”The Hills” recap: Spencer’s sister attacks
The producers must have realized that The Hills has been slumping recently. For the past few weeks, we’ve been subjected to publicity-serving Teen Vogue events, Speidi’s wedding blues, and the tired Lauren-sex-tape story. On a lucky day, we get a quasi-famous band thrown into the mix. Sigh. Even the promise of a Heidi-Lauren showdown couldn’t lift the show’s floundering spirit.
Enter Stephanie, a.k.a. She-Pratt.
The slump is over. She-Pratt is exactly what the show needed for added stimulation: feisty, angry, and with something to prove. Last night’s episode served up a steaming heap of drama. Where has Stephanie been all this time? She is an instigator of action, the golden child for drama, the vinegar to Lauren’s baking soda.
We began with Audrina delivering the town gossip to Lauren. Like a good roommate, she dutifully reported what Spencer’s sister attacked her with the night before: ”My name’s Stephanie Pratt, and I just want you to know that you’re a bitch, and you and Lauren are done.” Well said! Two points to She-Pratt for being so succinct. ”The only thing that’s worse than Spencer,” said Lauren, ”is a she-version of Spencer, because she’s capable of all the same things. But at the end of the day, a guy can’t hit a girl, but a girl can hit a girl.” That wise observation earned her five points in my book. Call it the Jerry Springer syndrome: Girls can get away with nastier behavior than men because of their relative physical weakness, though, as hair-pulling proves, they’re actually just as capable of causing harm. Oddly, Lauren’s observation would in the end apply more to Audrina than to She-Pratt.
Unfazed, the girls wasted no time getting to Hollywood’s Opera club. (Which, by the way, is the silliest name for a club that I’ve heard yet. Imagine the confusion this might cause between parents and their kids: ”Mom, can I go to Opera tonight?” ”Wonderful idea! The Magic Flute?” ”Yes, and five magic beers too!” ) Anyway, staged or not, the confrontation between Lauren’s table (Audrina, Justin Bobby, Brody, Frankie) and newcomers Stephanie and Roxy probably provided more high-pitched shrieking than an opera hall could handle. What’s remarkable about She-Pratt is her unfailing loyalty to Team Speidi. Maybe it’s because she’s the only member of their fan club, but she was determined to start a fight. ”Heidi’s my family now, they’re getting married,” shouted Stephanie, somewhat randomly. ”I love Heidi!” chimed in Roxy, which was news, since I’ve never seen her on the show before.
And what is this, kindergarten? I haven’t staked claims on people since I was in the sandlot, asking classmates if they would be my friends. She-Pratt, after seeing Brody, came up with a line that made me think she’d been watching Star Wars: ”What are you doing here? You’re on the evil side.” Lauren responded by saying, ”Don’t fight other people’s battles,” once again offering wise words. (Homegirl was on a roll last night.) While this was all happening, I was distracted by the two very different shots of Team Speidi and Team Lauren. One group was brightly lit, the other hazy and grainy, and though I have no doubt that the confrontation actually happened, I don’t understand why one whole group shot wasn’t taken. It looked, well, a bit fake.
NEXT: Justin’s magic pickup techniques
Anyway, in the middle of the shouting fest, J. Bob sneaked away from the booth — as well he should have, because it was like a vortex of eighth-grade melodrama — and started canoodling with a random redhead. Does J. Bob have magic beans in his pocket? He went from chatting with her to kissing her in two minutes flat — all while appearing to be seriously intoxicated. If that’s the case, you gotta admit that his pick-up technique is impressive — never mind that the girl was wearing black lipstick. In any case, J. Bob’s stunt didn’t go unnoticed, and Team Lauren started gawking, causing Audrina’s eyes to burn an even brighter shade of white. ”Did he just kiss her?” she stuttered. ”Yes,” Lauren said, always somehow the eager bearer of bad news. The funny thing is, I like Lauren the most when she’s consoling her friends in need — always armed with the right words, like ”You know you don’t deserve that.” The next time someone treats me badly, I want Lauren to be on my side, if only so she can coach me on how to deliver the line ”I want to forgive you, and I want to forget you.”
When Audrina and Justin took their lover’s quarrel outside, I was impressed with Audrina’s sudden display of aggressiveness. Usually passive, the girl actually pushed Random Redhead out of her face. I was all, ”You go, girl!” until Lauren’s earlier prophetic words ran through my head, like a bad dream: ”At the end of the day, a guy can’t hit a girl, but a girl can hit a girl.” And suddenly I wondered why Random Redhead should get attacked. J. Bob was clearly the one to be angry at! Instead, he was off to the side, laughing maniacally, mimicking Audrina’s words, basically acting completely insane. Those magic beans I suspected were in his pocket? Perhaps he swallowed several too. He joked later that Audrina must have been ”hallucinating” when she saw the supposed kiss, but he may have been projecting. And he clearly had no defense, because he kept murmuring weak words like ”Honey, you’re in my heart, and I care about you more than you’ll ever know.” That’s the wisest thing he’s ever said, actually — because Audrina doesn’t, and will never, know. Hearing J. Bob say ”Honey” actually sent a shiver up my spine. Basically, the girl had to choose between leaving him and utterly demeaning herself on national television.
Later, Justin Bobby bared his face for the first time when he arrived at Audrina’s apartment, slicking his hair back into a low bun. I sat in front of my TV dumbstruck for several minutes. It was amazing: How many hairs sprouted from his chin, how chilly gray gleamed his eyes, how weathered his skin looked. No wonder he’s hidden behind that shaggy curtain the entire time — he’s actually been sparing us the sight of his face. As for their conversation? Audrina’s delivery of her breakup speech was about as flat as her taking a phone call at Epic Records. I have no doubt that the girl was roiled by emotions, but her feelings didn’t manifest themselves in her voice or on her face. Even Frente’s crooning cover of the New Order song ”Bizarre Love Triangle,” begging us to cry, couldn’t bring me to shed a tear.
All right, TV Watchers, that’s all I’ve got up my sleeve for the night. What do you think? Do you love or hate Stephanie? Who else kind of missed Whitney? Are you surprised it took Audrina this long to dump J. Bob? And when did Epic intern Chiara have her status upgraded to ”coworker”?