More than 10 years after Laguna Beach signed off on MTV, the producers of the high school-set reality show are back in business, this time with a college crowd. Siesta Key, MTV’s newest unscripted drama, will take place on the 99 percent quartz, sandy shores of a Florida coastal town as it follows a group of friends returning home for the summer after their first year of college.
Laguna Beach, which aired on MTV from 2004 to 2006, starred Lauren Conrad, Stephen Colletti, and Kristin Cavallari. Cameras followed the Orange County teens’ high school drama and love triangle, capturing their rites of passage like prom and spring break. Conrad and Cavallari went on to headline the MTV spinoff The Hills, which documented their move to Los Angeles and Conrad’s later stint at Fashion Institute of Design and internship at Teen Vogue.
With its cast of college students, Siesta Key sounds like a combination of the two reality shows—and MTV producers wouldn’t have it any other way.
Executive producer Matt Ford told TV Guide that producers “love the comparison to Laguna Beach and The Hills,” although he says Siesta Key won’t just be about life in an idyllic seaside town. The hour-long Siesta Key episodes will go deeper than Laguna Beach as the series focuses on the cast’s emotional lives and family issues.
“The characters are a little older so they’re wrestling with different issues than what you wrestle with in high school,” Ford told TV Guide.
Ford also revealed that, unlike The Hills, which featured some produced and scripted scenes, Siesta Key will go back to the basics of unscripted reality TV drama. Ford maintains that Laguna Beach was 100 percent real—right down to Cavallari’s hilarious mispronunciation of her then-boyfriend Colletti’s name. (Ste-Phen!!)
“I was there producing it,” Ford said of Laguna. “We never told any cast member to say one word. We didn’t know where the season would end. It was all left up to chance…These were real relationships and real friendships and real crushes and real heartbreaks.”
Like Laguna Beach, Siesta Key will also feature a love triangle as 20-something hunk Alex has two girls, Juliette and Madisson, vying for his attention after he cheated on one of them with the other. According to USA Today, other “characters” include alpha-female Chloe, who is being eyed by the hard-to-read Brandon, and a new couple, Kelsey and Garrett. Kelsey, a model, is now tending bar and caring for her mother who has MS, while Garrett is a personal trainer.
You can see a look at a sneak peek at Siesta Key below.
Siesta Key premieres Monday, July 31 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.
[Featured Image by Keith Srakocic/AP Images]