I was looking forward to last night's episode of the Hills for another chance to dissect the enigmatic Justin-Leto-Vedder-Depp-Bobby (JLVDB). After watching the show and fully contemplating his screen time and presence my assessment is: JLVDB possesses no discernible personality. While many have pointed to his taciturn performance at the third-wheel-date in which Lauren accompanied JLVDB and Audrina out for drinks as enough evidence to label him a major douche, I must politely disagree. Aside from belching and acting somewhat spacey, he did nothing out of reason for somebody who was obviously thrust into a situation designed to let Lauren judge him and tell him why he isn't good enough for her friend. As JLVDB continues to walk around costumed as some sort of rejected extra from Drug Store Cowboy, do we really think he's going to care what some pampered girly-girl from Laguna Beach thinks about him? Methinks not so much. JLVDB is participating in an entirely different cultural discourse. Not to say it's a superior one, simply that he's on another channel right now.
Later, when 'Drina meets JLVDB for drinks he opines about the nature of their relationship, telling her, ''I take you for who you are, the person that you are, and the heart that you have, and I don't let anybody interfere with that. I think truth and time tells all.'' Which would have been sweet had it been delivered with even a smidgen of conviction or warmth. But 'Drina seems pretty taken with him, perhaps due in part to the unfortunate fact that when bad boys wax quasi-poetic, its easy to mistake their words as sacred droplets of meaning leaked preciously from their souls, rather than the last few sediment-soaked tricklettes from a parched well. It's part of the allure of bad boys. We want so badly to validate their behavior that we look for meaning where none exists. But no matter, if 'Drina is happy, the best we can do is to be happy for her. Although, does anybody find it at all suspicious that JLVDB manages to re-enter the picture in time for the filming of a series that 'Drina "just happens" to be a part of? Surely it's due to his heartfelt desire to be a part of her life and not say, get on television. O hai. Can I haz faim pleeze?
The episode also featured the on-going antics of everyone's favorite betrothed duo as they struggled to establish boundaries in their living situation, otherwise known as Example 512 of Why Spencer Is a Famewhoring Douche. I did want to give Heidi credit for the end when she painted over Spenser's "mural" but seeing as how this is an MTV docu-drama, I can't help but suspect that the producers had a hand in that little retaliation, as they probably also scripted the part when Heidi tells Spenser that their now-white wall was a "surprise" akin to him having painted the mural in the first place. Very clever. Too clever for Heidi, in fact.
In all, as with Laguna Beach, I simply can't wrap my head around what the Hills is supposed to be. It markets itself as reality, but there seems nothing real about it. The dialog, the settings, the people all seem ridiculously canned. Every conversation sounds so unbelievably set-up you can almost see the characters rolling their eyes at the lame things the producers expect them to say. And yet, I continue to watch, sucker for punishment that I am. And I continue to route for LC, convinced that she'll eventually evolve beyond her post-adolescent passive aggression into the thoughtful and sensitive young woman we're intended to believe she already is.