I have a confession to make, I have gotten hooked on fake reality. Well, not in the drop acid and wander around in a fantasyland way, but in the staring mindlessly at the screen and into the deliciously plastic worlds of The Hills and The City.
The Hills debuted in 2006 and ever since then and a couple of months ago, I have thought it sounded like a stupid show to watch. I didn’t understand the fake reality thing. Was I supposed to pretend it was real life when it was clearly scripted? I didn’t understaaand…but now I do.
Lauren, Heidi, Audrina and Whitney are (fake) living the lives that my teenage self dreamed about. There they are, in L.A., the home of Hollywood, rampant gangs and ludicrously luxurious living. Ok, so the gangs don’t exactly make an appearance, that would be a blot on the beauty of the (fake) world we’re looking into, right? Don’t want that. Oh no, because in The (fake) Hills, life is sunshine, lollipops and lipstick! That is exactly how it wormed its way through my (fake) high brow snobbery defense system. That, and the weakening of said brow battalion that occurs when I am sore and dopey.
The Hills follows four (fake) successful, beauties, making their way in the world after high school.
Firstly, we have Lauren. Lauren is our central, girl-next-doorish, generally nice, unwittingly super self righteous, yet somehow rather relatable heroine. Next up is her best friend, Heidi, seemingly fresh-faced, funny and friendly, but a little forlorn at the idea of actually working for a living. As the show progresses, so does Heidi. From sweet country girl to self important, Spencer schmoozing, plastic-morph barbie. It’s hard not to pity her whilst watching her transform – plastic surgery in young people always seems to me like they’re almost cementing their insecurities, which is likely the opposite of what they’re trying to achieve. The stars don’t mention her transformation on the show at all, which is just weird. Have her (fake) friends not noticed that she’s starting to resemble Cher?
Lauren Conrad & Heidi Montag (click for source)
Thrown in to the (fake) friendship mix, is Audrina, an icon for grungey wannabes everywhere. Audrina is a completely different personality type to Lauren and Heidi, I mean, if this isn’t obvious enough by the fact that she is brunette, whereas they are blonde (huge difference, duh), then there is always her icky biker kinda boyfriend, Justin Bobby, to nail home just how alternative she is. Audrina wears a lot of black (so baaad), eyeliner and slightly hurt expressions. Like Heidi (face it, like a lot of girls), Audrina has trouble navigating her (fake) love life, suffers from ‘never been in love before’ naivety and entertains greatly by becoming increasingly more daft as her bra size goes (mysteriously) up.
Audrina Patridge (click for source)
Rounding out our group of hot, young, ladies is Lauren’s co-worker at Teen Vogue (dream job, anyone’s inner teenage self?) is Whitney. Whitney is our sweet, dignified, understatedly coquettish Cali-girl with a heart of gold and the figure of a supermodel. She’s there so that Lauren has someone to bitch to about her other (fake) friends and for us to envy as she goes about her life being charming and successful, despite any obviously apparent actual talent. Whitney is so charming in fact, that she went off to New York and got her very own (fake) reality show, The City, which I am currently enjoying immensely.
Whitney Port (click for source)
Working in the fashion industry has Whitney showing off a lot of pretty clothes and accessories, it’s kind of like sitting on the couch and watching an issue of Cosmopolitan. All pretty colours, consumption and distractingly bright, bright, bright. Even Whitney’s new (fake) nemesis, Olivia, is pretty, in spite of her strange tendency to colour her cheeks in orange, it’s always interesting to see what she’s wearing and to watch her acting like a fantastical bitch to everyone she meets. The City seems to have embraced its position of fictional construct in the disguise of reality and this also makes me happy. The ‘that would never really happen’ scenarios that they string together make me smile. Why care if it’s not really real life? It’s still easy to tune out and pretend for a while that it could be, the stars assist with this using their drawled out speech patterns and the producers help with some snappy editing and an irritatingly addictive indie pop soundtrack.
Watching these lucky young ladies living dream lives is a bit like curling up with a Dolly Fiction novel (Do they still have Dolly Fiction?). It can be fun to pretend that my real problems don’t exist for a while and to fantasise about fighting the fictitious issues that Lauren, Whitney and their (fake) friendship crowds face. Oh, to have my biggest worry be what to wear! Oh, to behave so shallow and inconsiderately of everyone else and yet have them play along! Oh, to sun-bake and take beach trips, to go shopping and wear a new dress every day! Oh, to generally get around without pain! Is it starting to sound like fun yet?
I have only seen the first four seasons of The Hills. Season 5 looks hilarious as Lauren walks away to write fictional novels based on her fictional television life (L.A. Candy) and the producers shove ex-Laguna Beach power bitch Kristin into the protagonist role. I think I shall enjoy watching her annoy everyone and how she is just suddenly in Lauren’s post high school friendship group from many angles, even hooking up with Audrina’s ex-oil rag, the ever-stoned Justin Bobby. Funny, funny, funny.
I shall also be giggling along with Whitney, Roxy and their contrived lives in New York. I’m about up to where Whit is going to design her own clothing line, can’t wait to see what she (or whoever) comes up with! I don’t really like the poncey nature of the fashion industry, however I do like pretty clothes…a lot. I also like watching how they wear their hair and makeup, with these big screen TVs, you get quite a lot of detail and I find it interesting to be able to see close up how they have created the look that you get from a couple of feet away. Makeup can be banged on as a necessity or treated like an art medium and I far prefer the latter. If I’m going to bother putting makeup on, I want to have a little fun with it!
So there you have it, Audy. Fake reality can be a bit of fun sometimes! Especially when one needs a break from real reality. I had a little jaw mishap whilst brushing my teeth a few nights ago and the result is a lot of neck, shoulder and generalised pain to deal with. I am attempting to Feldy it out, however I need a lot of breaks and that’s where the need for zoning out comes in. I have another wedding to attend in a few weeks and am about to begin Operation Sew A Pretty Dress, the second…might even spend my afternoon choosing a pattern and fabric! I am gaining some nice inspiration from my slightly shameful television crack problem, but mostly I just know that I would like it to be blue…that’s a start!
Love & Escapism,