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''The Hills'': Unhappy new year!

On ”The Hills,” Lauren’s New Year’s is ruined by her ongoing problems with Heidi

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The Hills, Lauren Conrad
The Hills: Sheryl Nields

The Hills

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
225 minutes
Lauren Conrad
Paramount Home Video
Reality TV

”The Hills”: Unhappy new year!

I think it was during that dizzying clothing-store scene — when Spencer was asking Heidi to move in with him while constantly pawing at her — that I realized I should really be more thankful for him. I mean, the way he so selflessly dedicates himself to being creepily manipulative for our viewing pleasure is nothing short of miraculous.

(Let me take a break here briefly to say, Wait, Whitney plays softball? Huh.) Anyway, basically everyone was gearing up for the best New Year’s ever, as people are wont to do around that nutty time of year when it suddenly seems imperative to have the greatest night of your life while stuffed into a club with a bunch of strangers sipping warm champagne. (Or, um, sparkling cider. I’m sure that’s what our little underagers here were drinking, right? Because we were helpfully reminded by next week’s preview that Lauren’s 21st was yet to come.) Everyone was also acting determined to make amends after the great Heidi-Lauren rift. ”Two thousand and six was a hard year on our friendship,” Heidi told Spencer in the midst of the clothing-store mauling, ”and I want to spend New Year’s with her.” Spencer’s sensitive response? ”That is really annoying.”

On the big night, he kept pushing it. When the two of them were at dinner before meeting the group at Area, he told Heidi, ”I don’t even want to go to the club. I just want to take you home right now. But you have another boyfriend named Lauren Conrad.” Can I just mention this is the kind of creepo isolationism that passes for ”romantic” in some young girls’ eyes but is seriously dysfunctional, not cool, and just basically all kinds of wrong? I’m just saying.

Things were much lighter on Lauren’s side, where her big plan for self-improvement was apparently to learn kickboxing with Audrina — this was what she cited as her big resolution. Hey, every girl’s gotta have a goal, right? Nice to see the return of Lo, too, especially when our aspiring action heroine could use a friend. Also nice to see that Lauren picked herself up a totally random vacationer from — where was it? Colorado? — to smooch on New Year’s, too. Loving her run of regular-dude dates these days, even if they don’t stick. That’s what your early 20s are for, after all.

Heidi, meanwhile, seemed laser-focused on her apparent goal to destroy any hope of friendship with Lauren by blabbing to Lo about Spencer’s moving-in proposal without mentioning it to her roomie. Then, taking a page from Spencer’s playbook, she got all pensive and pouty at midnight when no one (except Spencer, natch) seemed to be paying attention to her. If only there were an Emmy category for Best Actress in a Reality Series.

Even days later, Spencer was still at it. ”I’ve been thinking a lot,” he told Heidi over dinner, ”and I think it’s really rude that you’ve chosen Lauren over me.” Um, in what way hadn’t she chosen him over Lauren?

Then — you guessed it — Lo dropped the bomb at Café Sushi when, after a bitch session about Jen being a no-show on New Year’s (”She’s probably like, ‘Ah! I have no more friendships to destroy!’ ” Lauren cracked), Lo asked Lauren, ”Who’s moving into your apartment when Heidi moves out with Spencer?” Yeah, that didn’t go over well.

I gotta admit, I’m psyched about next week, which looks like The Hills‘ equivalent of a sweeps-week stunt episode: appearances by Brody (wow, I so haven’t missed him) and Jen, plus Lauren’s big 2-1!

What do you think? Did you feel bad for Heidi in the salon when Lauren and Audrina were ignoring her? Will she move in with Spencer? And will Lauren let Jen and Brody talk her into believing she has no reason to be angry with them?