The Hills

 
(i)

 

The Hills are hardly alive, but will appeal to teens.

What parents need to know

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

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

Just lots of catfighting.

Sex

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

Language

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

Consumerism

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...).

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Cast:Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag, Lauren Conrad
Network:MTV
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Hills was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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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
Teen, 14 years old Written byMikaylaaMadisonn October 8, 2009
 
I love this show! It is so addicting!!
Adult Written by90210fan January 31, 2011
 
Love it not just negative messages but some postive ones like consequencez for actions and cheating
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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