After six seasons of The Hills, it was the series' final two minutes — when Brody Jenner was revealed to be on a soundstage rather than shooting from a real street corner — that perfectly defined the show's hybrid of reality and scripted television, while also underscoring the viewers' biggest burning question: Is this show for real?
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"That will be the question that will live on forever. It is what it is," says star Audrina Patridge. "You'll see they were real-life situations that we all went through. But of course certain things are hyped and I can't really say."
"I think you always want to leave with the audience wanting a little bit more and I think when you watch the finale, you'll definitely be like, 'Is there going to be more?' I think it's the perfect time [to end]," series creator Adam DiVello told TVGuide.com at The Hills Live: A Hollywood Ending on Tuesday. "That's also a part of leaving now, while it still has that mystique and people are still invested in it."
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"I think it's still unbelievable all the attention that we received at the height of the show. I don't think it ever really caught up with me," Lauren Conrad says, more than a year after leaving the series. "It's really cool to look back now at all the stuff we got to do. I was happy to be a part of it."
As the series' stars became more well known, they began to keep more of their private lives off-camera — most notably Conrad's boyfriend, Kyle Howard, who never appeared on the show. Thus, producers were forced to get more involved. "Running around Costa Rica with cameras and trying to get Lauren and [Heidi Montag] together at a night club — it's been a difficult but very enjoyable ride," DiVello says.
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Lo Bosworth, who also appeared with Conrad on Laguna Beach, The Hills' predecessor, says that, real or not, she hopes the viewers were able to find common ground with their MTV counterparts. "People talk about it how it was filmed and all of the drama, but I really hope that people remember it as a coming-of-age story and something that was truly relatable," she says.
In the end, DiVello believes the most important thing is that true fans understood the show, even if they didn't know just exactly what they were getting themselves into. "[The fans] just got what we were doing. They spent the half-hour each week with us and they just kind of enveloped themselves in the music and the B-roll and the stories we were telling," he says.