Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Boycott of 'The Hills'

At first, it was just that smarmy feeling. A tiny alarm bell that went off in the back of my brain as I watched 'The Hills' transfixed by the vapidness of it all and the clothes. Ah, the clothes. The first bell sounded when Heidi moved out of Lauren's apartment to move in with Spencer. I thought, "Well, no good will come of this."

The following season it happened again. I watched with more alarm and a bit of foreboding as Heidi lost all her friends and was humiliated at work and in front of her co-workers (Vegas style). At the time I was angry at her boss for placing the blame on her and not her douche of a boyfriend, Spencer. He is clearly a boy, not a man, with whom she has no control or power over and yet she was the one being penalized. It wasn't right. Yet, I continued to watch. I'm not even going to go into how much therapy his sister, Stephanie, probably needs from a lifetime of dealing with his inexusable behavior.

This season though and particularly the last few episodes I've moved beyond that. I have decided to stop watching 'The Hills'- full stop. Watching Heidi's family being thrown by the wayside, the excuses, sadness and bits of fear that play across her face, never mind the intense all out anxiety each time Spencer enters a room, is beyond any acting this girl is capable of doing. Yes, this show is loosely scripted and "reality"-based but let's face facts here. Something else entirely is going on and Mtv is just putting some high-gloss shine on the giant pink elephant that resides in the room. That giant elephant is none other than emotional abuse.

While he may not be smacking her around (ooh the ratings, huh Mtv?!) he is getting paid to go beyond evil-super-tv-villian. We, the viewers, just all sit around watching this girl's self-esteem crumble too. She can do no right and is not capable of seeing her world in any way beyond what he is letting her see. This type of abuse, like others, warps your mind and makes you powerless to the abuser. For a while I tried to brush it all off and told myself I was being hyper-critical. It's just a tv show I thought. I told myself I was over-sensitive due to my own past. Then I realized I was not alone in my thinking (read this please- especially the final paragraphs). It's not just me and my past making me overly sensitive and possibly de-sensitized. I can no longer just sit and watch this all play out.

I'm angry about so many things in this situation and it is all beyond my control, including how no one over at Mtv is stepping in. Oh, wait is that the season finale, Mtv? Are you going to have LC swoop in and save the day and take Heidi away from all this mess? Or are you going to step in now and help this poor girl out? She clearly can't see her way out of a paper bag on her own so she does need someones help. What better timing than now, in October during National Domestic Violence Awareness month?

Until this situation ends, I'm banning 'The Hills' from my house. So long brilliant white teeth, long silences over nothing of consequence and hello, to one less thing taking up space in my DVR queue. That silence I hope will resonate with others who stop watching as well.

1 comment:

  1. You know...I have been extremely uneasy watching the past few episodes, and I now know the reason why. Thank you for clarifying how I feel.


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