The Hills fakes its own death tonight

After six seasons and four years of just-plausible-enough fake drama, The Hills ends tonight. Also tonight, its spin-off, The City, concludes its second and perhaps final season. This all unfolds over four hours, starting at 8 p.m. ET with “The Hills Live: A Hollywood Ending,” concluding with a one-hour live after-show at 11 p.m.

While its visual style was established by its predecessor, Laguna Beach, The Hills became a cultural phenomenon thanks to tabloid interest in its stars–which, of course, was ignored on the show. Over the years, it was increasingly revealed to be heavily manipulated if not downright fake, from producers reshooting scenes to casting actors and using fake locations. Eventually, they just gave up pretending that it was real, admitting, among other things, that cast members get dialogue via text message. And let’s not forget what kind of monsters the show created.

In The L.A. Times, Jon Caramanica writes that the series is now “badly limping and in need of euthanasia” thanks in part due to the absence of “the long, meditative shots that lent structure and dignity to even the most insipid conversations between cast members,” never mind Lauren Conrad, who “was truly the show’s glue, a beacon of innocence and gentleness, and someone to root for.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.