Don’t you just hate it when you’re contractually obligated to sit in a semicircle and you are forced to revisit battles that have either already been resolved or will never actually be resolved and you do it all while caked in makeup and wearing some outfit with a plunging neckline? Isn’t it just so irritating to listen to your entire wedding party reiterate all the reasons why they never thought the two of you would make it down the aisle, reasons that include the bride being a psychotic drunk and the groom dealing with periodic bouts of impotence? Might there be anything less palatable than hearing a friend – the one with that dire sweating problem, the one you cheated on your boyfriend with twice – answer questions about why he started a rumor about that time he found you going down on his girlfriend and the only thing that can possibly make you feel better is trying on someone else’s wedding ring since the fake one you sometimes trot out is currently at home in a drawer along with the voodoo dolls you constructed out of used tampons and corn husks that are meant to resemble two people sitting in that semicircle with you?
Let’s face it: there’s nothing worse than a Bravo Reunion. It’s a three-hour trainwreck of overdressed people speaking over one another about fights that have already transpired and lukewarm apologies that mean just about nothing being heaved into the air. It’s people we don’t actually know reiterating nonsense. It’s example after televised example illustrating why there should probably be a law that prohibits certain individuals from ever procreating. These Reunions are too long and too loud and they serve as some form of unsavory justification to once again shove White Kanye and his ridiculous self-aggrandizing (a habit I still pray is an act because otherwise it’s some strain of sociopathic delusion that has yet to be classified and that’s just terrifying) back into our consciousness after we’ve worked hard to purge him from our minds like he’s stinging green bile. Just one look at that guy’s face makes me actually long for the apocalypse because I don’t particularly want to exist in a world that allows such a revolting cretin to have a public forum of any kind. But there is some good news! Lala will not be attending this Reunion! Didn’t you hear? She announced publicly to any website willing to interview her that she was completely done with this show and all the pathetic losers on it and she would only do a reality show in the future if it was populated with way better looking people and she would never so much as deign to stick even one of her talon-like fingernails into a place as beneath her as SUR ever again – not even if she’s fingering Katie with it – and she will be watching the Reunion from some yacht that was chartered for her by a man who really just appreciates her for her charming personality. Wait. I’m sorry – what’s that you say? Lala did show up for the Reunion? She’s inside the place at this very moment? She couldn’t stand to not be where the cameras are? Well, color me surprised – said absolutely f*cking nobody.
This Lala thing right here perfectly encapsulates why these Reunions are nothing but total bullsh*t. It doesn’t matter how many tears will slide down a contoured cheek in the next three hours; nothing that will be said or done will actually mean anything in the long-run. Remember when Stassi got up and seemingly left this show after a Reunion only to appear on the very next season? Remember when Katie swore she’d never be friends with Stassi again and then handed the girl a bridesmaid dress and asked her to make a toast at her wedding? Remember when Jax insisted he’d never given a guy a tug in his entire life and we all knew he was lying his sweaty ass off? So do I, and those are just a few examples of why these Reunions are sort of a colossal waste of both oxygen and time. We already know that nothing legitimate will be revealed, not about the mystery guy Lala is dating or how many copies of his NDA he carries on his person at all times. We know there will never be a moment where Kristen or Katie or Stassi apologize for real for calling Lala a whore on camera and we also know that any apology Lala squeaks out for calling Katie fat means less than nothing because that insult was already broadcast to the world. We know Brittany will announce that her mother is definitely not homophobic, that Jax will shrug his Neanderthal shoulders if Andy Cohen questions him about why his credit cards rarely work, that Schwartz will mumble about how joyous married life is, and that Stassi will tell Ariana to just f*cking give in and start liking her already while Ariana counts backwards from one hundred in her head so her brain doesn’t explode. We know that Kristen is crazy, that Katie is a bad drunk, that Scheana is getting divorced. We know all of it, but what we also know is that these Reunion episodes serve as a way for these people to secure a contract for next season and the way to nab one is to be vicious and confrontational and seeing that nobody on this series is earning legitimate money from their tee-shirt lines or their podcasts or their modeling, it seems that being signed for yet another year of baring their lives to the world is really the only option. What we’re actually watching here is desperation on basic cable – and it starts right now.
We begin with the arrivals. Scheana looks anxious, Kristen looks typically defiant, Katie looks like she just housed about a pound and a half of gummy worms laced with mediocre weed, and Sandoval’s expression is hard to read since he’s buried under more garment bags than a lowly intern during Fashion Week. Look, the man comes prepared. Who knows if Schwartz’s brothers will show up at some point and need ties and ironed shirts so the chatty triplet can make yet another speech? As for Lisa Vanderpump, she saunters onto that set like she f*cking owns it – because she does – and she sits in her chair beside the host and the Reunion is about to start and I think Brittany’s cleavage should really have been given its own seat in the semicircle.
Andy greets the group and we find out almost immediately that Stassi went along on Katie and Schwartz’s honeymoon, James is now dressing like he heard there’s a new Miami Vice sequel in the works and that the producers are dying for a scrawny DJ with no real talent to play the lead, Sandoval finally cut his hair and looks cute again, and Scheana has landed herself a new man. All that is great, but these Reunions are not really about anything new. No, it’s time to slide back in time and revisit the biggest conflicts of the season.
Conflict #1: DID JAX ACTUALLY SEE KRISTEN FONDLE HIS GIRLFRIEND’S CLITORIS?
According to Jax, he opened his bedroom door one evening and saw Kristen’s head pop up from between Brittany’s open legs. Brittany admits a “stupid, drunken kiss” happened but Kristen denies she ever went down on Jax’s girlfriend, though I did notice that she sort of gulped before she swore it never ever happened and that disappointed me because you’d really think at this point Kristen would be a way better liar. That said, Jax is also a confirmed liar, so it’s hard to know what the actual story is here. More than that, it’s hard to pretend to care what the actual story is here so I’m just gonna move on.
Conflict #2: SHOULD AN ENGAGED COUPLE GET A PRE-NUP?
Yes, if they actually have any money. But since none of the Vanderpumpers do, this topic is also not particularly worthy of discussion.
Conflict #3: SHOULD SCHWARTZ AND KATIE MOVE NOW THAT JAX LIVES IN THEIR APARTMENT BUILDING…ON THE VERY SAME FLOOR?
Yes. Then again, should Katie or Schwartz ever need to borrow a cup of Botox or a case of “supplements” that are totally not steroids, it’s nice to know they won’t have to travel too far.
Conflict #4: WHY DOES JAMES EXIST AND WHAT
BARBARIAN PUT HIM ON MY TELEVISION IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Ah, James. At the start of the season, he was working five days a week as the premiere DJ in all of Los Angeles so long as the Los Angeles we’re talking about just experienced a typhoon and James and his turntables were the only things that survived the disaster. Anyhoo, his stellar career was derailed by his alarming lack of self-control, something that is hilariously pointed out by Kristen and now I’m praying for her to also diagnose the guy as having no self-awareness so I can have myself a nice little clip of what irony actually looks like to the naked eye.
Conflict #5: GAY PRIDE IN THE WAKE OF THE ORLANDO SHOOTING
This conflict was real. Fifty people died tragically in Florida and there was a palpable sense of fear that events meant to celebrate the LGBTQ community would be targeted for more violence and hate. Still, Lisa Vanderpump is a tough lady and she would not let anything stop her from climbing atop a float in West Hollywood and showing her support. Several of her employees – Jax, Sandoval, Ariana – came into work in a showing of solidarity. Katie stayed home because she was afraid, something Lisa doesn’t hold against her. But if you think Katie stayed home so she could reflect and become a better person, well, you’d be mistaken. Instead, Katie sat on her couch with Stassi and Kristen that sad day and she saw a picture someone sent of Sandoval atop the SUR bar where he’d gone to work while she stayed home and she decided it was very wise to send him a text informing him that there were probably better ways to honor the victims than by gyrating on a countertop. Recounting this story makes Sandoval’s eyes shimmer with tears and I really wish he’d stop getting emotional because that was Tequila Katie talking and nobody with even one brain cell should listen to anything she and her soaked liver babble out into the world.