Honestly what is left to say about Vanderpump Rules? Is there any point in discussing this? Can I bow out now with just a sayonara to the OG’s. We know that at least a 1/3 of the cast won’t return. Bravo hasn’t announced it yet, but I doubt we’ll see Lala Kent, Brittany Cartwright, or Jax Taylor next season. Well, not if they expect me to watch anyway. And we alllll know Bravo is catering things to my specific wants!
With sponsors and D-list celebrities cutting ties with Jax in response to his not-so-secret Twitter behavior, it’s only a matter of time. Like Ariana Madix pointed out during the season, Brittany is collateral damage.
But truly, after Jax got on national television, smugly insulted his boss and tried to call Andy Cohen out, I think it’s time for ‘his show’ to end. Jax’s ego is out of fucking control! He’s gross, slimy, a liar, a racist, a homophobe, and emotionally abusive to his wife. He’s also emotionally abusive to his castmates. Stassi Schroeder, who really has no room to talk, said at this point everyone is afraid to confront Jax because he’s so vicious.
Another thing – everyone on that show needs to quit it with the Poor Widdle Brittany routine. Brittany is not that innocent. Brittany is an equal participant in the manipulation and gaslighting. She is with Jax for a reason. Britany was never some sweet naive southern girl. You don’t meet a reality star while working at Hooters, dump your boyfriend, move cross-country, and move into his studio apartment to let him shit with the door open if you’re not gaming something.
I have literally never observed anyone more vapid and insipid on television than Brittany, who whined and railed for years about a princess wedding as if she was a toddler spun out on too much candy and Disney movies. This, according to Jax’s beloved friends and Lisa Vanderpump, is the best woman he could ever hope to get. That says something about the both of them.
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What makes Brittany so great for him? She’s not keeping Jax grounded, or in check. He’s not ‘changed’ – he’s worse than ever, or at the very least exactly the same, just less concerned than ever about the consequences of showing his true self. Like his bullshit pretend connection with Dayna Kathan about how sometimes you have to cut a toxic parent out of your life. Sue, Jax, sure.
Every time Brittany gets confronted or called out, or even questioned, she starts with the ‘that’s my husband’ crap. She essentially threatens her castmates – her so-called friends – that if they don’t co-sign her bullshit and place nice by appeasing her and Jax (and their rewritten history), she’ll cut them out of her life. Everyone admits they are scared to distance Brittany, because without saying it they seem to be saying that Jax is different behind closed doors in some way, so they play along with these mind games and lies.
Jax is a sociopath, and I was so pleased to see Bravo put him on blast by replaying a clip from every reunion of his hollow-voiced apologies and rehearsed speeches about how he’s changed. It is the only script this wannabe has ever memorized.
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The only interesting part of the reunion was seeing Ariana essentially quit the show. Ariana has had it and she let it allll hang loose. In response to Jax’s attempt at another tangent about how he’s working on himself, Ariana just kept interrupting him and filibuster by screaming “I’m a piece of shit!” This is, of course, the way Jax thinks of Ariana and she’s throwing it back in his face. He doesn’t think she deserves the opportunity to speak. Not just because she is one-half of the now exiled Tom 1, but because she’s a woman who won’t subscribe to his garbage. He’s trying to discredit her opinions by labeling her a jealous hater. He’s also trying to force Tom 1 off the show. Well, he thinks he has that power. Jax questioning of Ariana’s sexuality, then lobbing outright lies that her relationship is terrible because she’s a secret lesbian are disgusting. I’m DISGUSTED BRAVO – DO SOMETHING! IT’S PRIDE MONTH.
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Vanderpump Rules has never been known for displaying paragons of virtue. You can’t expect that from a show that trades dignity for cheap thrills, and pays out for cast members for sharing complicated elements of their lives for screen time. Then allowing that to become open fodder for a vicious soul-eating monster like Jax. I have to say Tom 1 and Ariana are the only two people here who have consistently held their own and never succumbed to the group think, or ignored their principles for popularity (Ahem… Lala). Well, Raquel Leviss has never done it either, but Raquel has always been a periphery cast member and recipient of the bullying, not someone on the interior circle.
It’s true what Stassi and Tom 2 point out about Jax. He has dictated the narrative arc. He has decided that he’s in charge, and in some small capacity everyone has largely fallen in line. They don’t question him or his decisions. They cover for him and make excuses. They allow many things to go unsaid. They even got fired defending his lies. Jax created a toxic work environment that Lisa allowed, and even cosigned, so long as good TV with ratings was provided. Tonight though, finally felt like his swan song. It also finally felt like a vindication for Tom 1 and Ariana. As if in some small way they recognized that Jax was staying here, right behind the dumpster, still trying to off-load his lies as truth, talking talking talking so no one can ask a question or even formulate a thought about what was being said, while they were moving on.
The interesting thing is how Tom 2 and Katie Maloney fit into all of this. Katie now has no allies on this show. She has a tepid friendship with Ariana, who she’s never much liked, and has only hung out with if Stassi or Kristen Doute aren’t around. Tom and Katie’s marriage isn’t strong. Now she appears to be left with Scheana and Tom 1. Katie was oddly quiet this reunion. Respectful and in the background, as if accepting her place as the partly fossilized remains of a bygone era.
It was the year 2014 in a time when Summer Bodies reigned, and Byzantine empresses wielded pinot grigio bottles as weapons and bartered with fried goat cheese balls and Sephora samples. It was the time of great power held in the take-out container of one shifting sur-verlite as she maneuvered between her boyfriend’s apartment and the great wilds of WeHo. There were no friendships here, only truces made of desperation and alliances made of need. There were deals with the blonde she-devil, who consolidated her dynasty with pool parties a’plenty and birthday trips where warriors fought to demonstrate loyalty in the parking lot of of foreign cities. Afterwards, the empress and her ladies in waiting were bathed in beer. But it was all undone with a slap after a drunken night’s affairs.
Tales of a scandalous encounter that spread far and wide like drunken legs and fickle hearts. There was revenge, and blood, and martyrs. There was the taming of a shrew with sparky items and the promise of a calmer land with an endless bounty of ranch. But still she never seemed to truly topple. She always came back to reassert her dominance. Demanding pagan sacrifice of in the form of false eyelashes from innocent waitresses. It was a way to restore the order. but the order was all a farce. It was less stable than Scheana perched atop a bar wailing “Solid Gold.”
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So here lies Katie. She had a good turn as sometime queen, sometime side-kick. So where do we go from here?
(I say promote Danica Dow, let Charli Burnett be her deputy. Scheana can kick up some dust wrestling for a control she’ll never be crafty and conniving enough to achieve. And let Tom and Tom be Tom Tom in all the best ways.)
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[Photo Credits: Bravo]