Last night, I watched the first two episodes of Season 4 of The Hills and it became apparent to me that something more than rehashed flimsy drama from two years ago and aerial shots of Los Angeles was going on. There was something deeper. Everyone is spacier, woozier, more boring than usual. In fact, I think that in the 4th season, MTV has shrewdly transitioned The Hills from light reality soap to grave public service announcement about traumatic brain injuries. How else can you explain how everything on The Hills neatly matches up to the symptoms of a concussion? Take a look:

Symptom: Changes in your ability to think, concentrate, or remember.

The Hills: When asked "What have you been up to the past four years?" on a date with a human goal post, Lauren can't remember a single thing she's done, and just says, "I know."

The correct answer is, "I've been shooting a very popular reality show about my life for MTV. Actually, see those cameras? We're on it right now."

Symptom: Acting confused, asking the same question over and over, slurring words, or not being able to concentrate.

The Hills: Lo (aka Lauren the Second) keeps repeating, "You look pretty," to whomever crosses into her line of vision, unaware of how hollow her words sound.

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Also, she clearly can't concentrate on her makeup. Unless she's trying to look like a craggy cartoon vampire.

Symptom: Feeling lightheaded, seeing "stars," having blurry vision, or experiencing ringing in the ears.

The Hills: Coincidentally, those are the exact feelings all of the clubs in The Hills are trying to replicate, but with the added bonus of expensive bottle service.

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It's so hard to know where nightlife in LA ends, and symptoms of a concussion begin.

Symptom: Changes in sex drive.

The Hills: Lauren Conrad's sex drive can be summed up in one tepid, limp, "Yay."



Still, going from tundra to tepid about the dates that MTV picks out for you is a huge change–especially for someone who is essentially a walking air conditioner.

Symptom: Changes in your personality such as becoming angry or anxious for no clear reason.

The Hills: "Becoming angry or anxious for no clear reason (except for maybe something that happened two years ago that wasn't a big deal anyway)" could be the subtitle of The Hills.

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How angry is Spencer Pratt? Angry enough to grow a flesh-colored beard.

Symptom: Feeling that you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. These describe vertigo, or a sensation that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no movement. Vertigo may make you lightheaded or nauseous, and you may throw up.

The Hills: That explains all of the dizzying aerial shots: MTV is trying to put us inside the characters' concussion-addled brains.

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It also explains this look from Whitney.

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