I had never watched “The Hills” before watching it for this class, which frankly I am more embarrassed than proud to admit. For a show that has so much stigma attached to it (as we have seen with all of the previous “Hills” postings), this love/hate L.A. situated reality was something that I hadn’t been terribly compelled to get involved with…if I want SoCal sunshine sans plot, I’m going to watch my girl Giada:
So, as I was watching the episode “Boyfriends and Work Don’t Mix” on my laptop, what struck me more than the snooze-worthy plot or drama or Lauren-looks was how I had less aversion to the idea of watching the show on the computer than on TV. Despite the fact that, as far as I can tell, “The Hills” is most commonly viewed in the traditional televised format, but to me, its success which was not visible in that format became completely clear translated to the digital hub of the internet. Very intelligently, the producers behind the show are speaking directly to their audience, a generation technologically interconnected through facebook and youtube (and now twitter, though less so at the time of the show’s debut in 2006), digital media that give everyone some variant of celebrity recognition in the constant communication between users. So, for me, while the celebrity recognition of these characters was not justified on TV, watching them in a format where I am used to seeing pseudo-celebrity all the time sat more comfortably. Instead of pointing out all of the instances of the unreal in their reality (of which there are PLENTY…around halfway through the episode, Heidi and Lauren are talking, we see Heidi from a p.o.v. over Lauren’s shoulder, but when we see Lauren, we see no camera behind her capturing that p.o.v.), I let it slide.
My suspension of disbelief was higher…as TV becomes a more respected form of narrative art, TV in the internet faces the same pitfalls as regular television used to. I mean, I sit through all the web commercials…don’t you? I even remember that they were advertising Cheer, Olay, and Secret…yikes.