The fur flies when Lauren's ex, Doug, asks Steph out to dinner

‘The Hills’ recap: Sloppy seconds

It was a nice change to get an almost 100 percent Lauren-free episode last night, wouldn’t you agree? After all, I’ve been on major Lauren overload lately. In the past week alone, she inked a book deal (her young-adult series will be titled L.A. Candy. Really? Couldn’t she think of a better word than candy? Oh wait, silly me, I just remembered: She’s trained in fashion, not in writing!), she debuted a dress she designed for one of the trophy girls at the Emmys, and finally — as if that wasn’t enough — she also presented at Sunday night’s awards show, where she handed over a statue to one of the most powerful women in the comedy world right now: Tina Fey. If that doesn’t hint at a significant shift in pop culture, than I don’t know what does. I should note here, though, that the Hills starlet’s busy schedule this past week also included an appearance at EW’s Emmy party, so at least we know her priorities are straight.

While Lauren was off in Italy — with I’m guessing her family, though she never said — touring the sites wearing only her flattest footwear (how happy do you think her feet were to get a nice break from the soaring heels she usually shoves them in?), She-Pratt made a “surprise” visit to the château (you know, with camera crew in tow), to drop the bomb on Audrina that pretty-boy Doug had asked her to go to dinner. I’m not quite clear on what Steph’s intentions were when she told Audrina this juicy tidbit. She acted like she wanted advice on what to do, but when Audrina told her to hold off till Lauren got back from her trip, all Stephanie could say was “How would she find out?” Gee, I don’t know, sibling-of-Spencer, I can think of at least five ways: e-mail, text message, blogs, MTV producers, Brody. Just because the girl was MIA while gallivanting around Europe didn’t mean she wouldn’t find out your secret. Besides, if Stephanie were really all that concerned about Lauren’s feelings, she would’ve just dropped the idea from the get-go.

Audrina couldn’t wait to spread the merry Doug cheer on to her new lunch buddy Lo, later on at Fred Segal. Yeah, how ’bout them apples? The brunette and the blonde can play nice together (or did Lauren pay them off separately before she left? We all know she has the means to do it). I kind of loved seeing them join forces. Could you imagine what would happen if they pulled a Gossip Girl and just outed Lauren the way Blair did Little J.? It’s too bad our favorite Monday night shows can’t mash into one giant well-dressed drama. I think it would be fantastic. (On second thought, Audrina’s reportedly moved out of their casa, so I’m not sure how much longer we should expect to see Lo and her keep these we’re friends we swear smiles on their faces.)

NEXT: Audrina’s got a secret

Anyway, back to the matter at hand — the would-be Stephanie-Doug affair. Before gossiping about it, Audrina told Lo that J. Bob had apologized for not calling her back after last week’s concert debacle and admitted that she (in typical fashion) just “kind of got over it.” Lo replied with this gem: “I think at this age you have to make decisions for yourself,” which segued nicely into Audrina telling her that Stephanie had stopped by. “Wait, Stephanie’s going on a date with Doug?” asked Lo (emphasis on all the d-words). Man, I wish these girls weren’t wearing their oversize shades during this scene, You just know their eyes would’ve said way more than their mouths did (or at least Lo’s would’ve). “I don’t know,” added Audrina. “Why would you want sloppy seconds?” Bam! I think that’s the most quotable sentence Audrina’s ever uttered. This calls for a round of applause, people.

I’m pretty sure Audrina told just about everyone she knows about Stephanie’s possible date with Doug (perhaps maybe not the mailman?) because later on that night at Goa, she practically spit the words out immediately when Spencer and Heidi sat down at the table with Lo and her [insert Lo’s ongoing cringes here]. Oh wait, my bad, she spit the words out about She-Pratt only after agreeing with Heidi that it was always the two of them out together having fun (and then, the next night, at an X Games event, she even asked Heidi to lunch). Has Audrina been hitting the bottle a little too hard or something? Last time I checked, she hadn’t been besties with Heidi since season 2. Lauren’s absence brought out all kinds of goodies last night, didn’t it?

So Audrina proceeded to dish to Heidi about the recent development with Stephanie, and the latter opined, “That’s just psycho to me.” News flash, Heidi, that word — psycho — gets used a lot with the Pratt family. In fact, evidence may prove that you’re infected with it now, too. Apparently Heidi had heard of Doug way back when she’d visited Laguna, and Audrina even referred to him as Lauren’s “high school sweetheart.” If that’s true, then what category does Stephen Colletti fall under? Have we been misled by MTV all these years? I feel betrayed.

“I just wouldn’t do that to my friend,” Heidi continued. “There’s a hundred million guys in this city.” (I would’ve paid money to see Lo lean over and say, “Oh yeah? Then how’d you end up with this one?”) I don’t doubt Heidi’s sincerity when she said these things, but how much do you think she was eating her words when (as I mentioned last week) her own sister, Holly, was spotted “hanging out” with Doug?

NEXT: The big date

After what felt like hours of back and forth (okay, maybe that’s just the pausing and playing of my DVR), Stephanie and Doug finally headed out on their highly anticipated date. Yes, that’s right, she ignored Audrina’s advice and Spencer’s warning: “Are you a little nervous that L.C.’s going to clip you from her little posse? I would be if I were you.” Upon arriving at the posh eatery Beso, Doug told Steph she looked pretty and not five minutes later said with a sheepish grin, “What are you doing after this?” Let’s take a trip down memory lane here for a moment to my first TV Watch of this season, in which Doug took Lauren out, and I wrote: “The duo had literally just sat down and ordered drinks, and Doug said, ‘You still look gorgeous. Can we do this again sometime?'” Someone hand this boy a Rules of Being a Player on Reality TV handbook, please — his predictability is bordering on cheesy and desperate.

I absolutely loved that Brody’s mom, who also happened to be dining at Beso, made a cameo not much longer after Stephanie had questioned Doug whether he told Brody about her or not. How awkward was it that she asked them if they were on a date? Better yet: How awkward were her cheekbones and glowing fake tan? We all know the producers and camera crew were giving each other silent high fives after this get.

Lauren’s Italy trip was supposed to take place over two weeks (at least according to her MySpace blog, though she told her roomies that she came back two days early. Seriously? Who leaves anywhere in Europe two days early? Guess that’s what happens when you liken a foreign country to a construction site. She must’ve been regretting her decision when she learned that Stephanie had been considering going on a date with Doug. Although, I have to admit, her reaction to the news — and her reaction to Audrina spending time with Heidi — was oddly anticlimactic (enough so that this entire scene at the house felt incredibly staged). Sometime later, however, over Mexican food with Brody, Lauren’s true feelings came out when he told her that the date, er “business dinner,” did in fact happen. “She straight went behind your back,” Brody insisted. “But you don’t think that was wrong of Doug?” she questioned. I totally agree, Doug’s just as much to blame here as Stephanie is, whether or not “guys will be guys,” as Brody likes to put it.

Well, there you have it, TV Watchers, the highly anticipated She-Pratt and Doug date finally went down. What’d you think about it? And what do you think of the fact that she tried to later claim it wasn’t a date and that Doug was “giving me boy advice”? Are Audrina and Lo more fun to watch as friends or enemies? Finally, who else out there wants to see more of Brody’s mom pronto?

More TV Watches and EW links of the day:
Dancing With the Stars recap: Fringe-worthy

Heroes recap: A Brand New Day

Gossip Girl recap: Return of the Queen

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