Laguna Beach made hay of the lives of Orange County high schoolers.
The Hills followed cast member Lauren Conrad to L.A., where the show became a clash of good girls (like Lauren's co-worker Whitney Port) and evil schemers (Speidi).
The form of the show morphed from alleged documentary to something more like a competition, with the cast - most notably Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt - playing within the show and the press to win: though the prizes were unspecified.
So when a third MTV show in this genre was born this winter, The City, starring our friend Whitney Port, about her new life after moving from Los Angeles to New York, Heidi and Spencer's fabulous parting gift to her was their method.
Anyone who would want to be on the show as Port's friend, lover or co-worker could be in it all for himself. Soon after her arrival in New York, someone - Casting? Producers? Port? - found her a love interest; he calls himself Jay Lyon.
Both real and TV Whtiney are young, new in town and surrounded by crazies.
Her job as the star of the new series is, basically, to roll with the unexpected punches from network marionettes - or cry on camera if, say, her boyfriend decides he will get more fame or money from cheating on her. Is she up for it?
Follow the link to continue reading this L.A. Times feature on The City and its heroine, and click to enlarge some more pictures from the article below ...