When Siesta Key premiered in July 2017, many people said that it reminded them of a tiny MTV reality show that you might have heard of, The Hills. Both of these shows are on the same network, feature beautiful young people in a beachy atmosphere, and have the drama that make up a reality show.
These shows may share the same genre, but they are ultimately different, and they are worth praising in their own way. Read on to find out 5 things that Siesta Key does better than The Hills and 5 things that The Hills did better than this more recent MTV series.
10 Siesta Key: The Beautiful Beachy Setting
Siesta Key takes place in the Florida town of the same name, and it's as beautiful as the name would suggest and as viewers would hope. The Hills took place in L.A. and while there were some pretty scenes of that warm weather city, it's hard to argue with how much fun it is to watch a group of friends who live at the beach.
When some of the friends or couples argue on Siesta Key, it's easy to get lost in the scenery and how gorgeous the water and sand are instead of focusing on whatever's getting them so upset.
9 The Hills: The Beloved Theme Song
No fan can remember The Hills without hearing the opening bars of "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield. The song was released in 2004, two years before the show premiered, and it has become totally associated with the series.
While it's awesome that Siesta Key features the Carly Rae Jepsen tune "Cut To The Feeling" as its theme song, it doesn't have quite the same impact that "Unwritten" does. Sure, it might just be nostalgia doing its thing, but fans would probably say that The Hills had super special opening credits. There was just something about it.
8 Siesta Key: It's Truly Entertaining
While sometimes The Hills sagged under the weight of all of the friendship fights, there is honestly never a dull moment on Siesta Key. It's fascinating to watch if Alex (who seems like the main character and, therefore, the Lauren Conrad of this friend group) is going to commit to his current girlfriend or if he's going to keep playing the field (or the sand).
There are also plenty of friend arguments on this show to keep viewers coming back.
7 The Hills: BFFs Turned Into Enemies
Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag used to be best friends, but as fans of The Hills know, they have had so many friendship problems that they don't actually hang out anymore. The Hills took this and ran with it and the Lauren/Heidi tension was one of its main features.
When it comes to what this reality show did better than Siesta Key, it would have to be showing BFFs who have turned into enemies. The tension was so real.
6 Siesta Key: It Feels Like More Of A Coming-Of-Age Story
The Hills might have been marketed as a coming-of-age show since it was about young people living in L.A. and working, but come on, we all know that the show was mostly about fights and dramatic moments.
While Siesta Key is definitely heavy on the camera, it does feature enough scenes of young people wondering what they're going to do with their lives that it fits into the coming-of-age genre. Take Madisson, for example. She has an engineering degree but since those jobs are few and far between in the lovely Siesta Key, she's not sure what she's going to do about her future.
5 The Hills: It's Become A Big Part Of Pop Culture
The Hills has definitely become a pop culture staple, and it's talked about all the time. A group of kids even created a video spoofing it and posted it online. So many of the former cast members, from Lauren Conrad to Whitney Port to Kristin Cavallari, have become even more famous since the series had its finale.
Although Siesta Key has its fans, it's safe to say that it hasn't reached the level of pop culture staple yet. (It has been renewed for a third season, though, so there's still time.)
4 Siesta Key: There Are Actually Twists And Turns
It might sound strange to say that there are cliffhangers on a reality series, but that is honestly what happens on Siesta Key. Sure, there were crazy times on The Hills like when Lauren said no to Paris and chose to be with her boyfriend Jason, but it wasn't such a cliffhanger that it felt impossible to wait for the next episode.
At the very end of the Siesta Key pilot, the camera shows that Chloe's face is all messed up and she has actually been beaten up. This would be a wild cliffhanger to end on for any fictional show, so the fact that this is non-fiction is even crazier.
3 The Hills: There's A Spin-Off
The fact that The Hills has a spin-off, The Hills: New Beginnings, proves what a reality TV staple it has become. It's hard to picture Siesta Key getting a spin-off since it feels like one of those shows that has a good following but hasn't reached super popular status, so it's not a total given that it will get renewed each year.
Not everyone loves The Hills spin-off, of course, but spin-offs are often about nostalgia and missing the old show, so it does deliver in that sense.
2 Siesta Key: It Looks Great
The Hills looks good, period, and has a lot of really slow shots with pop music playing.
Siesta Key does a similar thing, but it looks even better than The Hills. Everyone on the show is gorgeous (even the boys) and that seems to be the whole point. Even someone who wasn't big on the reality TV genre would have to watch a scene or two and think, "This is a pretty show."
1 The Hills: It Left A Greater Impression
The very fact that The Hills came before Siesta Key proves that the former show really did make its mark. The Hills did one thing much better than Siesta Key (and any other reality show, really): it made viewers care about pretty people who argue with each other more than they get along.
This is something that you see on The Real Housewives and Southern Charm and a whole long list of other reality shows. Back in 2006, there was The Hills, and it deserves some credit on that front.