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The Hills

TV review by
Jill Murphy, Common Sense Media
The Hills TV Poster Image
The Hills are hardly alive, but will appeal to teens.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 16 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series makes things like juggling school and an internship seem easy. Teen Vogue preaches about the kind of aspirational (and unrealistic) image they want to project. Partying at popular Hollywood night clubs is the standard -- and, in general, the show seems to celebrate the "ideal" of living an insular, privileged lifestyle.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Many of the featured cast members come across as self-centered and spoiled. Cast members come from affluent families and take lots of things for granted. Heidi and Spencer started a rumor about Jason and Lauren that they filmed a sex tape.


Just lots of catfighting.


Flirting, kissing, lovers' quarrels, talk of one-night stands and informal hook-ups.


There's some swearing, but the worst of it is bleeped out.


Hollywood hot spots like Les Deux are regularly mentioned. Teen Vogue and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) are backdrops for school and internships. The ladies love their high-end fashion.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking is implied, but the cast is underage (at least, they are at the beginning of the show...).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this series follows Lauren Conrad (graduate of MTV's Laguna Beach) as she transitions from her high school days to college life, an internship, and Hollywood nightlife. Cast members come from affluent families, which means that the characters' living conditions, cars, and lifestyles are unrealistic for average twentysomethings. The series makes getting a high-profile internship seem effortless. Lauren is a fairly level-headed girl, but she lets her new friends take advantage of her. The show's success has elevated the status of each cast member, and they're often featured in celeb tabloids.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by90210fan January 31, 2011
Love it not just negative messages but some postive ones like consequencez for actions and cheating
Adult Written byRandabby69 May 22, 2010
Teen, 14 years old Written byMikaylaaMadisonn October 8, 2009
I love this show! It is so addicting!!
Teen, 16 years old Written byAbErCrOmBii LuVr April 9, 2008

I luv LC!

omg lc is like so pretty and sweet and i was so excited to watch the hills. she persues her fashion career. i want to be like her

What's the story?

Lauren "LC" Conrad has moved from Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County to THE HILLS of Los Angeles. She's settled into school at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), landed a coveted internship with Teen Vogue, and moved into a gorgeous apartment -- what more could a young lady want? MTV cameras following her around for her own reality show? To land on the cover of Teen Vogue herself? Check and check. Typical trials ensue with LC's new friends Heidi, Audrina, Whitney, and Jordan, but the girls' dialogue plays second fiddle to extreme close-ups, exaggerated exhales, and glares.

Is it any good?

It's the effortless perfection of LC's life that makes The Hills such an unrealistic take on reality. No mention is made of the often-grueling college- or internship-application process. Rather, the head of FIDM congratulates LC for bringing her 3.6 GPA to the school, and her two-minute interview with the Teen Vogue editor -- though bumpy -- lands her a high-profile internship.

The Hills is like the pages of a magazine, with pouting teens looking distraught in between sexualized images. That said, MTV does deserve some credit for featuring someone with somewhat-relatable career goals -- unlike the subjects on The Real World. The Hills' best player, Whitney -- originally Lauren's fellow intern, now her boss -- gives hope to older generations watching the show. Whitney's goals and decisions make for some inspiring moments during the show, but, as per usual, the more insipid friends get the most air time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what's helped Lauren get to where she is. Teens: Do you consider her a role model? What about the other cast members?

  • Why do you think MTV was interested in continuing to follow Lauren over other Laguna Beach cast members?

TV details

For kids who love reality TV

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