Saturday, August 19, 2006

Laguna Beach 3: They stand up, we stand down.

We'll start with a quiz of the Drudge-advertiser variety – match the
gender to the Laguna Beach Season 3 character:
Answers below

I can't think of a rational link between our Iraq adventure and the
social narrative of MTV's Laguna Beach, but after the debut of Season
3, I'm convinced there is one.

Season 1 was the invasion and the illusion of success. The locals
appeared friendly, sort of, and there was reason to believe that peace
and good intentions might win out. The fabulously rich and spoiled,
it turned out, were good hearted, eclectic, curious, quirky and
occasionally bright (also, Lauren and Kristen were Bond-girl hot in a
two-piece, which they habitually wore). They were like us, and when
they weren't exactly like us, they behaved like we hoped we might,
as when Steven juggled the affections of Lo and Kristen, and actually
looked for a decent option to spare the loser with a fair peace.
These kids did normal things like beg their parents for cars, fail
algebra, look lost when they visited the big city and get drunk when
their parents weren't looking.

But was this whole experiment breeding a new generation of terror-kids?

Season 2 was the slow slide to anarchy as the locals and the influx
of new blood lost respect for authority and realized that – in the
vacuum of the power left by the invasion – they could do anything they
want, anytime they wanted. They got drunk in limos and around their
pools in the middle of the day. They deployed sex in more and more
ruthless, haphazard ways, and the body counts piled up. Dignity and
brains (and any semblence of 'normal' high school behavior)
disappeared as ruthless, cruel kids rushed in to grab turf, all
orbiting militia-head Kristen, who was rumored to be dating people
like Nick Lachey Matt Leinart, the King of LA, where EVERYONE said
they were moving. Like all Khans before her, Kristen ruled with
cruelty, ruining enemies and friends alike almost every week.

Had we lost control? Was it time for a different course?

It's legacy at stake, MTV pushed on.

Now it's Season 3 and regardless of what Tony Snow might call it,
we're in open civil war. The insurgents are now the only power, and
their only voice is violence. Like Al Zakahir, Kristen is gone, and
rival groups are now inventing new ways to be horrible to each other.

Like this Kyndra. Holy crap. DO NOT get caught out alone in any
sector of the city her loyalists control. One minute you're getting
sushi with some water polo buddies, the next minute you're blindfolded
with dudes holding swords behind you.

This week's season debut culminated in a pool party at Kyndra's
house, with key lieutenant Cami, the kind of pool party where all the
girls wear jeans and corsets (?), playing tough to the normal
distribution of skinny jocks.

(sidenote: Cami must REALLY be easy, because despite huge tits she's
the worst looking central character to date)

In walked Tessa and her bestest friend Rocky. Kyndra was Super pissed.
Glares, pointed fingers, fabulously fake hugs. Nothing new here.

Then we saw just how bad its got.

The two camps – Tessa's and Kyndra's – separated into groups across
the pool deck, and, after a few minutes of glaring and cattiness,
began openly yelling taunts at each other. "Yeah, I'm talking about
you, bitch" etc.

An unthinkable break of the social norms in previous season (plus:
nobody hated each other THAT much, at least not until Cabo).

Soon enough, Tessa and Rocky retreated – "Whatever" "I'm so over
this" – out of the pool to the Green Zone, I guess. And Kyndra and
Cami declared it bikini-time.

And finally, back for more abuse this year, is Jessica Chalabi, whose
ineptness in the political arena is getting so ridiculous, she may
soon start getting fan mail from Christopher Hitchens.

The central Himbo this season is Cameron, who unlike last year's
human trash can Jason, at least looks the part, something akin to a
water polo-version of Trev Alberts.

Now stop me if you've heard this: the season opens with Jessica
having just hooked up with Himbo, bragging to Alex M (who rejoins with
muscle-for-hire Alex H (!) in reprising their award winning 'I wish I
was as pretty as my friends'-roles) that she and Himbo are on their
way to being a couple. Cut to Himbo talking shit with his boys,
making fun of Jelabi for, essentially, being enough of a slut to hook
up with him.

Where's this going? Anyone want a stab?

Yip. As the ads are already telegraphing in next week's episode
"Summer Gives Way To Fall-uja," Kyndra is about to lay siege to Himbo.

(I may have gotten my Alexs switched up above. Who can keep up?)

Published accounts have said the entire town turned on the show last
year as they filmed, running them out of public places and ruining
shoots. As a result – and this is a key parallel with Iraq today –
anything here that might be presented as "normal" (ie, rival groups
of girls attending the same pool party; meaningful elections) can now
be assumed to be a carefully scripted and delivered act, with no
relation to reality. And for the second straight year, the cast just
isn't as good looking as the first go-around, and why spy on rich kids
if they look like us?

But I suppose I'll watch for a while, even if we're unlikely to see
any of those adorable

Like Iraq, we broke it, we bought it.

Kyndra (F), Kel (Kelan, M), Lex (F), Rocky (Raquel, F), Cam
(Cameron, M), Tessa (F), Chase (M) and Cami (F).

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