It’s hard to believe that it’s been nine years since The Hills aired its final episode on MTV, and now, the reboot is finally here. On Monday, June 24, several of the original show’s cast members will be returning to update fans on what their lives are like these days, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen them last. If you’re wondering how The Hills ended so you can make sense of the reboot, you’re definitely not alone — the finale was pretty bizarre.
By the time The Hills series finale aired on July 13, 2010, Lauren Conrad was long gone, and Kristin Cavallari was narrating the show. Almost every episode of that final season centered around Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt’s various daily dramas and Brody Jenner and Kristin’s budding relationship. This all seems pretty par for the course, but just wait.
Everyone’s storyline wrapped up nicely. Kristin and Brody went their separate ways as she left for Europe; Lo Bosworth moved in with her then-boyfriend; and the series seemed to have a happy ending, if not a bittersweet one.
Then, everything in changed.
The final scene of the show finds Brody standing on a street, and as the camera pans away, it’s revealed that he’s actually standing on a Hollywood backlot, and everything around him, from the trees to the Hollywood sign behind him, is fake.
Obviously, this was MTV’s way of trolling fans because of all the backlash The Hills received for being too scripted, and according to Brody on the Hills after show the night the final episode aired, it was meant to let fans create their own interpretation of how real The Hills actually was.
“Well that’s one of the questions that was always asked in the show, ‘Is it real or is it fake?’ And we kinda left everybody with ‘Well you’ll never know what’s real and what’s fake,'” he said at the time, according to Entertainment Weekly.
TBH, there was a lot about The Hills that did seem fake — anyone who’s ever been an intern anywhere knows that Teen Vogue would have never just sent Lauren and Whitney to Paris, and the drama between a lot of the cast was contrived. Entertainment Tonight has a series of interviews with the cast, in which Justin Bobby claims he was asked to leave Audrina Patridge at the beach, Spencer says he didn't actually leave Heidi at the side of the road that one time, and Audrina explains that the time she and Kristin apparently pretended to fight over Justin Bobby so the producers would let them stop filming.
But some of it was real. You can’t just fake that feud between Lauren and Heidi. Just look at the way they argued, right down to Lauren's now iconic “I want to forgive you, and I want to forget you.” Anyone who's ever fought with a friend knows that scene felt extremely, extremely real. But the whole series couldn’t have been 100 percent fake, even if it did end on that soundstage with Brody.
Not helping that case though, is the fact that the original finale ending isn't technically the only way The Hills ended. There is another, possibly goofier ending, too.
Years after the series finale aired, MTV released an alternate ending to The Hills, and fans of Lauren Conrad probably like it better. In this version, Brody says goodbye to Kristin before going back to his apartment, where Lauren’s waiting on the couch. They agree that it’s hard to say goodbye before grinning at each other.
Okay, yes this other ending is cheesy, but so was the entirety of this show, so it's actually kind of a perfect moment. This should have been the real ending, MTV. Just saying.
It doesn’t seem like The Hills: New Beginnings is planning to pick up where the original show left off, but that’d be pretty difficult to do so it's probably a good thing. It’s hard to say whether or not sound stages will be involved this time, but Brody will be there for sure. And isn’t that all that matters?