cult of personality

‘The Hills’ Are Alive With the Sound of Stephen Colletti

Welcome back to another week of Let’s Gang Up on Helpless Audrina! So the girls are moving into a new house and WHAT THE HELL?? Our first apartment out of college was a converted one-bedroom in Murray Hill with a fake wall and a four-by-five-foot “living space” with no windows, which we shared with our friend and her now-husband. It was one-thousandth the size of the girls’ new digs, which they’re looking at in the first scene of tonight’s episode. Is this, like, a Real World house? Does MTV pay for it? Because we know the sales from Lauren’s clothing line aren’t covering this Hollywood mansion.

Anyway, Lauren and Lo and Audrina are talking about how they’re going to decorate the place and they come up with the brilliant idea to “put pictures on the walls!” Geniuses, these three. Lo even wants to get curtains! So novel. And then we learn that Audrina’s actually going to be living in the “guesthouse.” She likes that it’s private, and Lo and Lauren are happy that she’s at least pretending to be fine with their forcing her to live in the slave quarters out back. This kicks off the theme of the night: Lo and Lauren hate Audrina and make her feel unwelcome in her own home. Very nice, girls. They’re excited for a housewarming party, and so are we, since we have a feeling that a certain fedora-wearing scrub will be on hand to entertain us.

And now the credits. We always wonder about that model who makes the kissy face at the word “skin!” in the opening credits. We suspect she watches every week and thinks, “Damn, I look good in my tiny bikini with my puckered lips!” It’s either that or, “Here I am, homeless and selling my body for drugs — if only I wasn’t associated with The Hills … now no one will hire me!”

Back to Lauren and Lo, having lunch at Caffe Primo on a chilly California day. Lauren’s wearing a big green scarf in one shot, but then it’s off when they cut back to her a second later — makes you think about all the other crafty editing that’s going on in this reality show. She tells Lo how she and Audrina shop separately, the undertone of which is this: Girl dresses like a skank and I don’t. Which — sorry, Audrina, we know you’re having a rough week — is true. They talk about how Stephen Colletti is coming to the housewarming party, and how Lauren never really stopped loving him. “It always turns into a thing,” she says. This melts Lo’s “little black heart,” which is funny and true. Wait, how much time has passed since the girls got the house? How can they be moved in and ready to have a party already? Whatever, not worth dwelling on. Because here comes Spencer!

Stephanie walks into Karma Coffee and calls Spence a coffeehouse rat. Why didn’t they just meet at Stephanie’s apartment, where Spencer still lives?? Stephanie orders something called a Chai Bobba. Isn’t that what people call their Jewish grandmothers? We’re confused. Spencer lays into Stephanie about getting invited to Lauren’s housewarming party, accusing her (again) of having no family loyalty. And then Stephanie tells a lovely story about Spencer, in which he befriended a guy who broke up with Stephanie in high school. She calls him her ex-boyfriend, and Spencer, the worst brother since Cain, replies, “He wasn’t really your boyfriend, I have to tell you. Just ‘cause you went to semi-formal with him?” What. An. Asshole. They fight a little more about what to tell Heidi, and then Spencer storms out, leaving Stephanie to drink her Bobba in silence. We think that was a new low for Spence-dog. We never understood how people could actually hate their siblings, but this is giving us an idea.

We cut back to the girls getting ready for their party. The lawn is decorated with tiki torches, and as responsible adults, we hope there’s a fire extinguisher somewhere in this Casa de Mean Girls. Lo’s in a pretty red dress and Audrina’s wearing, um, a gray cape? Unclear. She tells Lo and Lauren that Justin Bobby is coming to the party (yessssss), and the girls exchange eyebrow-raises and Lo says, “Maybe he’ll wear a cowboy hat?” in the most bitchy way possible. And fine, that’s kind of funny (though would have been funnier had she stuck with “fedora”), but do we really have to watch one more scene of them being mean to poor, idiotic Audrina? Bleh.

And now to the par-tay! There’s Whitney! There’s Brody, who got the girls a juicer! And there’s Cora, Brody’s new girlfriend! Lauren gives her the stink eye. On a side note: lots of stink-eyeing from LC this season. We have to wonder if it’s actual stink eye, or if she just doesn’t need some Visine.

Back at Heidi’s place, Heidi tells Stephanie how angry she’ll be if she goes to the party. Her argument is seriously flawed, which Stephanie points out. Stephanie calls the whole thing very “middle school,” which is true, but nevertheless stays in with Heidi instead of going to the party. We so would have gone to the fiesta if we were Stephanie. She was all dressed up! Heidi’s skin looks bad in this scene, and we wonder if it’s a post-op side effect, or just from the stress of being in a fake non-relationship with Spencer. You tell us.

Back at the party, we see Lauren’s old flame from Laguna Beach, Stephen, enter looking very cute but chewing gum like you wouldn’t believe. Stop chomping, Stephen! It’s gross. And there’s Justin Bobby, sporting a mustache and haircut! Awesome. Brody greets him warmly, which is amusing. Lauren and Stephen bond about flowers or something, and we’re going to say this once: Lauren, he never liked you in high school, and he’s never going to like you now. No matter how many flirty half-smiles and loving gazes you throw his way, he’s just not that into you! Not even the producers can pay him to love you. Our boyfriend points out that in the time he’s known Lauren (say, five episodes), all she seems to do is stand around and pine after guys. Get a life, Lauren! And stop being so mean to Audrina, who’s taken refuge with JB in her slave’s quarters. She complains about how Lo and Lauren are treating her, and he says, “If shit starts up again, ‘cause I have a feeling it will, you can’t win.” Priceless JB: nonsensical and vaguely offensive.

Cut to the next day, and now Lauren has a “date” with Stephen. She tells Lo it was his idea, but somehow we think it was hers. Or the producers’. She wears the most unfortunate asymmetrical dress we’ve ever seen, perhaps designed by Lauren herself — we think those curtains that Lo wanted ended up on Lauren’s body instead of the windows. Lauren and Stephen go to a romantic restaurant, and Lauren tries to manipulate him into saying he has feelings for her, but she obviously can’t … because he DOESN’T. He keeps repeating the word “platonic,” and Lauren’s pained face is the reward we get for having to watch her undermine Audrina a billion times this episode. She wants him to kiss her good-bye (and we’ll admit, we’d want a kiss good-bye, too … sorry, boyfriend), but he hugs her and drives off, just like he did the entirety of high school. Lauren then eats ice cream with Lo and pretends that she didn’t want anything to happen with Stephen. “Hanging out with him, I feel like I’m in high school. But I’m not in high school anymore.” Oh, Lauren, you so wish you were.

Next time: A PUPPY! It’s so cute, it cures all wounds! Yippee! And Stephanie kicks Spencer out of her apartment, finally.

And now, time for our Unequivocal Hills Reality Index!

As Real As Lauren Is Awkward:
• Spencer’s caffeine addiction. He needs something to help him stay up at night and hatch evil plans.
• Audrina’s love for Justin Bobby. What is it about this guy that she likes? Can someone help us understand? It’s so inane, it’s got to be real.
• Lauren thinking it’s cold outside when it’s like 65 degrees. We hate people who live places where it’s always nice!!! Argh, jealousy.

As Fake As Heidi’s Nose:
• Stephen and Lauren’s “date.”
• Brody’s girlfriend’s boobs. Hey, Audrina and Heidi, you have another friend-in-augmentation!
• Stephanie’s noble cause. She says she’s all about bringing everyone together, but no relation of Spencer could have such unselfish motives. —Emma Rosenblum

‘The Hills’ Are Alive With the Sound of Stephen Colletti