My Guilty Pleasure: 'The Hills'

the hills

Since we’re witnessing the ‘The Golden Era of Television’ (well, the third one), it’s pretty easy to sing the praises of such shows like ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Homeland,’ ‘Modern Family,’ and basically everything on HBO. But, let’s face it: we like the bad stuff too. Whether it’s teary-eyed confessionals, stupid pranks or staged catfights, we all have a TV guilty pleasure (or two) that we simply cannot quit.

So that’s why I’m rounding up my favorite television vices each week, so that we can all find solace in knowing that someone else is watching – and enjoying – the same vast wasteland.

Because the first step in healing is admitting that you have a problem.

This week’s Guilty Pleasure: ‘The Hills.’

When Lauren Conrad and her spoiled, whiny pals first came into my life, I was 23 years old, living in New York and trying to figure it all out: relationships, career, me. Even though I grew up in the opposite world of Laguna Beach, I found myself relating to Lauren. Like the time when I thought I got rid of an old boyfriend, and he came right back into my life (just like Jason!). Or when a high school BFF of mine got swept away with a control freak of a weirdo boyfriend and I never really saw her again (just like Speidi!). And most of my nights involved going to some lounge drinking cocktails and getting boujey and thinking I was way cuter than I actually was (just like every night on ‘The Hills’). In some ways, Lauren and I were like sisters from another mister.

So you can imagine my sheer delight when I recently discovered that a channel up here in Canada (M3) runs marathons of Lauren Conrad et al. every freaking Saturday afternoon.

Now I know what you’re thinking: why would I re-watch a reality show when I know what ultimately happens in the end (this year Lauren got engaged to some dude with the same name as an overture and Heidi got a breast reduction) and, worse, was confirmed as – gasp! – fake. Well, let me ask you this: why do we skip to the end of a trashy book? Impatience? Boredom? Curiosity? Who knows? Let’s not overthink things. It’s ‘The Hills’ for goodness sake.

The Catchy Theme Song

When Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ blares from Lauren’s convertible as she drives herself from Laguna to L.A., her blonde ponytail blowing in the wind, one can’t help but feel inspired. Empowered, even. Who else hasn’t stared at a blank page and wanted to open up a dirty window to let the sun illuminate the words you couldn’t find? Everyone, right? If Lauren could choose a new path for herself in the big city – one that was “unwritten” with no ending planned – then we totally can, too. Also, that melody is pretty darn catchy. Turn up that tune and I dare you not to sing into your hairbrush once the chorus hits.

BFFs Are, Like, Forever

the hills

Lauren and her girls – Heidi, Lo, Audrina, Whitney – for better (Teen Vogue!) or worse (Jason/Spencer/Justin Bobby) have always been there for each other. (OK, maybe not so much Heidi, but that’s later on). Whether it’s with just an understanding glance that goes on a little too long, or sharing a meal al fresco (that no one ever really touches), the girls know how to respond in to their friend in a time of need. Who knew that lounging by a pool was such a great fix to everything? These gals do.

Justin Bobby

the hills

Christened “Justin Bobby” by Lo Bosworth because, well, it’s name that befits a guy who belches loudly during a first date and who wears combat boots to the beach more than “Justin Brescia” (his real name), Justin Bobby is the kind of guy every woman dates (but never should). Audrina really gave it the old college try with this dude who seemed like he only showered for special occasions. Even though we all knew he was bad for her (and for all women on the planet), we could feel Audrina’s pain to make it work with such a doofus. Watching Justin Bobby inspires us to shoot higher and never settle. No matter how hot his five o’clock shadow is.


the hills

“Speidi” (what you get when you combine Spencer Pratt with Heidi Montag, and probably just what you think their kid would look like) is probably one of the best/worst figures to ever grace reality television. Spencer is spoiled, controlling brat and his ‘enfant terrible’ tendencies are only enhanced (enabled) by Heidi, who is her most self-involved, insecure self when she’s around him. No matter. They make for great television and they definitely paved the way for future fame-hungry couples we love to hate like Jon and Kate and Khloe and Lamar.

Lauren’s Just Like Us

the hills

Whether it’s giving ex-boyfriend, Jason, a second chance or surviving awkward moments (like bumping into Jason’s new fiancée at a party), Lauren proves that even if she’s from a wealthy family and has hair as beautiful and shiny as the sun, she’s really just a regular girl looking for love and looking to figure life out. In some ways, I’m happy to know what’s happened to her now: settled down, an author, a designer – she pretty much accomplished what she set out to do back when she was in that convertible. Let that be a lesson to you kids: a reality TV show can make your dreams come true.

‘The Hills’ can be watched on

- Lauren Conrad
- The Hills

Written by: briannehogan
Nov 15th, 2013, 1:21 pm

Images courtesy of,,,


Level 1 (63%)
Since: 24/Oct/07
Message Posted On Nov 15th, 2013, 5:09 pm

I looooved the hills. Ask me why and I still don't know.. I guess cause they had the lifestyle almost every girl dreams of at some point? I dunno.. lol Still watch reruns when I come across them and am still shocked everytime I see Heidi pre surgerys.... she was such a beautiful girl! And justin bobby... haha .. I still haven't seen an attractive quality in that dude!

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