The Hills - Season 3, Episode 14
The Hills came back in a big way on Monday night by focusing on the characters that loyal fans are most interested in, Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag. With the introduction of one of the weirdest characters in beautiful-people, semi-scripted reality world history in Audrina's boyfriend Justin Bobby and the relatively pointless dragging storyline surrounding Lauren and on-again, off-again bff Brody Jenner, Season 3 of MTV's most popular show has ultimately been a disappointment so far. Why? Because we've come to expect more.
This season, episode after episode trudges on, and really, not a whole lot happens. Cliffhangers have been few and far between and the fact that Lauren Conrad is no longer "just a girl," but one of Hollywood's better known faces makes her less of the clearcut protagonist that she was in both preceding seasons of the show. There are moments when we're left thinking, "Hey, maybe she's not right this time around..." It's a fairly simple show and when you lose sight of the "good guys," it makes the storylines less effective, which has really hurt Season 3 in my mind.
Somehow, someway, and thankfully, The Hills brought it back this past Monday night by bringing the show back to its roots - drama, brutally blunt honesty, and profound poetic statements with simple words and matching sentence structures that are just simple enough to appear completely genuine. Instead of focusing on how awkward Audrina is, the funny faces Whitney makes, how not cool Justin Bobby acts around strangers, or how wasted Lauren can get, "Forgive and Forget" focused on the relationship between former roommates turned arch-nemeses Lauren and Heidi.
Season 3 started off with a bang that was really satisfying to watch. MTV didn't try and dodge the Lauren Conrad sex tape rumors that were circulating before the new season aired, nor did the network pretend that its audience wasn't hip to one of the juiciest gossip stories around Hollywood. In a move that not only gave credit to its audience, but provided fuel for what has otherwise been a relatively uneventful season, MTV tackled the story head on in the season premiere. After hearing that Heidi, along with her boyfriend Spencer were behind the sex tape rumors surrounding Lauren Conrad and now-Celebrity Rap Superstar emcee Jason Wahler ("I'm a baaalllerrrrr, JASON Waaaaaaaahlerrrr!!!"), Lauren screamed out against Heidi in a rage that had gone unseen through two seasons of The Hills and another two seasons of Laguna Beach, "YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!!!!" in a television moment that will never be forgotten by fans of the show. Season 3 was alive and well...for a minute.
After starting at the highest of highs, Season 3 was fizzling by the episode. After yet another uneventful episode where we watched Lauren and Whitney take people to their seats at the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party, MTV chose the best possible moment to bring the drama that is Lauren and Heidi back to the small screen. And in the best five minutes that the show has seen all season long, The Hills returned to its truest form, a triumphant return to brutal dialogue and reactions shots that is most effectively told through quotations from the show's main character Lauren Conrad during these five glorious minutes.
Blunt honesty: "You're lying to me."
Simple words, complex phrases: "Don't look at me and tell me that you don't know, because you know."
Confusing, yet profound and thoughtful life philosophies: "I think you know that Spencer did this and I think you don't want to believe it because you love him and I understand that. Because sometimes, when you love someone, you want to believe they're good."
Things that make you go "hmm...": "Heidi, sometimes whether you did something or did nothing, it's just as bad."
Questions that cannot be answered: "How can you hate someone so much that you literally want to make them wish they were dead?"
With yet another fitting song by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Alissa Moreno acting as the background music to one of the season's darkest, yet brightest moments, Lauren unleashed the second best line of the season:
"The only thing really that there is to do is to forgive and forget. So I really do, I want to forgive you.... And I want to forget you."
Say what you will about The Hills - the fact that it's more than semi-scripted and doesn't really contribute a whole lot to society apart from showing people my age some cool places to eat and go on dates - but when The Hills is good, it's really good. The looks of death that Conrad burned through Montag's skull go beyond anything that has ever been seen on The OC, Dawson's Creek, or even Grey's Anatomy, because the anger is genuine. Gossip Girl, while it reigns as television's newest guilty pleasure on the CW, would kill to create one second of the tension that The Hills managed to create on Monday night because of how surprisingly well the characters have been developed through two short seasons of 30 minute episodes.
For a brief glimpse, The Hills was back and it was glorious.