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The Hills

Exclusive Portrait: Happy Birthday to Lauren Conrad of ‘The Hills’

Lauren Conrad, photo by Joe Arce.

CHICAGO – Reality TV star Lauren Conrad turns 28 years old on February 1st. Best known for the MTV reality series, “The Hills,” Conrad recently wrote a book called “Infamous,” and was photographed for HollywoodChicago.com, during a promotional appearance at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., in June of 2013

DVD Review: ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Three’ Continues Reality Phenomenon

Jersey Shore S3

CHICAGO – When most people hear that I’m a TV critic, they usually make a snarky comment about the disaster of reality TV. While I agree that a vast majority of it is nearly unbearable, I don’t think it’s fair to lump the entire genre into one negative bundle. It’s not surprising that I love the critical darlings like “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Top Chef” but jaws drop when I try to defend MTV’s massive hit “Jersey Shore,” the third season of which was just released in an uncensored, 4-disc set.

DVD Review: Ridiculous Yet Fascinating ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season Two’

Jersey Shore S2

CHICAGO – There’s something about “Jersey Shore” that makes it unbelievably watchable. I’ll never understand why people have taken to the oversaturated “Real Housewives” franchise or the draw of “Hoarders,” but I totally get “Jersey Shore.” It’s difficult not to be entertained by personalities this larger-than-life and the bonus is that they feel as close to real as reality television has been in years. “Jersey Shore” never seems nearly as scripted as “The Hills,” reminding viewers of my generation of the “Real World” dramatics of the show’s first few years — back when it felt, you know, real.

DVD Review: MTV’s Controversial ‘Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season One’

Jersey Shore DVD

CHICAGO – Maybe I live under a rock, but I must admit to being unfamiliar with the world of “Jersey Shore” outside of the occasional tabloid news item about a cast member and Bobby Moynihan’s now-even-more brilliant portrayal of “Snooki” on “Saturday Night Live.” When “Jersey Shore Uncensored: Season One” showed up on my desk, I cautiously approached the 3-disc set.

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  • Happy Christmas

    CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.

  • reno 911 front.png

    CHICAGO – The oughts was the era of the workplace mock-doc comedy, with shows like “The Office” and “Reno 911!” born into a time where TV viewers were excited to see see fake realities about the crumminess of a job. While this series has been available in separate season collections previously, “Reno 911!” is now available in a complete series set, one that boasts a grand amount of special features content in spite of some lacking comedy in the actual show.

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