Filed under: Guys from "The Hills" | Tags: Jason Wahler, Lauren Conrad, The Hills
I can hardly let a discussion of The Hills go by without mentioning the force of nature that is Jason Wahler.
Although he has left the show, his presence on it during season 1 (and even, fleetingly, during season 3) has cast a long shadow, out from which it has been very difficult for any of the new boys to distinguish themselves.
There have been so many quintessential moments:
• Like the time Jason gave Lauren grief about not spending his entire birthday with him (she had to work) and then abandoned her on the sidewalk after his birthday dinner to go out with his guy friends.
• Or the time they were out at a big New Year’s Eve party, and Jason told Lauren she’d better enjoy it because they wouldn’t be together in the New Year. She, of course, left crying. Jason sped after her in a taxi (a “follow that car” moment.) He was obviously drunk, wearing his top hat slightly askew, pocketing his cigar and clutching a bunch of roses he bought from a street vendor. He rushed to her apartment to try and kiss her before midnight. Ain’t love grand?
• Or the time when he arranged for a romantic dinner for Lauren’s birthday in a downtown LA hotel suite, complete with rose petals and candlelight. After dinner, Jason asked her what she’d like to do. She said she’d like to spend time with him. So he asked her whom she’d like to go out with—any of his friends? Any of her friends? When she responded no, she just wanted to be with him, his eyes glazed over. And she said, “can’t you just be with me?” And then they both stared silently and dejectedly into space.
• And of course, who can forget the Jason-centered cliffhanger at the end of Season 1? Lauren was offered the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to intern in Paris for the summer with Teen Vogue. But on the other hand, Jason had rented a beach house for them both in Malibu so they could live together for a few months and take their relationship to the next level. When she told him about her dilemma, Jason claimed he’d support her no matter what her decision was, but then added in a rather gruff tone, “what are you going to do?”
Well, those of us who watch the show know what happened. Lauren (to the surprise and disgust of us all) chose the guy over Paris. (I think you could hear the collective scream “don’t do it!” echoing across the country during that episode.) And by the end of the summer, she and Jason had broken up.
We all saw the breakup coming. Just like we saw public reports of his drunken and disorderly behavior coming, and his subsequent arrests, and his stint in rehab. Jason, even if he wasn’t a presence on The Hills for season 2, was definitely making his presence known elsewhere. His mug shots were all over the internet.
What we didn’t expect is that we’d see him back on the screen in Season 3. He seemed mellow. He looked clean. (And even, dare I say, handsome?) He took Lauren out to dinner, and he drank sparkling water. When they “coincidentally” ran into Spencer and Heidi at the same restaurant, Jason confronted them about the sex tape rumors they had spread. Lauren looked on with admiration (you can hear the swooning “my hero”); she obviously still had some feelings for him. Then he invited Lauren to a party at his condo, where one of his friends had a big announcement:
Jason was engaged. (Screech. Stop the presses.)
Lauren’s observation, as she raised her plastic cup for a toast to the happy couple? “That was quick.”
There are now rumors that Wahler (and his fiancée) will join the cast of The Hills for season 5. Of course, he will be fresh from the settlement of a second civil suit from a conviction he had back in 2006, in which he assaulted and verbally abused an LA tow-truck driver and Department of Transportation worker (he had to spend time in jail for the offense in 2007.) He had also been arrested in North Carolina in 2007 for underage drinking and verbal abuse of police officers. He’s developed quite a rap sheet in his time off-air.
So, if Jason does come back, I think we can expect some fireworks.
But I am starting to wonder: is it me, or are they putting something in the water in LA?