Saturday, October 31, 2009

The L.C. Effect: Why 'The Hills' Fails Without Lauren

You can take 'The Hills' out of Orange County, but you can't take Lauren Conrad out of 'The Hills'. At least not without some pretty big consequences. Season 6 opened sans its blond starlet, who decided to move on after half a decade on the reality show circuit.
After Conrad announced her decision to bail on TV in the hopes of leading a more private life focused on her fashion career, producers brought in Conrad's old schoolmate, Kristin Cavallari, as a replacement. Alongside Speidi, Audrina and the rest of the well-tanned Cali kids, Cavallari reprises the role she stepped into as a teenager on Hills precursor 'Laguna Beach': a flirtatious, manipulative man-eater, all shiny locks and come-hither stares.

On 'Laguna' she battled Conrad for the affections of pretty boy Stephen Colletti, and it seems she's up to her old tricks in Hollywood, setting her sights on Audrina Patridge's on-again-off-again, Justin Bobby. But so far Cavallari's episodes have failed to elicit the spark we've come to expect from the drama-filled half hour.
And viewers seem to agree. Ratings were down 30% for Cavallari's premiere episode, pulling only 2.1 million sets of eyes as opposed to the 3 million who tuned in to last season's opener.

This seems to be a pattern for MTV: Ratings plummeted on 'Laguna' after Conrad left the sandy shores of her hometown for the glitz of Los Angeles. A poorly received LC-less third season sent the Laguna High kids packing.
Perhaps that's because Lauren Conrad offers something very essential to her shows. She's the grounded protagonist, ambitious and relatively normal. For the viewer, Conrad is the identifiable core, a filter through which to experience all the chaos that goes on around her. Whereas Cavallari was introduced as the anti-heroine off the bat, a role already occupied to perfection by Heidi Montag. Having wasted no time feuding with the girls and playing all the guys, Cavallari leaves us without a gal to root for.

Perhaps this will change as the show's new lineup settles into itself. But so far, without Lauren Conrad, 'The Hills' is barely even 'The Knolls.'
credit -

I agree and I disagree. I totally miss Lauren but I think what's killing the ratings is all the scripted drama. I'm not interested in seeing Brody and Jayde fake fight. In fact I'd be happy if they got rid of Brody & Jayde altogether. I'd much rather the show focus on the girls. I think we are all still rooting the show to succeed but the producers made it hard when they don't give the girls enough screen time. Frustrating...


  1. I absolutely agree. I still love The Hills. But the audience aren't stupid, we know its 100% fake now whereas at least in the beginning (season 1 and 2) with all the jason/lc drama it was actually believeable. Plus its obvious now that Justin is on the payroll now that he's doing interviews etc which he never did before. So he he's sold out. Boo Justin! And can someone please tell Adam DiVello that the dubbing is horrific. Its so obvious when they get the cast to dub/ add in extra dialogue to fit the scene. Its soo badly done, its like a student film. The only 'real' moment I saw was in Audrina's eyes when Justin said that no one would ever surpass her. It was a nano-second moment. So the hills was the best show ever but its faker than my tan and as a result has become as compelling as watching paint dry. In short; the new season would be great...if it were real!

  2. The producers are just making fun of us at this point and are insulting our intelligence.

    Kristen's friend is Stacey the Bartender?


  3. I agree. It's so damn obvious that the show is fake. I loved season 1/2/3 but now it's just trying too hard.

    They use to work and have friendship problems, which could be considered real but all of the fake situations are so absurd.

    And Kirstin is one bad actress. I miss Lauren!

  4. princes of malibu failed, bromance failed why don't they get that we don't want more brody?
    ditto for justin and spencer.

  5. I agree with the aticle!
    I used to be a fan of Kristin during Laguna Beach but for some reason, I'm not too fond of her role on The Hills.
    I think people are just sick of seeing girls fight over a boy, it's so high school!

  6. JAYDE IS SOOOO UGLY!! what is wrong with her face!!! from the front she looks cross eyed and from the side she looks psycho!! her lips and nose are pointed straight up/out!!!

    Kristen is soo desperate its annoying thats why i think people stopped watching it... and the fact that she (supposedly) hangs around Stacey the bartender is just lame...

    Kristen basically has no job, morals, standards, friends, or a life... she is like a Z-List celeb haha

    Lauren on the other hand at least had a job or was trying to accomplish a goal through fashion. was going to school, had friends, had real drama, and is a great role model for girls and women.

  7. They never even explained Lauren's absence or why she left! That's nuts!!! And also ironic since they probably assumed that there was no need to explain her absence since you would have to live under a rock not to know she was leaving but there's the irony. The same real world that The Hills refuses to recognise (e.g; Heidi's singing career, audrina's acting career) is now suddenly acceptable. Well, everyone has read she's leaving and seen it in interviews so we just won't mention it on the show! Completely ridiculous. The problem is that the Hill producers have gotten lazy. If you remember Laguna Beach, they filmed over a year for the 1st season but The Hills is now dictating what the drama should be in order to cut down on production time. Fakey- Mc Fakerson

  8. I totally agree with most of the comments but to be fair to Kristin (11:03) what we see of her on the show is not who she is in real life. She was given a scripted role and she's just playing her part. I think that's why she's been particularly vocal about 'The Hills' not being real.

    I think it's ridiculous that the producers have decided for us that we'd rather see girl fighting over guys than actual conversations about work and life and love. The show started out as a "story" about 4 young women in LA and what is has evolved into is hardly recognizable. We haven't seen anyone even pretend to have a job this year. And I particularly love that they're captioning the Silver Spoons beach house that was rented out for production purposes as "Kristin's House' As if!

    I don't know about you guys but I don't need to see pretend wealth or a beach house, or scripted plots and boyfriends, I want to see actual conversations, jobs, and most of all the friendships. MTV it's not that friggin difficult, give us our show back!