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Unintentional or Hyper-Aware Marketing?
May 21, 2010 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Why The Hills’ [new] Opening Credits Are Both Creepy and Cruel
For more can-this-really-be-an-accident marketing: This promo for the final season as compared to this earlier use of the same song.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew (70 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
what are the hills?
posted by boo_radley at 4:11 PM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this something that I would need to have TV, to understand?
posted by mrbill at 4:16 PM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't know what the Hills is, but the Sex and the City 2 ads in the gutter made me vomit in my mouth a little.
posted by HumanComplex at 4:18 PM on May 21, 2010


I hear the last episode of Lost will be on soon, but I've never seen it. I do have a big-ass TV, though.
posted by fixedgear at 4:20 PM on May 21, 2010


from link: “In providing a visual wink to the girls’ ever “improving” physiques, MTV has unwittingly exposed its seamy underside. And as viewers, ourselves participants in the spectacle, we wish that they’d put it where we couldn’t see it so clearly.”

Saying that MTV has unwittingly exposed its seamy underside is like saying that BP has unwittingly been slightly careless in its environmental standards. You're free to be surprised by this now, but it's hard to see how you can be a viewer and not expect seamy undersides at this point.

Also, amazingly, as viewers we may wish that MTV wouldn't flash us so many seams, but if they're going to do it, let's face it, they're going to do it on reality shows.
posted by koeselitz at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Apparently this is part of the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack.
posted by hippybear at 4:23 PM on May 21, 2010


Shoulda had them visit Chicago and call the movie Sex and the Second City.
posted by Babblesort at 4:31 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hippybear I clicked or link and then time stopped, and I beheld the end of civilization, the bang, the whimper, the multi-headed whore dragon with overfilling cup of obscenity all fire and ice and noise and silence until the sands over them all in endless, eternal oblivion. There is no honor here.
posted by The Whelk at 4:37 PM on May 21, 2010 [11 favorites]


I don't know what's happening.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:42 PM on May 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


awful things pecinpah, awful things.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on May 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Heidi Montag used to be so cute! Now she looks like something from a Gregg Araki remake of Star 80.

Apparently this is part of the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack.

I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU

I'm going to watch this to wash that taste out of my mouth.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:47 PM on May 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's, no... I, but Liza Minelli, and the Hills, which is different from the Heights, and that other show and... I feel so out of touch right now.
posted by khaibit at 4:49 PM on May 21, 2010


the Sex and the City 2 ads in the gutter made me vomit in my mouth a little.

Was it just me, or did she have no pupils?
posted by niles at 4:53 PM on May 21, 2010


something from a Gregg Araki remake of Star 80.

I think I would watch that.
posted by cell divide at 4:55 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Argh, I'm a little drowsy from drinking two beers (SHUDAP I'M A LIGHTWEIGHT), and I just have to say, MTV sucks so bad. This just makes me glad that I'm no longer a subscriber to their network, as I have cancelled cable.

Seriously, I like pop music. I like music videos. How can MTV take such a decent combination and make awful reality TV for slow teens?
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:00 PM on May 21, 2010


From Wikipedia: The Hills follows the daily lives of Lauren and friends, documenting all of the drama that eventually ensues.

ok whatever
posted by desjardins at 5:01 PM on May 21, 2010


Here's an understatement: some things don't deserve to be taken so seriously.

The Hills did spawn a very hilarious Family Guy episode, so for that I'm grateful.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 5:12 PM on May 21, 2010


In early May 2010, husband Spencer Pratt spoke to Life & Style, saying that Heidi will be having a third breast augmentation to increase her breast size to an H-cup.[56] Montag has already reached the FDA's maximum for implant sizes, so she plans to travel to Europe to have the work done.

I love Wikipedia. Why let pesky facts get in the way?
posted by fixedgear at 5:14 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this something that I would need to have TV, to understand?

This is so fucking tired. Please attempt an original thought.
posted by empath at 5:17 PM on May 21, 2010 [24 favorites]


boo_radley: what are the hills?

fixedgear: Heidi will be having a third breast augmentation to increase her breast size to an H-cup.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:19 PM on May 21, 2010


what are the hills?

Is this something that I would need to have TV, to understand?

Nope, here you go! Alternatively, you could read the links here.
posted by lalex at 5:24 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh for heaven's sake... Liza! Put on some pants already!
posted by Evangeline at 5:30 PM on May 21, 2010


The Whelk: glad to be of service
posted by hippybear at 5:31 PM on May 21, 2010


Why I don't care
posted by ReeMonster at 5:32 PM on May 21, 2010


MTV holds its viewers in contempt, milks them for the ironic/cynical comedy dollar.

Film at 11.
posted by LogicalDash at 5:37 PM on May 21, 2010


Is MTV still on the air? Well, I'll be...
posted by Thorzdad at 5:39 PM on May 21, 2010


Please attempt an original thought.

Einstein wondered elephants.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:45 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Please attempt an original thought.

Einstein wondered elephants.


Simpsons did it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:54 PM on May 21, 2010


Heidi will be having a third breast augmentation

you know, I read this a COMPLETELY different way than it was intended and thought "Jeez, she really HAS gone crazy"
posted by briank at 5:55 PM on May 21, 2010 [17 favorites]


You guys, I'm gonna be direct and just ask if the joke is they've all had plastic surgery and their show is now canceled I have never watched this but reading this thread really hasn't cleared anything up I await your reply
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:59 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can't people just be happy with watching Liveleak vids of sniper hits and security cam beat downs?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2010


Have these been compared to any sex tapes please link the sex tapes
posted by Brocktoon at 6:28 PM on May 21, 2010


This last time something unintentional happened on MTV, "hey remember when they played music videos?" was not the first thing that came out of mouths when MTV was mentioned. "Unwittingly" my ass.
posted by griphus at 6:41 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Uh, I watched the opening. I don't see any noticeable differences, and nobody looked particularly scary.

then again I live in los angeles
posted by davejay at 7:22 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I consider myself pretty media/pop-culture savvy, but I guess I'm getting old because until this thread I didn't know where I was supposed to know Heidi Montag from, when that whole "plastic surgery omg" foofarah was going down. It just was never worth looking up.

Worse, I just realized from Wikipedia that her husband Spencer is the same annoying fame whore wanker "friend" on that godawful and thankfully short-lived "reality" tv abomination "Princes of Malibu" that made me want to punch my TV until either I or the entire FCC spectrum bled to death.

That little fuck had a fucking career!? Fuck!!!
posted by hincandenza at 7:38 PM on May 21, 2010


Sticherbeast: Heidi Montag used to be so cute! Now she looks like something from a Gregg Araki remake of Star 80.
cell divide: think I would watch that.
Ugh, don't even mention Araki, he makes me violently angry! I hate his films so very very very much that the mere cameo of James Duval nearly ruined Donnie Darko for me.
posted by hincandenza at 7:46 PM on May 21, 2010


As far as that promo tells me, The Hills is about giant puppet women terrorizing a city.


I think I'll start watching TV now.
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 8:09 PM on May 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


How can MTV take such a decent combination and make awful reality TV for slow teens?

MTV, whatever the acronym might stand for, is a device for manufacturing new reality telivision channels.
posted by nervousfritz at 8:22 PM on May 21, 2010


I'm scared that Spencer is going to murder Heidi. He needs to be hospitalized or at the least evaluated. I watched the last episode and felt sick. Just really really sick and scared for a reality person I don't even like.
posted by anniecat at 8:41 PM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


khaibit: It's, no... I, but Liza Minelli, and the Hills, which is different from the Heights, and that other show and... I feel so out of touch right now.

♪ ♫ How do you talk to an angel ... ♪ ♫

God, suddenly it's my freshman year in college.
posted by WCityMike at 9:30 PM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


♪ ♫ How do you talk to an angel ... ♪ ♫

I think I was a year older. ... ah, Charlotte Ross.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:10 PM on May 21, 2010


and i'm still not sure what this post is about or if i want to click the links. that's kinda rare after 40 comments ...
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 PM on May 21, 2010


All of my Hills knowledge comes from The Soup. As such, I have daily nightmares about Spencer Pratt's flesh colored beard.
posted by drezdn at 10:21 PM on May 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I said remember the tv show "Catwalk," and she said "I think I remember the shooow,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it." And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got." *A few twiddly guitar notes*
posted by drezdn at 10:24 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


mrgrimm - in short, a television channel (which once focused on music but now eeks drama and ratings from "real" people and their vapid lives, yet the channel hasn't changed their music-focused channel name) updated an intro to a TV show. That update compared the young ladies who star in the show from their first days on the show with their current appearances, which casts a dark shadow on the show's impact on those women.

Further abbreviated: four years of life on TV can age a young, image-focused lady 10 to 50 years.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 PM on May 21, 2010


the channel hasn't changed their music-focused channel name

Actually, they dropped the "Music Television" subtitle from their logo back in February.
posted by hippybear at 10:50 PM on May 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can a tv thread exist without people patting themselves on the back for not watching tv?
posted by Betty_effn_White at 11:43 PM on May 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Hey, I watched it. Or paused it and slid through (sans music).

Longer, extremely literal abbreviation: Heidi Montag from The Hills has gotten publicity lately for plastic surgery rumors. The promo for The Hills uses music from Nip & Tuck, a cable show about plastic surgery. That's it, right?
posted by mrgrimm at 11:45 PM on May 21, 2010


Can a tv thread exist without people patting themselves on the back for not watching tv?

I think the "Is this something I need a ___ to understand" comment has been a (bad) joke for, oh, a decade or so.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:47 PM on May 21, 2010


I had heard of Heidi Montag, just as a plastic surgery Barbie not to be used as a flotation device but I had no idea what a Spencer Pratt was until I looked him up, and - the name. Does what it says on the tin. Ew.

I'm going to go have nightmares now.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:26 AM on May 22, 2010


Even without having seen the show, it seems like a sad situation. According to Wikipedia, MTV has been following these young women for six years, the oldest of which is now 24. I don't know anything about LA but I would imagine being in a MTV reality show for the totality of your legally adult life would warp your perspective. Considering that the article implies they've all had some kind of work done or have become so image conscious - what's the name of the scientific principle where by the very nature of observing you change it? Now that the cameras will be off, what will their new looks bring them? Or will they continue to enhance their image in order to garner more attention?

I don't even know how to process the promo. Are these women puppets? Are they trying to liberate themselves or stab each other with the scissors? The last visual is disturbing - with the lyrics "a perfect life", you've got a woman floating while a giant hand with scissors cutting the strings and letting her crash and fall. I think that part's intentional and brutally honest. MTV knows what happened to these women isn't normal and real and doesn't care.
posted by zix at 6:22 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


A couple of girls, one set of H-cups.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:40 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Presumably, many people, probably a good portion of the show's audience, think that the four women look better than they did four years ago.
posted by box at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2010


hippybear: Apparently this is part of the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack.

I tapped out at 1:13.
posted by Prospero at 9:35 AM on May 22, 2010


How dare girls still maintain their hotness in this day and age.
posted by L'OM at 9:41 AM on May 22, 2010


There was actually a pretty good article on Gawker which touches on some of the questions zix brings up. Of course Gawker has until now always merely added fuel to the fire so it's a little disingenuous of them to back off now.

I thought the trailer was creepy- it basically acknowledged that these people are puppets in the scheme of reality tv ratings, and that their already meaningless lives will crash and burn without someone else pulling the strings and editing the footage.
posted by Aubergine at 10:32 AM on May 22, 2010


How dare girls still maintain their hotness in this day and age.

... by going under the surgeon's knife repeatedly, modifying their faces and bodies as if they were mere collections of auto parts rather than organic beings with reasons to exist apart from their precious "hotness".
posted by spoobnooble at 10:44 AM on May 22, 2010


> How dare girls still maintain their hotness in this day and age.

What? We're talking about 24 year old women here, not women in their mid-forties trying to look 24. They don't need ANY surgery. Or were you just tossing that out there as bait.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:04 AM on May 22, 2010


Sticherbeast: Heidi Montag used to be so cute! Now she looks like something from a Gregg Araki remake of Star 80.

The terrible thing is, they know they aren't having plastic surgery to make themselves look better in any real sense, they're having it for the sake of the very temporary ratings boost they get when everyone hears the news and tunes in to have a look.
posted by jamjam at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2010


They don't appear that different to me-- I can see they've changed, I'm aware of the plastic surgery, but it doesn't look like the promo tries to play on those differences.

What does appear to have happened, however, is that New York Magazine has created a controversy where there isn't really any, in order to get the traffic.

This isn't a snarky dig against NY Mag (or the Mefi post.) This creation of controversy happens a lot nowadays, and we misunderstand its purpose. We erroneously think the show creates the controversy to boost ratings. It doesn't need the ratings.

Miss USA controversy is a good example. You might think "oh, they create controversy so you watch the pageant." But they've been doing controversy since Vanessa Williams, and still ratings continuously go down (6M this time vs. 20M in 1990.) Are they just stupid? Do their ads cost less? No, because they're not creating the controversy. The news outlets are creating the controversy so you watch the news outlets. They don't give a damn about the Miss USA pageant, they just want to talk about something. As an analogy, think of the Miss USA pageant, as The Hills, as a loss leader.

Meanwhile we start to care about something we all acknowledge we don't want to care about at all. So we argue about whether Miss USA is a good or bad Muslim/stripper/walker. Same with the Hills.

What drives me the most bananas is when people say, "oh, I don't watch the Hills." No one does, that's the point. Yet it still has a GIGANTIC influence over our culture, if for no other reason that you are aware of things that go on in it, around it. Just by hating Spencer or tsk-tsking Heidi's plastic surgery, you are picking sides in a "culture war."

You may think you're above all this stuff, looking down on it. But the looking down on it is the whole point of it. You're all in, you just don't realize you are.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 1:23 PM on May 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


This exploitative TV shows about young girls are really starting to get to me. I don't know if they just spotlight the trainwrecks their lives have become or if they in fact contribute to the derailing.

Chelsea Handler, who I think is pretty funny as a comedian, is the executive producer for a show called Pretty Wild, which "chronicles" three tattooed, pierced, lingerie-modeling teen-aged girls and their ditzy, former Playboy model Mom, who feeds them Adderall daily though as far as I can tell there's no AD/HD diagnosis for any of them. Oh, and one of them isn't a biological daughter, but it really doesn't matter to the whole plot.

I watched the show out of curiosity after a pretty damning Vanity Fair article and saw 19 and 18 year-olds changing their clothes for the camera (with frequent crotch and boob shots while the girls posed), the same girls pole dancing for their dates while their Mom not only looked on but then joined in herself, and other just general UGH.

I'm ashamed of myself for getting roped into watching this kind of sick "Reality TV". That's my fault. What's sad is that this really isn't anything new. The bar for TV is just so low these days I'm surprised we aren't televising executions now.
posted by misha at 1:31 PM on May 22, 2010


Yet it still has a GIGANTIC influence over our culture, if for no other reason that you are aware of things that go on in it, around it.

You're kidding, right? I had no idea this show even existed until this post, and I had to look it up on wikipedia to make any sense of this. I guarantee you that none of he people I talk to on a frequent basis know what it is either. It's not because we feel superior. It's because we're old. Old being 35+.
posted by desjardins at 1:46 PM on May 22, 2010


Also, I am no stranger to pop culture; I watch Lost like a hawk, and I have read more gossip about Zachary Quinto than I'm comfortable admitting to. I'm not any better than fans of this show; we just move in completely different circles.
posted by desjardins at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2010


It's not because we feel superior. It's because we're old. Old being 35+

It helps to have a 24 year old female "cubemate" to explain these things, without her I'd be lost when it comes to a lot of this stuff. Currently I'm learning about "Skinny Bitch" and "P90X".
posted by MikeMc at 2:28 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Help me decide what to think about 'Skinny Bitch.' Because I'm kinda torn.
posted by box at 3:05 PM on May 22, 2010


I have to say the Hills really is a low point in TV - not quite reality, not quite real and certainly unwatchable.
posted by sstapley at 10:20 PM on May 22, 2010


What drives me the most bananas is when people say, "oh, I don't watch the Hills." No one does, that's the point.

I do. I've watched every Laguna Beach (and the subsequent new classes of it that never took off), the Hills, and the City.

I have to say the Hills really is a low point in TV - not quite reality, not quite real and certainly unwatchable.

No way. The low point came on VH1 when Flava Flav's Bachelor-esque show "Flavor of Love" was on the air and one of the candidates to be his girlfriend took a dump on the floor during the "clock ceremony."
posted by anniecat at 7:44 AM on May 23, 2010


I think we can go lower.
posted by box at 7:46 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The terrible thing is, they know they aren't having plastic surgery to make themselves look better in any real sense, they're having it for the sake of the very temporary ratings boost they get when everyone hears the news and tunes in to have a look.

That may be a factor, I'm skeptical that that's the primary motivation. I honestly think that Heidi (and Spencer) have heavily, pathologically distorted ideas about how she looks and how she ought to look. This leads into the pointless plastic surgery, which has taken an already perfectly attractive young woman and turned her into an F-cupped Barbie who can't jog or make normal facial expressions. Just as an anorexic will look in the mirror and always perceive some offensive pouch of fat which needs dieting away, Heidi probably looks in the mirror and sees a chin or a nose or a whatever just a little bit off, but of course easily correctable by surgery.

It's as if she looked at a heavily Photoshopped Maxim photo spread and decided to look like the spread itself, as opposed to even the model.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2010


It's not because we feel superior. It's because we're old. Old being 35+.

My mother-in-law is 67 and watches The Hills. :(
posted by mrgrimm at 1:15 PM on June 10, 2010


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