Something truly disgusting happens in this episode of Vanderpump Rules, a Revenge of the Nerds movie told from the point of view of the witless, when the boys gather to drink beers and comfort Jax and the girls gather to help Brittany get through the difficult time after learning that Jax cheated on her with Faith. No, I don’t mean when Jax shouted at Brittany to “shut up!” when she very reasonably demanded to know whether Jax hooked up with Faith one time or a dozen. I’m talking about Brittany eating “beer cheese.”
The idea behind the party is that Stassi, Kristen, Katie, and the rest of the girls would put together all of Brittany’s favorite things to comfort her. These things include the state of Kentucky, alcohol, not getting rid of her accent, tops that are way too tight on her boobs, low-key knowing she’s the only one at SUR who is actually a competent waitress, and some neon orange swill called “beer cheese.” Stassi and Kristen even went so far as to get the recipe from Brittany’s Mee Maw.
I’m not sure what exactly is in beer cheese, but I assume that it is beer and cheese and somehow made into a dip. This is like all of my least favorite things together: beer, cheese, disgusting things they serve in Guy Fieri’s “Flavortown,” down-home nostalgia, and cheese. Yes, I listed cheese twice because I think it is disgusting and all of you people who eat moldy cow mucus should be ashamed of yourselves. As James Joyce said in Ulysses, cheese is corpses of milk.
The other gross thing is the shot squirt gun that Katie brings to the party. When she tries it out on Kristen, she practically bukkakes her face with tequila and totally misses her open mouth just three feet away. I could think of nothing worse than getting cheap booze squirted up my nose in Stassi’s kitchen. And why did someone in this crew pay $50 for this device at Spencer’s Gifts when they can just buy a 99-cent squirt gun at the Duane Reade and use that as an aerial boozerator?
This literal pity party is the only party that Stassi has ever thrown and yet Lisa Vanderpump still hired her as the new party planner at SUR. This upsets Scheana No Tea No Shay who now thinks that Stassi is her boss. She’s just pissed that to continue her career in the reality-TV arts, she has to continue waiting tables and doing side work and Stassi just gets to show up and throw some flowers on things and call herself an event planner. This whole skirmish is good because it leads Stassi to channel the ghost of Kelly Killoren Bensimon, a Babadook with a Jelly Belly addiction, and give us a good, “I’m up here and you’re down here.”
As Tom Schwartz points out, the great thing about this party is that all of the girls finally put aside their differences and get together for the one thing that absolutely everyone can agree is fun: hating on Jax. Katie assembling the Witches of WeHo to put a little curse on him is absolutely fantastic.
However, the night takes a very weird turn. All of these beautiful and half-drunk women sit around in their pajamas and do some magic. Then, inexplicably, they all start making out with each other. Didn’t I see this movie once on Cinemax at 2 a.m.? After the pajama jammie jam make-out sesh, did they each retire to their rooms in a haunted mansion where each is visited by the spirit of a steroided man with too-long hair and waxed armpits to rut around on them (with no visible) penetration for three to five minutes while the pants of suburban tween boys get tighter and tighter?
As the girls all pound a Jax piñata just like they have all pounded the real-life Jax at one time or another, eventually they tire of their merrymaking and start talking about the real betrayal at hand. Ariana tells Brittany that word on the street is that Jax slept with Faith a bunch of times, not the one time that he copped to. Because Stassi, Kristen, and the rest have all had plenty of dealings with Jax, they all know that he’ll treat Brittany really nice and sweet because he wants to get her back. They all know that he’ll lie about the multiple hookups but when she continues to apply the pressure, he will eventually say, “One time or a dozen, what does it matter?”
He does all of these things. He’s so sadly predictable in all of his behaviors that he can’t even surprise anyone. He’s stuck in a black hole of his own narcissism and self-hatred, which he keeps filling with girlfriends to try to get rid of that empty feeling. It doesn’t work. But no one could have predicted how violently he would yell at Brittany and how he would make himself out to be the victim in this whole thing. Oh, just kidding. This is so predictable that even Miss Cleo (RIP) could see it happening beyond the grave.
The night ends with the girls calling the boys and telling them that Jax shouldn’t return home because Brittany is staying there and she doesn’t want to be disturbed. The only disturbing thing about all of this is that Brittany and Jax are still together. Watching this whole thing unfold with the knowledge that it goes nowhere gives me the same feeling in my stomach after eating three-day-old fish and drinking spoiled yogurt.
What else happens? Ariana goes riding and wins a competition on a horse named Walter. I’m sorry, but Walter is not a name for a horse. A name for a horse is like Petticoat Ruffle or Surfeit of Kings. Walter is a name for a building super or a hipster baby. Tom Sandoval and Ariana’s brother Jeremie go to watch her compete and Sandoval tells Jeremie about how the two of them aren’t having sex and everyone in the audience with siblings tells him to shut the hell up because Jeremie is not interested at all in the quality of his sister’s sex life, even if he does hear it through the walls while he’s sleeping on their couch.
Lala returns to SUR like a hunting falcon returning to a rookery, except she manages to keep her little blinders on the entire time. For some reason that is only possibly explained by “reality TV, that’s why,” Lisa lets her have her job back. The makers of crystals to put on manicures and Beauty Blender celebrate with a round of Hosannas that their best customer will once again have some spending money.
The Toms Schwartz and Sandoval continue to get back into the good graces of Lisa and Ken, but this whole arrangement sounds crazy to me. She wants their money and their “enthusiasm” and wants to name the bar after them, but they can’t have any input at all? What kind of business sense does that make at all? Ken says, “Think about what you can really bring to this project.” But they don’t really want them to bring anything, and then they act like it’s a privilege that they’re giving them a percentage of the business at all. I guess the reason behind all of this is “reality TV, that’s why.”
But after a night pressing their thighs together with Jax, DJ James Kennedy, and hunky Peter, the SUR manager with more pecs than words, Tom, and Tom decided it was finally time to go home to their separate sexless houses. The rest of the boys said good-bye, but Sandoval and Schwartz were going to get some work done and decided to share a Lyft back to Schwartz’s place where they could doodle in their notebooks about shots on a wooden spoon and pretend like they were contributing.
They settled in the back of a Hyundai Elantra and were greeted by Justin, a 25-year-old aspiring actor with a head of lightly spun blond curls who recently arrived from St. Louis. He enthusiastically told all of this to his new passengers, who sat in the back with their legs spread open and their knees touching. Until Justin quieted down and Schwartz placed his hand on Sandoval’s knee and they stared in each other’s eyes as Justin lightly hummed along to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” on the radio.
Finally, Schwartz picked up his heavy paw and slowly brushed it against Sandoval’s face, grating his palm a bit on his stubble. He went in for a kiss and the two of them turned mostly toward each other, their hands not pressed into the seats of the Elantra, gliding over the firm recesses of each other’s arms. They kept making out and Sandoval opened his eyes once or twice and could see Justin looking at them in the rear view. Sandoval didn’t know quite what to make of this, but Waze had lead them down some sleepy side street and he decided to take a chance.
Sandoval broke their embrace and leaned up toward the front of the car. “Why don’t you pull over?” he asked Justin, as he placed his hand on his right shoulder and gave it a friendly squeeze. Tom and Tom started making out together again, but now harder, more furiously, as if putting on a show. They had their eyes closed as they could hear the clicking of Justin taking off his seatbelt and the lurch of the car as he tried to crawl with them into the back seat. The Toms separated and let him fall backwards in between them, as they caved in around him, like the warm waters of the ocean as a dolphin pierces the surface then reenters.