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The Hills: We’re Going To Need A Bigger Teapot For This Tempest

It’s a sign of how hard The Hills is treading water, trying to stay relevant beneath the crushing weight of a celebrity gossip industry that de-mystifies any plot tension, which barely exists anyway due to sagging dramatic arcs, that this week’s episode had what might have been one of the most explosive encounters since season 2, with Heidi, Spencer, Lauren, and Brody all in the same room, and yet it almost immediately fizzles out to nothing. Even Lauren’s carefully practiced “Can You Believe This Is Happening” face does little to increase the suspense of the two groups seeing each other when they all recognize how dependent they are on the feud to keep getting those paychecks.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Stephanie Pratt is having a birthday party, so she invites Lauren during their Fashion Institute computer class. Considering the fact that most of the people who watch this show are of high school and college age, you would think the producers would recognize that WE KNOW HOW SCHOOL WORKS, and it’s impossible to believe that Stephanie and Lauren still have this ridiculous class together that I don’t really believe they had together in the first place. What is Lauren trying to get better at? Typing up her bank statement? Anyway, Stephanie invites Lauren, Lauren asks if she can bring Doug, Stephanie gushes about Lauren having a man, they both agree that athletes are the best type of guy. But it’s clear to everyone watching that Doug is not the best type of guy. He’s a pile of dirt and rocks wrapped up in a graphic T. Stephanie says that she isn’t sure if Heidi and Spencer are coming to her party but that she kind of hopes they don’t because “drama follows them.” To this Lauren, barely looking up from…her schoolwork? Her Blackberry? Her mirror? Says “I don’t know if it follows so much as they chase it.” She actually might have outgrown this show. She’s too good at hitting her marks. She should leave this sordid teen soap opera behind and make the big move to daytime soap operas.

Whitney is being groomed to take over the position of LA Publicist for People’s Revolution, the world’s most confusing fashion company run by a vampire named Kelly Cutrone. At a work dinner party, Cutrone offers a toast of True Blood to working closely with the New York office and then berates the LA publicist, Jessica, in the most egregious and disrespectful manner. Who does she think she is? Harvey Weinstein? Later, Kelly Cutrone will call Heidi up to the lofted crypt where she keeps her coffinoffice and inform her that she’s fired Jesisca and now wants Whitney to live a bi-coastal lifestyle. Apparently there are a bunch of jeans that need lackadaisical shuffling on a rack in New York. Not for nothing, but Kelly Cutrone knows that we know that she’s only employing Whitney because it gets good exposure for whatever it is her company does, right? Like, she’s already getting what she calculatingly pays for, she doesn’t need to actually promote Whitney and pretend that she does anything.

Stephanie’s birthday party, as I mentioned, is set up to be dramatic, but come on. There’s more drama in a Bazooka Joe comic strip (will he ever remove his eyepatch?). No, this party is a snooze factory producing upwards of 17,000 snoozes a second.

The scene wasn’t totally worthless, though, because it allowed me to finally draw the comparison between Lo:

And the “Give me back my phone” guy from Lost Highway:

Feeling deeply betrayed by the boredom of her birthday party, Spencer goes to Stephanie’s house to threaten to never talk to her again. They get in a great argument about what the expression “jump ship” means after Spencer accuses her of “jumping ship” to the enemy.

Stephanie: I didn’t jump ship.
Spencer: When there’s two ships, that’s jumping ships.

Cramazing.

Back in their computer class, Lauren tells Stephanie that she’s back on her guard because her friends don’t trust Stephanie and after the stunt she pulled of having her brother show up at her birthday party, which they talked about in their last computer class as a total possibility, Lauren’s no longer sure she can trust Stephanie. Everyone’s mad at Stephanie. Great. Are we really going to give Stephanie Pratt her own plotlines and character arcs? That’s like giving a dog a bone. Whoops, did I say “like”? Because I didn’t mean that as a metaphor.

Next week: more of this. If you live in Los Angeles, you might want to stop watching the show altogether and just go see Janeane Garofalo do a dramatic reading at the UCB. Same great dialogue (the show is four and a half minutes long), less stupid faces.