Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Here’s what makes The Hills fantastic: other shows typically edit out the blank stares and silences between takes and during other characters’ endless babbling. The Hills has managed to make an entire series out of these moments, cutting up and rearranging reactions (or non-reactions) into whatever space they please.
This week we join our fair maidens back in sunny Los Angeles, where LC has just returned from her trip to Paris and possibly a two-week vacation from filming. Nevertheless, she complains of jet lag as she enthusiastically hugs Blahdrina hello, the two of them collapsing onto their couch with unfettered girlfriendship. They perform their own recap AND intro, with LC revealing that she is so over Brody (riiiiighhht…) and that Whitney may want to leave Teen Vogue. Blahdrina eyebrow raise. And…. cue Natasha Bedingfield!
In the much-missed Teen Vogue offices, Whitney has decided to have the dreaded “future” talk with Lisa Love, who is really living up to her name with new red dye job, red flowers in the background and a menstrual blood-red satin shirt. Whitney nervously explains that although she appreciates her job, she has gotten a “job offer” (sound edit) “here in L.A.” Lisa listens sans emotion (or perhaps she was just waiting to read her line) then looks down and takes some notes. When it’s her turn to talk, she explains with regret that they have no styling positions open and raises one eyebrow about three centimeters, which I suppose conveys a shred of sympathy for our young go-getter. Ehhh, they’ve got what they needed out of Whitney, so she sends her out into the world with Teen Vogue’s blessing.
“Note to self: set TiVO for entire run of ‘CSI: Miami’.”
After a transition that includes the first of many so-subtle music advertisements in the upper right corner (hey, it’s the least MTV can do for us now that there are no actual videos), we arrive at Bolthouse, where apparently Heidi still has a job after, well, bolting for a week to weep to Mom in Colorado and whine that she’s not the center of attention. She heads straight for Kimberly’s desk to get caught up on all the work she’s missed. And by work I mean gossip. And by gossip I mean talking about herself.
Heidi comments on the astounding beauty of Kim’s cubicle (which looks to me to be regular ol’ gray walls) and Kim looks up at her with an expectation that perhaps Heid will notice her new DIY-highlights.
“All it took was lemon juice and some sunshine!”
While Heidi recounts her tragic ordeal and what she needs out of the Spencer situation, Kimberly reacts to everything with “Okay. Okay.” instead of “yeah” or “of course” or or “totes.” I’m getting the feeling she’s taking notes from a boss rather than listening to a friend.
“Okay, I think I can fit in Some Space From Spencer just after your 2:30 meeting.”
For the 867,000th time, Heidi complains that she gave up everything for Spencer, “literally, everything!” Even the clothes on her back, her bank account, the startup key to her brain and that bottomless void deep inside. At least he got that last one filled with some “Maxim” covers and a record deal.
Kimberly commiserates with her by explaining that this situation is exactly like what she went through with Danny, who blah blah blah. Wait, who’s Danny? Is he from a parallel reality-tv universe that Kimberly has crossed over from? Do we care?
Oooh, next we get to see Stephanie Pratt’s apartment! Spence has been crashing there since the is-it-or-isn’t-it breakup with Heidi. Care to guess what the design theme is here? Meth Lab chic? L.A. Wiccan? A Tribute To Stolen Hawaiian Apparel? Sorry guys, it’s just the same as everything else on this show: beige. Beige cushions, walls and pillows, beige like everyone’s hair and skin and clothes. Would it kill anyone to take a page from Lisa Love and throw some red on once in awhile?
Color palette of the Pratt soul.
The Pratts are also recounting last week’s events. “She got mad at you, like, what could be worse than that?” Stephanie moans. “Nothing. Thanks, that was a great game plan,” Spencer hisses. Well, it’s not like it was HER idea, you douchebag. She tried to talk you out of it! But Spencer, being the tough and grown-up man that he be, doesn’t waste time talking about how broken-hearted he is to lose his fiancÃ©e. Instead, he gripes about how annoyed he is to have to move out, and also how obnoxious dating is going to be. I think he could just call it “trying to fuck Playboy Bunnies at Les Deux,” but let’s not split hairs here. At the mention of dating again already, Steph gives the visual equivalent of “Wha-wha-whaaaa???”
“Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder???”
Ha ha ha… at least she’s animated. That’s more than we can say for Blahdrina, who goes from sleepy half-closed eyes to sleepy half-closed eyes with mouth agape when she’s surprised. Anyway, back at Teen Vogue, Whitney’s breaking the news to LC about leaving the mag. LC, who appears to be wearing an Impressionist painting hanging off her shoulders and whose hair is darker than her scenes both before and after this one, forces a smile and the two have a relatively passive-aggressive exchange. Lauren keeps saying the news is so weird. “I mean, it’s GOOD for you, but it’s weird, because… we got hired together,” she mumbles with a fake smile. What she means is, I’m still an intern and you’ve already been promoted AND are getting a job somewhere better.
Better is also known as People’s Revolution, a PR place that does branding and stuff. Whitney strolls in for her interview and introduces herself to a young lady whose outfit today was chosen by Carrie Bradshaw, circa 1999.
“I’m sorry, Whitney did you say? I’m not familiar with you or those cameras fixed upon me.”
Whitney waits in the lobby, powered down and staring at the floor. In the background we hear someone aggressively ordering people around and soon the woman herself appears. Kelly Cutrone waltzes in with a coffee and stares down a peon who happens to be in her way. She and Whit introduce themselves and Cutrone gives her a handshake that looks like it could crush a steel pipe, or maybe the cage around Lisa Love’s soul. Interviews are always awkward, and I would think being filmed during one would make the situation ten times worse. I don’t think I’d be able to remember my own name. Luckily, Kelly Cutrone doesn’t have time for “real” interviews so she just explains the history of the company in under thirty seconds and lets Whitney speak for another twenty, looking her up and down judgementally. Kelly warns that taking this job is like making a deal with the devil. Whitney’s all, “Psshhh, I already did that with my last boss at Teen Vogue!” Turns out Lisa Love gave her a glowing recommendation and Whit’s already got the job. Maybe that cage was crushed after all.
“Oh, and just be sure to give Stefanie your vial of blood on your way out.”
At a cafÃ© across town, Spencer’s girls are having brunch. “Oooh, this place has eggs Benedict! This is, like, my new favorite restaurant!” squeals Stephanie. Wow, I wish I could be there the first time she goes to Denny’s. She is gonna be blown away. This time around, Stephanie is going with the “sisterly, all-natural” look and morphs into (digs hand into black satchel, rummages around, chooses random piece of paper) Ashlee Simpson! and Heidi gets to be the pretty one. Better luck next time, Steph.
Then Heidi tells the most awkward, meaningless non-sequitur story I think I’ve ever heard… even for this show. “I’ll never forget the time Spencer said I’m gonna get the… the… muscle breakfast and I was like why because you have no muscles and he was all shut uuuuup! Ha ha ha ha ha.”
“Good story. Tell it again while I grab my cyanide pill.”
Heidi sighs and plays with her hair, plumping her lips at the same time! Way to multitask. It reminds me of that scene in “Mean Girls” where Lindsay Lohan is staring into a mirror and pursing her lips over and over again, obsessively checking her own cuteness. Steph reveals that Spencer is moving in with her and Heidi says, “Huh.” I trust that she is absorbing this information and processing it in an emotional way, not just thinking about conditioner or something. Well, at least what comes next will get her attention.
Steph: “So you don’t care if he dates other people?”
Heid: “He’s not dating other people!”
Steph: furrow brow.
Heidi: “Why, did he say something?”
Steph: Shrug, eyebrow raise, head shake.
Heidi: “But, blah blah blah, being together but in separate places! blah blah, I really do love him.”
Steph: shrug, breath, look down, purse lips.
Heidi: Stare off into space, furrow brow. Aaaaaand scene!
At LC and Blahdrina’s apartment, the girls get ready for a night on the town. Blahdrina brings up Brody and his “new girlfriend,” which immediately brings LC near tears. I think the time to bring this up should have been before the makeup was put on. “Aren’t you so relieved he’s done with now?” Blahdrina asks, either oblivious to everything that’s happened over the last two years or just a complete bitch. “Hey, we’re both single!” she exclaims, adding insult to injury.
They declare themselves “ready to get into trouble” and head out to Les Deux, apparently still the only nightclub in all of L.A. While partying, who should show up but Brody and Frankie. Brody’s got things to see and starlets to do so he decides to make this snappy, getting the drama out of the way within three minutes of walking in the door, berating LC for not giving him a hug hello.
Good work, Camera 1.
In acting school they teach you a method called the Meisner technique, where one person says something and the responder repeats the question over and over and over until a natural response comes readily. I’m pretty sure that Brody is a disciple of this technique because he asks, “You’re mad at me?? You’re mad at me?? You’re not mad at me,” and follows it up with “You’re not gonna give me a hug? What, not gonna give me a hug? You’re really not gonna give me a hug right now? What is wrong with her??” etc. They go back and forth on who has a boyfriend or girlfriend, then Brode storms off in a huff. Frankie has a heart-to-heart with Lauren while yelling over the Yin-Yang Twins. “He loves you, you love him. That’s real.” I’m pretty sure it’s not real. In other news, who is their electrified new friend?
Looks like someone took a wrong turn on the way to Brooklyn!
LC takes her usual classy way out by not responding to the melodrama, instead cowering in her seat and looking like she’s gonna cry (that’s how I deal with confrontation too). She saves the theorizing for the next morning with Lo, who gets to play the chipper role of understanding brunch friend. “You look a little… ugghhnnnhh” Lo remarks. In the Renaissance era, our dear Lo would have been hailed as a poet for expressing the deepest of human emotions that can scarcely be articulated, that utter, deep feeling of “ugghnnhh-ness.”
“You just need to find your inner ‘gweeeshine’!”
Hey, that’s what friends are for, as Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick taught us so many years ago. Lo actually reminds me of a really sweet, sympathetic soccer mom who’ll just make the best out of any situation. I estimate that in 4-5 years she’ll be packing Sunny Delights and Pinkberry-On-The-Go’s into her kids’ lunches. And she’s the only one on this show whose makeup philosophy is “less is more.” Heidi should have stayed friends with her – she could cut about two and a half hours out of her daily routine.
“Now don’t forget, you have oboe practice after school.”
They both agree that the situation is hard because everyone is friends with everyone else, and everyone knows that incestuous Hollywood cliques are nearly impossible to break apart. It used to be that nothing short of rehab could do the trick, but now the celebs are even drying out together.
Back at the House of Social Isolation, our co-dependent lovers are dividing their possessions. Heidi gets the bulk Vaseline, Spencer gets the Aquanet. Heidi appears to be crying but she’s still glossy, no flyaways, and perfectly camera-ready. “Ohhh, what would I do without my Xbox?” Cokejaw smarms, gingerly packing his gaming system. I don’t know, form a human relationship? Theorize on the meaning of existence? Just read a book? Speaking of books, Spence peruses their extensive collection and identifies “Empires of the Sand” as belonging to Heidi. Are you fucking kidding me? I don’t know who it belongs to, but I would bet my left nut that neither of these two has cracked its spine.
“Where the hell did you put my Curious George coloring book?!”
They argue over who gets the 42″ versus the 50″ TV. Dear God, thank you so very much for preventing these two crazy kids from procreating. Love, O. Snapp. I can just see their divorce proceedings now: “Well…. Cody’s the cuter one, but Cassidy is the smarter one.” “Sigh. Fine. You can have Cody. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW??” Spencer makes it abundantly clear that he will be having sexual intercourse with other women, then takes his one remaining box (his Xbox, that is) and exits stage left. Heidi looks less like herself than ever before.
Another move-out is in progress at Teen Vogue, where Whitney is lamenting her impending inability to see Lauren’s face every day. Not to discount the emotion of the situation, but she could probably just set her new computer’s home page to MTV’s “Hills” website and that would take care of things. The girls discuss their friendship as turning into a long-distance one, and pledge to “make it work.” Yeah, every LDR starts out that way… until three months have gone by and you find yourself fantasizing about having an hours-long “friendship” with any random person walking by.
Whitney reminisces about that first disastrous night they spent together at the Young Hollywood party where Heidi fucked everything up, agreeing that they should have known back then that she was trouble.
“Shhhh! If she hears you she’ll eat our souls!!!”
This couple also has their uncomfortable silences, as each girl sighs and thinks about what friendship, what life itself, means. Or handbags. They muse on the irony that Whit’s carrying the same purse as she did on her first day. Only a true fashion acolyte would notice that! LC looks longingly at Whitney as she surveys her emptied workspace.
“Awww. I wish I could get paid to actually do something.”
They share that scary silence when you both know it’s the end and there’s not really anything else to say. Whit makes the effort. “I think I’ve got everythink.” They share a great big hug, comforted only by the fact that they’re bound to at least four more months of continuous friendship through contracts and publicity tours.
Spence closes his car trunk and drives into the sunset, Whitney carries her box of stolen office supplies, and Lauren is left only with magazine covers and blank Post-It notes. Sigh. It’s the end of an era. Hey wait. LC and Whit didn’t go out for drinks after work? I don’t know about you, but any time a friend (or even slight acquaintance) of mine has ever quit a job, we’ve all gone out and gotten hammered that night, the leaver euphoric in knowing they’ll never have to return to that godforsaken office again, and everyone else drinking themselves into oblivion trying not to think about Monday, when they’ll have to return to said godforsaken office.
But wait, there’s more! Tune in for a bonus recap of “The Hills,” arriving shortly at a TVGasm near you.
– O. Snapp