||Inspired by the success of Fox's teen soap THE O.C., the producers at MTV came up with this reality series about the real-life teen residents of Orange County, California. Those who thought the show's debut season was eventful are in for even more fun with this popular second season. Introducing some new characters into the mix only ups the drama, as last year's high school seniors are replaced by the feisty former juniors. Leading the bunch (and narrating) is confident, sassy Kristen, Lauren's nemesis and competition for the hunky Stephen. Both Lauren and Stephen pop in throughout the season, while other favorites from last season (like Lo and Dieter) make occasional appearances while on break from their college adventures. Most of the action, however, revolves around Kirsten and her posse. Love affairs, cheating, proms, and gossip abound, as new romances are sparked and new enemies made. Packed with enough vicious backstabbing to make even the reluctant viewer addicted, LAGUNA BEACH is also a visual pleasure to watch. Unlike most low-budget reality television, the MTV series is stunningly filmed, making its subjects look like movie stars. This style, in combination with the unnatural (and outrageously catty) manner in which the so-called "real" kids speak, has led many a viewer to argue over how much of the show is, in fact, staged.