(Series -- MTV, Wed. May 31, 10 p.m.)
"Laguna" alumna Lauren Conrad moves into a groovy apartment she's never seen with fellow blonde roommate Heidi, who explains that her career ambition is "to be the fun, party, PR girl in L.A." Let's hope she drives better than her ostensible role model in New York.
Within moments (hey, it's a 30-minute show), Lauren interviews for and secures her internship, and Teen Vogue's West Coast editor, Lisa Love, assigns her a minion-type chore at a swanky party thrown by the magazine.
Lauren also makes pals with fair-haired intern Whitney and Heidi's bikini-clad friend Audrina, a brunette aspiring model-actress (geez, ya think?) who breaks up the dazzling assault of human blondage. There are some boys, too, who look plucked out of the same Abercrombie & Fitch catalog as the gals.
Lauren, it seems, will attempt to be the sober one, while Heidi has clearly devoted herself to studying the collected works of Paris Hilton. So can a beautiful girl with an equally beautiful if somewhat ditsy roommate survive on this side of the Orange County line? All that's missing is tossing her hat in the air at the start of each show.
Granted, MTV is peddling a certain lifestyle and image with its reality fare, and virtually all reality shows set in Southern California indulge in cartoonish stereotypes, a la Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Orange County." Even so, exalting indolent, party-going teens -- which this series does, intentionally or not -- seems rather dubious and off-putting unless you happen to be part of the clique.
As for Lauren, she's so well schooled in the ways of reality TV you can almost see her calculating how each scene will be stitched together. And while "The Hills" pledges that the show represents a "New City, New Drama," it's really just a different zip code, and the dramatic flourishes are as old as they come -- a point that's about as close to reality, actually, as this program is apt to get.
Camera, Hisham Abed, Mark Petersen; editors, Adam Lichtenstein, Marlise Malkames; music supervisor, Jon Ernst. 30 MIN.
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