With a year in Los Angeles under their belts in Season 2 of "The Hills," Lauren Conrad and her friends Heidi, Audrina, and Whitney learn that being young women in the big city isn't as easy as they thought. This year, when new boys force them to make tough choices, Lauren and the girls are about to find out that not even friendships can be taken for granted.
When the debut season of The Hills
ended, Lauren had passed up the opportunity to work in Paris for the summer to live in a beach house with her vaguely Neanderthal-ish boyfriend Jason. Flash forward to the second season of MTV's hit reality series--which aired from January through April 2007. Lauren and Jason break up, and you can see the wistfulness in her eyes as her friend Whitney (who got the Paris gig after Lauren turned it down) talks about what an amazing summer she had. Though the conceit of this Laguna Beach
spin-off was to have Lauren at its core, her friends are as instrumental to the drama as she is. There's Audrina, whom roomies Lauren and Heidi ostracize for no other reason than they can. As for Heidi, Lauren's supposed best friend, she cares more about fame and men than her friends. As entertaining as this 3-disc, 12-episode set is, this series also reveals the worst caricatures about mean girls and young women. They will gossip about whoever isn't around and will lie to their friends, apparently oblivious to the fact that they will be caught in their lies when the show airs on TV. And sadly, these girls fault each other--rather than their cheating men--for their tumultuous relationships.
If Lauren is the determined and good rich girl, Heidi is the manipulative bad seed. She scares a boyfriend into thinking she's pregnant to test how much he loves her and then maintains her innocence when he gets angry at her deception. She lies to Lauren about what another girl said. There are times you may empathize with her, but those few moments are negated by her stupidity when it comes to her slimy boyfriend Spencer, whose claim to fame is hanging around any place (and any one) where there is a camera crew. He even sets up Lauren with his one-dimensional friend Brody (son of Olympian Bruce Jenner) to ensure that he's assured of even more camera time. Spencer guilts Heidi into doing what he wants, but she is guilty of lacking a spine when it comes to standing up to him. Spencer actually is an honorary mean girl, cattier and more jealous than any of the women on the show. Last season's finale left viewers wondering whether Lauren would work towards her future and go to Paris, or remain in the past and live with Jason. The second year ends with another life-altering decision--this time for Heidi. Will she move in with Spencer, whom she has already told that she is too young to make such a commitment, or will she remain as Lauren's roomie and BFF? There is a champagne toast and pizza celebration for a pair of roommates in the final episode that will make most fans of the show very pleased. --Jae-Ha Kim