MTV’s reboot of The Hills sure made a lot of headlines at last week’s VMAs, but whether the buzz ends there remains to be seen.
In other words, will it lead to any actual viewers?
Here, The Hollywood Gossip staff debates whether or not this latest, shameless effort to reboot and recaputre nostalgia will be a hit.
IN ONE WORD, YES by Hilton Hater
Yes, The Hills revival will be a hit.
And I need just two words to explain why: Heidi and Spencer. Better yet, I need just one nickname to explain why: Speidi.
Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag entered the celebrity mainstream over a decade ago, initially appearing on The Hills as your basic wanna be A-Listers who would do anything for attention.
But that’s the thing: They would do ANYthing for attention, whether that meant trying to make it as a singer (Heidi) or stirring up every type of scandal or controversy imaginable (Spencer).
These two were Donald Trump before he became President Donald Trump: they had no shame.
They sky-rocketed to stardom just as social media was taking off, squeezing every millisecond out of their 15 Minutes of Fame and milking every comment on that platform for Likes or Dislikes.
They didn’t care and they still don’t care. Speidi was simply after attention.
That was back in 2007, however. There are millions of current MTV viewers who were too young at the time to watch or appreciate the couple’s antics.
So now that Twitter, Instagram and Facebook dominate absolutely everything at all times, we can’t fathom the heights that a rebooted Spencer and Heidi will be able to reach.
We can’t comprehend how popular (or, at least, how DISCUSSED) the duo will become in this second incarnation.
Oh, and here’s the final thing: They’re still together! They have a son! The couple that came across all those years ago as faker than Heidi’s boobs have somehow managed to find real, lasting love.
It’s sort of amazing. And it makes The Hills definitely worth watching.
NO, IT’S A BRIDGE TOO FAR by Tyler Johnson
Reboots are all the rage these days, and no one at MTV has had a fresh idea since the Clinton administration, so it should come as no surprise that the network is repackaging all its old hits.
But with The Hills, they may have gone too far.
After all, a second iteration of Jersey Shore makes sense – the original series was a cultural touchstone that made household names of its most colorful stars.
But The Hills?!
The closest thing that show ever had to a colorful star was Spencer Pratt, and that’s only because dude likes to wear tie-dye while fondling his collection of crystals.
If you’re lost in a fog of nostalgia, it might be easy to lose sight of the fact that The Hills overstayed its welcome well before it wrapped up its initial run.
The show’s best-loved star, Lauren Conrad, famously saw the writing on the wall and quit before the final season and split.
Not surprisingly, she won’t be back for the reboot.
Hell, one could argue that the concept behind The Hills was played out before the show even premiered. It was a spinoff of Laguna Beach, which was itself a lazy attempt to capitalize on the popularity of The O.C.
Despite all that the show became a hit, but that was likely due in part to the fact its target demo had far fewer entertainment options in those days.
So for the moment, The Hills are alive … but my guess is they won’t be for long.
THE HILLS HAVE A YES by Simon Delott
Reboots are so often reviled, fairly or unfairly.
But technically what we’re talking about here is a revival, where people can wax nostalgic about a show from yesteryear and see some of their returning favorites.
So … is The Hills: New Beginnings going to be a success? Maybe so. Heidi and Spencer, who are new parents, will be returning.
You know that people are going to want to check in on two of the world’s most famous hot messes in this new chapter of their lives.
Other familiar faces will be there, too, and we also should look at another revival from a similar era. Jersey Shore‘s comeback has been a hit.
It’s not dominating our culture the way it once did, but it’s making a splash in a big way, no doubt paving the way for this latest effort.
Some would say that bringing back The Hills without Lauren Conrad is like bringing back Jersey Shore without Snooki. And they’re not wrong.
But while people will surely miss Lauren, who is too busy being a mom to relive her reality television days, producing a reality series has fewer expenses than traditional television.
If there’s any entertainment value that these famously entertaining disasters can offer, this new series could run for a while.
GO HOME, 2007, YOU’RE DRUNK by Free Britney
Look, I don’t blame MTV for wanting to revive The Hills, nor can I blame the cast members for wanting to jump on board.
There’s very little risk, and what the hell else are they gonna do, come up with fresh ideas, or get real jobs, respectively?
With all due respect to the lovely Whitney Port (above) and company, obviously not. They don’t exactly have a lot going on.
Availability and opportunity doesn’t mean there’s enough nostalgia or new, capitvating material for this to stick, though.
The Hills dates back to when Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were tabloid mainstays and reality TV was a novel concept.
In other words, it was a long ass time ago, and the show was more noteworthy in pioneering a genre than anything else.
A dramatized, quasi-scripted series about a real, likable person (Lauren) and her telegenic friends, frenemies and enemies (Speidi)?
That was something new and different.
Endlessly dramatic and fascinating, and just real enough to be relatable on some level, it became a pop culture staple.
Looking back, it’s no surprise that this became a hit, or that it spawned hundreds of shows following that same basic formula.
But therein lies the issue:
What made The Hills groundbreaking TV has essentially become ALL TV, and too many other shows (Jersey Shore included) do it better.
A lot of the time, Hills episodes were like watching paint dry. Its chief protagonist had enough and bailed. Even Speidi’s act got old.
No one has thought about The Hills or its stars in years. Years. After this initial buzz dies out, that will be the case once more.