VIDEO: MTV Finally Debuts The Alternative Endings For ‘The Hills’

When The Hills signed off three years ago, it’s final scene was met with mixed reviews. Some enjoyed the cheeky, self-referential gimmick of having the world around Brody Jenner be revealed to be nothing more than slick Hollywood production values (some might argue that this is still the case), but others felt the ending was a bit too clever for its own good. Feel free to lump me in the latter category.

Well, great news. Turns out the producers filmed an alternate ending for the finale, and while it was rejected for a variety of reasons (including, indirectly, Avril Lavigne), MTV has now three years later blown the dust off this never-before-seen footage and placed it on its website. I have to admit that this ending is far more emotionally satisfying, even if it is patently fake. I’m bummed this was not the cut that made it to air, but ever so happy that we get to see it now.

May the legacy of The Hills live on!

BANTER WITH BEN AND LISA: Ep. 34 – Hunger Games, Lenny Kravitz, and Crazy Old Lady Gymnasts

Well hello, everyone. This week on Banter with Ben and Lisa, we tackle the Hunger Games yet again with some impressions about the movie, including the casting of Lenny Kravitz. From there we address some of the crazy racial controversies surrounding the film and then move onto Rick Santorum’s own seemingly racist flub from Friday. Naturally, that can only lead to one thing: discussion of Kristin Cavallari! And from there, we talk about Johanna Quaas, an 86-year-old German gymnast, who has taken the Internet by storm. The Banter Blender is whirring on high speed! Come take a listen!

And remember you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and listen to us on the Sideshow Network too!

THE HILLS FINALE PHOTOCAP: Goodbye, Sweet Hills

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I already posted a recap of The Hills finale, but MTV hadn’t posted pics yet from the episode. Now they’re up, which means that I can put a close to The Hills with one last photocap for old time’s sake.

After the jump, the end of an era. Sniff sniff…

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THE HILLS FINALE RECAP: The Rest Is Still Unwritten

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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.

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THE HILLS PHOTOCAP: Most Depressing Episode EVER

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There’s only one, one, episode left of The Hills, and I’m starting to get a little misty-eyed. Where else am I going to get my weekly dose of grungy douchebags galavanting about Hollywood with no discernible direction in their lives? I suppose I could just, you know, step outside my apartment to find that, but it’s not as fun when I have to encounter it in real life. Nevertheless, the show is about to disappear forever, and perhaps the cast is realizing that their stars are about to fade away significantly. Why else would last night’s penultimate episode have been SO DAMN DEPRESSING?

The biggest downer came from Kristin, who revealed that she did truly want to have a relationship with Brody. Sucks for her though because the Brodester is dating some mystery girl now (my money’s on LC. The dramatic reveal in the finale would be too great for MTV to pass up, even if the two aren’t dating in real life). Brody first told his boyz about the secret lady friend while visiting a body shop that Sleazy-T apparently works at. And yes, in case you forgot, Brody’s new thing is to be all about Hemis and motorcycles. Why? I don’t know. But when one is a mercurial spirit like Brody Jenner, one never knows what douchey interests might surface in his life.

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HILLS PHOTOCAP: Audrina’s Lazy Susan of Douchebags Brings Justin Bobby Back Into The Fold

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I’m loving The Hills these days. Kristin’s bitchy demeanor has come into its own (much as it did on her second season of Laguna Beach), and the introduction of this Allie Lutz girl has been nothing but pure entertainment. It’s somewhat tragic that we seem to be limited to only one run-in per week between these two because when they go at it, America wins. On last night’s show, it was more of the same between them. The two encountered each other at local club MyHouse, and unsurprisingly, Allie felt the need to march up to Kristin to announce that there was no reason for them to hate each other. Kristin wasn’t having any of it and retorted that Allie was certifiably insane. There was much talk about an alleged diamond ring, but ultimately, Allie retreated to her seat with McKaela, who once again bore the brunt of the cool kids’ wrath. Didn’t she know not to bring loser Allie “around”? (I love that they talk as if they’re in some 1950s diner).

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HILLS PHOTOCAP: When Idiots Attack

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I’m starting to feel a little sad about something. Out of nowhere, The Hills has become good again, but alas, it’s getting the ax. Such a sad fate for a once mighty show. To be fair, it’s downfall was its own doing. The show began to focus too much on the dolts and douchebags of Hollywood, rather than the girly girl crap that once made it so proud. Remember the days of Lauren and Heidi rifting as friends? Their arguments on the sofa? Their seething attacks? Their occasional negligence of Ashes the cat? Back then, the show was about girls bonding with girls and getting mad at each other (ie. Jen Bunney).

It seems as though The Hills has gotten back somewhat to its former place. Maybe the sudden disappearance of Speidi has something to do with it. Or maybe it’s that the “new cast” with Kristin at its helm has finally gelled. Stephanie has become oddly winsome lately, and her sweet romance with Max, who earns the title of first non-douchebag male suitor to appear on The Hills, has been shockingly charming. There’s something about her hangdog face and his smiley smile that makes me want these two to get together. Plus, he brought her Girl Scout Cookies. Bonus points there.

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HILLS PHOTOCAP: Justin Bobby’s Back. Again.

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Do not adjust your televisions. Justin Bobby has come back to The Hills, which may or may not explain that wafting stank emanating from your entertainment center. Yes, the oft-dirty, oft-annoying ex-boyfriend of Audrina made his triumphant return to the series last night, and lucky us, we got two douches (viz. Ryan Cabrera) for the admission price of one. The settup was simple. Audrina suddenly had a job at Epic again, and as part of her responsibilities, she needed to check out some band named Purple Melon at the Viper Room. She brought Lo and Steph along for the ride, and then wouldn’t you know it? Justin Bobby’s band took the stage after Purple Melon had taken their bows. This led to the usual sequence of events. First Audrina felt awkward and wanted to leave. Then she began smiling. And then she was back in love all over again. Meanwhile, we had to sit and watch as every cutaway to Justin Bobby revealed him in less and less clothing (and more and more sweat).

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HILLS PHOTOCAP: Brody Jenner Finds New Love, Suffers Hugging Drought

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I gotta admit that after last season of The Hills, I was ready to write the whole show off, but now in its final swan song, I’m kind of digging it again. Last week’s show (which I didn’t cover) featured a genuinely emotional moment as Holly, Stephanie, Audrina, Lo, and Kristin sat around and pondered the sad fate of Heidi and Spencer. It was a surprisingly enthralling scene, and for all the people who complain that the series is too scripted, the tears that Holly and Stephanie shed proved that the emotions are real (even if they flowed in a contrived circumstance).

This week’s episode was less emotional but still rather enjoyable. It featured the same mix of partying, squabbling, and candid conversations on sectional sofas (mmmm… sectional sofas. I want… sorry, I digress). Anyway, the big topic of discussion this time around had to do with love. Awwww. Isn’t it just so peachy when the denizens of The Hills get lusty in their loins? Stepping up to the Chatroulette that is Los Angeles were Stephanie Pratt and Brody Jenner — not together though. My goodness, that would be awful. Nope, each one of them was investigating new avenues of romance, and both faced some major challenges. For Stephanie, it was her checkered past. For Brody, it was Kristin. I think we can imagine how this all played out.

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Inside the Nylon Young Hollywood Party

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Nylon magazine held a party for “Young Hollywood” last night, and my friend Jenny and her friends managed to wrangle invites for themselves. Jenny got me on the list too, but by the time I got there, the fire marshall had shown up and shut down the line. This was a tragic setback for me and my celebrity sighting ambitions, but fear not, I did have two noteworthy run-ins. First, as I mentioned in my City photocap, I walked right by Whitney Port, who looked stunning — no exaggeration. Less glamorous but still worthy of my excitement was my second “star”: Robyn from Kell on Earth. She was actually working the door, and I must admit I felt a sense of trepidation as I approached her. I thought she was going to just throw me out of the Roosevelt Hotel (and then complain that I hadn’t filed something properly). My interaction with her was fine though, and she merely redirected me to a table outside for check-in (which, sadly, never happened thanks to the pesky fire marshall).

Well, I missed out, but Jenny got into the party, and she brought along her little Pink Toy Phone. I capitalize the letters because Jenny and her friends have launched a little Facebook community devoted to this “phone,” which in actuality is just a trinket from McDonald’s. The deal with the Pink Toy Phone is that Jenny and her friends bring it to cool places (usually in Hollywood) and take pictures of it with various people, celebrities, or who knows what. Just think of it as Flat Stanley, except not flat and much gayer.

Nevertheless, Jenny certainly got a few choice pics of the phone with various luminaries (mostly from The Hills). Her pics — with and without the phone — after the jump. Continue reading