Vanderpump Rules has managed to become one of the most beloved—or reviled, depending where on the reality television spectrum you fall—shows in recent history. Once a mere spin-off of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, today VPR stands on its own merits, those merits being tequila shots, screaming in alleyways, love triangles, Taco Bell, fluid friendships, and a very flexible definition of feminism. Now the cast is back for season 8, and we’ll be doing weekly Vanderpump Rules recaps.
Our recaps will give you the need-to-know details and rehash relevant backstories so you’ll leave with an intimate knowledge of our SURvers’ neverending saga. Oh, and there will be GIFs. See You Next Tuesday!
Vanderpump Rules recap, season 8, episode 14: ‘Shame Hangover’
Hey all you cool cats and kittens! Wrong show, but let’s dive in.
I’m not sure if there’s ever been a more aptly named episode of VPR. We’ve all experienced a shame hangover, that terrible, haunting feeling after a night of too many drinks and way too much conversation. That said, Tom Schwartz’s shame hangover should dwarf them all. On last week’s episode, we saw him sling insults with ease at his wife, announcing in front of all their friends that he doesn’t have sex with her, and fake-gagging at the thought of her. Now, this week, he’s… “apologizing.” The Tom Schwartz School of Apologies, as we’ve learned over the years, is not exactly where you go to get a degree in anything other than excuses.
Once again, as he is wont to do, Schwartz baby-talks his wife out of being mad at him while also shifting blame onto her; her reaction is what caused his reaction… even though her reaction (not finding a prank involving fake cops arresting a friend funny) had nothing to do with him. (And side note, is also a reasonable reaction! No one talks about that!)
This season might have cured VPR fans of our crush on Schwartz. He’s handsome, affable, and laughs at himself; he also lacks the machismo that spilleth over the cups of all the other men on VPR. But behind that veil of self-deprecating humor and boyish charm is a vicious attitude that his wife is most often the victim of. During his “apology,” when Katie is explaining why she felt the way she did, he even chides her not to be a “social justice warrior.” It’s gross. After uttering a few more “bubbas” and “bubba, I’m sorries,” it’s over and the couple is fine. I can’t and won’t understand it, and when describing his afternoon of skateboarding, Schwartz unwittingly summarizes his overall behavior.
What’s also curing the world of its Schwartz crush is Beau. Schwartz should enroll in the Beau School of Love and Respect. The “big issue” of this episode (which actually feels like it doesn’t really have an A plot and is just a series of mild issues): Stassi is getting frustrated with the fact that Beau hasn’t proposed. Of course, Beau has the ring and is preparing to propose, and is struggling with not telling his increasingly upset girlfriend. It’s not really that dramatic of a problem; he’s mere days away from proposing, and Stassi isn’t becoming hysterical or anything, and it’s clear that they both love each other very much. It’s so refreshing to see Beau willingly, happily talk about how much he loves Stassi; there’s no ego in it. These two are going to be absolutely fine, even if they make for very boring television. (And God bless them because that’s all anyone can hope for in the VPR universe.)
I’m holding out hope that Beau will have a positive effect on the rest of the men and they, too, will see that it’s not uncool to love and respect your significant other. (Sorry, also add Sandoval to the list of VPR men who treat their partners right. Sandoval’s devotion to Ariana cannot and will not go unacknowledged.)
There are two other points of friction that drive this episode’s plot: Dayna realizes she’s interested in Max’s friend, Brett (New Brett, not Old Brett, who is Danica’s ex). Scheana, who formerly hooked up with Dayna’s ex Max, has sort of had her eye set on Brett, but after last week’s disastrous YouTube video they filmed together (wherein he called her middle-aged multiple times), it’s clear that’s a dead end. That doesn’t mean that Scheana won’t be put off by Dayna and Brett’s fling, and she’ll couch it in all sorts of “I don’t cares” and “I just think it’s weird thats” without admitted that once again, she feels pushed aside by a dude that she, more or less, threw herself at.
At Dayna’s birthday party, it becomes clear that Scheana is put off by this news, but when she’s confronted about it by Lala, it also becomes clear that none of this is about Brett or boys or really, anything that has to do with VPR antics. She’s going through fertility treatments, damnit, and it’s making her feel weird because… well, she’s injecting herself with hormones, and also thinking about her future a lot. Relatable Scheana doesn’t rear her had often, but hoo boy, when she does, it’s a doozy.
Brett, it seems, is swiftly becoming the new “why do women like him?” character of VPR. Yes, I see the Prince Eric resemblance, and yes, his abs are great, but he is such a try-hard. It also feels like he’s acting, which, sure, I know everyone is sort of acting here, but with Brett, it seems like being on VPR is like an experimental soap opera that he’s treating as an acting class.
He has created a character that flirts with Lisa Vanderpump and says things like “bros before hoes.” He rehearses his looks and sound bites—a lip bite here, a cake-coated makeout session there. No, no, make sure your body is open to the camera when you go in for a kiss! On a show full of manufactured moments, his are the most obvious. While everyone else is performing (to a degree) for reality TV, it feels like Brett is acting for the Broadway stage; his gestures are big and bold enough that even the balcony seats can see. It’s too much.
The last driving force of this relatively slow-going episode (which, admittedly, does set us up for what has to be some coming chaos) is another chapter of the Kristen-Katie-Stassi saga. Kristen finds out that her friends will be going to Vegas soon so that Katie and Schwartz can finally, actually get married… and she’s not invited. In yet another scene where tears streak down Kristen’s face, she pleads her case with Katie, to no avail. I think I have such a hard time with this storyline because there’s no one to side with; it’s just really sad and I know that there’s no happy resolution in sight. This one isn’t going to end nicely for us.
A fun bonus this week is Charli, who did not start off this season strong, what with her confessions about pasta and avocados. But she’s fast becoming the queen of one-liners, making the producers and film crew laugh out loud when she tells them she named her breasts Tia and Tamara and sings the Sister, Sister theme. She quips about the Cheesecake Factory, which has to be a joke because if she doesn’t eat pasta, she assuredly has never even seen a cheesecake.
When a food fight breaks out at Dayna’s birthday party, her dramatic exit is gold.
Charli is the surprise of the season and a shining beacon of hope for the future of VPR. Charli is what VPR needs: Gorgeous young people who take almost nothing seriously, and the things they do are so beyond the comprehension of us normals that we could listen to them talk—or preferably, fight—about them for literal years.
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