A spin-off of Laguna Beach, MTV’s The Hills left a lasting legacy on the early aughts reality TV landscape, launching media and fashion careers and inspiring programmes like E4’s Made in Chelsea.
The original series followed a group of wealthy, attractive twenty-something women as they negotiated young adulthood in Los Angeles. In 2019, nine years after The Hills series finale, most of the core cast reunited for a follow-up series called The Hills: New Beginnings.
Where can I watch The Hills?
The original series of The Hills is available on Hayu/NOWTV, iTunes and Amazon Prime. You can also purchase the series on DVD.
The Hills: New Beginnings airs on MTV and is available on NOWTV, YouTube and iTunes.
What is the difference between The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings?
The Hills, which is a spinoff from MTV’s Laguna Beach, aired from 2006-2010 when the cast were mostly in their early 20s.
In 2019, MTV released a new revival series, The Hills: New Beginnings, which follows some of the original cast as well as a few new additions, proving that older doesn’t necessarily mean wiser—or less dramatic.
What is The Hills about?
The original series centred around Lauren “LC” Conrad, a wealthy twenty-something who moves to LA to pursue a career in fashion.
In the first season, Lauren, newly-arrived in LA, has to adjust quickly to a whole host of life changes. She has a new roommate in Heidi Montag, is just starting fashion school, and also manages to snag a competitive internship at Teen Vogue magazine, where she bonds with fellow intern Whitney Port. Lauren and Heidi also strike up a friendship with their neighbour Audrina Patridge.
The four women form the core cast of the series, which follows their often dramatic personal and professional lives. The cast’s romances also play a big part in the plot. Heidi’s relationship with the abrasive Spencer Pratt drives a wedge in her friendship with Lauren, and Audrina is perennially on-again and off-again with Johnny Depp lookalike Justin Bobby.
New Beginnings picks up about nine years after the original series left off and features some of the original cast, with the notable exceptions of Conrad, who left in the middle of season five, and Kristin Cavallari, the Laguna Beach castmate who replaced her.
Several of the cast members have children, some are married, and there are a few new people in the mix, including The OC star Mischa Barton and model Brandon Thomas Lee.
How many seasons of The Hills are there?
The original series had a total of six seasons with between 10 and 28 episodes in each season. It looks like there will be at least 15 episodes in the first series of New Beginnings.
MTV also aired a “What You Missed” catch-up special between episodes five and six of New Beginnings.
Who is in the cast of The Hills?
The original series’ main star was Lauren “LC” Conrad, who shot to fame after starring on the Hills’ predecessor, Laguna Beach. Conrad left in the middle of season five to pursue other projects, and has since launched several businesses, including a fashion line, and published several books.
After leaving the series, Conrad was replaced by Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari, who now has her own series, Very Cavallari, and owns a lifestyle brand.
Friend-turned-foe Heidi Montag stars on both The Hills and New Beginnings. The Colorado native made a career out of reality television, appearing on shows like Famous Food, Celebrity Wife Swap and Marriage Boot Camp.
Most of Montag’s reality career has been alongside her now-husband, Spencer Pratt, who was perhaps the most controversial character to appear on the series. On New Beginnings, Pratt insists he is a different person, in great part thanks to discovering healing crystals.
Brody Jenner also appears on both series. Son of Caitlynn and half brother to Kylie and Kendall, Jenner dated both Conrad and Cavallari on the original series, resulting in a love triangle. On New Beginnings, the married 35-year-old is one of the oldest members of the cast, but that doesn’t mean he manages to steer clear of drama, especially when it comes to his estranged best friend Pratt.
Some things never change: one of the main plot-lines in both series is the on-again, off-again relationship between Audrina Patridge, now a single mum, and flaky free spirit Justin Bobby Brescia who, after living in South America, returns to LA to pursue his music career.
Justin Bobby may also have his eye on someone else: returning cast member Stephanie Pratt, who also appeared on several seasons of Made in Chelsea. Pratt is eager to put the past behind and rekindle a relationship with her estranged brother, Spencer.
Whitney Port, Lauren’s intern friend from the original series, also stars in New Beginnings.
The full title of the Hills predecessor was Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, a reference to teen drama The OC that premiered shortly before the reality series. One of its stars, Mischa Barton, is now a regular cast member on New Beginnings.
When is The Hills back?
New Beginnings season one is still airing, and the series has been given the green light for season two.
Where is The Hills filmed?
Both series were filmed in and around Los Angeles.
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