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.
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