Review: Next Level Basic | Stassi Schroeder

Next Level BasicAs all 5 of you know, I used to write about the show Vanderpump Rules – first on my site then for the entertainment blog Taste of Reality. Writing about the show was fun but there’s like 28 episodes a season and they’re in season 7 – there are only so many jokes you can write about these people before you start to plagiarize yourself. These days I’m more of a fan, and Stassi’s book is now included.

I could not stand Stassi the first, oh, 4 or 5 seasons of Vanderpump Rules. I believe I used to refer to her as a satanic wizard in my early days of writing about the show. She was awful. Bossy, conceited, a complete asshole – traits that, I’m sure, are what got her on the show. Then, something happened.

In season 3, she left her job, her friends, and California to be with her then-boyfriend Patrick, and you know what happened? It didn’t work out, which some people would refer to as karma. She returned to L.A. and had to beg for her old life back. A humbled Stassi was better than an entitled Stassi. After a season (5) where she became follow-the-leader-Stassi, she emerged as the Stassi we all love today. Hilarious. A little more self-aware. The woman you can go have a drink with or take in a seance.

In a time where we’re told to “not be ‘basic'” (euphemism for ‘yourself’), Stassi preaches the opposite. Love all things horror (me)? Embrace it! Did cartoons take a backseat to Tales From the Crypt (I’ll sing the Miss Autopsy song at the drop of a hat)? Tell people about it! Still into Ed Hardy? Thank Jesus I grew out of that but if that’s your thing, wear it! Being basic is all about doing what makes you happy, and that’s what this book is all about.

If you’re into feeling good, laughing, and reading, this is your book: Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder. Enjoy!

Vanderpump Rules: Call Me Jason

It must be difficult growing up on camera. Your voice is changing, you’re growing hair all over like you’re morphing into a werewolf, your face is pulling a backward Benjamin Button. It has to be traumatic. Thank god my dreams of childhood stardom never came true. It’s not all sadness, though. The flip side is you could wait until you’re in your 30s to grow up and then just fix your face with Botox. You see? There’s always a silver lining, you negative Nancy’s.

I realize I’m being way too optimistic about these people but it appears as though some of the gang are growing up. Even Jax; he wants to now go by his birth name, Jason! I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning: mature Stassi making fun of James for having a boyfriend. Stassi and James are meeting with Lisa to finalize details for the Beverly Hills Lifestyle party and to prep for it, Stassi questions what equipment he’ll be bringing to the party, and if he’ll be bringing his boyfriend, Logan. He’s not. James isn’t the only one not doing things because Stassi asks the staff if they’ll work the party for Lisa and they pretty much tell her they will not.

Meanwhile, Katie and Schwartz are preparing for the triplets arrival. Grown-up triplets. Schwartz’s brothers. Schwartz’s boyfriend, Sandoval, helps pick out clothes for the triplets to wear during their time in LA, and eventually, Florida. Katie assists them and is surprisingly OK with Schwartz’s plan to have the triplets stay at his and Katie’s apartment.

While they prepare for the triplets, Stassi prepares to do her podcast with special guest, Billie. Unfortunately for Stassi, Billie had a girls day with Ariana, Lala, and Scheana and Ariana made sure to bring up the podcast that Stassi got in a lot of trouble. I didn’t listen to it either but apparently, it was bad. Anyway, Ariana calls Stassi a racist and this breaks her. Her lashes came off and everything, but the podcast must go on.

Stassi isn’t the only one with problems. The electrical room in SUR caught fire the night before the Beverly Hills Lifestyle party, forcing Lisa to close the restaurant but keep the bar area open. She has plenty to worry about, doesn’t she? Haha, no, because Stassi tells Lisa about the difficult time she’s had getting people to work for her and then starts crying about what Ariana said. Fortunately, Stassi’s able to pull it together for the staff meeting where Lisa tells everyone they have to listen to Stassi. And you know what? She didn’t even gloat about it. Look who’s really growing up.

The party gets going and Stassi’s troubles mount. Ariana is being an asshole to her about her bartending duties, Jax is nowhere to be found, and now Stassi has to bartend. Brittany finally shows up and for the first time, shows that she’s capable of having an attitude, proven by her facial expression when Stassi asks “where’s your boyfriend, Satan?” I laughed. Jax eventually shows up an hour late and is met by an angry Lisa who responds by kicking him out of the party. He then sounds like a 14-year-old me talking about how everyone else makes mistakes, it should totally be OK for him. Listen, the show wasn’t over yet so my “they’re growing up” theory was still intact.

Anyway, Jax heads over to SUR to meet Schwartz and the triplets and then begins talking about his favorite subject: himself. To which one of the triplets responds, “so what about Jaeger bombs”. This is officially how I will change a subject I have zero interest in. Thank you, triplet number one.

Back at the party the rest of the staff is happily working, until an overly Botoxed Kevin Lee decides to tell Katie that she’s “gained weight” and “needs to work on it”. I genuinely wasn’t sure how to respond to that except to say, Fuck You, Kevin Lee.

The party eventually moves over to SUR where James is DJing and Jax is being a drunken asshole. While surrounded by all of the girls he begins to go off about how fake he believes Kristen to be and how upset he was that Kristen brought in Sherry and Brittany’s sister just to get to him. And even though it was true Brittany tries to get him to calm down. Don’t worry, she still doesn’t leave him. I know that’s what you were concerned about.

So it’s the next day and Katie tells Schwartz, Sandoval, and the triplets about Kevin Lee and after some reassuring compliments decides to let it go. And not a moment to soon because we’re then treated to an on-air commercial for PRIV – the delivery beauty salon. Everyone gets spiffed up and then it’s time for a night on the town.

And then THE NEXT DAY, Jax visits his Reiki therapist and opens up about becoming an actor/model, a decision that turned him into Jax. Because he’s not Jax, he’s Jason. You see, it wasn’t him being a complete dildo at all. It was Jax. Jason is the good guy. Jason would never cheat and lie to his girlfriends, roll his best friends under the bus, sleep with his best friend’s girlfriend, or steal and be disrespectful to his boss. That’s all Jax, the actor/model he’s been possessed by.

Listen, if he really decides to become Jason again I’m all for it. But if he starts sleeping with Kelsey we all will have been Jaxed, and this will have been the most ultimate Jaxed of all time.

Photo from: tamaratattles.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