Image is – perhaps – everything, particularly in the reality TV universe, where “stars” fall into certain predictable tropes: good girl, bad girl, nice guy and, of course, the bad boy who breaks the good girl’s heart and leaves a trail of emotional wreckage in his wake.

Enter Jason Wahler. My brief foray into “The Hills” has informed me, in no uncertain terms, that Jason Wahler is no Mr. Nice Guy. But just how real is “The Hills?”

“I’m glad you asked that question,” says Jason Wahler. “They really portrayed me to look like the bad guy. It’s just annoying because so many people believe what they see because of the way they can edit the show.”

He insists he’s not a one-dimensional bad boy. However, Wahler contends that he and his ex, Lauren Conrad, were thrown into intentionally awkward situations to exacerbate existing tensions.

“They built me a character, basically.”

Given Wahler’s real life track record, however, it’s hard to know where reality ends and TV editing begins. There’s no way to know for sure, though it’s clear Wahler faced a sobering realization months ago when he was sent to rehab and then jail, which he considers an eye-opening experience.

Since then, he has been working on a show called “Teen Snatcher,” which helps prevent at-risk teens from repeating his mistakes.

“I’ve lived a rocky life in the past, so I want to let people know that’s not the best way.”

He’s also (recently) engaged to Katja Decker-Sadowski, a former USC tennis star.

“When you find love, you know it. I’ve never had feelings like this for anyone in my life. She has such an impact on my life. It took me a long time to get here, but I am very happy.”