Decades from now, when my cyborg great-grandchildren ask me when the 2000s ended, I’ll tell them it was March 24, 2010, the day MTV announced that it was ending The Hills. Whether we loved, hated, or hate-loved the glossy reality show, we all have to admit that The Hills has occupied an embarrassingly important central role in the cultural mainstream ever since its 2006 debut.
The Hills officially ended the Music era on MTV. It made reality TV look gorgeously cinematic. And it gave us the most sharply defined set of reality stars ever: demon imp Spencer, empty-eyed Audrina, the human wreckage that is Justin Bobby. Personally, I always enjoyed best-galpal Lo, but only because I imagined that she secretly wanted to murder everyone around her. This method also works for R2-D2. And, of course, there were Lauren and Heidi, who are for L.A. what Jacob and the Smoke Monster are for the Lost Island.
There are still 12 Hills episodes left before the series finale, but Heidi Montag already has an exit strategy: She wants to be in pictures! She tells People,”I’m so excited The Hills is finally over and I can now become a full-time motion picture actress.” This new career plan comes fast on the heels of her attempt at a music career and her much-publicized plastic surgery, so it’s clear that Heidi wants to make sure we don’t forget about her.
Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a second here, world. It may be that Heidi Montag has no real creative skill. But over six seasons on The Hills, her transformation from mildly adorable bright young thing to vampish DDD-list celebrity has proven to be one of the most fascinating (albeit accidental) portraits of the American Dream gone wrong since Orson Welles made that newspaper movie.
She’s also the first person to ever descend into self-parody without having a self to parody, and I suspect that she has at least half a chance at carving herself a nightmarish niche in pop culture. Even if you can’t stand The Hills, there is something pretty amusing about her Funny or Die video. And now she claims to have written a screenplay about a shark attacking a small beach town, featuring 3-D boobs and Dolly Parton as the town mayor. Um, paging David Lynch?
PopWatchers, is there any potential situation where you would not be offended by Heidi Montag’s continued onscreen existence? A recurring guest role on Cougar Town? A pornographic film series with just the dialogue and no sex scenes? (Actually, is that what The Hills is?) A starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Abraham Lincoln biopic? Sound off below!