If you’re thinking that our watching of Laguna Beach and The Hills is never-ending, you’re slightly right. By nature, a TV show simply has more hours to it than movies, obviously, but I’m sure Brooke is enjoying this process just as much as you are, dear anonymous reader. I say that with some snark, but I think there’s some lessons to be learned and some commentary to be shared all the same. Brooke, take it away. What did you think of the first few episodes of Season 2?
B: AM, my thoughts are plentiful, but the first and most pressing are as follows. LC is set up for a serious comeback, because everything is pretty much awful for her right now. It should come as a surprise to no one that she and Jason broke up roughly 10 seconds into their summer at the beach — okay, they probably made it a few weeks, but still, the point remains that the regrets she would have had about not going to Paris even if her summer was great had to be amplified by about 1,000 times with that development. But, as much as I’m sad she’s having a garbage time, I must say that it set us up for the GREATEST BURN IN THE HISTORY OF THESE TV SHOWS.
Whitney, Lauren and Lisa Love have their first post-summer pow-wow in Lisa’s office. Lisa asks Lauren how choosing not to go to Paris worked out for her, encourages Whitney to share about her amazing experience over there and then drops in a bit of savage snark about LC that is rumored to have originated with Anna Wintour:
“She’ll always be the girl who didn’t go to Paris.”
OUCH. How is that salt in the open wound, LC? Damn, that burn is so hot it’s cold.
So yeah, LC, not having the best time early in Season 2. And then Heidi goes and gets involved with Spencer, whose reputation was awful enough even to reach my blissfully ignorant sphere at the time, and who inspired an immediate cringe from me when he showed up on the scene. This relationship, as it turns out, is dramatic from the word go, and it creates no small amount of additional drama for LC to wade though. There’s beef between Audrina and Heidi because of this bro, and he has brought along with him his pal Brody Jenner, who is definitely into Lauren. But, oh yeah, he was Kristin’s guy first. She’s moved on, but if there’s one thing that could send LC running the other direction as fast as possible, this might be it. I have to say, this particular storyline of Brody pursuing LC has been spottily addressed to this point, it’s been much more about Spedi and the rift their frequent rifts is causing between Heidi and …well, basically everyone else.
AM, are there nuances you think I missed? How many troll points should we award Heidi for how she handled Spencer and the pregnancy scare? Are these two really going to become a more toxic couple than they already are? Should we introduce our dear readers to our special guest commentator?
AM: Heidi is officially awarded 10,000 troll points for how she forced Spencer to live with the thought that she was pregnant for at least 2 minutes. She does admit that she’s taken a test and it’s negative, but he is visibly sweating and in a veritable panic. I must say to his credit, he looks like he will die, but he says the right thing. He tells her he’ll be there for her, which is all she wanted. So she lets him off the hook.
Literally every other thing about Speidi is bordering on the worst. He’s a villain from the moment he’s on-screen, and to my extreme annoyance, Heidi and Audrina blame and attack each other instead of him for his two-timing ways. Dating can be tricky when one person is pretending to be single to try to get in the pants of your best friend and roommate. But blame the dude. I’ll say it again. BLAME THE DUDE. Or at least let him share in the shame. Don’t focus all your attention on the girl. In this case, I think Audrina was skeptical about his single status, but for some reason willing to go along with it, likely to get invites to parties and continue to be on the show.
I also heartily dislike how Spencer is doing the borderline-abusive partner thing where he wants all of Heidi’s attentions and cannot understand why Heidi wants to spend some time with her girlfriends. Such a red flag no matter the circumstances. We do get to have some more moments with Heidi’s Bolthouse co-workers Elodie and Kristin (I only know the latter because Brooke asked me who that was the very second an informative and helpful title card told me it was “Kristin” not to be confused with Elodie). Neither women care about Heidi’s drama and clearly the MTV producers are begging them (with cash) to pretend to care. It’s pretty hysterical. We’ll see if Heidi’s mild gripes about Spencer and trying to find time with LC will continue. It’s not encouraging though to know that LC has already told Heidi what she really thinks of Spencer given the Audrina (and Playboy Bunny) situation that seemed to have occurred when they were still in the honeymoon phase.
Before we get to our thoughts on Brody, we have some thoughts from our guest writer in MTV Classics crime, Brit Gockel! Take it away, Brit.
BG: Thank you ladies. As a virgin to Laguna Beach, and The Hills, I must say I was thoroughly entertained by this marathon. My first experience opened with the now infamous, “She’ll always be the girl who didn’t go to Paris.” Great start, in my opinion. In addition to, as Brooke aptly stated, the greatest burn in the history of TV shows, LC is also upstaged by a new intern whose skills obviously surpass LC and even Whitney’s. Side note: Google also told me that said intern went on to be wildly successful in life. So as we have mentioned, things just aren’t going so well for LC at the moment, and her persistent frown is quite the bummer.
The Heidi, Spencer and Audrina triangle, however, is entertaining enough to pull us away from LC’s depressing situation and even offered us a rare sighting of a WASTED LC who tells Spencer off on the phone (with equally drunk Heidi wailing in the background). We also got to see Audrina pull a “chicks before dicks” and tell Spencer she wouldn’t be having any of his nonsense, as he was involved with Heidi and friendship comes first (life lesson alert). Unfortunately, even after Spencer’s antics of side women and fantasy naked picnics with Playmates were revealed, Heidi still chose to forgive him and take him back. I’m thinking this is probably going to cause some rifts in Heidi’s friendship with LC. Oh and we established that Brody Jenner is in fact affiliated with the Kardashians, so that was a success.
AM: Ha. The Super Intern! Emily from New York not only has a full-time school schedule (18 credit hours or something else ridiculous) but works two days at Teen Vogue AND interns at Chanel. I’m impressed as well. I don’t work that hard really mostly ever. In addition to Brody’s Kristin connection, he’s a son of Bruce (now Kaitlin) Jenner and stepbrother to the Kardashian sisters. The web of reality television is broad indeed. There’s also a semi-confirmed rumor that Spencer and Brody saw the filming of the Hills girls in a club one night and decided they could make it onto the show by dating the women. Mission accomplished for Spencer, but perhaps not for Brody? LC and Brody seem to have a connection, even if his constant compliments are just a tad on the “trying too hard” and less on the “genuine sentiment” side of things. Compliments to the camera don’t count, Brody.
Ladies, what are your thoughts on this fledging Brody + LC relationship? Anything more about Whit’s contributions as the Greek Chorus of the show? Is there anything to note about Audrina besides her presence in the love triangle to end all love triangles?
B: Before I address AM’s highly important questions, I must shoutout to Brit for reminding us of Super Intern and WASTYFACE LC — what incredible moments those were in these, the days of our lives where we binge watch this show the better part of a decade after it was culturally relevant.
Okay, back to the questions at hand. I feel like I’m actually pretty on board for LC and Brody even if his motivations for meeting her are suspect. It must be said that he’s more aesthetically pleasing than Stephen or Jason and he actually seems like quite a decent human. In what we’ve seen he has not been the one to try to make a naked Playmate picnic a thing and he actually seems interested in Lauren as a human being. I’ll register myself as cautiously optimistic on this front.
BG: I don’t dislike Brody. I think you’re right that he seems to be a pretty decent human. He listens to LC when she is upset about Speidi and offers thoughtful insight and usually agrees with her. However, I will say that if I am going to get on board with them, I need them to get on board with each other, because all of the staged kissing is palpably awkward.
In regards to Whitney, I really enjoy her. She doesn’t rub her Paris endeavors in LC’s face (unless asked point blank by Lisa). And I think her wit (ha- get it- “whit”) and humor are vastly under appreciated by the producers. However, I think LC started to appreciate her more when she realized Super Intern was out to get her. I felt bad for Whit when they set up the dinner for Lisa and her team, because had Super Intern not been there, she would have been the one invited to stay.
B: I really, really wish this show gave Whit more opportunities to really hang with the crew. She’s smart and snarky and could throw some much needed shade at Heidi when Lauren is too nice to say anything. I mean, Jen Bunney can’t be around all the time to do that. Though she did handle the whole Audrina at Heidi’s party thing really expediently. Probably too much so for the producers.
And speaking of Audrina, I’m glad she told Spencer to take a flying leap in what we might call a show of gumption, but if she’s going to stick around, let’s please, please find her something more to do.
But now the moment we — okay, I — have been waiting for. Let’s talk about the fight between Lauren and Heidi that closed out this viewing session for us. Thanks to the placement of the microwave we know that the fight lasted five minutes, and it certainly felt like we witnessed it in near real time. I was definitely proud of Lauren for sticking up for herself and owning her truth. I actually think it’s quite likely that she picked up some argument strategy from Jason, he of the say-nothing-and-make-them-break-up-with-you skills, because she was quite composed, right up to the point she stormed out.
Here are my big questions: Was Heidi meant to make that argument last longer and that’s why she took the longest route possible out of the apartment? Is she really considering the insanity that would be staying with Spencer? How likely do we think it was that Lauren channeled her inner Rachel Green and enjoyed some naked alone time while she had some peace and quiet? Discuss.
A: Ahh the fight. It’s pretty brutal to watch, in retrospect. These two women went from soul sisters to not seeing eye-to-eye on anything pretty quickly. It’s a more emotionally charged version of the fight they had when Heidi quit school (“the whole reason you’re in L.A.” speaketh LC) in order to pursue her career as a calendar marker of when she needed to actually be at work. Essentially, Heidi wants to do whatever she wants, but she does ask for her bestie’s opinion. LC gives it, and is far and away the more mature of the two so she tells it like it is: Leaving school at 19 isn’t a great idea, and your boyfriend is skeezy. The truth hurts.
I desperately want more Whit time and I’d watch an entire show about Super Intern. Truth. I have never really cared about what Audrina was up to, but I can say that she gets something to do. You might not like it that much when it does, but she does get more to talk about other than Heidi and LC’s lives.
Honestly, I’ve lived alone, and I’m just not a naked apartment dweller. I get cold. I like my cozy PJs. However, if we’re to believe that Heidi is gone for some time, it’s entirely possible LC is gonna just straight-up Rachel Green her time away.
Any final thoughts? I’ve dropped some hints and so I can’t say much more, but are there any predictions for the final half of the season?
B: Ho ho! It’s predictions you want, eh? Well predictions you are going to get! I take those vague hints about Audrina to mean she’s going to get mixed up in some drama of her own that is very anti-girl power. And I’m prematurely displeased about it. But on to the more entertaining shots to call.
I think that absent Heidi and her drama, at least for now, Lauren is going to spend a bit more time with Whitney and perhaps be a better intern for a bit, but she’s also going to indulge her curiosity about Brody. I think their love affair will be adorable at first, but will hit some sort of major roadblock around the 3/4 mark of the season. Then we’ll get back to familiar brooding Lauren territory for a bit. However, I am choosing to believe that the burns of Paris will not have left Lauren so quickly and she won’t make the mistakes here that she made with Jason. I think she will get out and challenge herself to be better at being single.
I don’t think we can hope for any such maturity from Heidi. I think she’s going to wantonly ignore Lauren’s insights about Spencer, but she’s also going to come up against some real struggles in that relationship, intensified as it will be given all that has happened as a result of its existence. I think we’ll spend some more time with Elodie and Kristin who isn’t really the Kristin I want her to be and they will continue to feign interest in Heidi’s life simply for the screen time. I do think that Heidi will make a gesture to repair her relationship with Lauren, partially because she misses her best friend and partially because she’s tired of Spencer, but doesn’t want to have to admit that to herself.
BG: I think you’re spot on about Lauren. And in regards to Speidi, I may not have watched the show, but I did see tabloids in Supermarkets, so I can say with certainty that her stupidity is going to continue. I think Heidi will unfortunately be turned over to the dark side and they will become a villain duo for the show. I don’t know if I foresee any permanent reconciliation between her and LC.
Our next Required Viewing adventure will also find us in LA, but not this LA. A fictional LA that’s peopled by charming golden age screenwriters and adorable composers … and a British newspaper columnist who has done a house swap on a whim. And you know what that means. We also get to go to Britain and gaze on adorable cottages and snappy sweater seats, and really foxy weepy guys. We’re kicking off our holiday-related stretch of this series with The Holiday!