Laguna Beach premiered 10 years ago Sunday, September 28, introducing us to the world of Lauren Conrad, Stephen Colletti, Kristin Cavallari and company.
The TV world was never the same, and we’re not even being facetious.
Nestled in Orange County, Laguna Beach was inspired by the small town of that name as MTV’s real-life take on The O.C., which had just premiered on FOX.
What transpired was a reality TV first. The show simply followed the lives of the young, rich high schoolers, rather than putting them in scripted situations.
That came later on The Hills, but that’s a topic for another time.
Laguna was purer, in a sense. No scripts, no confessionals, no new people cast as love interests. Just love, emotion, drama and Hilary Duff’s “Coming Clean.”
Neither The Hills, The City or any other show has accurately recorded of a group of young people coming of age, or document a love triangle quite like this.
Lauren Conrad, Stephen Colletti and Kristin Cavallari became household names simply by being themselves, and their feelings were entirely real.
Soon enough, reality TV shows tried to duplicate Laguna‘s success, but by upping the ante, and the genre became an exercise in can-you-top-this.
Scenes were secretly scripted, and cast members – including Lauren’s friend Heidi Montag – began to stir the pot on purpose and blur the lines of “reality.”
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Bravo’s flagship show is none other than The Real Housewives of Orange County, which sometimes films right there in L.B.
Laguna Beach, though, is the one that started it all, and for the cast themselves (along with millions of viewers), a memento of a seminal time they won’t soon forget.