“The Hills,” MTV’s popular reality show from the aughts, is back. “The Hills: New Beginnings” (10 p.m. Mondays) is the new name, although “The Hills: Stale Leftovers” is more like it.
The spoiled and beautiful stars of the original series are now older — in their 30s! And so they ponder big life questions: Can I be famous again? (Spencer Pratt.) Can I find love again? (Divorced Audrina Patridge.) Why is my wife mad that I got a lap dance? (Brody Jenner.)
Lauren Conrad, alpha female of the original series, declined to join the reboot because she has, like, a career as a fashion maven and author now. In her place is Mischa Barton of “The O.C.” fame, who says she’s long been pals with the cast members. Also new: Brandon Lee, who bears the burden of having Pamela Anderson as a mom. She is not happy with his choice of Lucky Charms as a breakfast food.
Fans of the original show might well be curious to see how the aging process has treated the “Hills” dwellers. Heidi Montag seems fresh as a plastic daisy, although she famously had 10 cosmetic procedures on a single day back in 2010. Are there even that many body parts one can tweak?
But “New Beginnings” is not just about appearances. There’s an undercurrent of sorrow that makes it more than just a guilty pleasure. Stephanie, Spencer’s estranged sister, is back to un-estrange herself and reveals she was arrested for shoplifting while under the influence of drugs! Barton looks wounded by life, particularly the former lover who made revenge porn tapes of her. And it’s hard not to shed a tear for Brody’s wife, Kaitlynn, who says they’re ready for kids, even though Brody states: “I will be terrified when I have kids.”
Then there’s the question of why his dad, the former Bruce Jenner, knew Brody was dating a woman named Kaitlynn and chose to take the name Caitlyn when transitioning. Just one more thing to muse about on “The Hills.”