It begins with Spencer at Heathrow, looking as excited and anxious as a school boy in a dinner queue who has heard a rumour that they might have just cooked the last batch of chips. Sadly, he’s not there for chips, but to pick up LA based star of hit cancelled reality show The Hills, Stephanie Pratt. “Did you miss me terribly?!” chirps Stephanie, trailing what, to the untrained eye, looks like a six year old knockoff McQueen scarf and a TJ Maxx wheelie case. Still, Spenny is anxious to show her off, and gets his first opportunity when he almost drives into a wool wrapped, Scrumble walking Binky. “Oh, do you live in LA?” asks a friendly Binky, as producers hiss “PRESERVE THE FOURTH WALL!” into her earpiece. She goes Full English, describing Stephanie’s one way ticket as “an open ended, non return, kind of malarkey thing,” as if she can soften the permanence of Stephanie’s presence with syllables.
Binky might be on Team Lucy, but she’s determined to remember every etiquette tip Mummy Felstead ever drummed into her, eventually losing it and shrieking “Your brother asked Spencer to look after you?” For the uninitiated, Stephanie’s brother is legendary TV scrote Spencer Pratt, who would probably leave a beloved puppy in the care of vivisectionists to save fifty quid on kennel fees.
“What is this, 20 Questions?” asks a sulky Stephanie in response to Binky’s relationship queries. Let’s be charitable and blame jetlag, even though she probably had a flatbed and cashmere bedsocks on the plane.
Lucy is not going to be happy when she hears about Spencer’s new friend. In fact, she’s especially unhappy about pretty much everything, including Biscuits’ slightly vulgar suggestion that she hooks up with Andy, and Andy’s lingering feelings with Louise. “The fact is...THE FACT IS...” says Lucy, becoming increasingly histrionic and hoping her brain will alight on some proof that Louise is evil at the very last minute. We hold our breath. Does she fiddle her taxes? Kick orphans? Recommend the music of Jamie Cullen to the elderly and unwitting? “...it wasn’t working,” she sighs, defeated. The fact is that Lucy is very upset that Chelsea’s elder statesperson brunette has maintained a connection with Spencer Matthews.
Stephanie is not impressed by the locals. She wants to know if Spencer is Binky’s ex. “Why was she so aggressive?” she keens, throwing away 367 of Spencer’s leather jackets in order to free up some coat hangers. Spencer wants to know why Stephanie is fixated on the fact that he cheated on Lucy eight times. Perhaps the number eight has enormous cultural significance in LA. Or perhaps Stephanie is started to suspect that where most boys harbor a penis, Spencer is packing a baby octopus. Stephanie is also suspicious of Spencer’s claims that Lucy dropped the L bomb after two months. “Are you kidding, she said I was the best boyfriend she ever had,” rejoins Spenny. Yeah, and I bet you only cheated on her because she was orgasmically exhausted by your octo-penis, Spence.
Andy and Lou meet up for a painful, awkward chat, where they rehash the fact that Andy doesn’t care that Louise may or may not have shown her nipples to a basement full of strangers, but he is furious that she is engaging in full SMS intercourse with Spencer.
Fran and Alex are going for a “flirty juice”. The focus is on the flirting as their juices are standing on the table untouched, totems of hope and Vitamin C. I hope they don’t get scurvy. Although scurvy would be a picnic compared to the evil thoughts a passing Phoebe is about to unleash on them. “F******* desperate bitch, I’m very f******* p***** off,” rails Phoebe, stressing the adverb to suggest reasonableness, when she’s being less reasonable than a chancer in Currys hoping to exchange a stolen extension lead for a 42 inch flat screen TV.
“Do you still like Alex?” asks a kindly, confused Biscuits,
“NOOOOOOO! It’s a loyalty thing!” wails Phoebe. No, love. Advantage Card points - that’s a loyalty thing. Yours is a batshit crazy, unreasonable and embarrassing thing. “They haven’t got my blessing, definitely not. Who’s going to stand for that kind of s***,” continues Phoebe, as if Alex and Fran have been all twinkly and giggly over her granny’s bleeding corpse. “Well...I’m still hungry, let’s go and get drunk,” says a pragmatic Biscuits. It would explain a lot if Phoebe just had very low blood sugar. Maybe she’ll be back to normal after a sandwich.
Spenny is still seeing his psychotherapist, with good reason - he thinks Louise is a human cartoon.
“The thing about cartoons is that they don’t have real feelings. Louise may look...”
“Like a Powerpuff girl,” interrupts Spencer, with a strange, lustful gleam in his eyes.
“But she’s an adult woman!”
“But I’m always going to look at her and want to play with her face.” Oh, Spencer, they really should take you back to nineteenth century Vienna and put you in a big glass box to be studied for the sake of all future humans.
In some ways, Spencer is very easy to read. For example, he’s got a Yank to entertain, so he’s taking her to ultra naff eighties Japanese haunt Benihana, which is only ever acceptable if you want to go somewhere to complain about the declining quality of cocaine and catwalk models who won’t do anal. But Andy and Lou have bafflingly chosen it as the venue for their make up dinner. It makes as much sense as using the back of your hand to test whether the iron is actually on, or assessing the sharpness of your new kitchen knives with an even newer stack of silk shirts.
When Spencer sees Andy and Louise, does he drop to his knees and crawl under the table? Does he back out of the restaurant, pushing the door open with his bum, claiming he saw a mouse and shall they go to Pizza Express? No! He marches up to their table and asks “Do you mind if we join you for a quick drink?” They do mind, Spencer, and they’re not going to be polite about it.
“I really don't want to have a conversation with you, Spencer, in the nicest possible way. We've got no history of respect for each other, you're a bit of a burden on our relationship in itself,” says Andy. Poor Stephanie, surrounded by all these reserved, unreadable Europeans who cannot articulate their emotions. “Your friends are all pretty rude,” she says, as Andy sweeps Louise out the restaurant. “Looks like we’re paying for this,” says Spencer glumly, gesturing at their abandoned pile of congealed show cooking. Spencer, that is the least awful aspect of the evening.
Happily, there is some relief from the endless relationship shit stirring - it’s Mark Francis! His be-linen-ed body is balm for the eyes - is it our imagination, or can we smell his Trumper’s Extract of Lime through the telly? Even better, he has a brilliant new Eurotrash pal called Sophie, who has arrived in a helicopter and is hoping to catch some polo. "Funny, I'm just flying out to Capri. Still, I'm sure the polo will be...entertaining." It’s the bitchiest aural ellipsis of all time.
Sophie is brilliant value. “There’s nothing worse than a sunny city!” she pronounces, with the conviction of a young Margaret Thatcher, if Thatcher made Eastern European pornography and carried a four grand Launer bag. Mark Francis finds dressing in England difficult, as one often has to wear wellies. “Well, seldom,” he smirks, hinting at a closet full of Le Chameau that has never been near a farm but has seen the inside of the Vauxhall Tavern on rubber night. However Sophie, who we believe is some kind of fashion designer, isn’t a great one for wearability. “My new collection is German Fairytales mixed with Russian tsar times. More champanski for everyone!" she cries, before anyone asks any leading historical questions about what exactly constitutes “Russian tsar times.”
We learn, via a text, that Spencer’s newest, nauseating nickname for Louise is “Porg”, and that Louise is going to help Stephanie find something fancy for the polo. “It’s nice you guys are good friends,” smiles Stephanie, and Louise starts to explain, haltingly, why they’re not friends exactly, and it all started when this girl called Caggie...guys, we know you’re all oversharing to make Stephanie feel at home, but let her catch up on her own time. After all, the Americans invented TV on demand.
Over cake, Binky, Lucy and Biscuits “hilariously” make fun of Stephanie by saying “Oh my gaaaaaaaaaaad” a lot - seriously, it’s less funny than sitting down to your breakfast to discover your Dad has ejaculated all over it. Make it stop. Lucy pledges to tell Andy about Louise and Spencer’s friendship, still under the impression that she’s a moral crusader and not just a big resentful grumpy bum. And Proudlock, who is presumably having a lot of conversations that go “Pruders, your hair...” “What, you like it? It’s great, isn’t it!” is trying to get Spencer to declare his intentions toward Stephanie, but only manages to get him to admit that he’d quite like to shag everyone. That’s Proudlock. Good t shirt making skills, poor investigative ones.
Lucy impresses Andy by meeting him “all dolled up” in some dungarees (which makes me think that perhaps Dexy’s are going to turn up in the poshest enclosure at the polo), and gets a remorseful Andy to admit that he slept with Louise. “you don't trust her, that's not how she should be making you feel, if it was me I'd break up with her,” says Lucy, knowing that a hungover man with a sore knob is always grateful for such specific instructions.
At the polo, Binky announces that she’s “secretly” always wanted to be ravished in a hay bale by a polo player, and Lucy claims she’s never even met one, meaning she’s either much posher than we thought, or not posh at all. Polo might have gone the way of “serviette” and wallpaper, no-one bloody knows any more. Boulle attempts to impress the foxy Sophie with a boast about the size of his schlangen.
“Don't say that. It means you have a long...very long...penis,” replies a visibly distressed Sophie. One wonders about the preferred penis length in Russian tsar times.
Stevie, wearing a very bad orange jacket, is defending an absent Andy over some very bad accusations that he got off with someone else last night, as Louise’s stepsister got a phone call alerting her to some bad behaviour. Elsewhere Andy is dismissing it as “absolute bull****...I'd be within my rights, it would be poor form,” as if he’s some upstanding Edwardian landowner who is legally allowed to sodomise his own pigs, but doesn’t.
The byword for poor form is Phoebe, who, collared and cuffed like an ageing Edith Wharton virgin baddy, strides up to Fran and demands to know what’s going on with Alex before Fran can even say hello. “I'd already got to a stage where I'd established a friendship with him,” murmurs Fran, weakly.
“You should never have got to that stage,” spits Phoebe, and when Cheska steps in to defend her pal, “SHUT UP.” Phoebe, I’m not sure which finishing school you went to, but I suspect your parents would like their twenty grand back. Feisty Fran manages to admit that she does quite like Alex, and rude Phoebe replies “Well, not in my f******* world. F*** off.” Luckily Phoebe’s world is made of foam, is policed by Care Bears and does not break the barriers of Phoebe’s own skull, so Fran should be OK. She moves over to Biscuits, to childishly suck the ends of her hair and get told that she’s gorgeous, only to have Biscuits flap and shriek at the approaching wasp.
Brave Stephanie approaches Lucy, introduces herself and asks why La Watson won’t stop giving her dirty looks. Lucy appraises her of the situation, leaving Stephanie reeling. I thought he’d cheat on you when you were out of town! He’d cheat on you when you went to dinner? That really sucks.” Good to know Stephanie has standards. And hopefully, a brand new stack of linen from Bed, Bath and Beyond. Spencer arrives, the situation unravels and Lucy forcefully suggests that he and Stephanie move to America together. By the sounds of things, Lucy is prepared to pull pints in her Dad’s pub until she’s paid for a pair of plane tickets. Spencer wants her to get over it. “I don’t get over that sort of thing, I hold grudges,” said Lucy, proudly. Lucy’s 10 metre grudge certificate is probably framed and sitting on her nightstand.
We briefly see Fran and Alex who are so meant to be together that they’ve accidentally worn matching prints, and then run into Andy and Louise for a final showdown. It’s all over. “At least I expected this from Spencer,” sneers Louise. “Oh, shut up,” snarls Andy. The end.
Next time, Spencer takes Stephanie to Sushi Samba, only to be confronted with every single contestant from The Bachelor UK. Binky attempts to live out her hay bale fantasy with a jockey, and is horribly disappointed. And Louise moves to Townsville USA to freeze objects with her breath and communicate with animals.