It’s like going back. Back to the beginning.Â
MTV’s new reality series, Siesta Key, premiering July 31 (10 p.m. ET/PT)Â feels like running on a sun-drenched beach toward an arm-entangled reunion with Laguna Beach. The first season of the original beach-set reality series, which aired from 2004-2006, centered around a group of high school students in Orange County, and introducedÂ us to the dramaticÂ love triangle between Lauren Conrad, surfer bro Stephen Colletti and a chunky highlights-donning Kristin Cavallari. Cameras captured teenage rites of passage like prom and spring break.
Siesta Key, theÂ brainchild of Laguna Beach producers, is reminiscent of MTV’s early successes in reality TV. The New York Times reported in 2005 that the show averaged 2.2 million viewers in its first season. In 2006, The Laguna Beach spin-off The Hills, which documented Conrad’s move to Los Angeles and internship at Teen Vogue,Â Â averaged 2.9 million viewers during its premiere in 2006. Â
It seems Siesta Key producers relied on a tried and true formula: cinematically documenting the drama of attractive people, sans confessional interviews, spliced overtop popular songs Ã¡ laÂ Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone, whichÂ may still conjure up a very specific limousine scene for Laguna fans.
The new show trades one sunny beach location for another:Â Siesta Key, an island on Florida’s west coast.Â
The first of 10 hour-long episodes highlights the tension between Alex and two girls vying for his attention, Juliette and Madisson. With a cool girl’sÂ confident air, Juliette plays it coy compared to Madisson. But like LC and Ste-Phen, she and Alex have a history â…