A Lowbrow Example …

Forgive me for producing an example that’s the lowest of the low-brow, but today’s discussion about reality and constructed scenes made me think of the ending of the MTV show The Hills. For those of you lucky enough to have missed this particular phenomenon, the show was a spinoff of a previous MTV reality show (Laguna Beach) and followed one of that show’s “characters” and her friends as they moved to Hollywood. Like a lot of reality TV, it was criticized for being set-up and possibly scripted — criticisms that only grew as the show’s stars became tabloid fixtures without that part of their lives ever being shown on screen.

Anyway, the show attempted to maintain some level of mystery about just how much it was setting up the story, until the final episode, which ended with the following scene — in which two characters say a mournful goodbye, only to have it revealed that (SPOILER ALERT!) they’ve been filming on a soundstage.