Season 7 of Vanderpump Rules was like mediocre sex. It lasted too long and although there were a few exciting parts, I left feeling dull, unsatisfied, and a bit sore at whoever was behind it.
It’s not like this was the first time that Vanderpump Rules has disappointed me. We all remember the days when Katie reigned supreme, a clear oxymoron as she lacks leadership skills and general charisma. But after season six started with a masquerade ball and a quintessential Jax cheating scandal, I thought we would be golden forever. As long as these kids kept drinking and cheating and not reflecting on their choices, we’d have a show that could be forever depraved, right?
I feel like the builders of the Titanic must have felt when their “unsinkable ship” crashed into an iceberg. I feel like the liberal elite must have felt when Donald Trump won the presidency. I feel like the entire cast and crew must have felt when Jax confessed to having “relations” with someone in Vegas. Excluding Stassi, because Stassi is Cassandra and therefore always right about everything.
But, like any student of culture, I feel obliged to go back, to discover the causes of failure to avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. And so, I give you the 7 reasons why season 7 of Vanderpump Rules sucked.
1. Where in the World is DJ James Kennedy?
At this point, I feel comfortable calling myself a James Kennedy stan. Despite his anger issues, hateful comments about women and embarrassing sense of style, James always serves the drama and fun. He brought a new life to the show as Kristen’s boy toy and has never stopped delivering, whether he’s having a fling with Lala, cheating on Raquel or becoming an “international DJ” by playing music from a flash drive in Mexico once.
But in season 7, the main cast iced him out, with Raquel as an innocent bystander. Instead of watching James drink absinthe with Jax or rap about being a “London gangsta”, we were given sad James, therapy James, James who took his first steps at a Tiffany’s. Don’t get me wrong, I find his family situation endlessly entertaining/ haunting, but the rest of the cast could have benefitted from this British, skinny, hilarious monster. Not to mention Raquel, who has the social expertise of a Bernese poodle. I, for one, feel robbed.
2. Stassi is Emotionally Mature (Mostly)
I vacillate between wanting Stassi to be in a healthy relationship and wanting her to threaten to penetrate people with an acid-coated dildos. Sure, we had a few instances of her Dark Passenger this season, but it wasn’t enough, and we barely got to see the actual screaming. Look, I’m very happy that she’s found Beau, but I don’t watch this show to see functioning relationships. And I don’t think I’m the only one!
3. Tequila Katie is Dead
I’m going to be really honest and really mean: Katie Maloney is boring and shouldn’t be on a reality show. She gives us nothing, not one-liners, not looks, and, aside from painting herself as the victim, no drama. While Katie has always been the show’s weak link, this season that became even more true as she learned to control her drinking. She only rage-texted Tom once, which is kind of like if bees stopped producing honey, or something. Instead, she just walked around in her unflattering outfits and took away a cast member who actually gives us something, the aforementioned James Kennedy. Katie, you’re worse than useless; you’re actively making the show worse.
4. They’re Too Damn Old
Guys, Jax is 39. He was born in the seventies (’79, but it still counts). He’s literally 11 years away from being AARP-eligible. Sure, he can still party harder than a freshman at Arizona State, but at this point? He’d rather cozy up with his two pups in front of HGTV and just stay in for the night. And while that sounds like a fantastic night to me, it’s not okay if you’re the star of a reality show.
Okay, Jax is still partying, as that’s the entire show. But I can’t help but feel bereft as the cast ages from early-twenties and thirty-somethings into the pre-middle age. Houses are being bought, weddings are being planned, and some people have even chose to stop taking uppers. Am I alone in thinking that Stassi without Adderall is like an angel without its wings?
5. They’re Too Damn Rich
It’s not just Lala and “her man” that have money now. Stassi is a New York Times bestselling author, Tom and Tom own a restaurant (sort of), and after seven seasons on a popular reality show, the cast has a lot more than just tip money. Plus, they were contractually obligated to stay in their shitty West Hollywood apartments while making $15,000 an episode, so some of them actually have savings. And while I like to watch people spend money that I don’t have, that’s not why I tune into Vanderpump Rules. Part of the fun of the show was the fact that they were just like us. Unlike Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, these were kids that worked at a restaurant. No money, no family, 16 in the middle of Miami.
While the cast is far from Lisa Vanderpump levels of wealth, they have enough money to spend 20 minutes on a private jet, $300 on a mashed potato bar, and $18,000 on motorcycle and sidecar to be used once. So instead of screaming fights in the alley, backhands across the face, and people fucking in front of a geriatric, we get book deals, Benzes, and Botox. Much like the United States’ dealings with China, this was not a fair trade.
6. Not Enough Cheating Going On
A season of Vanderpump Rules without a cheating scandal is like a synagogue without a rabbi. Sure, some people may still show up at first, but with nothing to focus on, they’re going to stop believing eventually.
- Season 1: Jax cheats on Stassi with a random girl in Vegas
- Season 2: Kristen cheats on Tom with Jax
- Season 3: Jax cheats on Tiffany with a rando, Tom Schwartz cheats on Katie with anyone he can find, Tom Sandoval possibly cheats on Arianna with that creepy girl in her “daintiest white lace,” although the jury’s still out on that one
- Season 4: James cheats on Kristen with Lala, etc.
- Season 5: Brittany cheats on Jax with Kristen, Kristen cheats on Carter with Brittany
- Season 6: Jax cheats on Brittany with Faith, James cheats on Raquel, Jax cheats death while trying to show off his swimming acumen in Big Bear
Basically, every season is centered on a cheating scandal, like the ice sculpture in the middle of a party. It melts, and melts, and melts, then suddenly comes crashing down, typically in an incredibly dramatic season finale. My heart warms at the thought.
Sure, we had Hope accuse James of cheating on Raquel with her, but that pretty much died after James called Katie fat. And so we were left with couples that were surprisingly stable— Jax and Brittany, Katie and Tom, Tom and Arianna, Stassi and Beau, James and Raquel, Lala and her man. Again, I didn’t come here to see couples supporting each other *exasperated sigh*.
7. Jax Has Changed, and Other Lies
The fact that people believe that Jax has really changed is absolute blasphemy. This is what Jax does— cheats on his girlfriend, faces actual consequences, then pretends that he has “changed” to evade responsibility for having cheated in the first place. He does this nearly every season; it’s as certain as Daylight Savings Time or taxes. So the fact that he’s gotten skilled enough where he can go a season without a cheating scandal doesn’t mean that he’s changed; it just means that he’s gotten better at lying. As he should, with the amount of practice he’s had.
Where will Vanderpump Rules Go Next?
At this point, the producers of Vanderpump Rules have two options. They can either continue watching the current cast buy houses, have babies and bury their problems away, or they can replace the cast with younger alcoholics with no self esteem. Hey, this is Hollywood, and you know what they say—