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Call It Les Collines: The Hills' European Vacation

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It’s not like MTV needs a strike as an excuse to load up on reality shows, but yesterday it announced that The Hills, coming off a high-rated season 3, will get a bonus eight episodes next year that will follow Lauren and Whitney to Paris.

(In case you missed the most recent show, Teen Vogue was all, Whitney, you’re going to the Crillon Ball for us and she was like, But I already went to Paris one time, what about Lauren?, and editor lady was like, Lauren had her chance and she said no, and then Lauren was all, Oh, I’m happy for you but really she was like, Why did I say no to Paris over some stupid guy?, but then Editor Lady was like, Oh, Lauren, we just happened to get a phone call and now we need a lot of help in Paris and can you go too?, and Lauren was like Hell to the Y-E-S!)

Anyway, I’m excited about this, not because I care about what happens to Lauren or Heidi or Spencer or Brody or anyone. I want to see how they’ll make Paris look.

There’s been more talk lately about whether and how the show stages or reshoots scenes. Honestly, I could care less about that. (Most of the dialogue sounds like it’s being read off 3 x 5 cards, and either you’re good with that or you’re not.) But the most important–and most artistically grand–way in which The Hills improves on reality is visual: it makes the world look far more beautiful and luminous than it could ever be. Heaven doesn’t glow like The Hills does.

The real star of The Hills (like Laguna Beach) is the light of Southern California. Every scene is drenched in it; every panorama is framed like art photography; even the most mundane settings are fetishized and polished to things of impossible beauty. I mean, I’ve been through LAX several times; I’ve never seen the jewel box of art-directed grandeur that Lauren passed through on the way to catch that Air France jet.

And now The Hills’ producers are going to get the chance to turn their cameras on freaking Paris? I’m not sure my heart can take it.