I have to admit that I went through a Hills phase. After purchasing the first season on iTunes out of curiosity and watching the entire thing in a couple of hours, I got addicted. I liked the show because it somehow made me feel better about myself. I agree that the show is extremely scripted, fake, and often a waste of time to watch as half of it consists of Lauren Conrad’s blank, glazed stare, as she parts her lips and utters a soft but somewhat sincere “Yeah you’re right………………….” – a phrase which seems to always last at least 5 seconds and takes up most of the show. I stopped watching The Hills after the second season primarily because the plots (or lack thereof) were becoming too repetitive and predictable. I also could not stand Spencer’s face.
After watching a recent for this class, I found myself reaching a new level of appreciation for The Hills. I never really actively watched the show or closely observed cinematography, sound placement, etc. This time, however, I noticed the brilliance of the show’s cinematography and photography. A TIME article calls the show “possibly the best-looking series on television”. The show’s mid and long-range shots framed by the L.A landscape and warm sunlight give it an artistic feel.
The genius behind the show’s cinematography is Hisham Abed, the show’s director and director of photography who has also worked on The City, Laguna Beach and the film Elizabethtown. In an article on the New York Times published in May 2006, Abed explains using color tones of red and orange to highlight the romance within the show Laguna Beach, but changed these tones to blue and silver to signify and exhibit the tension often seen on The Hills.
With that said, I may have to start watching the show on mute.