I’ve been navigating something tricky with one of my daughters this summer, and it’s taking up a lot of time and headspace. Sometimes I realllly want to talk about it and other times I’d rather debate the state of Tom Cruise’s face (does he even age?!?) and whether JLo and Ben are truly in love. I should probably go to therapy or meditate, but I can’t summon the motivation.
I have found something that helps, but it’s strange and kind of embarrassing. At night, when the house is asleep and my worries come out to play, I cue up The Hills on Netflix. For the uninitiated, The Hills is a (supposed) reality show that debuted on MTV in 2006. It follows a group of entitled twentysomethings as they navigate careers and relationships in Los Angeles.
Each snack-size episode is devoid of any substance or deeper meaning. I don’t have to think too hard because no one on the show thinks too hard, either. As the ridiculousness unfolds on the screen, my brain shuts down, and my worries find someone else to harass. I blithely watch cast members sob about problems that aren’t really problems and pout when things don’t go their way. Poor Whitney has been interning at fashion mags for five summers straight, and clueless Audrina answers phones at a record label while pining for Hollywood and a boyfriend. No one worries about money because there’s always plenty to go around.
My family is understandably confused about my current obsession with The Hills, especially since I usually crave dark, gritty shows with intense storylines (just last year I shared my favorite “ripped from the headlines” series with you!). During this stormy period of life, I need shiny and bright.
At some point I will return to the land of normal, age-appropriate viewing. In the meantime, if you have any other mindless shows to suggest, please leave them in the comments. Otherwise, I might have to meditate. Or call my therapist.