Let’s get this out of the way right now- this style of show was the wrong way to do this. Spencer Pratt said this on twitter last night and I will repeat it here: this should have been a roundtable discussion with the whole cast and the moderator. By only giving us Lauren’s perspective, we are still not getting the whole story. I never had a problem with Lauren when the show was on, except for finding her exceedingly boring, but to exclude Spencer and Heidi from this special is maddening. It’s put me in a bad mood and as such, I’m not going to be nice to Lauren during this. You should know that now.
I also would like to add, why is this the cover photo on itunes? I mean, I get why you’d put Spencer and Heidi on the cover of anything Hills related, but this is bizarre since they are only seen in old clips on this special.
This cover would lead you to believe this show is better than it is. Do not be fooled.
We start off with a classic LC voiceover where Lauren tells us that Natasha Benningfield’s “Unwritten” was the soundtrack of her life 10 years ago, and then she changes the song to something I don’t know and says “that was then, this is now”. Unwritten is a great song. Go back to then.
Cut to- Lauren sitting pretty on a couch pretending to be nervous about the boxes of hidden footage. Lauren is probably one of the most naturally beautiful women on television. She still has that soft, “prettiest girl in your high school” look to her, but I swear to god she’s as boring as a quarterly staff meeting. What made The Hills work was the rest of the cast. I also never understood why Lauren got the spinoff from Laguna Beach instead of Kristen Cavallari who is undoubtedly more interesting and dynamic.
Lauren tells us that in this special, we are going to revisit what happened on the show, catch up with where people are now (except, we don’t…like, at all), and get some behind the scenes info from producers. You know, maybe this is actually fitting. The show was fake, so why shouldn’t we get a manufactured update special?
I know! I am also shocked at how bad this is!
We get to sit down with Lauren’s parents, who I’ve always really liked, to watch her casting tape for Laguna Beach from when Lauren was 17. In that tape we learn that Lauren was a shitty student, which is actually a little surprising to me. Lauren says that she never liked school and didn’t have grades that were high enough to get into a good college. Her parents were never worried about Lauren not landing on her feet. “Good sense goes a long way,” her dad Jim says. Good sense, and familial wealth.
Lauren briefly talks about having met Heidi at school in San Francisco. She tells us that Heidi basically walked up to Lauren and asked if she wanted to be friends. That sounds like Heidi. Lauren says that Heidi was the friendliest person she had ever met. This kinda makes me sad. You know what else that makes me sad? Or more like irritated, is that I remember when Lauren left SF and came back to Laguna Beach, I was so pissed off with her because San Francisco is my favorite city and for some reason, I felt personally insulted when she rejected it and moved back home. The NorCal v. SoCal rivalry runs deep, people.
In this scene, Lauren’s just told a model that she should get a job as a “pretty person”. Meaning, Lauren doesn’t understand the concept of a “model”.
See, the trouble with this special is that The Hills is the Show Who Cried “Real”. Knowing how much of it was manufactured then, makes me constantly question the real-ness of what we are seeing now. Lauren’s dad tells us that Lauren wasn’t sure if she was going to get the Teen Vogue internship, implying that she didn’t understand that because that was part of the show, it was already arranged. I don’t know what to believe, because that sounds pretty stupid.
Lauren tells us that she doesn’t go back and watch the show, which I believe. There’s also a bit of snarky editing where she says that she didn’t love being on camera like some people (cut to clip of Speidi walking down the street). Oh, fuck off Lauren.
Ah. I see now. This is a commercial. This is one big commercial for Lauren’s clothing lines. Got it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kohls and own a couple of Lauren’s LC dresses because they fit me and are pretty, yet conservative, so I can wear them to work, but watching Lauren set up a photo shoot for her “contemporary line” in some winery is not what I’m here for. Lauren tells a model at the shoot that she’s so pretty and she should just be pretty professionally, like “as a job”. Um, she’s a model. Being pretty is literally her profession. Does Lauren think she’s a funny person? Lauren is not a funny person.
FINALLY- we get to some good stuff. We revisit the scene in the 2nd season where Lauren drops off Jason’s stuff after they’ve broken up. I remember that scene (mostly because I have a seemingly eidetic memory when it comes to reality TV) but what we didn’t know at the time as viewers was that Jason was fucked up and it was only 10:30 in the morning. Lauren tells us that she felt like she was abandoning Jason when she broke up with him because she was the one who would pick him up at 2am when he was passed out in the back of a club and she couldn’t help but wonder who would be doing that for him now. This is pretty classic enabling behavior. I’m curious as to why the producers decided not to show Jason’s addiction problems. I really want to know what wasn’t chosen to be shown and why. This is why this format sucks.
When Lauren and her main producer sit down together, we learn that Lauren was aware enough of the “job” aspect of filming enough to make a phone call to production when she felt like she was going to break up with Jason, since they had wrapped for the season. On a human level, that skeeves me out, but on a RealityTV level, I appreciate that she knew that was something that needed to be filmed, at least in part. We learn that Lauren’s parents were overjoyed when she and Jason split, which is no surprise. I never got Jason’s appeal. That 2nd year of Laguna Beach, he was The Guy and I never got it. He looked like he wore too much cologne and I refuse to believe his dick isn’t covered in weeping sores because there’s no way Jason was ever sober enough to remember to put a condom on. The “happy ending” for Jason now is that he is sober and married. This is the only update on any other cast member that we get and it’s the one person I care even less about than Lauren.
Lauren says that the fame came quickly for the Hills cast and she didn’t embrace it unlike some people. This is another dig at Spencer and Heidi, so we watch a clip of Heidi showing Kim Kardashian her jellyfish tank. For a moment, I was confused by Kim K’s presence, until I remembered she’s Brody’s stepsister, or was at the time. Also? That jellyfish tank was bomb. It’s not like they bought a pet tiger or a gold-plated couch. Although, on my list of “ridiculous shit I want if I get rich” is a room in my house where the walls are all one giant fish tank so that might explain my perspective. #TeamJellyTank
Trust me when I say the brunette here is KimK, but I felt it was more important to get a screenshot of that dope Jellyfish tank.
Lauren’s main producer girl (who looks like a prettier Joey Cook from American idol) lets us know that Lauren never held her fame over the heads of the crew and that everything Lauren didn’t want to do on the show was more of a negotiation than a command. Lauren tells us that one of the most difficult things about filming was that in real life, if you’re fighting with someone, you can just not answer your phone for a few weeks, but if you have to film with them the next day, it forces you to confront the situation, sometimes earlier than you should. We see that scene where Lauren told Heidi that she was choosing Spencer over her and PrettyJoeyProducer thanks Lauren for being easy to worth with. Whatever. This entire show is just MTV sucking Lauren’s dick over and over again. I’m halfway through it and so utterly bored.
Lauren says that she took her job on the show very seriously and tried to make every effort to show the truth and how she really felt about things. Except for all the manufactured nonsense. NOTHING IN THIS SPECIAL MAKES SENSE.
PrettyJoey says that when the cast was fighting, there was a divide in the crew. On her liveblog (which was great, btw- see link below), Heidi told a different story. She felt like the crew was 100% on Lauren’s side at all times and no one ever reached out or tried to help her. I believe that.
Lauren tells PrettyJoey that her fight with Audrina started because Audrina had a lock installed on her pool house apartment’s door. Um. Why the fuck wouldn’t there be a lock on the door? I know they were in a nice neighborhood, but not having a lock on the door of the place you sleep seems insane.
We revisit that night at Les Deux (aw…all those Hills clubs are closed now) when Lauren confronted Heidi about the sex tape rumors and the really creepy thing is that PrettyJoey has a print out of how the producers thought the night was going to go. PrettyJoey says that she was especially good at predicting drama. We also see a background clip of Lauren on the mic, but the picture is of Speidi where she cries “MTV should CARE about what Spencer did to me!” They did care. They cared to film it.
We also learn that the producers put Heidi on the Booze Cruise (which, yes Lauren- it absolutely was a Booze Cruise) and then got the boat to leave the dock in a hurry so that Heidi couldn’t get kicked off. Lauren says that she felt at peace with Heidi, but just knew she could never be in her life. I know Heidi still cares deeply for Lauren and that’s really sad, but the fact of the matter is, Lauren can’t stand Spencer. And Spencer is Heidi’s husband. And not only is Spencer Heidi’s husband, but he’s her husband of seven years. This wasn’t some one-off bullshit Hollywood marriage. They’ve outlasted a lot of famous couples. Heidi was ultimately right to choose Spencer over Lauren (even though I know she never wanted to have to choose) because Spencer is the person she’s in love with. If you would choose your friend over your husband, you are married to the wrong person.
Lauren met her husband, William, via a blind date on Valentine’s Day (Holy Pressure, Batman!) and Lauren tells us that the most interesting thing about William is that he’s never seen the show. HA! I know how she meant it, but that was humorously worded. There was talk a while back about having another reality show featuring Lauren that would be based off of her life now in the fashion industry. This show was later canned, and now I see why. Yawn. Lauren says that she has never felt like she fit in with the NYC fashion scene because she’s not fancy or cool enough. Correct!
We sit through basically another Kohls commercial with Lauren and her fashion line. Like I said, her stuff is cute, affordable, and I own a few of her designs, but this whole thing is like watching paint dry. You guys- this could have been so much better. This SHOULD have been so much better! It’s frustrating. But I have a suspicion that in order to make this show what the audience is clamoring for, Lauren never would have agreed to do it. Because she’s sort of The Worst.
I’m a little impressed with Lauren’s self-awareness when it comes to her chemistry with Brody, in that she knows there absolutely was none. But that begs the question, why the fuck did she flip out about Jen Bunny hooking up with him? Was that fake too?! The producers and Lauren admit that her entire “romance” with Brody was made-for-tv.
I will give this to Lauren, The Little Market is cool. It’s a cool idea, and it does so much more than just send a check to some big name charity. It enables women all over the world to sell their goods. I don’t know enough about it to make a full endorsement, but it sounds awesome.
We close with Lauren and her husband starring out into the ocean from the steps leading down from her house which is ridiculously beautiful. It’s on the beach. I want it.
Okay- overall thoughts: I wish this hadn’t been marketed as a Hills Reunion show because we only heard from Lauren. Obviously, Spencer and Heidi should have been involved since they WERE the show, but it would have been nice to check in with everyone else in the cast. This whole thing had the potential to be so great but it was just a snooze-fest.
Is there any way to get an unofficial reunion to happen? An actual roundtable with the rest of the cast (because obvi, Lauren ain’t showin up for that) and a moderator and questions culled from twitter? That’s what I want. And it’s not like Audrina, or Brody, or Justin Bobby are busy doing something equally important, so it’s time for the public outcry! Let’s make this happen. #RealHillsReunion
Check out Heidi’s liveblog of the special here. She is a much nicer person than I will ever be and she handles the whole thing with grace.
Recap written by Liz