I'm not sure why I do this to myself. My roommate joined me as I watched The Hills last night and, having never seen it, was shocked by just how miserably bad the show is. Part of her distaste came from the fact that, yes, she was not inured to the show's particular brand of "nothing ever happens" and "what?", but also last night's episode was just plain bad. What exactly did we see? The old fake-out of the Stephen and Lauren "relationship" and some ridiculously staged Heidi/Spencer/Stephanie gobbledygook. While I am loathe to use that tired idiom about leaping over sea creatures, I do think that last night's episode issued something of a death rattle for the three year old series.

I must admit that I did get a bit giddy when Stephen came back. He's so nice and apple-faced (I don't really know what that means either), such a welcome change from bloated, snail-ish Jason and that old slick Willy, Brody. He said nice things and let her show him flowers! He took her to a nice dinner and didn't ogle other girls or say stupid things! Oh but wait. He, um, doesn't actually like her that way. And so Lauren was left sad and ponderous, as she always is, eating ice cream with the increasingly vicious ("You warm my little black heart!") Lo. So yeah, I guess there's some pathos there. But, um, didn't we see this on the entire first season of Laguna Beach?? When you run out of plot lines for real people, who in theory, um, do things, then I think you've got a problem.

Which leads us to the three biggest idiots working in "showbiz" today, Heidi Montag and the Pratts Spencer and Stephanie. What exactly were we supposed to get out of the Stephanie/Spencer scene in which an entire coffee shop had obviously been cleared out so they could snipe at each other from unseen cue cards? ("They're related to each other??" my roommate asked desperately.) Then Stephanie, whose presence on the show makes the world a worse place, trotted over to Heidi's for some more canned conflict. The sad part was they didn't even seem to feel like trying. "Whaaat?" asked a laconic Heidi when she found out that Stephanie was planning to attend a party for Lauren's (ridiculously beautiful) new house. "I don't know how this happened" mumbled Stephanie, who decided half-heartedly to stay in with Heidi and watch a movie. Blahhhh.

I'm not going to get into poor Audrina, spirited away in that little guest house, peering through the blinds at the Laurens LC and Lo, whining to her prince of the dim night boyfriend Justin Bobby. Because I don't care. I sincerely don't care anymore. I think I'm done with this show. They've clearly given up and decided I'll watch whatever gray piece of poop they serve me, and I'm not going to give them the satisfaction. I'm never watching this show again.

Until next week.