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MTV's Backchannel Turns 'The Hills' Into Online Snark-Fest



MTV's dopey-yet-addictive 'The Hills' is one of those shows that's best watched with other people -- you need them around to constantly diss the 'characters' onscreen and just generally complain about how contrived and stupid the whole thing is. Sadly, some of us end up getting our weekly half-hour 'Hills' fix by ourselves, so we kind of just have to sit there in silent shame (for watching such a mind-numbingly-bad-but-surprisingly-watchable program, of course).

As of this evening, however, solo 'Hills' viewers will be able to get their prime-time-socialization on by playing MTV Backchannel, an innovative new game that mixes the best of Web 2.0-style chat and social-networking with the traditional experience of sitting around with your friends and bitching about a show.

Here's how it works: You go online, sign in to Backchannel, and decide to either be a TAGGER or a CLICKER. TAGGERs submit "tags" -- essentially a one-sentence comment -- about something that's going on in the show onscreen ("Spencer's an ass," "Lo's an evil dork" -- we're making this up here, but let us know if you agree). Meanwhile, CLICKERs are asked to click on the tags they like. The most popular tags grow in size, and the taggers with the most-clicked-on tags get ranked in an online chart. Of course, the site has the requisite online profiles and such, giving it that extra bit of social-networking cachet.

In our brief hands-on we found it to be as silly and alluring as the show itself, but at least it allowed us to vent about the sheer emptiness of each and every character from LC and Brody to Spencer and Heidi. Try Backchannel out yourself when it premieres on tonight's episode of 'The Hills.' [From MTV Backchannel]


Tags: breaking news, BreakingNews, mtv, social-networking, the hills, TheHills, web