A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV 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.
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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.
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