‘The Hills’ reboot & reality TV’s hold on American culture

The cast of “The Hills: New Beginnings” attend the party for the premiere on June 19 in Los Angeles.
(Amy Sussman / Getty Images)

Once upon a time in America, reality TV used to be about the rich and the famous.

But “The Hills” changed the rules of the game in 2006 — merely being rich or appearing to be — was good enough to get you famous.

The MTV docu-soap spawned a thousand copycats — including the Housewives and the Kardashian franchises — and turned the U.S. into a country obsessed with reality TV, the genre that launched a presidency.

Eager to get back in the limelight, some of the stars of “The Hills” are back on MTV with “New Beginnings.” But will the public have sufficient interest in the older cast members contending with the everyday challenges of domestic life — marriage, children and divorce — that people watch reality TV to get away from?


Times film writer and host Mark Olsen (@IndieFocus) talks with @thefilmgoer and @AmyKinLA, author of “Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure.”