The only thing worse than Vanderpump Rules

With the exception of McDonald’s hamburgers and possibly the year 2020, nothing lasts forever. I know that. You know that. The former couples from 90 Day Fiance know that. But there’s one group of people that haven’t received the memo, and that would be BravoTV (and possibly the Mayans).

A couple of years ago, I landed my first paying freelance writing gig – it was for the website Tasteofreality.com and my gig was writing comedic recaps of BravoTV reality shows, with my main show being Vanderpump Rules. I loved that show until, I spent a year writing about it.        

When Vanderpump Rules debuted, it was a breath of fresh reality TV air. It wasn’t a talent show and nobody had to eat bugs or feces for money. It wasn’t a show about rich people who had everything and fought about nothing. None of that. Just a bunch of 20-somethings (and Jax) trying to make it in Hollywood while working as servers and bartenders in one of the busiest, most trendy restaurants in town. Who couldn’t relate? And the cast brought the drama from the beginning with the first season kicking off with Scheana Shay apologizing to Brandy Glanville for sleeping with her husband for two years and ending with Jax admitting to Stassi that he cheated on her in Vegas. OK, so the drama was just people being salacious but that was enough for me. 

That was in 2013 and while the show returned season after season, the cast was kept in some reality TV timewarp where the only thing that changed was their faces. Season 8 Scheana looks so different from season 1 Scheana that if it weren’t for her obsession with boys and herself you’d be forgiven for believing she’d been replaced. Other than the introduction of new people and face transplants, every season was the same thing: vacations that God knows my income from my waitress days couldn’t have paid for, fights about them sleeping with each other, Jax lying and ruining lives, Scheana and her boy problems and auto-tuned songs, Kristen crying, Stassi and Katie getting wasted and losing their minds. Every so often one of them would deal with an actual real-life problem but those situations don’t bring in ratings so, at best, their airtime was kept at a minimum. But that didn’t matter because we, as the kids say, were here for it. 

Then, in season five, it appeared to take a turn. They started doing adult-like things: getting married, dabbling in new business ventures, they quit sleeping with each other unless their name was Kristen. And you know what – who wants to see that? Not very many of their fans, apparently. So, BravoTV did what any network does when a top-rated show is starting to flounder: they added MORE people. And not just one or two like they’d done in the past. They added FIVE. Five new stories to tell. This is where it all went to hell because honestly, nobody cared. The show was still the same same-y show it had been except there were new people filling in where the OGs semi-left off. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with a few of the old school castmates so how did they react? They turned it up to 11 to get that airtime which was an even bigger turn off than the notches on Max’s bedpost. This past season was a huge waste of time, partly because the only thing new was the new people and they were pretty boring, but also because of terrible editing. By the way, ‘terrible’ is me putting it nicely. Whatever below ‘shameful’ is, that’s what the editing was this season. 

And then…

Then they started getting in real-world trouble and there’s no editor that can fix it. I can’t speak for everyone but when it comes to reality TV, I like to believe that on some level, these people are just showing off for the camera (with the exception of Jax who I’m pretty sure is 100% horrible 100% of the time). However, after Stassi, Kristen, Brett, and Max were fired from the show last week for racial remarks and actions, it’s pretty clear that the show has created some entitled assholes – that’s a hard vision and realization to come back from. Not only did they break the fourth wall, they pretty much tore every wall down. The “reality” that we enjoyed watching is too real now, it’s no longer entertaining. They ruined the magic trick; they’re just shitty all the time.

So now what? Every article I’ve read has mentioned a season 9, one article going as far as to say the new cast was going to “bring it”. Bring what, exactly, I’m not sure because there’s really nowhere else for this show to go. I would argue that the show should make like a 90s boy band and split. It would be great if the show were like the band Menudo where they could just keep replacing members for decades and continue to attract a new fan base. Unfortunately, this season they’ve proven to be more like 98 Degrees where the head of the group (in this case now Tom and Tom) will go on to make a bunch of money thanks to their significant other (Lisa Vanderpump) and will probably branch off and find solo success, possibly in the form of a spin-off. The rest will do podcasts and knit, I guess. 

The point is, regardless of (but not discounting) the situation that they’re currently in, the show has been over for some time. The majority of them own million-dollar houses in Beverly Hills for Christ’s sake, a far stretch from when they were in apartments that only allowed for one appliance to be plugged in at a time. And the new people are a little too been-there-done-that. We’ve seen it all, including a Scheana clone that manifested towards the end of season 8. I cannot take two Scheana’s. No. FUCKING. Way. 2020 has been bad enough, let’s not carry it over into 2021 – especially not with two Scheana’s but more importantly, not with one single Jax. The only thing worse than the show is him. 

Photo by: RealityTea.com

 

Vanderpump Rules Recap: It’s Not About the Pasta

I once had a boyfriend who was the epitome of an asshole. He was so awful that I chased him, couldn’t eat if he was mad at me, was only happy if he was, and couldn’t bring myself to leave him. I was 17. And here I am, 17 years later, with a grown-up job and responsibilities, writing about people my age who get paid to have neither while acting like 17-year-old me, trying to get you people to read what I’m peddling.

Because really, if this week’s episode of Vanderpump Rules didn’t remind you of high school then nothing will. We start out with Stassi assisting Lisa with styling her Gay Pride event. While picking out the clothing the staff is going to parade around in, Lisa calls out Stassi for picking out the skankiest outfits for the girls she’s not so fond of. That conversation turns into Stassi mentioning her boob job, followed by proof with pictures.

From there we’re transported over to the guys (Peter, Jax, Schwartz, and Sandoval), who are headed to a Reiki class (or whatever it’s classified as) so they can all center themselves, I think. It’s going as well as any Reiki class (?) would go and then… Jax starts crying. Yeah. He becomes so sensitive that at the end of it all he pretty much wants to bang the instructor. Her Reiki might be broken.

While the boys are meditating the girls (Brittany, Schean, Lala, and Ariana) go to a spa for some facials and botox. OK look, this isn’t exactly high school but I promise it gets there. Anyway, Scheana brings up the Rob making out with another woman rumor and is terrified he’s going to leave her and I hope he does it in the next episode because I cannot take this anymore. I CAN’T. And I doubt any of you can, either.

Later that day (or who knows when) Brittany accompanies Katie, Kristen, and Stassi to a showing of Lala Land. While waiting for the movie to start Katie brings up Scheana for the billionth time and Brittany informs her that she tried to tell Scheana that Katie didn’t make up the rumor, which prompts Katie to talk more shit about Scheana. However, that gets interrupted by the waiter flirting with Brittany, which excites Kristen because she would love nothing more than for Brittany and Jax to break up. Unfortunately for Kristen, Brittany informs the ladies that she will be working things out with Jax, to which Stassi responds by giving Brittany a play-by-play on how the duration of their relationship is going to go. You know, I used to think Stassi was an evil wizard. Now I think whatever she was possessed by has moved over to Jax via osmosis. If you don’t believe me just look at how his face has morphed into a Disney cartoon villain.

Meanwhile (or the next day) Lala is having a drink with James and his friend Logan. James begins taking shot after potent shot and when he’s fully drunk he decides it’s time to tell his friends that Raquel is moving in with him. And then Lala tells him she ate Raquel’s pasta at his DJ event and then James loses it and starts verbally attacking her like a psycho. That’s not even the best part. She leaves, Logan makes him go after her, and he yells about 100 times “It’s not about the pasta! It’s not about the pasta!” That was pretty memorable.

Back at SUR (still not sure what day we’re in) Scheana confronts Brittany about some information she received from her mother, who conveniently had a friend at the Lala Land event who overheard the girls talking about Scheana and Rob. Brittany tells her that Katie was just upset because she thought they had an understanding that neither would talk about the other one’s relationship and of course they still did. Then Scheana says that her boyfriend is too successful for this tom-foolery and for the love of God can we PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS?

While this is going on Tom and Tom are at Tom Tom’s cleaning up the joint when Schwartz tells Sandoval that Katie wasn’t mad that he didn’t come home the night before. Yes, Schwartz was told not to have guys nights, not to take shots and not to get blackout drunk and he pulled off all three in one single night. However, Katie didn’t get mad about it so now he loves her again. Then Lisa walks in and asks Schwartz how him and Katie are doing and Sandoval spills the beans about their sleepover and Lisa is once again annoyed with him – as is the rest of us because this “give me a hug I love you” bit is getting old. And then we have Katie hanging out with Stassi and Kristen, telling them about this ordeal and how when he FINALLY came home they started talking about their future kids and then Kristen got over-animated and talked about stalking her boyfriend, Carter, and Jesus Christ these women need help. Oh, and I saw that face, Stassi. You weren’t having any of that conversation either.

And that was just the beginning of the high school throwbacks. We’re now at Pump for the Gay Pride parade and event. Scheana is rolling silverware when her boyfriend Rob walks in. Scheana, who is apparently unaware that nobody likes crazy, starts telling Rob how she went off on people and how the girls are making her “lose her smile”, and Rob’s face is great because he’s not smiling either and looks over it – kind of like all of us. At the parade, Lala tells Lisa about James drunkenly losing his mind, which, of course, makes Lisa unhappy. Upstairs at Pump, Stassi is dressing the staff. Or at least dressing most of them because Jax refuses to dress up. Christ, and then there’s Scheana, telling Lala about everything going on with her and Rob: they haven’t had sex in a week, she knows he’s trying to act like to rumor doesn’t bother him but it does (he actually doesn’t care), and that she can only function if he’s functioning and she’s only happy when he’s happy. Tell me that’s not a high school relationship.

While Scheana is busy whining and not eating, Lisa is downstairs introducing Billie Lee: a transgender woman who is awesome and I hope replaces Scheana. Somewhere around the corner Schwartz and Katie meet up and even though Schwartz says he’s not drunk, um, he’s not fooling anyone. Those are his drunk sunglasses to hide his drunk eyeballs.

He’s not the only drunk; James is wasted and is all over his friend Logan which prompts Raquel to finally adopt a grown-up voice and face, which is clearly disapproving of what she’s witnessing. Then Lisa sits Scheana down and Scheana starts crying about what’s been going on and starts with the whole “we’ve been perfect” bullshit and thank God Lisa shuts her up by making her eat. AND THEN, as though it were written somewhere, Rob is at Pump, hanging out with Scheana. She tells us all that he told her things were good and now she’s ready to eat again.

James apologizes to Lala.

The next day Katie and Kristen show up at Jax and Brittany’s, but they’re not alone. SURPRISE! Because Kristen is a psycho she flew Sherrie (Brittany’s mom) in for a visit in an attempt to break up Jax and Brittany.

So then, minus the botox, Reiki, styling events, and getting blackout drunk, they basically stole my high school experience. When should I expect to see my royalty checks?

Photo from: thecut.com

For more fact-based opinions, email jenn@typicaljenn.com

 

Vanderpump Rules: Sex, Lies, and Audiotape

Regardless of where you attended high school, chances are there was an individual whose mere presence sparked riots in your brain. Your mind boycotted their existence, and then they would speak, and their voice caused pure, physical pain. Needles stabbing your eardrums. The poor rioters in your head held their ears with their hands, screaming in agony. We’ve all gone to school with that person. In my grade that person’s name was Julie. One grade higher was a girl whose name rhymes with Mandy and judged you based on your clothes and accessories. If you appeared poor or below her parents income level she deemed you a peasant. I, haha listen to me talking about myself like Mandy. Not just I, EVERYONE hated her. That was 16 years ago. Two weeks ago she appeared on a game show with her wealthy husband and won over $150,000. I did not think it was possible to hate a person more, until this week’s episode of Vanderpump Rules.

Who should we hate first? Let’s start with Schwartz. OK, does every season require a new person to be the villain? Does the show end its run when everyone has had their turn? What the hell happened to Schwartz? After the unnecessary showdown at Guillermo’s birthday party, Schwartz, Sandoval and Jax reconvene at Schwartz’s place. After some guy talk Katie, Stassi and Ariana arrive followed by Katie promptly kicking Jax out. Jax rides away on his motorized cooler and Katie tries to have a conversation with a drunk Schwartz. And the problem with that is?… Katie pours her heart out and asks that he not get blackout drunk so that he won’t continue to make these mistakes, and Schwartz replies by pretty much saying “don’t tell me what to do.” He’s gone from lovable to being one more blackout away from his next reality show appearance: Intervention.

Let’s switch gears and talk about who everyone USED to hate: Lala. Lala has returned to her hostess position at SUR and what better way to kick off her first day back than with Katie confronting her about the Schwartz gossip. Finger-gun toting Lala could’ve been a dildo about the whole thing but instead, she explains that the reason she said something in the first place was because of the “married man” comment Katie made to Scheana. Katie apologizes and Lala gives her the rest of the details. From one Schwartz talk to another, Lisa informs Katie that she is now worried about partnering with Schwartz out of fear that he may pull the same “I got blackout drunk and don’t remember” stunt with the new business. Wouldn’t you?

Later that day (I guess, the script for this realty show doesn’t always flow well) Schwartz, Tom and Jax enjoy an afternoon of painting and absinthe while Katie, Kristen and Brittany enjoy an afternoon of drinks and gossip. Because this season is all about the domino effect Katie and Kristen tell Brittany about Scheana’s boyfriend, Rob, cheating on her. So there’s that.

Anyway, it’s time to get back to who to hate, and the next person is Scheana. I can’t tell where her delusional mentality comes from: whether it’s from all the botox or if she’s just stared at herself in a mirror so much that she hypnotized herself into believing her fantasies. For example: her and Rob have Ariana and Tom over for dinner and Scheana seems to believe that Rob’s house is also her house. Then, while everyone is sitting down to a catered dinner prepared by a private chef (who works for Rob, not Scheana) Scheana explains that on paper she’s technically married which is why she can’t marry Rob until July. Turns out, she’s delusional AND crazy. (I really think this could be a botox study) And, OK, did anyone else want to banish her from earth when she shared that she had a countdown app on her phone that was counting down the days till her divorce was finalized? Fortunately Scheana wasn’t the only one making the dinner awkward. When Scheana makes a comment about having sex with Rob, Tom tries to get Ariana to agree to have sex with him, to which she responds with nothing.

Schwartz and Katie fight more.

And then we’re taken back to the 90s. Lala and Ariana are shopping and when they begin talking about Ariana and Tom’s relationship and the lack of sexual activity in it, all of a sudden it was like I was watching an episode (because it was too shitty to be compared to the movie) of Clueless where they had a vision of what they would be like after high school. Ariana was saying things like “I’m not craving a P in the V sitch” and Lala was saying things like “blowies” and then was overly shocked about Ariana’s celibacy revelation. Even though they both reminded me of the time my friend Vicky and I spoke like Valley girls because we wanted to sound like the characters in Clueless, Lala did have a sweet (albeit, graphic) message for Ariana and hopefully she’s able to have sex with Tom again.

Now Lisa is fighting with Schwartz and Schwartz is fidgeting like the more he moves his hands the sooner Lisa will stop talking.

AND NOW we’re back to hating Scheana. Kristen, Scheana and Scheana’s fake ponytail are helping Brittany prepare for the Brittany and Jax’s house warming party that nobody thought should happen. While setting up, Kristen and Brittany tell Scheana about Rob making out with another woman and Scheana doesn’t believe it. She didn’t believe it so much that she felt she had to validate her relationship by telling Stassi, who doesn’t even like her, about how great her relationship is and how her and Rob are going to get a house and a bunch of other stuff she made up in her head. Let’s just all be honest about how we felt about the rumor and her finding out: we didn’t care.

Anyway, everyone is having a super great time at the party, UNTIL, another domino effect. Brittany walks in on Jax talking to Carter about the whole cheating scandal and gets emotional and tries to appeal to Jax about why he should talk to her, to which Jax responds by applauding her acting skills (which were pretty good for being so drunk). Lala and Kristen hear the entire exchange and Lala gets pissed. Ariana meets her on the balcony and Lala tells her about a recording she has that captures Jax bad-mouthing Brittany. Oh gee wiz, now what? I’ll tell you: they tell drunk Brittany who drunkenly cusses Jax out in front of everyone and then kicks him out of the apartment. Good plan, Lala and Ariana.

But wait! There’s still one more person to hate, and that person is all of us who watch this show and help them continue to get paid. I hate us all. But now is not the time to practice self-love; I need to know what happens next week. So as you were. Hate on.

To hear more of Typical Jenn’s factual opinions, email jenn@typicaljenn.com.

Photo by: ew.com

 

Vanderpump Rules: Absinthe-minded

I have two friends; two women that I hang out with and confide in and can genuinely call friends. Sometimes I think I want two more friends, a thought that usually comes to me when I’m watching Sex And The City reruns. Then I watch Vanderpump Rules.. and I immediately defect. Is this what groups of friends are like? I can’t stand group text messages let alone a group filled with problems, yet each week these people manage not to hurl each other off a bridge. Someone is always hating someone and this week was no different.

The “Kill Jax” party has finally come to an end and the girls are nursing their hangovers with Taco Bell (to be fair, who hasn’t?). Oh, real quick, do you remember when Katie apologized to Lala for spreading the married man rumor? OK, neither does Katie because when Scheana brings up her trip to Vegas with Lala (courtesy of Lala’s boyfriend and his private jet) Katie informs the girls that if she ever flies private it’ll be because SHE chartered the jet, not a married boyfriend. Her Instagram page tells a different story but we’re only in episode four so I’m sure we’ll get there. Anyway, Scheana comes to Lala’s defense and eventually Katie drops it. Just when the girl talk switches back to P, Jax “the ruiner of girls lives” Taylor walks in and the room goes from country Taylor Swift to Look What You Made Me Do Taylor Swift in microseconds.After making a comment on the condition of the house Brittany begins to lay into him, prompting him to respond by telling her “people are dying of cancer” and she’s “not even that devastated” (not about the cancer, or maybe, I don’t know). This prompts Brittany to get up, walk over to him and begin to slap and push him. In her defense she DID tell him she would be going crazy so his toss around came with a disclaimer.

Somewhere in between Taco Bell and the Jax attack, the Tom’s met with Lisa and Ken to discuss their partnership in the new restaurant. Lisa offers them 10% ownership (each) for an investment of $120,000 (each). Unfortunately they don’t have that kind of money because they’ve given most of their money to Coors Light. After what Schwartz refers to as a Shark Tank experience (it was) they all agree on $50,000 for 5% ownership. A celebration ensues, one that consists of that one song that Sandoval made I think 2 seasons ago and some more Coors Light. The Tom’s take the party back to Schwartz’s house where they announce the good news to Katie and Stassi, proclaiming they are now grown ups, with Schwartz throwing in “I have good hair”, the only quality you need to be a business owner.

Where was Ariana? She was at Scheana’s watching her pack for her Vegas trip. Um, did anyone else call bullshit when Scheana claimed that her and Lala had been friends for about 2 years? Does she think we forgot about last season? Last season that was less than a year ago? Last season where Scheana made herself look like an ass and was a complete prick to Lala all because of Katie? Well in case you forgot, that’s what happened. But time works different when it comes to reality TV so I guess one season equals 2 years. Anyway, Lala joins Scheana and Ariana and of course, Scheana has to bring up that Katie mentioned the married man rumor again. And how does Lala react? By asking if Katie wants to “get popped”. Now listen, I’m from a border town so I giggled when she said that. But I also thought, Christ, back in my day girls just wrote messages on bathroom stalls that stated they wanted to kick your ass. Now these psychos have reality shows where they can recite rap lyrics to get their point across. Anyway, after threatening to shoot Katie with her gun-fingers Lala then decides to tell the girls that Schwartz cheated on Katie with one of her friends. Ariana decides that she’s going to confront Schwartz and she’s going to do it at the most appropriate time and place: Guillermo’s (Lisa’s business partner) birthday party – the birthday party that Stassi actually planned and also happened to be her first gig as an event planner.

There actually wasn’t anything interesting about her working, other than the fact that she was actually working. She does manage to pull off a great party, and the sight of Guillermo alone makes Schwartz believe he could be a Guillermo, minus all of his good qualities. No need to tell us that Schwartz, because right after that Ariana decides to pull him outside and confront about the rumor, even though he’s incredibly drunk. Although, I’m starting to believe it’s all for the cameras because he takes ridiculously small sips of his beer and as a beer drinker myself I can say that a) he’s drinking beer like it’s wine, and b) how are you getting that drunk when those sips would put you at an average of one beer every 2 hours? It’s my assumption and I’m sticking to it, but I digress. Ariana tells him what she heard and his response is what it always is: I don’t remember. Last season I said Schwartz was the most level-headed. This season I think he needs counseling and AA. He then tells Katie in front of everyone, is a complete jerk about it, laughs it off, THEN he tells Lisa about the incident and then explains that he gets so shit-faced he doesn’t remember – which I’m sure is exactly what his new business partner wanted to hear.

While the gang is consoling Katie and scolding Schwartz, Jax is hanging out with his new friend James Kennedy and it appears as though they’re having a great time. They’re talking, Jax does that trick where it looks like his thumb is detachable, James is hallucinating – it’s a regular boys night out. Of course, they could be having fun because of the shot of the incredibly potent absinthe they took, which means the saying is true: Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

I hate myself.

Photo from: loveandknuckles.com