It all started with 90210 : a rich gang of Beverly Hills High Schoolers desperately trying to make it through the drama of their teenage years. The show was a complete success -- love triangles, eating disorders and drug addictions galore. Slowly, the trend began to ooze into the next decade, from The O.C. to North Shore and now to the reality series Laguna Beach. But when does it come to the point where it is just too much? Yes, in 90210 they were wealthy, but the show focused on exaggerated dilemmas of high school students, not the brand of their shoes.

The O.C. started it, and Laguna Beach sealed it -- a show about the rich, about their clothes, about their houses, about their cars ... oh and don't worry, we'll throw a guy from "the other side of the track" to make it even more obvious. We all watch, envy and ogle the hotties, but at the end of the day, we have to wonder, why are we so infatuated with this Southern California image? Better yet, why are we so obsessed with the outrageously rich? At some point in the middle of all the designer skirts and $80,000 cars, we got hooked. It didn't matter if Marissa of The O.C. tried to kill herself three times in one season or that the only conflict in Laguna Beach is that Daddy won't replace Kristin's SUV. The only things these shows seem to have in common are the huge houses, the hot girls and the insane parties.

At least 90210 had the balls to address serious issues of the high school world. The O.C. has some sharp characters -- Summer is a feisty bitch with a blunt personality, and Seth is hilarious with his dry sarcasm -- but Laguna Beach has attempted to create drama and has failed. The show consists of nothing but rich, hot, stupid people. All this raises the question: why are we really watching these shows? Is it for the entertaining drama and the extreme characters, or is it really because we like to watch beautiful people drive Beamers and wear Gucci?

Laguna Beach solidifies what The O.C. was hinting at: it's a show masked as a teenage drama, but is really about who has more Chanel purses and whose pool house has a better view. Apparently, in this day and age, fashion sells more than sex.

We can all watch The O.C. and laugh, but Laguna Beach borders on pathetic, making it blatantly clear that the obsession with the fabricated Southern California glamour has gotten completely out of hand.


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