LAGUNA BEACH: THE REAL ORANGE COUNTY -- Itâ€™s one of the wealthiest, most beautiful communities in the world and MTV has unlimited access to the tight-knit power clique of eight rich, beautiful teenagers that live there. Their lives intertwine in ways you wonâ€™t believe, until you drop in for a visit. Watch as these friends share experiences through parties, relationships, love triangles and small town injustices. This is where the angst and the tumultuous affairs are the stuff of prime time drama â€“ except this is all REAL. Welcome to Paradise, otherwise known as Laguna Beach, California. Branded as "The real Orange County," this tepid yet easily addictive MTV series follows a group of wealthy high schoolers from Laguna Beach, California. Their lives are almost too perfect to be real: good looks, houses by the beach, even close relationships with their parents. They shop, plan parties, and get brand-new cars wrapped in a bow for graduation (and you thought that only happened in commercials!). But it's a reality show packaged as a teen soap.
At the center of season 1 is the love triangle between good-girl narrator LC, her childhood friend Stephen, and his beautiful but cold girlfriend Kristin, who likes to mention at any chance possible how much she "hates" LC. Other highlights for the seniors include spring break in Cabo, birthday bashes, one character's embarrassing audition for a Broadway show, and the repetitive mantra of "Can you believe this is the last time we'll be together like this?"
One's envy of young rich kids who are just like you--but not--is certainly what Laguna Beach likes to tap into (you find out they even have weekly O.C. viewing parties!). Unfortunately, it's also what makes it so vanilla. Since there aren't producers auditioning the most colorful personalities to home-grow drama, you're left with pals so alike you get them confused. Not only that, their "conflicts"--limited to gossip and drunk confrontations--don't really make for great television, at least by the reality-TV standards we're used to. But kids who thrive on the gossip of their own friends will likely continue chatting about this show like it's their own high school.
DVD features include an MTV cribs-type tour of LC's massive mansion (still being built in season 1) and many deleted scenes, which include the technical glitch that got Morgan into BYU (see? It's not just money) and Trey's argument with a midget. --Ellen Kim