''The Hills'' recap: Forget Paris
Bonjour, mes amis, bienvenue de nouveau à une autre saison des Collines! (Translation: Hello, friends, welcome back to another season of The Hills!) Thought I'd throw in a little français in honor of our one-episode-long adventure in the City of Lights. Yeah, about that: Am I the only one who thought Paris was going to take up most of this season, or was that just something I hallucinated? I, for one, would've gladly embraced the idea of watching Lauren and Whitney explore a strange city over the next few weeks. Imagine the possibilities: They could've taken up cigarette smoking and given up teeth whitening, or they could've attempted to pull off an art heist in the Louvre. (''No, Whitney,'' Lauren would say. ''Madonna of the Rocks is a painting, not an album title.'')
In case you've forgotten why we're in Paris, last year Teen Vogue's West Coast boss, Lisa Love, told Whitney and Lauren to fly across the world to work at the annual Crillon Ball. (Thanks to my extensive Internet research a.k.a. Wikipedia I learned that the event is a debutante ball that's been held every year at the Hôtel de Crillon since 1991. To sign up for this ''coming out'' party, you must be between the ages of 16 and 19 and belong to an elite family with lots and lots of disposable income. Finally, you'd better have connections in the fashion world, because you must wear a gown from a French couture house or from a leading international designer.) But my question is, Did Lauren and Whitney actually do anything that could be called ''work''? The minute they landed in Paris, a car service took them around to pick up various articles of clothing for the debutantes, as well as their own gowns, courtesy of Italian dressmaker Alberta Ferretti, and they also helped out here and there at a photo shoot, but besides that, what was their purpose at the Crillon Ball? Just to hold up signs and look pretty?
Somehow in the middle of all of these so-called responsibilities, Lauren and Whitney found time to
secure Parisian love interests hang out with a band that Lauren and Audrina had met in L.A. called Rock & Roll. What an original name for a band, right? I wonder what type of music they play. Guitarist Matthias (full name: Matthias Cadéac D'Arbaud; try saying that three times fast) apparently had an immediate crush on Lauren from the way he staked his claim the minute she and Whitney walked into the Plaza Athénée hotel. ''Lauren is cute,'' he declared to his bandmates, one of whom looked like he could be Andy Samberg's long-lost French cousin. Later on in the night, the band took the girls to drink champagne underneath the Eiffel Tower, because somehow MTV had to fit that cliché moment into this episode.
I know most of you are probably dying for more information on this hairy, chain-smoking band (you know I was!), so I hunted down their MySpace page. Please take special note of the title of their EP, Losers, Boozers, Jacuzzi Users (yeah, that pretty much just sums them up in four words or less, doesn't it?), and of Matthias' own MySpace page, in which it says that he is wait for it married! [Insert dun, dun dun sound effect here.] Didn't MTV check into him beforehand? (As you may recall, the New York Post reported last year that the Hills producers were ''frantically calling publicists'' to find guys for the ladies to have a ''love affair'' with abroad.) But what's more shocking than that is that Matthias' page says he's only 24 years old! Seriously? He looks at least 30. I don't know, maybe it's the way he pronounces Lauren as ''Lurgh-enn'' that ages him.
The night after the Eiffel Tower drinking fiesta, some of the members of Rock & Roll invited Lauren and Whitney to go to a ''pretty fancy'' club called Neo. With nothing to wear for the occasion, Lauren brilliantly decided to sew a removable hem into her Crillon Ball gown and wear that out. (Um, didn't we see her pack an entire suitcase of shoes for Paris? What exactly was she planning on wearing those shoes with, anyway?) This entire idea was just a recipe for disaster: Did she honestly expect nothing to get on the gown while she was drinking at a club filled with smokers and glasses of red wine? Or, if that didn't happen, did she not expect bad karma to come back and bite her on the ass some other way? Unfortunately it did and in the form of a curling iron. (I loved Whitney's bewildered reaction to the stains on the dress: ''The curling iron does something like that?'') You might assume that the burns were just a ploy by the producers to stir up drama, but from the looks of Lauren's welled-up tears, her almost meltdown was real. (Plus, if you rewatch the part when Lauren discovered the stain, the unsteady zoom-in on the dress shows that the cameraman was unprepared.) Fortunately, the fashion gods must've been in a good mood, because the manager of the Alberta Ferretti store offered to give Lauren another dress when Whitney called him about the ''setback.'' (Nice word choice there, Whit; very professional.) A gown by Alberta Ferretti costs, on average, upwards of $2,000. So to get another one without any sort of punishment or slap on the wrist still seems a little suspicious.
NEXT: Another Spencer-Heidi fight