Last night Vanderpump Rules celebrated the annual SUR rite of passage: PRIDE!
In order to survive in this alternate universe known as Lisa Vanderpump Land, which at this point is indistinguishable from Lisa Frank Land (and one will equally find themselves trapperkeeper’d), one must dress up in rainbow paraphernalia, endure hours of Scheana Marie warbling “Solid Gold” on repeat, and have a hysterical selfish meltdown about their heterosexual relationships while ostensibly celebrating gay rights. This time, for the second year in a row, that prideful accomplishment goes to James Kennedy.
That’s right, bitches, the White Kanye is back and he came to lead his flock in verse and song of rage. And proving that James is here to resuscitate Vanderpump Rules he was even wearing a “Life Guard” man-tank with matching visor, like something out of a Ken Doll box.
I must say, it was NOT a triumphant return… more like a whimpering limp that illustrated all the the things that give me pause about James. But let me digress and spin my record, round-round, back to James in a minute.
To prepare for the Pride parade, which will feature all the employees except for the most incompetent ones, Lisa hosts a sign making workshop at Villa Rosa. Scheana, who is turning more and more into a tragicomic parody of her former self by the day, is now the leader of the pack of SURvers. And the responsibility has gone to her empty head. Scheana’s like the girl who flunked 12th grade, and returned wizened, but not wiser. Scheana lives trapped in a snow-globe where Solid Gold plays all around her and she spins in a circle of wonderment at the alternative facts in her brain while glitter sprinkles all around her, shrouding her from seeing her own delusion. It is sad, and it is almost no longer funny. I said, “almost!”
While the young whippersnappers, including eager-beaver to finally have some indepdence Raquel Leviss, go outside to Sharpie some poster board, Lisa reminds Scheana that as the SUR elder she needs to be nicer to Dayna Kathan. Scheana’s hairs literally stand on end as she goes on a 15 minute long tirade about why she doesn’t like Dayna. Lisa posits that perhaps Scheana is jealous that Dayna is dating Scheana’s ‘best friend’ Max Boyens, which means he’s unavailable to be stalked and harassed by Scheana.
Scheana is NOT JEALOUS. Scheana repeats on a tangent, like a broken record, that she is not jealous. She’s not jealous! She’s not jealous! No, she’s just envious. NOT. JEALOUS. Just covetous. Envious that Dayna is as close to Max’s skin as an AppleWatch. Speaking of, Scheana only bought him that AppleWatch because they’re best friends. and she needed her BEST. FRIEND. to help her chart her ovulation calendar and menstural cycles and like remind her of when it’s time to go to the fertility specialist, and to monitor the stats of her hormones. I mean, totally just cause they’re BEST. FRIENDS! Lisa practically laughs in Scheana’s face at these excuses, then banishes her to the children’s table where Scheana sulks that she doesn’t have to like Dayna if she doesn’t want to! To prove that Scheana reallyreallyreally doesn’t care about Dayna she demands Raquel uninvited Dayna from a pre-PRIDE hair appointment where they were all going to be styled to look like Monster High dolls. Pun very much intended.
Then Ariana Madix walks in, looking very much like an adult, to have a very adult conversation with Lisa about the realities of living with depression in a world where it doesn’t make rational sense. Lisa suffered tremendously when she lost her brother and after moving Ariana has been struggling to even get out of bed after realizing that a change in address hasn’t changed her. She’s been suffering alone, because didn’t want to dump all her negativity onto Tom 1. Tom 1 truthfully would probably love to have all Ariana’s negativity and would even buy the negativity its own monogrammed purse, covered in crying eyes made out of sequins.
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This would be a serious and important moment if it didn’t play out like a PSA for ‘Depression Happens: Even when you have it all, you can have depression too.’ Like a pharmaceutical commercial. And also if this conversation weren’t a staged machination to give Ariana a reason to return to working at SUR. Apparently SUR treats depression better than Zoloft, and if one tends bar there even 2 days a week there is a reason to live. On the contrary, I’m fairly certain Ariana became depressed working at SUR, where all dreams go to die. Especially the dreams where you become a functioning adult living in the real world, away from the highly stylized and curated world of reality TV. I do agree with Lisa that Ariana needs a job, and a place to go to help her feel a sense of purpose in life, but I might suggest a real job, or some volunteering. Not slinging over-priced pumptinis to the sounds of Scheana assaulting eardrums. Which is no different than being friends with Scheana actually.
Then there is some Lala Kent drama. James will be DJing at Tom Tom for Pride, and no one is excited by this turn of events. Especially not Lala, who is once again furious at James for breaking her vow of trust, I think we’re calling it PJ Code now. And what did James do this time? He posted a snarky (and fucking hilarious) tweet mocking Lala’s attempted feud with Fofty. I don’t get what the problem is … I mean Lala is embarrassed by James, but not herself? James has no standards of decorum yet Lala provoked Fofty and made Rand look like a fool? Baby girl, that’s called projecting and I’m super fucking tired of Hoopty-Hoedown Lauren trying to tell everyone how to live and behave from the backseat of mommy’s Range Rover. Honey, stick to making instructional videos about mile high club BJ’s and leave the motivational speeches to Oprah.
Of course when James spots Lala at Tom Tom, appropriating another culture she’s not part of (this time Drag), wearing a turquoise wig and full cape saying “Give Them The Lala,” he obsequiously apologizes for his insensitive tweet, and begs Lala to forgive him. Why? Why does James even want a friend like Lala? Who is self-righteous, shitty, and only uses James when she wants something – to feel better about herself, or make music. In exchange he has to endure endless lectures about how he’s living wrong and now about how her sobriety makes her able to forgive him while still judging him for not being sober. Um, isn’t part of AA to sponsor others? Of course James isn’t sober, but that’s not Lala’s business — especially since she says he’s not her friend and she doesn’t want him part of her life.
Yes, James is floundering because he’s surrounded by ‘Yes, women’ who just want to keep him sedate, but if Lala cares so much she needs to stick around to be one of the “No Ma’am” he clearly needs. This is a recipe for disaster, and Raquel can’t do math.
Of course I was all TEAM JAMES here, but by the end of this episode I was back to being TEAM NO ONE. OK maybe Team Tom Tom because have Tom; have Love. Speaking of, those two got matching Liberace suits to wear in the parade and poor Katie Maloney was forced to cheers to being a perpetual broken wheel on the sidecar of the Toms everlasting bond while they showed off their twinsie outfit. I will admit I kind of loved Katie for just the brief second when she told Ariana they should get together in the afternoons to knit, because Katie is trying to keep herself active by crafting. Then we cut to a scene of Katie being too lazy to even pull one stitch. I can relate: I am a girl who loves the idea of a craft, but hates the actual craft. I’d rather buy a completed craft on Etsy and tell myself I made it.
Anyhoodle, while most of the SURvers are off in the parade Danica Dow is stuck attempting to manage SUR which has Jax Taylor guest bartending to account for the people in the parade, but he’s basically refusing to actually work because of spite for not being given his own parade. The only time Jax actually showed any emotion is when Dayna introduced herself and called Scheana, Jax’s supposed friend, an immature bitch. Jax likes nothing better than having someone be considered as down in the gutter as he is. He also likes nothing more than a blonde in a crop top, but he’ll deny it on TV.
Danica is in too big of a tizzy to worry about Jax, though, because SUR is also down one real manager (Peter who is parading), one bartender, one busser, one hostess, and one waitress… Raquel. Who ran off to Pride to watching the dregs of James‘ DJ set after he called her screaming and cursing for not ditching her job to observe his success. No James. NO. NO. NO. Also, No, Raquel. NO. NO. NO.
After his successful DJ set, and being sufficiently fawned over by Raquel, James struts over to Lisa so she can see him doing well. Of course James lies about being sober, and also lies that Raquel wasn’t supposed to be working at SUR instead of hanging out at Tom Tom. At least he was polite and nice to Katie – even ignoring her snarky dig about how she didn’t want him there. Ariana was kind, of course. Lisa doesn’t want to hear another song and dance – literally – from James about how well he’s doing, she wants action and she is here to remind him that she’s focused on his long-term health and wellness. James is disappointed, but just ask Ariana: if he wants to have the cake, he has to eat crow too.
After pretending she didn’t know she was working, Raquel scuttles over to SUR where Pride is winding down but Peter Madrigal’s fury burns just as hot as ever. Peter takes Raquel out by the dumpsters – where else – to give her the hard truth: She needs to pick a priority – her boyfriend or her job. This scene seemed so fake, like Raquel was told to act like S1 Stassi Schroeder; blowing off work with fake excuses and fake remorse. Raquel, wide-eyed, with the acting chops of a My Little Pony toy (only more plastic) pretended to be so so sorry while lying that she got confused after the parade ended. Were her ponytails too tight?. Peter’s performance deserved an Academy Award by comparison. Maybe Raquel is cracking under the pressure of babysitting White Kanye‘s ego while also managing her career as an Influencer of the baby voice trend?
What doesn’t seem fake is the dressing down Dayna gave Scheana by those same dumpsters. Hot of the heels of yet another unsuccessful performance of ‘Solid Gold,’ Scheana pulls Dayna aside for another ‘talk’. Scheana, huffing on inhaler because she’s having a panic attack, starts crying over egg harvesting. In response Dayna lectures her about being immature. “Are you 34 or 16?!” she snaps; a hard reminder that Scheana is closer to middle age than she is youth. It seemed to be just the reality check Scheana needed to remember she is of drinking age and can handle her problems like an adult: by doing a shot together and deciding that even if you’re not friends you don’t have to obsess over hating another woman and can just be co-workers who sometimes share a laugh. And a man (I probably shouldn’t refer to Max as a man).
Also at least Scheana apologized!
Lastly based on the preview of next week’s episode where Jax and Brittany Cartwright‘s pastor is exposed for anti-gay sermons, it’s evident that Jax’s dismissive and disrespectful behavior at PRIDE was planting the seed that he’s also homophobic. I mean at this point, based on the comments he’s made about Ariana’s sexuality, it’s obvious, right?
TELL US – DO YOU BELIEVE SCHEANA WILL GIVE DAYNA ANOTHER CHANCE? IS JAMES A BAD INFLUENCE ON RAQUEL?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]