So: Bret Easton Ellis is on the cover of expensive Amsterdam-based magazine Fantastic Man, drinking a Diet Coke. In it, he calls the soul-sucking experience that is The Hills "the greatest show that I have ever seen in my life."
The profile details Ellis' move to L.A. and comes in the middle of his writing the "sequel" to his first book, Less Than Zero (which made him a literary superstar at the age of 20), which is tentatively titled Imperial Bedrooms. The article - which isn't avalible online - paints Ellis as kind of sad and living a very existential, somewhat disconnected life. Also, he thinks The Hills is genius. The full quote, transcribed from print:
He is, however-and on this subject, he is highly animated-a huge fan of MTV's scripted reality series of the young and the monied in L.A., THE HILLS. "I think THE HILLS is the greatest show I have ever seen in my life," he says, sincerely. "It is a modern masterpiece. I think that ADAM DeVILLO is a mad genius. He creates it and controls it perfectly." Mr. ELLIS is very specific about the way he watches THE HILLS. "I'm holding off on Season 4 right now. I started watching a bit of it, but I'm waiting until the DVD comes out because I want to see it all so beautifully mastered. Even if you download the show there is that irritating MTV logo in the corner. It doesn't work for me that way. It has to be on a big screen with the sound right up. It blows me away...I'm sorry, but whoever invented HEIDI MONTAG and SPENCER PRATT are just...nothing matches it. I've never see L.A. look more beautiful in a work of art. There are no movies that are as beautiful as that."
This is why I'm never moving to L.A. Just like The City is why you should never move to New York.
He was also, interestingly enough, called out on a social networking site on a date going out ("BRET ELLIS is not a fan of social-networking sites. He has been "caught out" by someone on a dating site, though understandable doesn't care to flesh out that story. He won't try it again.").
Thing is, this makes an interesting point that I've never really considered before. The Hills is the tame, boring drug-less version of Less Than Zero (note to Hills producers: show them doing blow, and I'll watch). A bunch of severely disaffected brats, fucking around with their parents' money, creating an awe-inspiring charade of lives inextricably tied to the celebrity culture of Hollywood. This raises the question: was Less Than Zero the predecessor to The Hills? Do we blame Ellis for Speidi? Is Paul Telegdy off the hook today?
Meanwhile, Fantastic Man, which could be a test-tube baby between Esquire and McSweeny's, is kind of a fascinating product. It's a giant, pretty magazine with nice pages and a strange sense of humor. It costs $11. And it has Bret Easton Ellis on the cover, drinking a Diet Coke. This should tell you what kind of magazine it is: at once both kind of genius and a complete waste of one's time. I love it.
For example, in one issue, there is:
- A 1,000 word essay from the Editor-In-Chief of Interview on waking up with a hangover in Paris.
- A 1,000 word treatise on the greatness that is toast.
- A designation of the word "Super" as their word of the season. This is written on their masthead.
- A selection of single meals art-world people have had recently (one of them: pervy photog Terry Richardson's meal of a vegetarian burrito from Pinche Taqueria in New York. "For dessert, he had a pack of sour Skittles, also very 'yum yum.'").
- And a cover story featuring Bret Easton Ellis with nothing to promote. Did we mention he was drinking a Diet Coke?