The Hills Examined in The Boston Globe

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Continuing its spring run, The Hills airs all-new episode tonight. The Boston Globe's Joanna Weiss recently took a look at this cultural phenomenon ...

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I still remember the first time I stumbled on The Hills, and how confused I was.

It couldn't be scripted, since the dialogue was simply awful and the cast members could barely deliver lines. But it couldn't be a reality TV show, because the scenes played out a little too perfectly. Cameras always happened to be rolling when the phone rang or the meaningful text message arrived.

It is, of course, a reality show, but a strangely innovative one.

Lauren Conrad and her friends in Los Angeles might replay scenes they've already lived through, or make carefully timed entrances into rooms so the cameras can get the right angle, but they never give a hint that they're being filmed.

The Hills, a coming-of-age follow-up to Laguna Beach, drops the pretense of the confessional and sense of manufactured conflict in favor of a new charade:

Pretending cameras aren't there.

Lauren and Whitney: Paris Bound!

The Hills' Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port.

Love it or hate it, reality TV or scripted drama, The Hills is an unmitigated MTV hit, and not just among America's 'tweens or the college crowd.

John McCain, who won an endorsement from Heidi Montag, told Time magazine he never misses the show, and it's hard to tell if he was kidding.

The first of the current eight-episode run of spring "bonus" installments of The Hills drew 4.8 million viewers, the show's highest ratings to date.

Continue reading this article here ...

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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