Twenty and thirtysomething drama has never looked as good as it does on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin-off, Vanderpump Rules. For those of you who missed the first season, this reality show delves into the lives of the incredibly attractive and completely self-absorbed wait staff at the Vanderpumps’ West Hollywood lounge, Sur. Infamously incestuous, the staff members trade sexual partners faster than the bartenders pour a $15 martini. I confess that I was immediately addicted to this sugary confection and am only too happy to once again immerse myself in the lives of these servers/bartenders/models/actors/musicians.
The Relationships Don’t Disappoint
The whole gang is back for season 2, which premieres tonight on Bravo, including on-again, off-again couple Jax and Stassi. Jax, a womanizer and compulsive liar, quit his bartending job in the season 1 finale because he claimed he wanted to change his bad boy ways. The same night he handed in his notice to Lisa, Jax confessed to long-suffering girlfriend Stassi, a supposed descendant of Swedish royalty (so she says), that he cheated on her and got another girl pregnant.
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This came as a shock to the twosome’s friends since Jax swore all season that the rumors of his infidelity weren’t true and that he was merely an innocent victim of circumstance. Well, he’s back and the whys and hows are not revealed in the premiere. My best guess would be, who the hell would turn their back on this cushy gig?
A new couple shares the spotlight with Jax and Stassi this season, who are now friends with benefits: longtime loves Kristen and Tom. Throughout season 1, the biggest problems they seemed to have were Tom’s obsession with hair care products and Kristen’s jealousy. The relationship was rockier off camera, obviously taking a backseat to Jax and Stassi’s theatrics.
Now, the lovebirds are struggling to overcome some major obstacles. Let’s just say there’s going to be a new female antagonist for Kristen. While her girlfriends have urged her to cut her losses and move on, she has opted to stick it out. But just because she has “forgiven” doesn’t mean anything is forgotten. Her excuse for staying: “It’s, like, the Rihanna age.”
If you are a fan of “Stax,” I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Jax and Stassi still aren’t officially a couple again, but Jax is wooing his lady love, and they have had, and will probably continue to have, carnal knowledge of one another.
Kristen isn’t just having problems at home. She is also butting heads with boss Lisa. You’ll have to stay tuned and watch the Vanderpump Rules premiere to see her suffer the consequences of crossing Lisa. And in an effort to tempt RHOBH fans into not switching the channel after the show’s season 4 premiere, the Sur staff are featured heavily when Kyle uses Lisa’s restaurant to cater an event.
Alliances have shifted amongst the girls. Scheana and Stassi, once mortal enemies, had become friends by the conclusion of season 1. Their relationship continued to grow off-camera as Scheana usurped Katie and Kristin’s roles as Stassi’s bestie, comforting her after Jax’s betrayal and her very public humiliation. But their friendship is in jeopardy just in time for the new season. Stassi could be in danger of losing her queen bee status and being demoted to a mere drone. The girl with her eye on Stassi’s throne is none other than Scheana, the Britney Spears wannabe who engaged in a two-year affair with Beverly Hill’s housewife Brandi Glanville’s ex-husband, the infamous Eddie Cibrian.
Scheana is holding a serious grudge against Stassi for failing to adhere to the basic rules of common decency. Only too happy to be on the receiving end of Scheana’s love and devotion, Stassi failed to return the favor when Scheana was in need. While Scheana feels short-changed by Katie and Kristen as well, she’s holding Stassi to a much higher standard, and the always self-centered Stassi isn’t falling over herself to make amends. Stassi couldn’t possibly take the time to give a damn even if by chance she actually did.
We’re dealing with members of the Millennial Generation, a group desensitized by the constant use of technology. Gone are the days of get well cards and hand-written thank you notes. It has become easy to shirk personal responsibility now that all it takes to ice someone out of your life is a text. The fact that these people are all narcissistic fame mongers means the rules of common decency just don’t apply.
Stassi has convinced herself that Scheana has turned Lisa against her. It’s true Lisa views the friendship between Scheana and Stassi as one-sided, but it’s doubtful any tiff between Sur’s two Alpha females remains a blip on her radar for long. Stassi’s paranoia doesn’t make allowances for the possibility that Lisa is unhappy with her job performance or has developed distaste for her personality.
It’s too early to tell if Stassi’s suspicions about her boss are founded or not. Katie and Kristen question Scheana’s motives as well. It seems that if Scheana can’t be a member of the most powerful clique at Sur, she’s going to do her best to disband it. Could she be the undoing of Sur’s answer to the “Heathers?”
When it comes to Stassi’s relationship with Lisa and Lisa’s daughter, Pandora, it does appear as if Scheana has pulled an All About Eve. She’s become quite cozy with the mother/daughter duo. Scheana and Pandora are such bosom buddies that Lisa throws them a dual birthday party. This flagrant demonstration of their mutual affection for one another is witnessed by several members of the Sur staff. Their cutesy, cutesy relationship doesn’t go over well with the other girls.
Watching gorgeous people elevate relationship problems and work stress into a full-blown melodrama is a welcome break from real world problems. It’s like sending your brain on vacation for an hour. Physically, your behind is planted on your couch, but mentally, you’re on a white sand beach sipping something fruity. I don’t need any of the cast to be likable. In fact, it’s all that more enjoyable to watch people who lack the basic coping skills to manage their lives without theatrical hysterics. Vanderpump Rules, like its Housewives predecessor, is a modern-day soap opera. Just sit back, relax and relish in the absurdity.
Vanderpump Rules airs Mondays at 9pm on Bravo.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)