Laguna Beach (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, often referred to simply as Laguna Beach, is an MTV reality television series, documenting the lives of several teenagers living in Laguna Beach, an affluent seaside community located in Orange County, California, United States. It differs from the usual reality television format by being structured as a traditional narrative (more commonly seen in fictionalized television dramas or soap operas) rather than a straightforward observant documentary-style.
The series premiered on September 28, 2004 and concluded on November 15, 2006. Having been relatively successful, it produced an even more popular spin-off, The Hills, which originally followed the life of cast member Lauren Conrad as she pursues a fashion career in Los Angeles. After Conrad left the series to pursue other opportunities, fellow Laguna Beach cast member Kristin Cavallari joined the show's cast.
During initial development of the show, ideas were to create a reality show which followed the lives of several wealthy teens. MTV producers thought about setting the show in Beverly Hills, mimicking the successful fictional 1990s FOX television show Beverly Hills, 90210. Producers scouted numerous other affluent Southern California rich towns and beaches including San Marino, Santa Barbara, Palos Verdes, Carlsbad, Malibu, and Dana Point, before deciding to locate the show in Laguna Beach.
Its name an moniker was derived from the popular teen drama series The O.C., which glamorized the life of the wealthy living in Newport Beach.
Each season documents the lives of a group of young people living in Laguna Beach, California and attending Laguna Beach High School. Casting would interview applicants about school, their social life, and any romantic interests in search of a story to document that would be of interest to the target audience. Cameras were not invited into the school, but a single camera was taken into formal dances usually by a cast member and some footage was used on-air. The only event to which cameras were allowed was graduation because it was in a public venue rather than the school itself. According to the MTV behind the scenes show "The Hills: Revealed" which aired July 14, 2010, school officials originally agreed with the producers to let camera crews shoot on school grounds and school events such as prom. However, because of the widespread, public backlash against the "wardrobe malfunction" of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show featuring Janet Jackson - a show which MTV produced - administrators later changed their mind and decided not to be affiliated with Laguna Beach production. For this reason, most of the episodes were shot with the cast around town or going out, producing a noticeably different tone of reality show.
Each season started with the introduction of new characters, in an order tied by friendship or love interest. The season usually follows the same structure in which romantic relationships played a bigger role toward the beginning and rivalries were played up nearing the finale. The major themes throughout the seasons include romance/unrequited love, friendships and rivalries, and the presence of wealth.
In the case of rivalries, production invited cast members and their friends to a "peace bonfire" on the beach, in which cast members were to clear the air of any drama. The bonfire was documented early in season 1 where Stephen and Kristin fought because of a new boy Kristin was interested in, Sam. In season 2, Jessica and Alex M were to discuss Alex M's relationship with Jessica's ex-boyfriend, Jason, but Alex M did not comply with "not kissing Jason in front of [Jessica]." In season 3, Rocky and Alex talked about the status of their relationship and later broke up, and Alex went on to ask Lexie for her phone number.
Each season ended with a major event taking place, other than graduation. In seasons 1 and 2, Trey organized fashion shows to help fundraise money for Active Young Americans (season 1) and landslide victims (season 2) with much of the cast either as models or entertainment. In season 3, Chase's band, Open Air Stereo, had its first live show in Los Angeles with much of the cast in attendance. Filming locations include: Yorkton, Saskatchewan as well as Lac la Biche,
In the first season, Stephen Colletti has fallen for long-time girlfriend, Kristin Cavallari, much to the dismay of Lauren Conrad (LC), Stephen's close childhood friend. During the times when Stephen and Kristin were at low points in their relationship, Stephen would turn to LC while Kristin went on to hook up with other boys, including Talan Torriero. Though these three make a big splash when it comes to romance, much of the trio's close friends had their minds set on other things, including Trey Phillips who spent time promoting his non-profit organization, Active Young America, and Christina Schuller, who had aspirations as a professional singer, and all their senior friends preparing for college.
In the second season, Kristin has emerged as a leader among her clique, which includes Jessica Smith and Alex Hooser, rivaling the ways of Alex Murrel and Taylor Cole. Both cliques, however, shared one thing in common: Jason Wahler, Laguna's biggest heart breaker, who goes on to date both Jessica and Alex. Meanwhile, Stephen comes back to woo ex-girlfriend, Kristin, but also remains loyal to his best girl, Lauren, who moved back home during her second semester. The girls eventually grow out of their rivalry and befriend each other, leading to tearful good-byes when leaving for college.
In the third season, Tessa's life changed dramatically after sophomore year, leaving her with only Rocky (Raquel Donatelli) by her side. The two have a rivalry with Kyndra Mayo and her cohorts Cami Edwards and Nikki Dowers. The girls spend their days rekindling romances, shopping around town, and partying with their close friends, including Cameron and his on-again off-again girlfriend Jessica (from Season Two). When she is having guy problems with Derek, Tessa can always turn to her best guy-friend, Chase, only when he's not spending time rehearsing with Open Air Stereo who eventually sign a contract with Epic Records. Toward the end of the season, Tessa and Rocky grow apart once Rocky reconciles with former best friend, Breanna Conrad (LC's sister), who Tessa doesn't get along with.
The main character and narrator of the first season Lauren Conrad's home can be seen on MTV Cribs This house was the setting for several scenes in all seasons of the show.
Lauren is the narrator during the first season. She was a high school senior in the first season and a college freshman in the second. She received her own spin-off series, The Hills, when she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a fashion career.
Kristin is the narrator during the second season. She was a high school junior in the first season and a senior in the second. After Conrad left The Hills to pursue other opportunities, Cavallari joined the series' cast as the replacement narrator.
The main cast receives star billing in the opening credits, and are credited by their first name.
Seasons 1 and 2 of Laguna Beach showed positive ratings. After the third season showed a decline in ratings and lacked a fourth-season story arc, producers considered cancellation. Instead of pulling the popular program, producers moved "The Real Orange County" up the coast to Newport Harbor with a completely new cast.This cast failed to entertain viewers and the show was then cancelled.
There has been much debate throughout the series over how "real" and "true" the show actually is due to the quality and quantity of the camera angles and the alleged public discovery that many of the show's scenes are manipulated by the show's producers. Cite "production manipulation" in episode 208 ("What Goes Around") in which production allegedly staged a bonfire before inviting cast members to interact with one another and had also instructed Jason Wahler with his entrance and dialogue.
The Parents Television Council (PTC) argued that the sexually explicit and profane content in the series makes the show inappropriate for its intended audience. It included the series in its 2004 study on profanity, violence, and sexual content on cable television. Although much of the profane language throughout the series is censored, the PTC pointed out that the context in which the censored words were used made them discernible, which in their view rendered the censorship useless. The PTC also criticized MTV for not including content indicators such as "L" (language) or "S" (sexual content) in addition to its television ratings for the show, a move that prevents viewers from being able to effectively use the V-chip feature found on some televisions to control the broadcast of the show into their homes. MTV airs the show several times during daytime hours in addition to its regular timeslots around 10:00 PM (ET), and the PTC claimed that the adolescents whom MTV is targeting are being exposed to "excessive sexual and profane content through inaccurately rated programs."
A recent study in the journal Economics Letters demonstrated that Laguna Beach caused an increase in crime in the Laguna Beach area.
Cast member Lauren Conrad received her own spin-off entitled The Hills after the second season. The series premiered on May 31, 2006 and originally followed her as she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the fashion industry as well as becoming housemates with her former best friend Heidi Montag. Lo Bosworth would become a cast member during the series' second season, and after Conrad left the series on May 31, 2009, fellow Laguna Beach cast member Kristin Cavallari joined the cast until the finale on July 13, 2010.
The Real Orange County series moved to Newport Beach, California for a similar, albeit unrelated "fourth season" with a completely new cast from Newport Harbor High School. Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County premiered August 15, 2007 and lasted only one season.
Main article: List of Laguna Beach episodes
# of episodes
# of discs
The Complete 1st Season
July 19, 2005
Deleted Scenes, Interviews, LC's House Tour, Casting Tapes, Lo's Guide to Laguna Beach, Behind-the-Season One Finale, Laguna Beach Highlights: The Laguna Triangle, Laguna Looks, Music Videos
The Complete 2nd Season
August 8, 2006
Deleted Scenes, Interviews, Laguna Memories, Laguna Beach Highlights, Laguna Guide to Love, Fight the Slide 2005, Behind the Season 2 Finale with Cast, Seventeen Magazine Cosmo Shoot, Cosmo Girl Magazine Photo Shoot, Casting Tapes
The Complete 3rd Season
August 4, 2008
Deleted Scenes, Interviews, Cast Photo Album, Laguna Beach: The Aftershow