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'The Hills': Why Stephanie is a better friend than Lo

August 25, 2008 | 10:52 pm

Laurenstephaniecasual012 Make that reason No. 9874 I don't like Lo: She yanked Lauren from Stephanie's birthday party so fast that not even one word was exchanged between Speidi and Lauren.

Blame her for an episode that was, once again, all built up and no payoff. Four seasons in, who doesn't want to just hit fast-forward through all the discussions of weekend plans and straight to the main event? Sadly, this one was a non-event.

Lo keeps Lauren functioning like a high schooler. Let Lauren grow up, Lo. Or let her and Heidi go at it. For the sake of a viewing audience. Seriously, if you really care for Lauren, you'd care about those people helping to pay her bills. (Lo's also still being Ms. Passive Aggressive with Audrina, but that's old news. Besides, Audrina's getting good at standing up for herself.)

Before I get to Stephanie, a word to Brody: No one cares if you come or go. You're window dressing now that you dissed Lauren while she was in Paris. You've been replaced by Doug, at least temporarily, who unfortunately and unbelievably is more vanilla than yourself.

Even without the payoff, the evening's gold star goes to Stephanie, whose efforts to stir drama are tireless.

But in all seriousness, here's the truth: In the long run, Stephanie will wind up being a much better friend to Lauren.

She forces Lauren to deal. With uncomfortable moments, with broken friendships, with people who aren't your best friends forever. She reunited Lauren, Spencer and Heidi. Lauren was giggly but calm. She might have decided that she was over the past. That she wanted to start over. (The extended Season 4 trailer certainly makes it seem like it could have been a possibility.) But it was ruined when she was urged by Lo to run and take cover instead.

And Lauren reverted to her sullen, put-upon self. Look at how she practically threatened Stephanie off her show in the final scene: "It's not a secret to you that my all friends say that I shouldn't even trust you, and you just kind of set them back on that rampage."

Yeah, I know Stephanie's about to steal Doug away from Lauren too. Because she likes drama, sure. But also, just maybe, couldn't she be doing it for Lauren's own good? Not much to him after all. ...

I'm just saying.

Then there's Whitney, already being set up to go her own way in a spinoff of her own. I can't wait. Next week's preview makes her look so much more outgoing than Lauren. Flirting with the boys. Stepping up to career challenges. MTV must have been editing heavily all this time.

A last note: Kelly Cutrone bugs almost as much as Brent Bolthouse. Poor Jessica. We hope you were compensated well (or at least better than Lo). 

-- Denise Martin

(Photo courtesy Jeff Lipsky / MTV)