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Rubbernecking: The Hills, Season Five, Week Three

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In case you, like me until recently, haven't a clue what The Hills is all about besides it being the show that features everyone's favorite opaque duo from La-La Land, Heidi and Spencer . . . here is a quick run-down. The show premiered in May 2006 and was touted as a semi-faux "reality" show that followed Lauren Conrad from the program Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. LB: The Real OC had been a jewel in MTV's crown, so when it closed down, the powers that be concocted a way to continue the ratings bonanza by creating The Hills. The show centers around Lauren after she moves from Laguna to her swinging single life in L.A. Season 5 premiered on April 6 with back to back episodes.

So in a nutshell: there's Lauren and Heidi, who used to be BFF's but are not any more because Lauren can't stand Heidi's fiancée Spencer, apparently the biggest tool on the planet and hands down winner of the worst actor award in recent memory. Last season Heidi and Spencer eloped to Mexico but did not legalize their marriage so that Heidi can eventually have the grandiose, over the top wedding of her dreams.

The show is replete with hilariously one dimensional acting and people with weird affected voices who talk like they came straight off the set of an 80's mall rat movie, Beverly Hills 90210 (the real one - not the fake one that's on now), or Melrose Place. Another rather endearing signature trait of this series is the endless chryons reminding you of who everyone is and their relationship to the others.

Season 5 opens with Heidi and Stephanie (Spencer's buddinsky sister) meeting for coffee and Steph spilling the beans about Lauren's impending surprise birthday party that her friends planned for her on a yacht. Heidi yearns to go even though she and Lauren are on the outs, but Steph believes that she can bring these two back together so she invites Heidi to come with her to the big bash. Cut to Lauren's friends Audrina and Lo picking up the birthday cake. I notice that Audrina has strange teeth - her two incisors in front are longer than the other teeth. Is this a mark of the beast? But I digress...

Lauren and her posse pull up to the dock in a limousine and she is brought, blindfolded, onto the yacht. Wouldn't it have been great if 24 was filming a scene there at the same time and suddenly Jack Bauer and Tony Almeda entered the mix kicking some terrorist butt? Meanwhile, Spencer's gone out with his ne'er do well pal Charlie to L.A. bar The Dime. He's currently doing tequila shots at the bar with bartender Stacie who's all googly eyes for him. Spencer: "Did you know if you get married in Mexico it's not legal?" Stacie: "Yeah, it's a different country, right?" Clearly these two were made for each other.

Drama time back on the boat as Steph and Heidi teeter aboard with their fuck me heels. Lauren looks totally less than thrilled to see Heidi and gives her a lukewarm hello kiss. The party is fraught with convos by Lauren about how she can't be friends with Heidi and Heidi worrying that Lauren is upset with her being there and bad sound mixing to enhance the faux reality theme. While all this is non-happening, Spencer's back at the bar doing shots ("that was my favorite shot of my whole life"). Stephanie's ex Cameron comes in, texts Stephanie that Spencer is there hitting on the bartender, and when Spencer finds out he beats Cameron up. Spencer is a rubbernecking treasure, y'all, especially when he comes out with lines like: "Hit me first so I can fuck you up. Now it's real, dog, you just got into my business."

Back aboard the birthday yacht, Heidi is kept current with Spencer's misadventures by Steph and she's totally, like, freaked out. She and Lauren have a tearful heart to heart about it and Lauren says, "Can I be real for a minute? He's an asshole, like, he's an awful person." They both start bawling while trying to keep their eye makeup intact, and hug.

Moving on to Episode 2: Heidi confronts Stacie at The Dime. Heidi: "You know I was about to marry this man." Stacie: "I wouldn't be happy with a boyfriend or a man I was going to marry to act that way." Heidi: "Right." Stacie: "...because I couldn't take lying or flirting with other girls and having you look stupid in front of your friends." Heidi: "Yeah." Stacie: "Good luck with that." Heidi: "Wow." Classic!

Heidi flounces back to the apartment she shares with Spencer and tells him she's going to go visit her mom in Colorado to think things over for a few days. Whilst there, to her mother's delight, she runs into her ex-boyfriend Colby, who she used to do bible study with (maybe this is a reality show after all; you can't make stuff like this up). Back in L.A., Spencer's visiting Stacie at the bar and making nice nice with her. (By the way; does he work? You see the women on this show at their jobs but Spencer just seems to go to cafes and bars all the time with no discernible means of income. Just sayin').

Episode 3: The show opens with Stephanie coming in to Spencer's place to bust his chops about Heidi and stir the pot with some gossip about Heidi's ex in Colorado. He insults the cap she is wearing: "Did you leave your train out front that matches that hat?" Nice one! At Lauren's workplace, fashion PR firm People's Revolution, owner Kelly tells Lauren they need another intern and Lauren gets Steph an interview for the job. Against her better judgment, Kelly gives Stephanie the job but makes Lauren the heavy.

Stephanie and Heidi meet for dinner and conclude that Spencer has a secret life and decide to try and track him down. They find him with Charlie, Stacie, and Stacie's girlfriends at a new trendy club that just opened. Big big drama. Heidi stays over Steph's place and Steph advises her to lay down an ultimatum with Spencer: therapy or see ya, chump. Which she does at a sidewalk café a few minutes later. And coming attrax show more big drama ahead as Kelly's fears about Steph are apparently going to be realized, and then some.

Lost, Shmost! There's plenty of intrigue and spectacle right here in the fake, vacuous, non-recession, completely trippin' world of Lauren and her bimbette posse.

MTV's The Hills can be seen on Monday nights at 10PM.