After spending a long and frustrating day last week trying to figure out what year it was and what country I was living in because my government decided it was cool to discuss a little issue regarding birth control but magically barred the only person with a uterus from being in the room, I was tired. I shut off my thousand-year-old computer and walked away from it all, burying my yoga pants in the couch for three good, vapid hours of watching The Hills.
The following morning, I realized something: I didn't dive back into the 2006 world of fake PR jobs and Los Angeles club life at random. I had actually made the executive decision to check myself out of reality through the good graces of The Hills. I didn't want to think about how a bunch of old, straight, conservative white dudes were discussing my right to be a birthing machine...or not. I wanted mush for brains and Pinkberry for lunch.
That momentary lapse into dreamy L.A. numbness has led to several hours of moments by now, as I glide through all six seasons of what some people probably consider to be the worst show of all time (well, next to The Playboy Club, but that only lasted three episodes, and The Hills made it through 102 mind-bogglingly awesome shows).
From the first time I saw the twinkling lights of the Hills logo, I was hooked. Boy, I mean, girl, did they know how to perfectly light that show -- from soft, glowing club scenes to crisp, poolside moments under a fake sun. They all made me want to be in L.A., even if it meant hanging out with Heidi Montag, er, Pratt, er, whatever.
There was barely any dialogue to attach myself to, no actual or scripted tension between characters to focus on (unless you count Heidi's undiagnosed sociopathic disorder), and no real stressful situations that might make me, the viewer, think about what was going to happen next. Just 27 of the most strategically candlelit breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktail-hour scenes per 23-minute episode. (I even made a visit to Don Antonio's when I was in L.A. in 2008, because I had to eat at Spencer and Heidi's favorite restaurant. Because I'm also totally nuts.)
But once this spell of watching Lauren and Audrina and Heidi and Lo and Whitney and even Jen Bunney (the world's worst friend) turn their heads back and forth wears off, I will remember this: Actual reality rules and television sucks, dude. And reality television sucks even more. If you choose to watch it, it devours the valuable time you're on this planet, it makes you (and me) fat, and it presents a view of life that, for most of us, doesn't exist -- unless you, too, sleep in trash or you happen to be the kind of guy who gets jealous over your sister-in-law's fertility (I felt weird even typing that).
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It's okay, every once in a while, to give in to stupidity and let yourself be dumb. Pick your poison -- maybe The Hills doesn't do it for you, but Billy the Exterminator or White People With Unrealistic Expectations for a Master Suite in a 1950s Ranch Home -- I mean, House Hunters -- is more your style. Just try to take some time to see what's really going on in the rest of the world. Because if you think this current presidential election circus is bad, you should see Russia's.