The Hills & The City: A Toast to Sobriety


I Hope You Dance

Oh The Hills! What drama! What characters! Especially last night, which was all about drinking and yelling. And it was about yelling and drinking. Yinking. Drelling. Just boozing up and shrieking at your friends and loved ones. Sort of like college, only these people are "adults."

"I'm an adult woman," was what Holly Montag kept saying last night when confronted about her wild drinking by her taffy-faced sister Heidi and a waxen witch named Handbags. And she is. She's an adult woman who can make adult choices for herself, like pathetically agreeing to pretend she's a drunk just to get back on a dwindling reality show that will do nothing for her life but make it worse. That is an adult choice and one that she has made proudly and adultly. She was just sitting in her apartment one day, chipmunk features all slack and bored, staring at the wall as she often does for hours, and brriiinnngg!, the ringing phone startled her. When she picked up it was someone from MTV saying "Look these intervention shows are real hot right now, so we figured we'd do a whole drunk storyline, and are you interested in doing it?" All Holly had to do was drink her usual handful of vodka/tequila/whatever shots and talk incessantly about alcohol and say other dumb things (which is not hard for her) and MTV would pay her $50 and let her hang around the other cast members for a while. So naturally she said yes.

We got to see a little bit of her sad little charade last week, when she got drunk on shots at a Brent Birdfinger party and was joking about stealing vodka bottles and then did a mournful robot dance in the middle of the floor, joints and limbs creaking and snapping like boat masts in an autumn storm. So that was mortifying and later on Heidi and Spencer took Holly for a little mini-vention at a restaurant, where Holly got a margarita, slurped it down, and said "What's uppp?" Heidi and Spencer just shook their heads and told her their "worries" and Holly said "You're right. Alcohol and I are in a really good relationship, but I'll stop. I will. I have too much going for me." And, I dunno. I don't know if I'd say "a lot." Honestly, I think the best thing she has going for her is pretending to be an alcoholic (and thus budding into a real one) on a shitty MTV reality show. Run with it, Holls! It's your only hope.

Anyway, clearly she didn't stick to her guns vis a vis her whole "Don't act like a complete drunken idiot everywhere you go" resolution last night. Kristin was having a big Malibu beach bash and all of her not-friends were invited. Holly immediately started talking about how she makes the best Jack & Cokes ever, and the camera focused on her delicately but deliberately spritzing a lemon into her cup and measuring liquids with beakers, her gigantic chef's hat bobbing in the California breeze. She just kept drinking and drinking and drinking, and then it was time to dance. "Breakdance competition!!!" she hooted, hiking up her skirt and beginning to do a winsome jig. She hurdyed and gurdyed and lurched and trembled. She scuffed her feet in the sand, threw her arms up to the heavens. She bucked and kicked, made fans of her hands, swiveled her hips and buckled her knees as if begging some ancient god for rain. Holly did the Mashed Potato and the Fisherman's Faint. She danced the Wexler's Wander and the Hobo's Happenstance. She flung her elbows out to the east and west and flapped them like wings. She jived and jambled and did a free-form, improvisatory Charleston. It was beautiful and sloppy and primal. She was a vision, a sprite, a nymph. All looked on in wonder.

And when I say "wonder" I really mean wonder, because everyone else sitting planted on the beach just didn't know what to make of Holly's haunting gyrations. Because they'd been told to by the shadowy producers, everyone murmured "What's going on? Peas and carrots, peas and carrots. Is she drunk?" Yes, of course she was drunk. She was fabulously gonzo, an entire Linens 'n Things going-out-of-business sale's worth of sheets to the wind. Holly had skipped the mortal plane and was flittering in some other place, some nearly unknowable land made of soft things and fried foods, a comfy dream Eden for the drunk. Her eyes glowed sapphire blue with blotto ecstasy as Handbags scurried up and sad "Holly... are you OK?"

Holly was not OK. Later on Handbags and Heidi sat concerned-faced and pointy in Heidi's rock-strewn glass house and talked about the issues. That Holly had immediately poured a drink upon entering the party. Which is just terrible. I mean, I usually wait a full and courteous hour before imbibing at a fancy soiree like Kristin's was. It's just the right thing to do. Take two delicate sips and then trill "Oh, I simply must be leaving before I make a scene!" So both blonde girls were blondely upset and when Holly showed up, unaware that she was going to be subjected to half-assed intervention number 2, the girls smiled thinly and asked "So did you have a good time at Kristin's party?" And Holly, maybe now sensing that something was up, said "Yeahh... I mean it was really fun... Wasn't it?" And then the girls shook their heads and told her that no, no it wasn't fun. Wasn't fun to watch Holly thunder a lonely squaredance with a flaming lampshade on her head. Not fun to cringe as Holly stumbled ass-backwards into the sea, one long leg sticking up out of the water, still doing its Electric Slide steps. Holly frowned. What was going on here?

At first there was crying. So very much crying. Stephanie said: "I mean, you know about my past..." Which, of course, was a reference to her meth addiction and arrest. That was sort of candid and genuinely sad, but the sincere moment did not last. After some group hugging and whimpering and moaning, suddenly Holly was angry. What was going on here? This was none of their business. She was making mature, responsible decisions and didn't need to be lectured by girls who were younger than her. This wouldn't do. Wouldn't do at all. So she got up and stormed out, but not before flashing a graceful and ladylike middle finger at the two weeping girls, the classiest way to exit any intervention.

So who knows what will happen with Holly. Will she disappear into the abstract of fake addiction? Will she keep talking about booze and only booze because she doesn't understand nuance and all the producers told her by way of direction and motivation was "Enjoy drinking alcohol"? No one knows. We will just have to wait and see. But if you are in the Los Angeles area and happen to be driving on some narrow and wending road through the Hollywood Hills and see an old convertible Stutz Bearcat roaring and weaving toward you, avoid it all costs. It's Holly out for a sauced nighttime drive, a blonde and bulbous Don Draper, trying to do her best to be a good and loyal Hills cast member. Sigh.

One cast member who probably won't have the chance to be good and loyal anymore is the accursed Jayde Scorpion, broheim Brody's bro-girl. The Canadian nudist was unable to tame her man last night, so they had a big beachtime blowdown at Kristin's house. See at some point Jayde had apparently downed an entire bottle of Jaeger, because Canadians are delicate flowers, and then decided to bitch to her galpals about how Brody always gets drunk at these parties and flirts with Kristin and just acts like a jerk. Brody doesn't like to admit that anything is ever his fault, so he basically just blamed the ladies for hating the player, and when he heard Jayde complaining at the party he shook his head, walked away, and said "I'm done." Then he said "I'm done" again. And again. "I'm done." And another time. He said it over and over and over again, because I think he liked the way it sounded. Like that it sounded exhausted and mature, world-weary and absolute. Basically you could tell he thought it was good TV. It wasn't good TV. Nothing about Brody Jenner or any of his family is ever good TV. Well, except his crazy moms. She really, really needs to be on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. That would be fantastic. You know she's had her people call Bravo already. You just know it.

Later Jayde and Brodes had a convo in their condo and she very Canadianly said she was owt of there. Brody just kept making her feel lowsy, so she was sorey, but it was time to get owt. Once Brody stops behaving like he's in grade nine, maybe they can talk. But for now, it's over. You oughta know, Brody. You really oughta know.

OK! Other stuff happened with like Brody saying he doesn't know if likes Kristin or not and then Justin Bobby played some texty head games with Kristin at the party and no one knew what to do about that. Kristin and Stacie the Bartender talked about it the morning after the party and, yet again, Stacie was drinking a morning cocktail, alone on a beach. I think someone needs to intervention her. Somewhere across town Audrina kept being the saddest thing there ever was by just chirping and lilting about JB some more while Lo looked on, miserably bored, actually wishing she had a job to go to. Heidi and Spencer had that weird alien-child back over to their house, and then had a completely dubbed-over conversation about Holly's drinking, supposedly right in front of the child. It was tres fake. I'm not sure what role they're trying to make this kid play on this season, but it's oddly fascinating to watch. Small person as prop. Toddler as set dressing. It's chilling. It's compelling.

Much like Holly's dance. At one point on that midnight-skied beach she opened her mouth wide but no sound came out. Her body shivered and convulsed. She was overcome with some spirit, some old thing brought up from the depths of the Earth by all of this enchanted movement. The party guests who saw it, the ones who didn't go immediately blind, say it was almost as if she was glowing. Just for a second. It was like she was celestial, revered, faraway. Yes for a brief shining second, Holly was a star.


Meet Mr. Crapplemayer

Oh Freddie. Oh Whitney. Oh everyone. I don't really have much to say about this episode of The City because it was sort of boring. But the major takeaways were this:

Freddie Brickenbier has a funny old codger financier father and he would like her to meet Whitney. Like, immediately. Since they've only been on one date, Whitney was hoping to have a "lovely" dinner with just feathered Freddie and some wine. Not so. Instead old man Spacklehire was there and he basically told Whitney that fashion was a horrible thing to do in this economy and then he left. Whitney's bovine eyes glittered with sad recognition and Freddie smiled his weird denture smile and later he and Whitney met at a work event and he said he was sorry for bringing his pops around and Whitney said it was fine. Still there was something off about young Freddie Finkledink, and Whitney aimed to find out. Next week.

At the same party were Olivia and Erin, doin' they thang for Elle Fashion Pamphlet. Of course Olivia was being awful and Erin was frustrated, but then made very happy when Roxy, not buying Olivia's shit for a second, came up and complained to Erin all about her. Erin gazed into Roxy's parrot-colored eyes and you could see her melting a bit, happy to have finally found a simpatico, a confidant, a friend. It's a gray, workaday world, this island city Manhattan. And to find a kindred spirit is a most special and rare thing. Too bad Roxy's just a big faking faker who no one likes and is secretly the daughter of Ken Olin and Patricia Whettig (I know... how did those two likable people create her?) and is on Brothers and Sisters. Liar! All lies! At least some tiny groundwork was set for Kelly Cutrone maybe stealing Erin away from Elle. That would be good for Erin. Poor elfin Erin.

After the party, Whitney went to meet Jay for dinner to talk about a recent booty call they'd had and to discuss the matter of the wavy-haired weirdo Freddie. Jay was none too pleased that Whitney was suddenly dating one of those awful New York guy types--the WASPy Wall Street guy. She should be dating a different awful New York type, the guy who models and sings in a crappy band but thinks he's really cool and "downtown" because he lives in a huge loft in SoHo. A guy like Jay! But alas it is not to be for now, so Jay stormed out and that was that. Whitney's head bobbled in the breeze. Behind her in the window, out on the street, a drunken Holly whirled by. She was covered in leaves and grass and dust and dirt. She'd been dance-tumbleweeding across the entire country, sipping from a pouch of a hooch and Country Time lemonade.

Whitney felt Holly's bright energy for a moment, but then it was gone, in a flash. She sat back in her chair. She missed Old Man Fribbledrinker. She missed him dearly.

Outside, somewhere else, Holly lay face down in a puddle of water. The dance was over.

I'm done.

Comments (6)
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Have you noticed that Stacie's caption has been changed from "the bartender" to "Kristin's friend"? God forbid anyone on this show should have a fake job like those old hags on "The City".
I'm like kind of obsessed with the city this season. SO GOOD. I get kind of sad when the episode ends. I wish it would just be 24/7. Like EdTV. WhitTV. Right? Totally.
Also- Jayde is totally over it. She's in love with Craig Manning now.
Fantastic as ever Richard. I loved the intervention scene with Heidi, Holly and Handbags, if only to count the number of bracelets I could spot in their group hug (got to 15 and lost track). Definitely intrigued by Whitney’s new i-banker boyfriend. He looks about 40 years old, and he reminds me of the Kennedy cousin who was killed on the ski slope.
Did Holly attend hobo dancing classes with Rags McTattershanty?
Erin looks up one day and see there are no lights or cameras shining on her and something must be done about that. One afternoon Erin will somehow meet Taylor from The Rachel Zoe Project and they will decide that they are done working for people and should definitly join forces for a PR/Stylist bizness. It would take them from being suporting roles to mega reality stars! They could even design their own fashion line and sell it at Sears or Hot Topic or maybe Wallgreens. So their lawyers get in contact with each other, but neither can work out which network the show will be on, and we the world, will never get to experience what could have been.

On another note: did Handbags get more plastic surgery? from one addiction to another...

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