A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
Just lots of catfighting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Flirting, kissing, lovers' quarrels, talk of one-night stands and informal hook-ups.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
There's some swearing, but the worst of it is bleeped out.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
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...).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.