, Brody Jenner, Justin Brescia, Lo Bosworth.

The Nutshell

Following the departure of series regular Lauren Conrad, The Hills: Season 5 Part 2 picks up with the reintroduction of Laguna Beach‘s Kristin Cavallari. Kristin’s return sends shock waves through The Hills community. Elsewhere Spencer and Heidi return from their honeymoon and try to adjust to married life. Justin-Bobby grows a beard.

The Lowdown


Say what you will about reality TV, it’s explosion in popularity has certainly defined the current generation of television programming almost as much as the serialized drama. Of all the pseudo-documentary shows out there, The Hills is either the most beloved, or the most hated, depending on which side of the couch you’re sitting on. Most of my knowledge of this series came from the snippets I used to see weekly on The Soup, or from what I would over hear the girls I hang out with talking about at the bar on the weekends. Honestly I could never quite wrap my head around how any of this stuff was even supposed confused as “reality”. Once two people enter a room with a camera crew all semblance of normality should go right the fuck out the window. The Hills: Season Five Part Two has shown me that yes, there is still some “reality” left in this type of television and no, the show is undeserving of the venom it’s so richly lavished in by it’s detractors.



I’m sure a scene like this would’ve never happened between two straight girls at a bar had TV cameras not been present.


If there was a shark to be jumped with this show, The Hills: Season 5 Part 2 would be the point at which it was jumped. Series regular Lauren Conran left the show after finally having enough of the drama and bullshit that comes with having every aspect of your life documented by MTV, and was replaced with Laguna Beach (the show The Hills was originally a spin-off of) star Kristin Cavallari. The focus of the show shifted from “young girls making their way in the fashion industry” to the Audrina/Kristin/Justin-Bobby love triange. Spencer and Heidi also took on a much larger role trying to navigate their way through the pitfalls of being newlyweds. Throw in a trip to Vegas and Heidi’s sister Holly developing a most excellent drinking problem and that’s season 5 part 2 in a nutshell. There’s only 10 episodes here and at 20 minutes a pop so time flies.

Much has been made about how much of this show is real and how much is staged. It’s both. In episode 2 Kristin and Justin-Bobby are at a club with several cast members. Editing would have you believe the club is populated with several Hills regulars, including Justin-Bobby’s ex Audrina. As the episode draws to a close the music swells and Kristin and Justin-Bobby start making out in the DJ both. Right before the credits roll we’re treating to a montage of reaction shots from other Hills members overlooking the whole scene, including Audrina. Then episode 3 starts with another girl having breakfast with Audrina, telling her about the kiss. Audrina is shocked and sickened to hear this the morning after…because she wasn’t there. Episode 2 lied, or at least was edited misleadingly. Did the kiss happen? Yes. Did it happen like they portrayed it, under those exact circumstances with all parties present? No. I hope y’all caught that because I’m not doing any more play by play examples of this shit. It makes my fucking head hurt.

But that right there is the line the show straddles. Things are editing for effect, and having a camera crew in the room will always cause people to act differently then how they would in complete privacy, but things like infidelity and heartbreak are real enough in everyday life to where they don’t need to be staged. The Hills is best when it captures that. People behaving badly. You don’t need to be rich and famous to understand Brody Jenner’s frustration toward his Playboy Playmate girlfriend Jayde. She’s high maintenance. Every dated a high maintenance chick before? They’re all the same, bunny or no bunny. Ever had someone get with your ex? Ever had an ex use you for sex? This kinda stuff is the crux of the show and is why it was so beloved at the time. It’s why all reality shows are popular. Take people that on the surface live way differently than you, and show how alike we all really are. A family of midgets is still a family. Same rules still apply.

Spencer and Heidi are a completely different story…



Fail


Their “plotline” reeks of bullshit. At one point Heidi attempts to trick Spencer into impregnating her. He stumbles onto her plan and a chess match between Aryan mongoloids ensues. It’s no accident these two became the face of the show, as they tend to act the most sensational. All human drama elements go right out the fucking window and you suddenly start hating these people for being rich and living in LA. It’s a shame too, because the rest of the cast and story really do manage to shake off that “rich white kids” vibe. I’m firmly convinced that you could take all non-Speidi elements of the show, transport them to Minneapolis, and have the kids work in bars and play in bands and the counter-culture demographic would eat that shit up. The dudes on The Hills all have beards and wear trucker hats anyway, you’d just have to Betty Page up the chicks a bit and they’d be a perfect fit. Spencer and Heidi take the show from “I know what he/she is going through” into “I can’t believe he/she just said/did that!” territory. Ultimately I think that’s why the show failed. The Hills would see just one more abbreviated season after this, and you get the feeling it was Spencer and Heidi’s shenanigans that signed the death certificate.

The Hills is not the worst thing in the world. It’s not humanity at it’s lowest. These people do not deserved to be slaughtered. Whether or not you find it entertaining it based on personal taste. I hate to use the line “you already know if you’re into this or not” but if there’s ever an instance where it’s applicable this is it. The Hills is the 800lb gorilla of reality TV, and it holds that title for a reason. Strip away the classism and your feelings about LA and you have a show about kids in their early 20’s acting like idiots, drinking and fucking too much, and being horrible to one another. Either you can relate or you can’t. It’s entertainment value is directly proportionate to how you spent your youth.


SoCal male model or Midwestern ‘Bright Eyes’ enthusiast? Here’s a hint; he rides his bike everywhere.


The Package

There’s a decent amount of special features here, with varying degrees of relevancy. The deleted scenes are boring and add little insight to the show. It’s interesting to consider though that if this show is truly being shot as a documentary, there should be literally hundreds of hours of this crap lying around. Why they picked these 10 three minutes clips is beyond me.The Bitch is Back featurette is basically just an interview with Kristin Cavallari on The Hills After Show just prior to this seasons premier. Lo Bosworth and Frankie Delgado also make an appearance and it’s funny to see how awkward these folks are on live television. They’ve spent the past six years of their life with camera crews following them around, documenting their every conversation and drunken escapade, yet get them in front of a live studio audience and they totally lose their shit. The After Show remixes are easily the most entertaining of the bunch, and feature various moments from the season edited together for humorous effect.

 6.0 out of 10