Apr 17, 2008

The New Yorker drops knowledge about "The Hills"

Yeah, I've watched "The Hills" voluntarily. A girl sometimes needs some mindless entertainment. But I'll never forgive Lauren Conrad, she of the "sub-Old Navy" clothing line, for blowing off a summer in Paris so that she could spend time with her boyfriend. What? WHO DOES THAT?

Anyway. I love when high-brow publications offer up commentary about vapid pop-culture institutions. In this case, The New Yorker takes on "The Hills," and the author still can't figure out why this show is so hot.
I don’t know for sure what the appeal is, even though I have worked for nine years in the building identified in the show as Teen Vogue Headquarters and some wisdom should have rubbed off on me by now. But I’m still trying to figure out why teen-agers want their bra straps to show and how it came to pass that crooked hair parts are considered chic and not a pathetic sign that you didn’t have proper mothering. So I have plenty to think about as it is. The L.A. of this show has no edge or darkness to it, and perhaps it’s easy, and pleasant, for young girls to imagine being Lauren & Co. when they grow up. (Or at least to have their teeth, which are truly spectacular.) The show’s soundtrack is all pop songs, often as many as a dozen per episode, and they tend to be programmatically upbeat or emo, underlining the three overriding and broadly painted feelings of the characters: I’m so glad; I’m so sad; and I’m so confused. These characters are now in their twenties, but they still smell like Teen Spirit.

(Photo credit: Illustration by Quickhoney, courtesy of The New Yorker.)

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