The final episode of heavily-scripted reality show The Hills aired last night, with a surprisingly smart ending.
After two of the show’s stars, Brody Jenner and Kristin Cavallari, say goodbye to one another, Jenner watches Cavallari drive off into the sunset. But suddenly, the backdrop behind Jenner moves away, revealing a full Hollywood set and camera crew. Cavallari’s car was just a few feet in the distance. The camera rises above the entire cast and crew, above soundstages – not the scene anyone was expecting.
This knowing, winking scene poses the question: Is the show fake? Of course it is. We all saw the show’s stars grace the tabloids constantly, yet we rarely if ever saw them deal with paparazzi. Plus, it’s not like these cast members are that talented at acting genuine. Tuned In’s James Poniewozik calls the show “totally dedicated to being a fame-manufacturing machine,” but he still raves about its use of their semi-celebrity and gorgeous composition, treating its video shots like photographs.
Even Jenner copped to some artifice, noting to MTV that the scene was open to interpretation, and that their “relationship, the entire time could have been fake.” So if you truly believe that Cavallari and Jenner had a love that was meant to be, you can go on believing. The rest of us can just wait for the new season of Jersey Shore.