All of ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Season 11’s Lies and Delusions

Let’s not pretend Tom’s bleach job wasn’t Jo using her hair powers for evil.
Photo: Bravo/Everett Collection

You have to be at least slightly delusional to agree to be on a reality show. Even more so to be on Vanderpump Rules this season, as the stench of Scandoval hangs over every episode like a fart in a crowded room. Our little group has had quite the season (and quite the explosive finale) full of moments so deranged they make Tom Schwartz’s top-down convertible ride to get a midlife crisis tattoo look practically tame, dare I say even boring, in comparison.

With the three-part reunion approaching faster than Brock Davies to a Speedos sale, let’s reflect on some of the season’s wildest delusions that will almost certainly be mentioned in the famed semi-circle setup.

Much like the coming of the Messiah, the Something About Her opening keeps getting pushed back. Allegedly it’s May 22. I’ll believe it when I have the double-taste-tested sandwiches in my hand.

This is the only instance where I am introduced to a concept, think “that’s not a real thing,” then am shown the concept with my very eyes and am somehow less convinced it’s a real thing. I totally support anyone’s sober journey, and I’m proud of Lala for sticking it out (especially on a Bravo show where everyone basically has an Aperol spritz IV at all times), but I don’t know what I just watched here. Who is this bespectacled man? Why does he have the rarest bottle of water in America? Are references to cum a normal part of a water sommelier tasting experience? Are they a normal part of any sommelier experience?

Two divorcées attempting to woo the same woman sounds like the plot of some weird ’50s movie with Marilyn Monroe, but I struggle to believe that this is a genuine love triangle. The cutaways to Katie and Tori’s date are mostly Katie doing bombastic side-eye for Tori not knowing what era Bob Ross comes from, and we frankly don’t get that many cutaways to her dates with Schwartz at all. It feels like the producers thought this would be a fun way to bring some high-stakes competitive energy to the show, but everyone basically got participation trophies and shrugged it off.

Thomas! You are on a reality-television show! If you’re going to throw accusations around at least choose something where the editors can’t insert footage disproving your statement before you even finish the sentence.

Jo, come close, come talk to me. You did that to Schwartz because you were mad about him leading you on while you’re in the dictionary definition of a situationship. You go on pedal boat dates together. You’ve said “I love you” to each other. He said he would be happy to marry you, for god’s sake. And yet he doesn’t bring you around his friends, and he says things like “I just don’t want a relationship” and “Hey, we’re going to a singles night and I’m going to play tonsil hockey with another girl in front of you wait … Why are you crying?” What’s a hairdresser to do but take out her pent-up emotions on that stupid brunette head of his? You made him Kim Kardashian platinum blonde as glorious revenge for his sins. And it’s fine! I love that for you, girl! Wreck his ass! But let’s not pretend you didn’t use your hair powers for evil here.

Sandoval himself called this idea “delusional,” but the fact that it even popped into that floppy-haired head of his is baffling. What part of this whole thing did you think would make this more civil? Was it the sexy hot-tubbing while your girlfriend was away at her grandmother’s funeral? The fact that you dressed up as the girl you were secretly banging for Halloween? That your girlfriend found out about this monthslong affair by finding a sexy FaceTime recording on your phone? Which part of this entire situation made you think, This’ll all blow over soon enough, and we’ll get to a diplomatic, nay, civil place.

I am not opposed to friends moving into the same house, but in terms of good ideas, this one ranks about as high as putting a wet fork in an electrical socket. Putting aside the logistical fact that neither Schwartz nor Sandoval (who has complained about money issues this entire season) can realistically afford this house, Sandoval also completely tanked their joint business venture. Mere months ago Schwartz would have killed Sandoval with his bare hands if it would delete the barrage of negative Yelp comments plaguing their business, and now he wants to have morning coffee at the kitchen island and sing songs while Sandoval harmonizes with him on the penis flute? No.

We blew past this super quickly during Jo and Lala’s hot-dog date (you know, just your normal, casual hot-dog date) but what? Jo claims she had no idea about Sandoval and Rachel but then later says she thought Ariana and Sandoval were broken up so … what’s the truth here? Why would you think Sandoval and Ariana were broken up unless you spotted Sandoval’s tongue down Rachel’s throat or vice versa? And did it never occur to you to pull “T Money” into a room and be like, “Hey, so weird that Tom and Ariana ended their nine-year relationship without a peep from E! News Snapchat story. They are broken up, right?”

Katie went through quite the face journey when Tom suggested they have a final “one-night stand” where they order junk food and scroll on their phones in the same room. I think there was part of him that thought this would look suave, but the way Katie reacted, it was as if he took off his fedora and started eating it in front of her.

There are approximately 7 billion people on earth who might answer a FaceTime call from Scheana Shay and sympathize as she recounts how hard it was to lose her great friend Tom Sandoval. There is exactly one person upon whom these complaints will fall flat, and her name is Ariana “Tom Sandoval Is Dead to Me” Maddox. I understand that Scheana is trying to test the waters of potentially hanging out with Sandoval again, but the wound is way too fresh right now. Scheana had maybe five “breakthrough conversations” with Tom this season, but Ariana isn’t going to feel bad for Scheana, and she isn’t going to give Scheana her blessing to rekindle a relationship with Sandoval. Everyone is constantly talking to Ariana about the worm with a mustache man who ruined her relationship, and then people have the audacity to be like, “So weird that Ariana is still this angry … I should try talking to her more about her ex and see if that helps.”

I’ve never read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but I’m pretty sure none of those habits are shouting at all your friends about how great you are and how your ex-girlfriend is a two-faced liar who sucks shit. Redemption arcs don’t typically include red-faced, arms-flailing scream sessions.

Tom Schwartz, I am staring you right in your off-brand Warby Parkers for this one. You know how Katie feels about Jo. You know how Katie deals with anger. And yet you still goad Jo into entering the “lion’s den” to see if she and Katie will both apologize and hug. There was no way this interaction was going to end in anything but flaming chaos, especially when the conversation started with a lit match called “I’m sorry if I did anything to hurt you.” If Katie and Jo are going to hash out their issues, they should do it in a neutral, calm space where they can talk openly, not a booze party where a random guy is throwing chairs around like it’s the goddamn WWE.

I thought the fact that Scheana has a new song would mean we’d start sunsetting “Good As Gold,” but like a glorious, screamo-version phoenix rising from the ashes, it lives on.

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