Posts Tagged ‘Brody Jenner’

L.A. Candy: First It’s Sour, Then It’s… Sweet Little Lies

“Interesting,” said Madison, although really, it wasn’t interesting at all.—Sweet Little Lies

When we last left the loosely life-like literary creations of Lauren Conrad, they were deeply mired in controversy. Our heroine, Jane Roberts, had just slept with her boyfriend’s best friend and, once the tabloids had gotten hold of the photographic evidence of the affair, absconded to Mexico with her reality TV co-star, Madison Parker. Unbeknownst to Jane, however, it was Madison who had the photos taken and delivered to Gossip magazine in exchange for more publicity.

Does this sound interesting? Because really, it’s not interesting at all.

Any regular viewer of The Hills, the real-life inspiration for L.A, Candy and now Sweet Little Lies, knows that a surprising amount of the show consists of nothing happening.* People go to dinner, they go to clubs (usually Les Deux), and they go to work; and then they tell other people about what happened at dinner, at the clubs, and at work. The most interesting aspect of the show, really, is how the show itself affects the reality it captures. How does having your life put on TV affect that life? Continue reading

The Return of The Hills

The Hills KristinThe appeal of The Hills has always been its delicate balance of a few very key contradictions: the show is “real life” but quite obviously staged, these characters are on a very successful and invasive TV show that they can never explicitly acknowledge, the people on the show constantly talk about how much is going on in their lives while nothing actually happens on the show, and they all have to lead very dramatic lives while simultaneously professing a deep aversion to said “drama.”

The introduction of Kristin Cavallari, though, threatens to throw this symbiosis all out of whack.

In last night’s season premiere (called “It’s On, Bitch,” except MTV didn’t punctuate it, so it read as if something was on top of “bitch”), Kristin was treated as if her reputation preceded her like Winston Wolf, except instead of solving problems, she steals boyfriends. And in short order she starts pursuing Audrina’s ex, Justin Bobby.

Except Kristin’s reputation is repeated so often by so many characters that they sound as if they were reading MTV Production Notes (particularly Stephanie, who says both “This is the girl that’s going to stab us all in the back!” and “How is it possible that one girl can turn all of our lives upside down?”). Also, the only reason Kristin is pursuing Justin, as she more or less admits, is to cause drama and upset Audrina, which A) violates the rule that all characters must profess a “no drama” ethos; and B) highlights how forced Kristin’s inclusion is. She’s not actually friends with anyone on the show, as both she and Lo make clear at various points during the episode, which makes any interaction she has with the rest of the cast seem manipulated and contrived (even more so than usual). Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while Google Earth-ing the rest of the Middle East:

  • Our friends over at The Millions got a jump start on decade-in-review countdowns, ranking the best novels of the last 10 years. For those who, like us, enjoyed Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, No. 4 on The Millions’ list, they offer a complete “Bolaño syllabus” for how to read more of the still-being-translated Chilean. And if decade-in-review countdowns are up your alley, get pumped for December, when we exercise our own love of rankings and unleash a massive retrospective on the last 10 years.
  • We’ve known about Tampa Bay Rays’ outfielder-cum-poet Fernando Perez for over a year now. Perez, a Jersey Guy and Columbia alum, is one of the most articulate athletes to come along in some time, a talent he showcases in an essay on poetry he wrote for the latest issue of Poetry Magazine. Perez has also written glimpses at Major League life for The New York Times‘ Bats blog and at Minor League life for MiLB.com.
  • It was more than a week ago that Fire Joe Morgan staged a one-day reunion on Deadspin, but this takedown of Derek Jeter is, to some of us, timeless.

L.A. Candy: First It’s Sour, Then It’s Sweet

la-candyL.A. Candy, Lauren Conrad’s first novel, is a book that raises all sorts of important questions. For example, what exactly is “just the right amount of sexy stubble”? What qualifies as “off-the-charts SAT scores”? What is the appropriate attire to wear with a microphone?

In the proud tradition of Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, and Philip Roth, Conrad’s first novel is semiautobiographical: The story follows Jane Roberts as she moves to L.A. to fulfill her dream of becoming an “events planner,” and on the way gets cast as the star of a reality series.

Those looking for a true roman à clef, however, may be somewhat disappointed. While there are clearly some analogs that a seasoned viewer of The Hills cannot miss (“Jesse Edwards”=Brody Jenner, “Hannah”=Whitney, “Fiona Chen”=Lisa Love/Kelly Cutrone) there are no real Heidi or Spencer counterparts and the book isn’t really a thinly veiled tell-all of the “juicy secrets” behind the show.

The most revealing section of the book in that respect may be the Acknowledgments page where, in addition to thanking her “collaborator” Nancy Ohlin, Conrad thanks her “best friends”: Maura, Lo, Jillian, Natania and Britton….Now, I know Lo, but who the hell are those other four?! Eighty percent of Lauren’s BEST FRIENDS are people who I’ve never seen on TV before?   Continue reading