As you probably know, “Vanderpump Rules” is a “Real Housewives” spinoff about the waiters at an actual LA restaurant called “SUR.” What you may not know, but will be delighted to learn, is that “SUR” is an acronym for “Sexy Unique Restaurant.” Two things we all want to be, and one thing that is a restaurant.
Katie Maloney — a blobfish who traded her beautiful singing voice for vocal fry and a tepid relationship with Tom Schwartz — has assumed the position as leader of the pack of SUR waitresses. And the craziest part is how everyone is acting like this is normal and cool and letting her do what she wants, despite being the by-our-count fifth young SURver to fall prey to just this hubris. Fly too close to the sun and you run the risk of becoming simply too sexy and too unique, and then before you know it you are eating steak that has been on a disturbing journey, disappearing without warning, and eventually returning to haunt the after work drinking/slapping parties of your former coworkers like an awkward, blacked-out ghoul.
As Lisa Vanderpump’s new assistant, and with her own special wedding episode looming on the horizon, Katie — two toddlers stacked on top of each other wearing an ill-fitted skin suit and a french braid — has gone full-on power mad. She drops thousands of dollars she doesn’t appear to actually have on wedding invitations, cuts Scheana down for daring to acknowledge Lala’s existence, and she stops her former friend Ariana in the middle of work to let her know there’s no way she’ll ever be a bridesmaid in her wedding — not that Ariana even asked.
Katie invites the other, worthier girls — Stassi, Kristin, Scheana and Brittany, solid individuals all — to participate in her wedding by forcing them to pretend her Pinterest-inspired balloon tins are cute and fun. Once they’ve all passed this loyalty test, she drops the bombshell: Ariana will not be getting a hot-glued tin of her own, because they are not friends anymore.
“Ah yes, makes sense,” nods Brittany, whom we can presume has never been in a one-on-one situation with Katie ever in her life. Poor single Stassi, whose friends all have boyfriends, can’t really feel superior to Katie anymore — so she’s forced to confide in Brittany, who also has a boyfriend (albeit one who pretends on national TV that he saw Brittany hooking up with a woman): Up is down, and down is up, and even Kristin is in what appears to be a happy and healthy relationship.
Meanwhile across town, Katie’s fiancé Tom Schwartz has cooked up the perfect metaphor for their union — a delicious steak he wiped his ass with before cooking. He serves this revenge dish hot to Jax and Tom Sandoval, who eat the whole thing before learning of their folly. They are grossed out, but ultimately don’t care much, because the secret of this show is that these three friends who met on Craigslist and narc on each other all the time and rub each others food in their taint are pretty much the only pure thing going on. They laugh off the prank, if that’s what we’re calling it, I presume because they know how this marriage is going to turn out — and also because living with that “Bubba” portrait in your home is punishment enough.
Now we turn to James — a roach in a douchey t-shirt and a pair of Beats by Dre, dancing in a puddle of tequila and urine — who has just been fired from SUR and will finally have to come to terms with how empty he is inside. Kidding! Lisa has a talk with him to let him know he’s already had three hundred strikes against him but hopefully there won’t be a next time, but if there is, and there will be, if he could possibly make sure it is on camera.
James, who lives in someone else’s studio apartment and has to break between DJ sets to inform guests at the dog party to pick up their animals’ excrement and still thinks he’s better than everyone, serves an important purpose for these beautiful idiots of SUR and Pump — he makes them feel better about their own sexy, unique lives.
And therein lies the rub for Lala, who is too pretty, too opinionated, and too well accessorized for this crew to really look down on. When she tries to apologize to Katie for calling Katie fat, Katie ignores her and tells her she can’t be friends with a whore like Lala who takes money from men. “Call it like I see it,” she says, ignoring the chinks in her own glass house. How else could Lala afford the Chanel or the Range Rover, she asks — not because she’s jealous, of course, but just because she’s concerned, or whatever. A very good friend.
Lala’s simple and honest explanation, which also beggars belief, is that her parents bankroll her life. For Katie, who has neither a rich boyfriend nor rich parents, much less a rich inner life, this is the last straw. Lala must die… And it looks like Scheana’s going down with her.
“Vanderpump Rules” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.