Cultural Synergy

The Hills, the Laguna Beach spin-off that maintains all the charm and inanity of the original, featured my favorite love song of 2005 “Secret Heart” last night. For those 90 seconds, my simultaneous interest in highbrow and lowbrow cultural was fulfilled as never before. The song came at a pivotal moment as Jason was trying to reconcile with Lauren, who he had cheated on with his ex-gf on the last season of Laguna Beach. Many think the “characters” on Laguna Beach and the Hills are dumb, and that both shows glamorize the lifestyle of the nouveau riche. These many are right, even if that judgment smacks of old-money prejudice. But fundamentally, the show is very real to me. On most reality and non-reality tv shows, the dialogue moves the plot forward and exactly reflects what each character feels. In life, not so much. How many times have we all had trouble, as Leslie Feist sings, admitting that we just can’t get through it alone? On Laguna Beach and the Hills, language fails. Jason can’t explain why he kissed Jessica in front of Lauren (at a charity fashion show no less!) and Lauren can’t explain why she wants to forgive him. The show’s uncomfortable moments prove the rich and beautiful are just like us, awkward.