Sunday, March 23, 2008

Newsday reviews the new SEASON of the HILLS!

The show: "The Hills"The time: Monday at 10 on MTVWhy you should care: Oh, all sorts of juicy reasons, including that this show has a throttlehold on the culture -- or parts thereof -- and may peak as the third season wraps, or continue unabated. Plus tonight, Mariah Carey performs live at 11 at the "Hills" premiere party (her new album is out mid-April). And one can assume you've heard all the other buzz, aka a possible Lauren Conrad sex tape (though probably not), a possible Audrina Patridge sex tape (possibly true) and unremitting reports that this so-called reality show is one big fat fake, with staged scenes and perhaps even dialogue.
The set up: The show's third season cut off midway last December, with Lauren and Whitney heading off to Paris (thanks to Lisa Love, Teen Vogue editor and apparently, a BBE, "best boss ever"). Meanwhile, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are in a serious deep freeze: She wants "her space," he's somewhat unwilling to give it and viewers are probably very happy to see these two twits get their comeuppance.The bottom line: MTV -- a pox on its house -- declined to send out a full final episode for review, but instead provided only a few clip shots comprising probably 10 percent of tonight's full hour. But from those much can be gleaned. It's hardly giving away too much by informing you that Lauren's CBBF (current best boyfriend forever), Brody, is two-timing her while she's in Paris, and that the ever-persistent Spencer continues to pursue frosty, shallow Heidi, to a dinner with her parents (the clip is accurately entitled "Awkward Dinner") and to her parents' ski chalet. The clips are cleverly edited to give just the slightest impression that a thaw could be forthcoming.Then there's Paris. Ah, Paris. At least Lauren will always have Paris, where the guys (surprise!) are cute, and the sights are, well, Parisian.Critic-proof "The Hills" -- as shallow as a puddle -- has problems this season. Viewers, including rock-solid fans, can never look at this show the same way again. "Did Lauren really say that, or did a writer hand her his notes between takes?"Plus, there's kind of two shows here -- the Heidi Show and the Lauren Show. Take your pick, but for my money, the Heidi one's a drag!

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