‘The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now’: 5 Things We Learned

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“I thought that once the show was over, people would stop talking about it.”

Oh, Lauren Conrad, how wrong you were. MTV celebrated the 10th anniversary of its iconic “reality” soap The Hills with That Was Then, This Is Now — a special packed with clips, outtakes, and current-day commentary from Conrad and the behind-the-scenes team that documented her fabulous (and often tearful) L.A. life. Even if you’ve seen every episode — perhaps especially if — the special is highly educational. Here’s what we learned from The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now.

Lauren Conrad Doesn’t Age

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

At the tender of age of 17, Lauren Conrad auditioned for Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County, which followed Conrad and fellow seniors at Laguna Beach High School. The clip we see reveals a fresh-faced Lauren — with her soon-to-be-signature blond highlights and starfish necklace — who somehow looks exactly the same as she does now. No, scratch that: Now, she looks better. (Damn her.)

Jason Now Has His Act Together

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

Fans will remember Lauren’s party-crazy boyfriend Jason Wahler, and The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now showed unaired footage of their ongoing emotional breakup. A lot of the drama stemmed from Jason’s problems with alcohol, and Conrad reflected on her many trips to clubs where he would be passed out. Luckily, Jason’s story ended on a happy note, and Conrad notes that she is grateful that Jason is now sober and married.

Lauren’s Husband Hasn’t Watched the Show

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

During the one-hour return to The Hills, audiences also got a look at Conrad’s life now, which centers around her clothing lines, charity work, and happy marriage to husband Michael Tell. Conrad noted that Tell has never seen an episode of The Hills, though he caught a glimpse while channel-surfing one night. After watching a snippet of Conrad being quite snobby at a club, Tell promptly said, “Nope, I don’t want to see this side of you,” and turned off the TV.

Fights Were Encouraged

A lot of the controversy surrounding The Hills revolved around speculation and skepticism that the show was scripted. While Conrad insists that nothing was scripted and her life portrayed on camera was quite real, she does note that “confrontation wasn’t enforced, but encouraged.” So some of those fights that you thought were exaggerated probably were.

The Hills Still Has the Best Crying Scenes Ever

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

There was no such thing as an ugly cry on The Hills. As Conrad discussed the raw emotion that she tried to infuse the show with, we were treated to a magnificent montage of crying scenes — one dramatic, tear-filled moment after another. Which might be why Conrad never watches the show now. “For me,” she admits, “it doesn’t always bring back the best of memories.”

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