Hello my readers. Let me start off by expressing how grateful I am for your support and hope you’re all staying safe during this global pandemic. My blog had a great 2019. I also want to apologise for not posting as much as I’d like to. Staying motivated enough to blog has posed quite the challenge. However, I couldn’t let this season of Vanderpump Rules end without giving my final thoughts.
I’ve seen a lot of articles across social media about this season and most, if not all, echo the same sentiment. They want the show to be split into two directions; one show for the OGs with Lala and James and another for the newbies. These proposed directions for Vanderpump Rules are what I disagree with.
How We Got Here
If you’re a diehard fan of the show, you’ll agree that season 5 could be considered as the turning point. Like some of the longer running shows on Bravo, season 5 of Vanderpump Rules had everything we could possibly ask for. Jax spread rumours about Brittany and Kristen hooking up, Stassi returned to the show (I personally could do without her), Scheana and Shay dealt with Shay’s addiction and got a divorce, James and Lala insulted any and everyone, we had a few trips with different cast members, Lala’s relationship with a then married Randall was exposed till she was chased off the show, Lisa Vanderpump (LVP) proposed a partnership with Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz and Katie and Tom Schwartz‘s wedding (which didn’t take focus away from all that was happening with other cast members). I could go on and mention the subplots but you get the picture. Season 5 was a more balanced season, as crazy and as awful as some of the behaviours were. What we had come to love and love to hate about our favs and least favs.
Then came season 6 and the cast (generally speaking) started acting instead of being their raw, unedited selves. I blame Stassi cuz she now had a “brand” to protect given she had, before the season started, made some negative comments about black people wanting representation. Many of them didn’t have much going on. The girls changed their tune on Lala because of the massive backlash they received, so no one was challenging her on anything, Scheana dated Rob and they made fun of her and the whole season was centred around Jax cheating on Brittany with Faith (the only black person to have had some sort of “important” role on the show, barring earlier seasons with Tina popping up and the few times we saw Richardson) but we never saw her beyond Scheana’s birthday party. I personally feel they missed the opportunity to have had more stories built up that season but we know how this group is and who they allow to be around them.
Season 7 wasn’t much different as everyone was basically friends with each other and they all turned against James. The girls’ vendetta against James took over the whole season and made them look like bullies. That’s it. That was the season. See where I’m going?
Where We Are Now
Since that horrible season 7, I knew the show was in trouble. Not like it was on life support as many claim, but the content was lacking. They needed to do something drastic and I knew we’d get new cast members. If only they hadn’t fired Faith in favour of Lala, didn’t make Billie feel unwelcome and kept introducing more talent earlier. The thing is, they did the opposite and made the OG cast members too powerful. They sort of decided who they let in their circle on the show, which is where the producers went wrong. Sure you want a show with people that are connected but this show was always about LVP’s employees. That alone is the connection. Working together in a place like West Hollywood is bound to have many paths crossing. The many hookups prove that.
However, all except Scheana (on occasion) don’t really work for LVP outside of filming. They haven’t worked at SUR for a while but the audience only started noticing this when everyone “suddenly” became homeowners. The veil dropped and it was painfully obvious that any work scene was and would be fake. So what did the producers do to remedy this? New talent was brought in to offset the lack of new content they’d have for season 8 (held hostage by a wedding for 11 episodes).
We were introduced to 5 new faces that would get major screen time; Danica, Dayna, Charli, Brett and Max. There have been mixed feelings about the new cast, particularly Max and Brett for some old tweets close to decade ago. As I’ve said before, the audience forgave Stassi, so forgive the boys or simply shut it! If you’re not going to keep the same energy for every similar negative behaviour then spare me your outrage. With the OGs focusing on the wedding, the newbies brought something fresh to the show. Since they, as a group, didn’t have much history with the OGs, most of their drama was with each other. It felt like we were watching two shows until week 12 when everyone started hanging out. Personally, I found that the newbies contributed heavily to the first 11 episodes cuz the OGs alone couldn’t do it. Some may not agree because of loyalty to the OGs and I get it.
We had Danica, the fiery, quick tempered manager for SUR. She slapped her boyfriend because he asked her for a threesome which all took place at work. I wish there were cameras there to capture that moment. Then she had to be doing daily breathalysers because she had a DUI and she had a restraining order against her. Why, oh why didn’t we get more of Danica? Another newbie, the one that got most of the camera time (I think she planned this) was Dayna. She started off with potential but it quickly became obvious (at least to me) that she wasn’t the girl she portrayed herself to be in her confessionals. She got obsessed with Max, after they hooked up, and made everything she did about him. After they didn’t work out, she moved on to his bestfriend, Brett, and we’ve seen this playbook already. Max and Brett were the two new male cast members that got heavily featured. There were two other Brett’s working and filming, one of which was Danica’s boyfriend. Max is a manager at Tom Tom and is actually connected to the cast and Brett was probably brought in for his looks. Y’all can hate all you want, the guys aren’t bad looking. The boys did what boys do on reality tv; hooked up with girls, say one thing then do another. I enjoyed them, regardless of what many said. If the tweets didn’t resurface, they wouldn’t have gotten the flack they did.
Saving the best for last. My favourite newbie, Charlie Burnett. When I first saw the cast pictures, I thought “wow! This girl is beautiful.” Then we met her and was so impressed with her from the jump. Every week, I’d be tweeting her praises because it was obvious, she kept it real with everyone and didn’t put any pretences. I think my love her was cemented when she went out with Brett and was turned off by him bringing up conversations he had with Scheana. Charli wasn’t impressed by that not his 100th flannel shirt. She had really funny confessionals and you could tell that she’s extremely insightful. I mean, she shared an observation as to why Lala gave Raquel so much strife and it made so much sense. The producers messed up horribly by cutting so much of the newbies’ scenes out of the first 11 episodes, to focus on a wedding that couldn’t even rack in the highest ratings for the season. We could’ve had more time with them and gotten to know them better. I am happy though, that we got fresh faces and especially Charli’s.
The Future of Vanderpump Rules
The season has ended and as we await the reunion episodes, fans and some of the OG cast have been expressing that the newbies brought nothing to the show. They agree with a lot of the articles written up about a possible spin off for themselves. I don’t think this is a good idea. If we followed the trajectory since season 5 and what I outlined, the OG cast have run out of steam. We’ve seen it all from them at this point. With the exception of the two Toms and a few podcasts, the OGs don’t have much going on that can carry a new show. Do people want to see them having kids? Maybe. But we’ve seen what happens when Bravo does a show about moms (RIP There Goes The Motherhood). Would anyone really watch a show with Stassi, Scheana (love my girl) and Lala doing their weekly podcast? I wouldn’t. Would you watch a show with Kristen selling her shirts? You wouldn’t. So a spinoff showing a transition that has already happened, with people that have no other venture outside of being on Vanderpump Rules would flop harder than Toned Up.
Going forward, as much as I love LVP, she doesn’t need to be as involved in the casts’ lives if it isn’t related to her businesses. I suggest that we keep the unproblematic newbies as they actually do directly work for LVP at her restaurants and the OGs who are connected to them. This may be an unpopular opinion because fans feel attached to the OGs but it’s their own fault for not building a relationship with the newbies. LVP has too many employees for this show to just die out because the OGs no longer work for her. Vanderpump Rules doesn’t need Jax, Brittany, Katie, Lala, Beau nor Stassi if we’re keeping it real. Scheana and Kristen have shown they’re vital players, the backbone of this show, if you will, though if it’s a choice between the two I’ll always choose Scheana, and can be the link between the OGs (if they still have a job on the show) and the newbies. If we have to keep the OGs, then change how the show is filmed and incorporate more of everyone’s lives outside of the restaurant. This way we still get our OG fix and the drama from the restaurants. Two shows in one, isn’t the worst idea and can possibly be a trend going forward.