the hills cram session/fan fiction
October 9, 2007
i read that tonight’s episode of “the hills” was a mid-season clip show and while i think clip shows raise some interesting conceptual issues, even i am not an obsessive enough fan to review a clip show. if there was anything of interest in the episode or any new content that you, dear readers, think I should be aware of, please leave a comment and let me know.
fan fiction is an important way for fans to interact with shows that they like. it is not something that i am particularly interested in doing, but i will try most things once and so i have written some plot summaries of episodes which do not exist. like all fan fiction, i think it fails because it’s trying to be something it’s not. or maybe i just wanted to make a grand pronouncement about something i know nothing about. anyway, because music is so important to the effects of “the hills,” i have appended a playlist, which you can download if you so desire (type in the security letters and hit enter, then wait for the counter to count down at the bottom of the page and click “free download”).
Episode 10 – Sex Tape
1. “Dancing on The Ceiling” – Frank Sinatra
2. “I Am Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You” – Jens Lekman
3. “Post-War” – M. Ward
Heidi and Spencer have decided for date night to go one of those restaurants where you eat in complete darkness. You can see a producer at the edge of the frame, visibly pissed off, as they enter the restaurant. For the rest of the episode, their scenes are blacked out. You occasionally hear Heidi say things like, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know that was your hand,” and “I don’t like foie gras.”
“Dancing on the Ceiling” plays as Lauren makes lasagna for Brody Jenner at her apartment. Audrina comes out of her bedroom and they chat about how excited Lauren is to be having a boy over and et cetera. Audrina reveals that Justinbobby’s band is doing well and may soon be signed by a major label. When she sleeps over he reads her lyrics from a moleskine notebook and then they drink absinthe. “You drink what?” Lauren says, checking the lasagna, but just then the bell rings. It’s Brody! Audrina makes herself scarce.
As they eat, Lauren receives a text message from her friend, D.X. Mack, who is a club promoter. It says “ask broD bout sex tape.” Lauren ignores it for a moment, but then asks Brody, “So what do you know about these sex tape rumors?” Brody looks down at his plate for a second and swallows, then says that there’s something he has to tell Lauren. Lauren puts her hand over his. “What is it, Brody? You can tell me,” she says, “really.” “Well, maybe I should show you,” he says. He pulls a DVD out of his man-purse and slips it into her DVD player.
It is hardcore pornography in which Lauren and Jason are having dirty, dirty sex. “I NEVER made a tape. YOU put up CAMERAS in my BEDROOM, you PERV!” Lauren says, with her trademark angry word elongation and stress. “No, no,” says Brody, “it’s not you, you know that’s not you.” He explains that he held a casting and found doubles for Lauren and Jason and used them to film the DVD during the first season of “The Hills.” He says that if Lauren will just say to the press that it’s really her, people will be so intrigued that the DVD will make millions. He offers her a hundred thousand dollars to go along with the scheme. “I’m not stupid,” Lauren says, “so unless you want to give me some points on the back end, you can get the hell out of my house.” He leaves.
“Post-War” plays. In tears, Lauren calls Lo and tells her that Brody Jenner is a big jerk and a totally lame boy. Lo comes over and they watch the movie “Can’t Hardly Wait” in sweatpants, drinking appletinis and eating chocolate covered popcorn.
Episode 11 – Theoretical Girls
4. “Toner” – Cornelius
5. “Infinity Girl” – Stereolab
6. “Advice to Medics” – Sun Ra
At the Teen Vogue offices, Lisa Love has installed large portraits of her face over the girls’ desks, ala Mao. It is the night that the December issue is set to close. Whitney is working hard – typing, making phone calls, et cetera. Lauren is playing a Flash game where she has to beat a kangaroo at boxing. An ad pops up on her screen – “Heidi or Lauren, what team are you?” Lauren clicks the button under her own face. Her computer screen goes black. Whitney screams. Her computer has crashed as well. How will they get the issue out on time?! As they freak out about what to do, the copier begins to hum, louder and louder. Lauren opens the lid and, in a flash of light, she and Whitney are sucked inside.
Meanwhile Spencer and Heidi have a fight at the recording studio, where she is working on her album. Spencer has paid Slash, previously of Guns n’ Roses, a significant amount of money to cut a guest guitar solo on one of her songs. When Slash shows up for the recording, Heidi is angry because she says her music isn’t the kind of music that needs a guitar solo and Spencer says that any music is improved by the addition of a guitar solo and he has paid a significant amount of money to procure the service of Slash. He makes some guitar solo noises with his mouth to illustrate how awesome a guitar solo would be. They yell back and forth, Slash standing between them eating some mixed raw vegetables from craft service, until Heidi bursts into tears and runs out the door.
“Toner” plays as Lauren and Whitney materialize in a mutant version of the Virtual Hills. It is kind of like “Tron,” but with lots of palm trees. In the sky above them is the giant disembodied head of Alex H. from Laguna Beach, which opens its pixelated mouth and spits fireballs at them. Lauren and Whitney run for their lives. All around them are digital copies of models from the magazine, advancing like very well dressed zombies. Lauren and Whitney don’t know what to do. Then they find a glowing box on the ground. Inside is a magic paintbrush and a magical stapler. Whitney points the paintbrush at one of the models and realizes that she can use her well-honed Photoshop skills to retouch the girls into disgusting hags. Lauren realizes she can use her well-honed skill at stapling things to staple the girls to death. “Infinity Girl” plays as they valiantly fight off the hordes.
In the real world, Heidi sits in a coffee shop, crying, mainlining pastry, and staring at her phone. Finally she breaks down and calls Lauren – the number is still 1 on her speed dial, she just never uses it. The phone rings and rings, but Lauren is still in the computer world and all Heidi gets is her voicemail. Heidi sighs and whispers something incomprehensible, which subtitles tell us is “I needed you, Lauren.” She drives back to Spencer’s condo as the guitar solo to “November Rain” plays. In a wide shot, we see Spencer open the door. Slash is beside him, his arm around Spencer’s shoulder. They all have a group hug, Slash’s long black ringlets hanging over Heidi’s back.
Heidi and Lauren fly through the air Matrix style to attack the giant disembodied head of Alex H. As “Advice to Medics” plays, the mutant Virtual Hills explodes in brilliant, shimmering color, not unlike certain shades of Revlon lipstick. Back in the Teen Vogue offices, Lauren and Heidi fly out of the copy machine and land on the carpet, holding each other. In front of them is a fully laid-out, fact checked, and edited glossy copy of the December issue of Teen Vogue. They both smile. Problem solved!
Episode 12/13 – White Gurl (Hour Long Diversity Special)
7. “White Gurl” – E-40
8. “Where I’m From” – Digable Planets
9. “Change Clothes” – Jay-Z
10. “People Get Ready” – Curtis Mayfield
Lisa Love calls Whitney and Lauren into her office. Inside, they find her wearing a baseball cap cocked to the side and an oversized Lakers jersey. A large gold chain hangs around her neck and there is a Warhol-ish print of Tupac hanging behind her. She tells the girls that Teen Vogue is doing an “urban fashion issue, bitches,” and that she is shipping them to see some real authentic black people in Harlem. That night, while packing, Lauren, Whitney, and Audrina watch the episodes of “Friends” with Aisha Tyler in them, taking careful notes.
Frightening shots of decidedly un-gentrified urban environs, set to “White Gurl.” Lauren and Whitney walk the streets, close together, Lauren’s right hand in her clutch, clutching a tiny pink can of mace. Lots of expressionist canted camera angles and jump cuts. As they wander, trying to find their hotel, the girls notice a hooded figure in all black following them. They quicken their pace and so does the hooded figure. The girls begin to run, but, confused and disoriented, they end up in a stereotypical dark alley. The hooded figure approaches them and they cower in the corner, Lauren’s finger on the trigger of the mace. The figure pulls back the hood to reveal…a lovely girl with beautiful blemish-free-nonthreatening-milk-chocolate skin and lustrous, well-conditioned auburn hair! It’s Teen Vogue NY intern Keisha! “What a funny misunderstanding,” Lauren says, hand still on the mace. Whitney runs her hands through Keisha’s hair over and over. “It’s so smooth,” she says.
Enthusiastic “Save the Last Dance”/”Bring it On” style montage set to “Where I’m From.” Keisha takes the girls all around town. Keisha, Whitney and Lauren eat fried chicken and collard greens at a greasy soul food restaurant, Whitney getting crumbs all over herself, Lauren wrinkling her nose at the smell of Black & Milds. The girls tour “urban” boutiques, taking lots of Polaroids and trying on fun and unique clothes. Lauren gets dreadlocks, which she says is something she has always wanted to do. They sit beside Spike Lee at a Knicks game. It is the best day ever! But then they see a flier for a “personal appearance by Heidi Montag to promote her new single ‘Body Language’.”
At the club where Heidi is to perform, the girls guzzle free drinks. Heidi comes out in a really slutty top and the club is buzzing in anticipation. She hears the beat start and nervously begins to sing. However, the DJ has cued Paris Hilton’s “Stars are Blind” instead of “Body Language” and the incongruity of her lip synching quickly becomes obvious. The crowd boos and Spencer appears with a blond fu manchu mustache and walks Heidi offstage. Cut to intern Keisha at the DJ booth, whispering in his ear. “Change Clothes” begins and the floor clears. A spotlight opens up on Whitney. She dances her heart out, busting incredible and improbable yet authentic moves as Lauren cheers from the sidelines and says “You go, girl!” It is kind of like that Soul Train scene in “Charlie’s Angels.”
The next morning. The instrumental intro to “People Get Ready” plays over establishing shots of a service at a historical black church, Lauren and Whitney in shiny choral robes, clapping. The girls sit at a prayer breakfast with Al Sharpton. Over waffles, they promise that when they get back to L.A, they will devote the remainder of the season to battling racism and economic inequality. After the breakfast, the entire cast of “The Hills” links hands with the entire cast of “Baldwin Hills” on a picturesque grassy knoll. Through careful use of filters and color correction, the skin tone of all the stars is averaged, so that they all look like one big upper-middle-class family. The camera rack focuses from them in the background to a small black girl and a small white girl playing in a sandbox. None of this will ever be mentioned again.
Episode 14 – L.A. Woman
11. “L.A. Woman” – The Doors
12. “Death Trip” – The Stooges
13. “The Sun is Still Sunny” – Dean and Britta
Episode opens with a long montage of Audrina, in black leather, hair spiked, riding on the back of Justinbobby’s motorcycle. All of this set, obviously, to “LA Woman.”
At the Teen Vogue offices, Lauren tells Whitney that she’s worried about Audrina. “Why are you worried?” Whitney asks, chewing a giant wad of gum. Lauren tells Whitney that she noticed a weird burnt smell coming from Audrina’s room and she opened the door and Audrina was sitting inside a circle of candles with her eyes rolled back in her head, chanting, and that there was this design painted in pink on her wall, “you know, one of those stars with a circle around it that badly dressed kids in high school drew on their notebooks.” Whitney agrees that this sounds troubling and says she’ll go with Lauren to Justinbobby’s band’s concert that night.
That night. Justinbobby’s band, Tenth Circle of Hell, is playing at the Roxy! Lauren and Whitney are supposed to be on the guest list, but that jerk left them off at the last minute, but they get in anyway. Justinbobby’s band is playing so loud that our girls have to stick their fingers in their ears. They go to get drinks and find Audrina dancing topless on the bar and wearing really trashy looking black lipstick. When she sees them, she is so happy and kneels down on the bar and her right boob hits Whitney in the eye, bruising it slightly. “That’s not COOL, Audrina,” Lauren says, “it’s not COOL to drink so MUCH and worship SATAN and hit Whitney in the EYE with your BOOB! And this is all because of the BAD INFLUENCE of JustinBOBBY!” Audrina, surprisingly eloquent despite being wasted, says, “You have real issues with men, Lauren, and I think you should see a licensed therapist who can maybe help you work through some of them in a productive way.” Then she dives off the end of the bar and crowd surfs to the stage, where she makes out like whoah with Justin Bobby, smearing the black lipstick all over their faces. Lauren and Whitney leave in disgust. They go back to Lauren’s apartment and watch the movie “Can’t Hardly Wait” in sweatpants, drinking mojitos and eating guacamole.
At 3 A.M. Lauren gets a text message from Audrina: “sick need help.” Audrina doesn’t say where she is, but, luckily, Lauren has GPS locators installed in the phones of all her close friends. In her pajamas, she drives to the mansion the band rented with their record company advance. The door is unlocked and, after some tip-toeing around the wrecked house, she finds Audrina sleeping on top of a white grand piano in a puddle of her own vomit. “Oh Audrina,” Lauren says, shaking her head.
The next morning, “The Sun is Still Sunny” plays over establishing shots of Audrina crashed out on the couch, the sun streaming in through the windows. Lauren brings her some weak tea and dry toast and they sit sipping and eating. “Gosh, I don’t know how I let Justinbobby let me get involved with a Satanic drug cult,” Audrina says. Lauren pats her on the head. “It’s OK, Audrina,” she says, “all that matters is that you’re okay and that you’ll never see Justinbobby ever ever again. Ever.”
There is a closing montage of them painting over the pink pentagram on the wall with a nice eggshell color.
Episode 15 – The Girl Who Didn’t Go to Paris (But Then Did)
14. “L’anamour” – Serge Gainsbourg
15. “L’appareil A Sous” – Brigitte Bardot
16. “Nostalgie” – Erik Satie
17. “The Park” – Feist
Lisa Love calls Whitney and Lauren into her office. Inside, they find her wearing a beret and a vintage Chanel dress and smoking a Gitane. “L’anamour” plays softly in the background. An elegant string of pearls hangs around her neck and there is a print of a Cartier-Bresson photo of a baguette flying through the air on the wall. She tells them that Teen Vogue is doing a “French Fashion issue, mademoiselles” and that she is shipping them off to see some real authentic French people in Paris. That night, while packing, Lauren, Whitney, and Audrina watch the episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie goes to Paris, taking careful notes.
“L’appareil A Sous” plays over a montage of French landmarks. Lauren and Whitney are so excited. They get to the Teen Vogue office and Whitney immediately begins speaking fluent French. Lauren taps her on the shoulder says, “Hey Whit, how about speaking some English, or, like, introducing me or something.” Whitney gives her a perplexed look and says “Excusez moi?”, then turns back to her French friends. Lauren blushes and pretends to examine her nails. Whitney and her friends leave the office and Lauren trails behind them.
There is a montage of Lauren being awkward and not fitting in in Paris. She asks for a non-smoking table at a cafe and gets laughed at. She tries to buy an eclair and is handed a baguette. Other funny and embarrassing things which highlight cultural differences happen. She window shops at all the boutiques but is afraid to actually go inside.
“Nostalgie” plays as she lies on her bed in the Teen Vogue apartment. Alone, she stares out the window, at the rain. It is French rain, which makes it even more sad. She watches the episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie goes to Paris and realizes how similar her situation is to Carrie’s. She does some free writing in her notebook about this connection.
When the rain stops, she walks through a park. It is damp and the sky is gray. “The Park” plays to stress the fact that she is feeling melancholy and is in a park. She sits down at a small cafe and orders a cafe au lait. Suddenly, a familiar face passes in her peripheral vision. “Jason!” she yells, but he doesn’t stop. She flings a few Euros onto the table and runs after him. He’s walking fast and the street is crowded. She catches him and grabs his shoulder.
“Jason,” she says, as he turns around, “what are you doing here?” She can’t believe it’s him, she can’t believe he came to Paris.
“Excusez moi?” he says, with a perfect French accent, “Jason? I am Phillipe”
He looks exactly like Jason. “Sorry,” she says, sighing, “you look just like someone I know.”
“Ah, oui?” he says. “It is serendipity.”
“Oh my god, I love that movie,” she says.
They have coffee and she falls in love with him. He is exactly like Jason but with a French accent to mask his stupidity and French cultural mores to explain his infidelity. But, alas, she lives in The Hills and also films a highly rated TV show there, so, after she and Phillipe share one passionate kiss at the top of the Eiffel tower, Lauren and Whitney fly back to L.A. On the plane, Lauren cries her eyes out on Whitney’s shoulder. She says that if she could just be the girl who stayed in Paris, she wouldn’t have to cry any more. Whitney coaxes her to sleep by reading “The Devil Wears Prada” aloud in a warm and soothing tone of voice.