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Entertainment Weekly


'The Hills' series finale: The joke's on us, apparently

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If you’ve been watching the final season of The Hills, you know that last night’s series finale came down to the relationship status of Kristin and Brody. After dating, breaking up, being friends, then friends with benefits, Kristin was ready for commitment, while Brody (who only a few weeks ago was “enjoying being single”) was suddenly seeing someone else. It may not have been as climactic as Lauren-Jason-Heidi-Spencer season finales of yore, but they had to find something to fill the final 30 minutes.

What? Who are these people? Isn’t The Hills about two blond girls who live in a nice apartment complex in West Hollywood and pretend to go to work sometimes? For those who stopped watching long before Justin Bobby or Stacie the Bartender came along, last night’s episode was probably a bit confusing. Of course, what mattered most was not how these forgettable season 6 story lines would end, but how The Hills — the show, the era, the phenomenon — would be remembered.

So Kristin said her tearful goodbye to Brody, and was headed for the airport. As she drove off, and stared longingly out the window, we watched the rest of her friends “move on” (because your midtwenties are when you have a nervous breakdown) to the sound of a stripped down version of Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” (it all comes full circle). Lo and Scott celebrated domestic bliss, Audrina stood on the balcony of her new beachfront home staring blankly out at the ocean, and Brody watched Kristin leave, while standing smack dab in front of the Hollywood sign. It was the over dramatic glossy soap quality that we’ve come to expect from the show; it was all too perfect. And suddenly it went away. The sunny California sky was merely a curtain, Kristin’s street merely a set. The towncar stopped, she got out, and the crew emerged. Haters rejoice! It was all fake. Whoa, did The Hills just get smart?

The Hills has been criticized for its lack of reality (be it homes, relationships, jobs, or even dialogue), yet the show always insisted it was documenting the “real” lives of these people (yes, Spencer’s crazy crystals included), so I found it fitting that the show chose to address the primary complaint viewers have had. It won’t be revered as one of the most surprising series finales ever — like Newhart or Lost — because it simply admitted what we’ve all been saying for four years now, but the show does deserve credit for taking all of this criticism and turning it into one big joke. But was everything really fake?

“Well that’s one of the questions that was always asked in the show, ‘Is it real or is it fake?’ And we kinda left everybody with ‘Well you’ll never know what’s real and what’s fake’,” a vague Brody said during MTV’s after show. “It’s your own interpretation,” Kristin added. So if it was all scripted, does this mean Brody is a really good actor? If Keeping Up With The Kardashians wasn’t enough, now we’ll never get rid of him!

Maybe I did tear up during the multiple Laguna Beach/The Hills montages (Step-HEN! I miss you.), and if that makes me lame, I can live with that. Say what you will, but for me The Hills will always be a guilty pleasure with a small drop of sentimentality. Maybe it’s because I was going through a lot of what these “characters” were experiencing (plastic surgery, sex tapes, and rehab excluded). I won’t call them my pop culture role models, but perhaps in a twisted way they’re my comrades? I’ll admit I was lured in under the apparent false idea of reality, and in the end, I don’t really care what was real and what was fake. But I’ll leave with you with this: Claiming it was all pretend is too easy of an explanation for the existence of Spencer Pratt.

What say you, PopWatchers? How will you remember The Hills? Was that a fitting ending? Do you care if the Kristin-Brody relationship was real or fake? Were you excited to see Lauren on the after show?

Read more:

‘The Hills’: 12 Game-Changing Moments

Lauren Conrad, role model?: As she returns for ‘The Hills’ finale, we ponder how far she’s come…

‘The Hills’ comes to an end: What are your top moments?

‘The Hills’ premiere recap: So this is what a hangover feels like

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