Oh. My. Word. The Hills has been officially cancelled.
I'm sure it's no secret of my love for MTV's reality hit The Hills. I've been a fan of it's compelling mix of "drama", beautiful people, gorgeous photography and crow barring of numerous popular songs into one episode for awhile now and I was a bit sad to hear this week that the show had been axed.
If I'm being honest, as discussed here before, the show had peaked in terms of what it tried to do and the attempt at rebooting the show with Kristin Cavallari last season clearly didn't work the way the producers had hoped.
Ideally when Lauren left last year that would have been it. It felt like a nice way to wrap what the show had done as opposed to the jump the shark antics of Speidi and their new cute kid next door neighbour (you know your show is in the shit when a cute kid comes in. Fact.) and assorted Audrina "drama" that never got off the ground.
Still with the end of The Hills comes a conclusion to a show that did something a bit different with the reality TV genre. As a spin off of Laguna Beach, the format itself wasn't new but what worked with The Hills was how it honed the "reality filmed as a TV drama" aesthetic into something beautiful to look at. The show also perfected the ability to use the broad strokes of established drama cliches (the best friend, the villain, the harsh boss etc) to paint a vivid picture of the lives of some stupidly privileged blondes. There's been spin offs from the show directly and in various international markets and not to mention spoofs aplenty.
Love it or loathe it The Hills became a genuine pop culture phenomenon. Playing off our ever more intense love for pointless celebrities (the great legacy of reality) and glossy attention deficit TV, it was another reminder of MTV's knack for pulling the right show out at the right time and their ability to keep their paws in their coveted youth audience.
The interesting thing was seeing how the show negotiated becoming a pop culture hit and the cast became famous outside of the show. The peak of this was Season 3 when a real life sex tape rumour became the basis for the now infamous Heidi/Lauren feud. The attempt to keep the burgeoning celebrity lifestyles of Audrina et al out of the show was interesting not least for how it made the show seem more and more ludicrous as time went on.
From what I've read on the next season, it sounds like they might attempt to bring these elements into the show, which could make for an interesting watch. Like many a hit US show, this was allowed run that little bit too long but I'll still have some fantastic TV memories and I'm sure Heidi Montag is only delighted someone was willing to pay her to pretend to eat lunch in order to get a new face.
RIP The Hills. May you live a legacy of blondes, "drama" and quasi celebrity careers in your wake.