The moment has arrived. We’re moving to L.A. with Lauren Conrad and her gang of pretty people, as we start our The Hills viewing. We’re not sure we’ll watch ALL of the shows in ALL of the seasons, but we’ve successfully made it through the first half of Season 1. Things are looking up for LC as she takes her first steps into adulthood, but per our tradition, Brooke, would you start us off? What are your first thoughts on The Hills, and why did I pick this to make you watch?

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B: I mean, we all know why you picked The Hills, AM. Your love for LC makes this a no brainer. BUT, having successfully inundated me via the only seasons of Laguna Beach that we’ll acknowledge, I also think you were looking forward to my incredulity at the increasingly obvious scripting and maneuvering going on behind the scenes, as well as all of the fun to be had with Heidi entering the scene. My first impressions were mostly questions:

  • How is Heidi just chilling at the pool and NOT moving her shit into their place?
  • How much does this apartment with two stories run?
  • Is LC really nervous about this interview? She’s famous and they let the camera into the room.
  • How excited is the college admissions/advisor lady to be on tv right now?
  • Does anyone else live in these apartments? Or is the pool area exclusively for LC, Heidi and Audrina?
  • Has LC realized that Heidi almost definitely architected their entire relationship so she could get on tv?
  • Do all of the interns have this kind of experience at Teen Vogue?
  • Is everyone who works at Teen Vogue required by a blood contract to say Teen Vogue with a frequency almost on par with Donald Drumpf saying something offensive?

There is A LOT more to say, but this seems to be a good place for us to start before we begin to unpack Heidi, celebrate Whitney and get into the number of dark predictions I made. Am I right, AM? Do you know the answers to these questions?

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A: Of COURSE I know the answers to each and every question. JK most of them have to do specifically with the production, which you are correct in pointing out is much, much more scripted and arranged than Laguna Beach. I was not there, obviously, but this is a classic case of how reality TV shifts ever-more toward set-ups and expected reactions. LC pulling up to her brand-new apartment with suitcases in tow as she learns she has 20 minutes to change and get over to the Teen Vogue offices has the whisper of manipulation to it. Audrina just randomly hanging out at the pool just as LC gets back from said interview? Yeah, that shit was staged. There’s an hour-long retrospective that recently ran to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the show’s premiere, and I will just say that many of your questions do get addressed by LC herself.

Aside from the manipulation, which may or may not get worse as it goes, let’s talk about our new characters. Heidi certainly is attempting to capitalize on her newfound celebrity by bypassing college and internships and leaping directly to “being an L.A. PR party girl.” She gets her dream job at 19 and is HORRIFIED to find out she’s stuffing envelopes like any other intern/entry-level person. I don’t know how much she actually considered quitting when she learned she would not be working the clubs like she hoped, but I do know that she has the worst boyfriend in this situation. He encourages her to quit school to focus on Bolthouse, then when she’s at Bolthouse, encourages her to quit that when she starts whining about it. Sigh. I know she’s likely living off that sweet, sweet Parental money, but girl’s gotta earn the right to have a less mind-numbing job. We all did.

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Brooke, what did you think of Lisa Love as a boss? Is it smart to send your intern (famous intern at that) to New York to deliver a dress? What about Audrina? What are your thoughts on our token brunette?

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B: Ugh, Heidi. She doesn’t actually want to do anything. If she would just admit that it would be so much easier to get on board with her. The worst, just like her loser-y boyfriend. Listen to LC, Heidi. Anyway, let’s talk about Lisa Love. She’s probably a decent boss, but she’s a terrible actress. Or maybe she was just struggling to swallow her fourth estate pride during all those scenes when she was complying with MTV’s story arc. What we were shown of LC’s interview wasn’t that impressive. “Can you write?” PAUSE. “Yeah.” LC, girl, provide examples, elaborate. And then once she’s been hired, Lisa dictates both LC and Whitney get full-on makeovers, tempts them with rope powers at a party AND sends LC on a cross-country flight to deliver a dress. I mean, was she auditioning for Meryl’s role in The Devil Wears Prada? Was Teen Vogue just trying to look cooler and more powerful than it actually was? I don’t understand. I mean, it was one dress, did you just forget to take that one dress to Fashion Week? Or did you just want MTV viewers to know Teen Vogue attends fashion week? I think the latter.

That said, a part of me would like to think she was just toying with LC as some subtle rebellion against “employing” an MTV icon. Also, in one of those interstitials Whitney said something about how she and LC spent 10 hours a week in that “closet” for 5 years. How many years are these girls spending in school? Who gets an internship for longer than a semester? Is it even worth having them there for only 10 hours a week? How much of a bitch will LC eventually make Lisa feel like when she becomes an even bigger deal and starts recognizing that Teen Vogue needs her more than she needs them?

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I think the jury is still out on Audrina for me. She seems like a much better human than Heidi, but she hasn’t made much of an impact. All I know is that she gets off work at 6. And speaking of what time people get off of “work” in this reality, can we please talk at length about Heidi’s calendar? That moment was amazing. But back to Audrina, I assume she’s going to become more essential, but so far she’s just had an awkward non-relationship with Heidi’s boyfriend’s friend (who is tall and wanted to act, so he got on the show) and went on another date with a good looking box of rocks. I need something more.

AM, I think it’s probably about time for us to talk about all the times LC has already been bummed out on this show, all of which stem from Heidi and LC’s own TERRIBLE choice to re-engage with Jason, which I totally predicted.

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A: Jason is back. DUN DUN DUNNNNN. He actually wasn’t out of the picture very long, as the time between the end of Laguna and the start of The Hills is negligible (or at least made to seem super short). He comes in swinging with genuine answering machine messages and giant flower arrangements (Sometimes delivered, sometimes personally delivered to the Girl in the Teen Vogue Closet — do we really think the Condé Nast receptionist seriously knew who Lauren was or where she was located? I think not.) because after all, “flowers mean you’re sorry, chocolates mean I love you.” One of the best moments of continuity is LC saying her dad says that, and of course, we heard him ACTUALLY say that in the last season of Laguna. So it must be true.

Jason wriggles his way into forgiveness, because all of a sudden, he’s back to being “LC’s boyfriend” in the helpful on-screen credits. This is a bad idea from the beginning and for all the reasons it’s a bad idea to date a Bad Boy. We discussed this briefly, but the first time I watched the show, I did not pick up on the fact that Jason was an addict. It’s played mostly that he was disinterested in LC or that she was being a demanding girlfriend, but it’s oh-so-clear during his birthday that he’s planning on tying one off that evening, LC isn’t invited and he’s too busy taking coke breaks in the bathroom to notice that she’s hurt.

This is the part where it must seriously suck to have your every move documented for a TV show, when your boyfriend clearly needs help but you’re 19 and you can’t even begin to figure out how to help him. I can’t say what’s in store for our heroine and her Bad Boyfriend, but we’re not optimistic over here.

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Heidi & Audrina clearly are here for the cameras, as are Heidi’s boyfriend, all his friends and also any rando actor-model-dancer-whatever that Audrina is dating at the moment. Pro Tip: Gentlemen, if you’re on a date with a girl, don’t ever, EVER check your phone voicemail. There are very few exceptions to this rule, and one of them is if you’re expecting a call from one of the Obamas (any of them). Or Tina Fey. Then, you can answer. Then, it’s the “right thing to do.”

I agree, the moment where Heidi clearly doesn’t understand how to create event series in Outlook and makes a “start work” reminder at 9 a.m. and “end work” at 5 p.m. calendar meeting for literally every day was the best. Oh girl, you’ve got a long life ahead of you. Obviously, she’s not interested in working at all, and because of The Hills, we’ll see how that works out for her.

Brooke, any final thoughts on the Jason situation as it develops? If you were given a choice between Audrina’s man friends, which would you pick?

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B: Oh, you know I have more thoughts on this. Let’s talk about the fact she rushed out of a photo shoot to be with him on said birthday and he still complained that he didn’t get to see her earlier. What, was he going to take her golfing with his boys? Please. This kid is obviously so wasted I feel a lot of things about what the producers were thinking letting him drive himself, much less LC. C’mon man! Because LC is the same girl who pined for #TeamNeverStephen for as long as she did, I suspect we won’t be rid of Jason very soon. The fact that she won’t tell him he’s being an ass because it’s his birthday is not a good sign for us. Oh and to quoth our silent companion in this whole odyssey, “Go shave your beard, Jason.”

As for Audrina’s boys, if I had to, I would go for the one who didn’t check his voicemail on the date and who raved about her beauty during a staged basketball conversation. But for the record, Talan is still the only dude on this entire series I would willingly spend time with.

We’ve sort of hinted at it, but let’s take a moment to acknowledge that LC should have cracked some skulls when Heidi and her boyfriend made a scene in the VIP area at the big work party. But, I did enjoy that after that moment and Heidi’s other terrible decisions we did get a lot more time spent on LC and Whitney snarking about Heidi together. Like when Heidi called with the news about her job, she’s excitedly babbling away and LC keys on this, echoing it out loud. “A whole hour for lunch, huh?” It was the snarkiest, most mean girl move our gal has ever pulled, and I’m really chuffed about it.

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And there’s one final thing we forgot to talk about. The only acceptable response when food is delivered to your table in any dining situation from now on: “GNARLY.”

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A: Jason is literally the worst, but the bright side is that he’s the boy you love to actively hate. This would be a lot less fun if we didn’t have a villain and if that villain wasn’t so laughably horrible, especially given the time and distance we all have from the show’s run. #TeamJasonIsTheWorst

Applause for that moment when LC heard her bestie was quitting college to go join the legions of the working. She’s clearly having a WTF moment, and says several times “I thought the whole point you were coming to LA with me was to go to school?” Heidi’s passion is being the center of attention, and she must have realized pretty quickly that she’ll always be second billing if she doesn’t strike while the iron is hot. But to echo LC’s point, the entire reason for her being a co-star on The Hills was this idea of a girlfriends’ adventure in Hollywood. Heidi breaks script right away with both a job and a boyfriend that have little to naturally do with LC (you can always force those connections, and believe you me, the MTV producers did). I wonder a bit if Jason’s return was manipulated by the producers. Maybe they called him and put the idea in his head that perhaps LC would be lonely and maybe would have forgiven him? I can see that happening, but all we see is the end result.

This salmon salad is GNARLY.

B: One final interjection here. Since when does Heidi get the label of bestie. What ever happened to Lo? #TeamLoFoLyfe.

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Next up on Required Viewing we ease Annemarie into the Halloween season with a trip back in time to Young Frankenstein. 

About Annemarie Moody Miller

We Write Things Co-Scribbler-in-Chief. Wordsmith. Globetrotter. Shark Enthusiast. Denver Native. I like to write and read all the things.
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