And now it’s over. Last night, The Hills sadly went off the air, capping a television season that saw many heavy hitters (Lost, 24, and Law & Order) go the way of the dodo. It was a bittersweet moment for me. Bitter because the show I had loved (and occasionally loved to hate) was now gone. Sweet because, well, I don’t know. Scratch that. THIS WAS AN ALL BITTER EXPERIENCE, AND NOW I’M ANGRY. Why must the TV gods yank this series from the airwaves, especially when it had just found its voice again in the past few weeks?
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and truth is that prior to its late-run rejuvenation, The Hills was kind of running on fumes. Plus, media awareness of the cast and all their lives really undermined any element of surprise, which is maybe why last night’s finale lacked some of the drama that perhaps was intended. The whole premise was that the central clique of girls — Kristin, Audrina, Steph, and Lo — were suddenly, for no apparent reason on screen, at a crossroads in their life. They had reached a quarter-life crisis, one that no doubt was spurred on by MTV’s decision to cancel the show. Now they all wanted to figure out what to do with their lives (ie. pitch their next reality show projects), which meant it was time to “move on.”
Now, I realize that at the ripe old age of 31 I may be over the hill, but when I hit 25, my friends and I didn’t suddenly raise a glass to the good times and decide to hit the road. But this was the finale; so I suppose we can suspend disbelief and pretend like these women were all on the verge of disappearing into the ether that had swallowed up Lauren Conrad whole.
For Audrina, her introspection required yet another location change. She up and traded in her new Hollywood digs for an even newer space in Hermosa, a shift that was perhaps the result of being burgled by that bratty bitch from Pretty Wild. That’s really the only reason I can imagine for the move. There didn’t seem to be any other pressing factor as to why she needed to change locales. Personally, I’d think that after the pain of buying a house, you’d want to stay in it for a few years, but then again, Audrina has been something of a nomad. She started her Hills tenure upstairs from Lauren, then moved in with Lauren, then moved into Lauren’s guest house, and then finally set up her own digs. With the new Hermosa residence, that’s five living arrangements over six seasons (and four years). Perhaps commitment isn’t Audrina’s strongest suit; ironic, given her issues with Justin Bobby’s slippery nature.
Anyway, Audrina’s arc for the finale was very simple: she talked about moving… and then she moved. And that was it. Oh, and she looked at dolphins. Seemed like an apt way to wrap things up for her (although, I would have appreciated one last cameo from long-lost sidekick Chiara).
Lo, meanwhile, had a slightly more involved storyline, which also involved heading West to the beach. She and longterm boyfriend Scott decided to move in together, despite the fact that he really didn’t propose to her. Instead, he merely tossed a lot of rhetoric around, saying he’d marry Lo on the spot if he could. I guess that was good enough for Lo because she hugged and kissed her man, and almost, almost got emotional. Seeing Lo’s tenure come to an end, especially with the flashbacks of her and Lauren that played later on, was one of the toughest parts of this finale. We’ve loved her ever since season one of Laguna when she happily clucked passive-aggressive remarks to those around her (a certain nail salon run-in with Christina after having not been invited to a birthday party comes to mind).
Also finding love on this finale was Stephanie, who travelled all the way out to the desert to see her Motorcross boyfriend zip across some jumps. The two chatted about dating exclusively, with Stephanie calling her man strong but “sweet.” To that, he replied, “Sweet.” I wasn’t sure if he was questioning her choice of words or merely affirming their presence. It was all a bit confusing, and quite frankly, I was distracted by his oily locks. It was all very Justin Bobby Lite. The only difference was that this guy seemed like a nice dude, nice enough to maaaaaaybe forgive Steph for getting rid of my #1 pick for her: MAX.
Well, Steph and the dude (whose name I clearly don’t remember) decided to officially become boyfriend and girlfriend, which left only Kristin to figure out what the hell to do with herself. After a wine soaked evening in wicker chairs with Stacie, Kristin decided that in order to find herself, she’d have to go to Europe. This immediately excited me, as I imagined some wonderful new series that followed Kristin across the continent as she rolled her eyes at time-honored traditions and cherished customs. Just imagine her standing in Pamplona, watching bulls trample by as she scoffs and says, “Ugh, so lame.” Or perhaps Kristin wanders into Stonehenge, angrily sighing “Whatever, ROCKS.”
Nevertheless, Kristin’s decision to go to Europe did feel a bit arbitrary, and I couldn’t get past the sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t actually leaving LA, mostly because the paparazzi seem to still be catching her around town on a daily basis. Anyway, I just ignored all this and went along with it. Kristin then snuck up on Brody at his rooftop pool (which was NOT in the same building profiled on the exterior shot. Stalkers take note: it was in fact one of the condo complexes on Alta Loma Drive) and informed him she was leaving town. He of course sulked at the news and made it all about him, which was no surprise. This was, after all, the same man who had made an entire reality star career out of asking for hugs and demanding to know why people weren’t happy to see him. Clearly, he has some separation anxiety issues.
Anyway, Kristin invited Brody to her going away party, but he moped that he didn’t want to celebrate her leaving. This resulted in some classic Cavallari scoffing, followed by Rihanna, who has more or less served as the artist-in-residence for The Hills’ soundtrack over the years. The action eventually shifted to the Roosevelt Hotel (perhaps a callback to that very first Teen Vogue event held there on the premiere episode?) where all the girls except Audrina (who was “moving”) convened for one last hurrah. There wasn’t much hurrah-ing going on though. Everyone seemed a touch sad, but maybe that’s because Kristin was sad, thanks to Brody being a bitch and not coming.
But lo and behold, thar she blows! Brody, clean-shaven and dreamy, entered the bar after all to bid adieu to his lil’ fuck buddy. He apologized for not being sensitive to Kristin’s feelings and then quietly begged her to stay. Kristin teared up, which kind of confused me because it’s not as if she were ACTUALLY going anywhere, but then again, I didn’t think she was a good enough actress to cry on cue; so maybe she was going to Europe. I didn’t really know. Point is, the two shared a warm hug and all was well again.
Finally, as the episode and the series reached its final minutes, Kristin packed up her junk into a humble bag and headed out of her house on Beachwood Canyon. She thought her driver had arrived, but in fact, it was Brody. He told her that he never would have started dating someone had he realized it would drive Kristin out of town, to which she futilely attempted to correct him and say that she wasn’t leaving because of Brody, but unfortunately, the message didn’t quite get across. Kristin admitted that she liked hearing Brody say such nice words, but it was time for her to go. Then, with a re-imagined, rearranged version of the theme song, Natasha Beddingfield appeared on the soundtrack to sing “Unwritten” one last time, and we then saw flashbacks of the girls from various stages in their lives. It was almost, almost enough to get me vaguely emotional, and seeing the footage of Kristin with Stephen from Laguna Beach did pull on my heartstrings, but oddly enough, it just reminded me how much BETTER things would have been had Alex, a.k.a. Roz, made a random cameo in this final episode.
Ultimately, the flashback montage ended with a tight shot of Brody standing alone on the street… or was he? The street proved to be a backdrop that pulled away, revealing the Brodester to be actually in the heart of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, surrounded by a bustling TV crew and various lighting rigs. I suppose this was MTV’s response to all those people who questioned the “reality” of the series — What’s real? What’s fake? Where is the line? — but it felt a bit tacked on, and quite honestly, I objected immensely to the show closing on an image of a woeful Brody Jenner.
And now it’s over. While I go empty my bucket of tears, enjoy these photos — my last Hills recap and photocap EVER.
Oh wait. It looks like MTV isn’t posting pics or video from the finale episode. How anticlimactic. The last photocap doesn’t even have photos. (If that media does eventually surface, I’ll do a special photocap)
So I guess that’s it. On a sentimental note, I do owe a debt of gratitude to this show and the people behind it. Laguna Beach and The Hills proved to be my bread and butter over at TVgasm, and the goodwill and readership from those recaps truly helped get the ball rolling on this blog when it started up. I am also greatly appreciative for the support I received from the Conrads, the producers, and the various members of the crew who I’ve met over the years. It was awesome to learn that my random musings actually found an audience with people on and attached to the show.
Why do I feel like I’m accepting an Oscar? Perhaps I’ve said too much. And now I too will step into my metaphorical black luxury sedan and drive off into the murky future. And by that, I mean it’s time to write my City photocap.
What did you think about the finale? Did it live up to your every hope and desire? Are you sad to see The Hills go? Or was this overdue?