From the opening notes of Natasha Bedingfield's throwback tune "Unwritten," there's a sense of nostalgia and sunshine that instantly pours out of speakers everywhere; one of the leading factors of its upbeat and positive vibe is that it's the theme song for the trailblazing reality TV show The Hills! The opening credits show The Hills crew living their best lives, and convincingly showing viewers the rest is still unwritten.
The show followed Lauren Conrad and tracked her evolvement from the princess of Laguna Beach high school to the ever-hustling businesswoman Lauren was always meant to be. Of course, there were always friends (and foes) along the way and more than a fair share of dramatic moments courtesy of Lauren's former BFF, Heidi, and her "sucky" boyfriend-turned-doting-househusband, Spencer Pratt. The club scene was hot, and The Hills' squabbles made it hotter!
The Hills became a cultural phenomenon on MTV in an era before social media and its instant gratification; the "storylines" of the reality of Lauren and the squad propelled the show into one of the most highly rated television shows of the era. Viewers continuously tuned in from 2006 until 2010 to see who was fighting with whom and follow the cast members who became superstars. This interest continued, even when Lauren left the show in 2009 and was replaced by her one-time high school foe Kristin Cavallari, for the show's final season.
Time has passed and tempers have cooled, so let's go back to the beginning!
The moment in Hills history when Lauren made the crucial decision not to go to Paris for work in favor of staying stateside with her squeeze of-the-moment Jason, is as iconic to the show's story as its theme song, or any of Lauren's signature sayings.
Lauren may have believed in her heart Jason was the right guy for her, and following her heart was the key to success, but her choice of a (temporary) cutie over her career should perhaps be a lesson to 2000s girls everywhere: your relationship with yourself will outlast any relationship you have with anyone else!
Remember Whitney Port, Lauren's office mate at Teen Vogue, or Lo Bosworth, Lauren's high school pal who ventured alongside Lauren to LA? Whitney and Lo were both quintessential cast members, and were extremely relatable! Another thing the girls had in common? They both seemed to avoid the seemingly endless stream of drama their fellow Hills ladies always seemed to find themselves in.
Speaking of the drama, Lo would rather steer clear in the wake of the show's revival. She told Us Weekly, "I'm too old to go back into the Lion's Den." Don't worry, she'll be tuning in!
Stephanie Pratt may be Spencer Pratt's sister, but the relationship between the siblings has always been rather strained! A large chunk of Stephanie's screen time featured the siblings squabbling, where Spencer was often seen treating his sister pretty harshly.
In the years since the show was on the air, multiple cast members have revealed that some scenes or scenarios were exaggerated, as Vogue reports. Despite the notion of the show being scripted, Stephanie and Spencer's relationship IRL hasn't recovered from their reality TV days. Stephanie recently spoke of Spencer in an interview, with some stunning revelations, as People reports.
Who could blame her? Stephanie deserved way better!
Audrina Patridge was known for being Lauren's level-headed sidekick who always seemed to serve as a mediator during Lauren's fights with Heidi until the duo had arguments of their own, but Audrina was memorable for being half of "Audrina and Justin Bobby." You remember Justin Bobby, right? If not, he was the frequent object of Audrina's affection, who Lauren famously referred to as "homeboy who wore combat boots to the beach!"
Audrina really did want to call him her boyfriend, but Justin Bobby was famous for stringing Audrina along. Audrina could sense it, but she never called him out on it!
Friendships around the world weren't the same after Lauren uttered the iconic line "He's a sucky person," in reference to Spencer when he first came on to the scene. Heidi and Lauren's relationship was famously strained from that point on, but fans should keep in mind Lauren also dated some "sucky" people during her time on the show.
What about Jason, the reason Lauren didn't go to Paris, or Brody Jenner, who dated both Lauren and her legendary Laguna Beach rival, Kristin? These two dudes weren't ready to settle down and seemed to very much enjoy the dating drama!
Justin Bobby was portrayed as The Hills' mysterious bad boy with an air of mystery. He loved to keep his relationships extremely casual, but his casual status was clearly a problem for his longtime love, Audrina! Justin was the number-one man on her mind for a long time, and the 'combat boot wearing' dude clearly knew how much his casual preferences were taking a toll on Audrina.
In terms of a reputation for repeatedly creating drama for the ladies no matter where they went, Justin Bobby had lots of similarities to Spencer, like failing to put his partner first!
In one of the series' sadder moments, Heidi famously underwent 10 procedures in a single day to change her appearance, according to People. Shortly after Heidi's operations, The Hills filmed an episode where Heidi went back to her hometown to show her mother the results of her procedures, resulting in one of the most emotional moments in the show's history. Heidi was taken aback by her mother's less-than-thrilled reaction.
The memorable reveal was "the hardest scene for [Heidi] to watch," Pratt later told Vogue as per an article in People. Us too, Heidi!
Forget about the drama, fashion was the "other" essential element of The Hills! When the girls were on the clock, Lauren and Whitney both did internships at Teen Vogue during the early seasons of the series. The duo spent many a scene behind their desks, swapping tricks and tips about the latest styles.
If you keep an eye on the girls' moods during Teen Vogue scenes, or when Lauren and Whitney were helping out during a runway show, both ladies seemed quite happy! Imagine what the vibe of the show would've been like if it were all about Teen Vogue!
Fame can be fleeting or fame can provide you with a platform to showcase what you're meant to show the world! For cast members of The Hills, both sides of the fame coin have been flipped. Heidi and Spencer's career wouldn't have morphed into the reality TV empire they have built for themselves, but for Mischa Barton and Stephanie Pratt, fame isn't always comprised of glitz and glamor.
According to Vogue, Stephanie called the series reboot "a miracle" for her family. Mischa, who is the show's new recruit, said, "I think being famous is the craziest thing ever..."
Coincidence? The two ladies who once caused a stir in Lauren Conrad's private life have become friends! Kristin Cavallari was the "mean girl" to Lauren's "girl next door" personality on Laguna Beach, and of course, Heidi was Lauren's BFF, who later became one of her least favorite people. After all, she wanted to forgive and forget Heidi, right?
The revival of The Hills is expected to be "a little more adult," Vogue reports, just like the state of Kristin and Heidi's friendship! Kristin revealed on Andy Cohen's show that the two have a favorite subject to talk about: motherhood!
From the get-go, Heidi's relationship with Spencer Pratt was tinged with drama; fans of The Hills know it's hard to mention Heidi and Spencer without following up with a reference to the legendary "you know what you did" fight between Lauren and Heidi.
The series was filled with countless moments that revolved around "Speidi's" relationship drama, and who could forget their lavish wedding with show-stopping guests? Heidi and Spencer may have been typecast as the "villains" of The Hills, but let's face it, the two genuinely love each other. Nearly a decade after their wedding, the Pratts are still going strong!
The romantic relationships on The Hills were as essential as the friendships! With the recent revelations of the show's sometimes fabricated storylines, it's our hope Lauren's romances made her heart flutter as much as they did ours, but it's important for us to join Lauren in pulling back the curtain and realize a truth Hills fans tend to ignore: the chemistry between Lauren and Brody Jenner just wasn't really... there.
Lauren and Brody seemed to be infatuated with one another from the viewer's POV, but Lauren told People otherwise, revealing she had "zero chemistry" with him. We can dream, right?
In a miracle sent from the reality TV heavens, we're able to draw a connection between The Hills and the Kardashians!
2007 was responsible for blessing us with many legendary pop culture moments, particularly the debut of Keeping Up With The Kardashians! In a pop culture treasure trove from the same year, Kim was revealed to have been on a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in The Hills, in which she was seen talking about jellyfish with Heidi and plans for New Year's Eve, via a clip from Clevver News.
Kim's relationship with the show didn't end there! She was supposed to come on the show as a stylist, but didn't make the cut, as Mirror reports.
When it comes to Spencer Pratt, the sisters of the show were the frequent recipients of his bad side. Not only did he frequently fight with Stephanie, he wasn't the biggest fan of his sister-in-law either, Holly Montag.
Holly was pretty much everything Heidi wasn't; she was the down-to-earth sister who wasn't completely transformed by her newfound fame. She was often seen having heart-to-hearts with Heidi but struggling to have civil discussions with Spencer.
Holly always had the best intentions whenever she was on screen. Why wasn't she ever allowed to escape Spencer's wrath?
The success rate for the Hills' cast after its final season is astronomical! Fans of the show might prefer to keep the cast as they were back in the day, but the stars have gone on to become business owners and lifestyle bloggers, and... a crystal sales team?
Lauren's post-reality TV life has revolved around a successful stint as an author and being the owner of a lifestyle empire. Audrina, Lo, and Whitney have all dipped into lifestyle blogging, each creating notable brands!
The most unique business venture of all? Heidi and Spencer's relationship with holistic lifestyles, specifically crystals!
The lifestyles of the rich and famous may seem glamorous and perfect, but contrary to what the Good Charlotte song says, not all girls want cars and money. Some girls may want peace of mind!
The overnight wave of fame was a difficult journey for Stephanie Pratt, who reveals in a Vogue interview the effects that The Hills' success had on her family. She said, "[The Hills] [pulled] my family apart. My parents changed the locks on our house."
Reality TV does portray its stars as being extremely accessible to fans, but the Hills cast and their families are people, too!
By now you've probably heard Lauren Conrad isn't returning for the show's revival, as E! News states. Don't be too sad; the new addition to the show's cast has a beachy connection, too!
If you recognize Mischa Barton but don't recall where from, she too was a staple of the pop culture time period of Laguna Beach and its successor, The Hills! Barton starred as Marissa Cooper on The O.C., who was the popular girl with a heart of gold!
The Hills girls took note of Mischa; Stephanie Pratt revealed to Vogue, "We basically copied The O.C." No wonder The Hills gave viewers Marissa Cooper vibes.
Kristin Cavallari is such an important element of the history of reality TV and its success! Laguna Beach's viewers loved to tune in to see who Kristin would have beef with every week, (much of it being with Lauren "LC" Conrad), and her bad gal appeal made the show irresistible!
K-Cav's involvement with The Hills came after news broke that Lauren would be moving on from the series, so understandably, who better to join the cast than someone who had experience with the drama, drama, drama?
Kristin was well-established before she joined the cast, so did she really need The Hills?
Wherever you lean on the "Speidi" scale, it goes without saying that Heidi and Spencer have been able to successfully transition from reality TV mega-fixtures to relevant components of the modern world of pop culture!
In the years since the show wrapped, The Pratts have appeared on multiple reality TV shows, have written their own book, and Heidi launched her own music career with Spencer completely supportive of her work! In their personal lives, the Pratts gave birth to a little Pratt of their own, their "miracle baby" Gunner, as E! News reports.
As if they couldn't be any more relevant, "Speidi" hosts a podcast!
Turning a blind eye when we hear some things aren't always how we imagined them is extremely common! If you're a fan of The Hills, you might have been surprised to hear reports that some storylines on the show were completely fake.
Questions of the show's legitimacy have been floating around for a while, as ABC News reports, and after a long period of questions, various cast members have confirmed the rumors. Spencer revealed the show "did 20 takes" of the scene where he forced Heidi to leave his car after a fight. Audrina, on the other hand, revealed fights used to be staged, too. The rest is still unwritten? We'll have to wait for the reboot to find out!
Sources: Us Weekly, People, Vogue, E! News, ABC News