Nothing has ever encapsulated Vanderpump Rules, an ant farm drowning in Fireball shots, more than when Tom Schwartz wakes up from Stassi and Ariana’s birthday party at 11 a.m. the next morning. He passed out under a table on the house’s patio and wakes up bleary-eyed and still dressed as an elf on bath salts. That is the show in just one image: Schwartz peeling himself back to consciousness like a shoe getting unstuck from the syrupy film on a movie theater floor.
The aftermath of the party is grim. We find out that, after Stassi’s meltdown last episode because her boyfriend Beau wouldn’t go to bed when she wanted to, she came upstairs and cussed him out. But why are we only hearing about this? Why aren’t we seeing this entire fight? We saw Stassi freak out on Beau on her phone and throw it across the room, and then we hear her and Katie report what happened after the fact. Why weren’t the cameras there?
I’m sure the camera people are unionized and can only work so long without getting overtime, but when you see Stassi is about to have a giant screaming meltdown at her birthday, it is not the time to let the cameramen go home. That is the time to get out the checkbook, pay their overtime, and get that reality television gold. What producer saw that Stassi was about to freak out on everyone and thought, “Okay, we got enough. We can miss the rest of this outburst.” No! Fire that person. Fire that person now.
Anyway, in the morning Stassi looks like the bottom of an unwashed ashtray, and she apologizes to Beau. He’s super sweet and says he’s not going anywhere, but he’s scared that she always has these outbursts. They both seem to wonder what these outbursts have in common. Oh, hmmm? Let me think about that for a second. Let me get a rodent on the hamster wheel of my brain and see if its scurrying feet can power my neurons enough to figure out the answer to that. Is it alcohol? Is that when she erupts like an eighth-grade science project volcano? Is it when she’s drunk? Can that explain it? Hmmmm. I wonder.
Stassi has another flare-up at the end of the episode when dealing with her mother. First her mother acts totally inappropriately toward Beau at Kristen’s relaunch of her T-shirt brand. Wait, we have to unpack that first. Yes, Kristen has a T-shirt brand called, like, Sadler & Moe or something stupid she picked so that it would sound good in Instagram ads. It is mostly shirts that say stupid things like “The World Is Your Cloister” and “I’d Rather Commute Than Pollute.” (They don’t actually say those things. I made those up. What they actually say is so dumb that I couldn’t form words after reading them so I didn’t write it down.) But remember, this is a relaunch. She already asked the world once if it wanted this T-shirt line and it said, “Nah.” I have a feeling the answer this time is going to be resoundingly the same.
So, yeah. Stassi’s mom Dayna was totally pinching Beau’s ass at Stassi’s birthday party and that is not cool at all. Forget about the #MeToo of it all, which is bad enough, but no one should be touching the parts of their child’s partner in a sexual way. That is just a universally accepted no-no. Things get even worse at the party, when Dayna tells Stassi not to screw her relationship with Beau up because he’s so much better than her. “He’s up here and you’re, like, down here,” she says, illustrating with her hands how superior he is. Yes, that’s right. She Kelly Bensimon-ed her own daughter.
It gets worse at dinner after the party, when Katie, Stassi, and Kristen, the coven of the West Side, take their mothers out to dinner. Somehow Stassi and Dayna end up in a fight again because Dayna is talking shit about her daughter’s problems in public or something. I don’t know. I don’t really understand how it happened. It was one of those mother-daughter fights that just appear out of nowhere, like one of those little capsules you get wet that suddenly turns into a T-shirt that says “Water You Doing Down Here?” (It’s one of Kristen’s T-shirts.)
Dayna ends up crying in the bathroom and the other two mothers go to comfort her, and Katie says, “I feel like I’m staring at my future,” and she is. She exactly is. The saddest magic trick of all is that we all inevitably transform into our parents. Just look at Stassi and Dayna, DJ James Kennedy and Jacqueline, or Lisa Vanderpump and the swan goblin that she calls a father. All exactly the same.
Speaking of DJ James Kennedy, he has two great meetings this week. The first is with his friend Arthur, the former manager of Pump who is now a life coach. When I heard this, I was not optimistic. However, after James tells Arthur that he’s going to stop drinking and clean up his act, Arthur says what everyone has been thinking but was afraid to say to James’s face: “You’ve said that before and it didn’t happen, so I’ll believe it when I see it.” Then Arthur tells James to think about the kind of person he is when he’s sober and, when he wants to drink, think about that good sober person and don’t do it. Okay, I kind of like this Arthur. Give this guy a show making over the sad lives of reality stars.
His second big meeting is with Lala, who arrives in her man’s Rolls Royce. (I love Lala, but never has she looked more like a grandma cursed by a gypsy to age backwards than when she stepped out of that hulking automobile.) James asks why she wanted to meet and she just lays it all out on the line. “I want to get to the bottom of why you continue to attack people even after you say you’re sorry,” she says, pistol-whipping him in the face with her words.
James whines that it’s the alcohol that makes him do it, but he’s always saying that. Yes, he says he’s given up drinking, but what is he doing otherwise? How else is he trying to fix his life and, like Arthur points out, what indicates that he’s in this for the long run? Lala says she’ll support James no matter what, but he needs to start proving through his actions, rather than his words, that he means business.
Let us take a brief detour through Scheana’s Snapchat story to talk about how she is on a date with a guy named Robby who was a semi-finalist on The Bachelorette. First of all, Scheana is trying to date Adam, the hunky bartender at SUR, who keeps hanging out with her but won’t bang her. He is Robby’s best friend and roommate. But now Scheana is on a date with the best friend of the dude she’s trying to sleep with? Does she realize this is a bad plan? Does she realize that both of these dudes are just using her to get on TV? She’s aware of that, right? They all made some kind of deal with Flat Tummy Tea to get into a triad on national television and sell us shit on Instagram, right? Right?!
That leaves us with Tom Schwartz and Sandoval. Lisa has Nick Alain, her designer from Las Vegas, come to install all of the fixtures into Tom Tom. Even though Nick tells her he could use some extra muscle, she still keeps the two of them out because she wants to surprise them with the reveal. Also, Pandora has taken over the Tom Tom cocktail menu, so what are these two even doing? They’re just like glorified mascots? They’re like the Chuck E. Cheese animatronic band but actual humans?
I don’t know, I’d be pretty pissed if I was them. Sure, Lisa is going to let them make some cocktails for a DailyMailTV party, but that’s it. They should be angry. They should be so very angry that they howl and rage and bump their chests up against each other. They should be so upset they claw at each other’s clothes, rending their garments until they are only half-naked. Then they should grapple, wrestling each other to the ground, their skin slippery with a fine veneer of sweat. Then their rage should turn to passion, as their lips meet and they continue to writhe around, each of their bodies trying to find an advantage on the other until they just settle into their embrace and start catering only to each other’s pleasure. That’s what they should do, right? Right!