‘Vanderpump Rules’: Why Season 10 is the Best in Years — Scandoval
Sexy. Unique. Resurgence.
Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules has long been a treasured guilty pleasure for reality TV fans, following the self-involved and self-destructive staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s L.A. restaurant SUR. In recent seasons, though, the trashy good times had begun to wane, and we started to wonder if the party was over. But fear not! Season 10, which debuted last month, has roared back with a vengeance, shaking off the doldrums that plagued the past few seasons and recapturing the chaotic drama that made it so great in the first place. And that’s all before we even found out about the jaw-dropping affair allegations that have exploded on social media and shaken the entire cast to the core. (Viewers agree, apparently: Last week’s episode hit the show’s highest ratings in nearly three years.)
So how did Pump Rules manage to turn back the clock and submit its best season in years? And how does the infamous tabloid sensation known as the #Scandoval figure into the rest of the season? Raise your glasses high and join us as we list off the six reasons why Vanderpump Rules is worth watching again, including a look ahead to how Tom Sandoval’s illicit liaison with Raquel and split from Ariana could affect how the rest of Season 10 plays out. (Yes, Bravo’s cameras have been rolling to catch all of the fallout.)
Everybody’s single and ready to mingle
Pump Rules first hooked us by letting us eavesdrop on the very messy romantic entanglements between the hot young SUR staffers, sparking jealousy and infidelity in just about every direction imaginable. (Not to mention an iconic slap.) But by last season, just about every cast member was coupled up, getting married, having kids and (yuck) maturing. Most of them don’t even work at SUR anymore!
Luckily for us, this season kicked off with what we thought was going to be the shocker of the year: Tom Schwartz and Katie’s divorce. That, coupled with Lala’s split from Randall and James and Raquel’s breakup, meant that the previously tied-down cast members were now roaming free on the L.A. singles scene once again. This show is at its best when the cast is out there dating and mating… and even better when that dating and mating takes place within the group. Which brings us to…
Things are getting messier and more combative
This show has always thrived on drama and petty squabbles among the SUR staff. (See, this is where we really miss Kristen, because that girl took “petty” to levels most of us could only dream of.) But over the years, the cast had become friendly and cordial with each other, setting aside their old grudges. Well, not anymore! Tom Schwartz and Katie’s divorce has reignited a long-standing feud between Katie and Scheana, and battle lines are being drawn as Schwartz and Katie figure out how to move on without each other. That includes a much-teased dalliance between Schwartz and Raquel — which, again, would’ve been the most stunning thing to happen on this show in half a decade if the #Scandoval hadn’t blown all of that to smithereens.
Raquel is embracing her role as the new villain
Speaking of Raquel: She always seemed like a sweet innocent bystander (or as Lala called her, a “Bambi-eyed bitch”) back when she was dating James. But now that they’re through and she’s on the prowl for a new boyfriend, we’re starting to see her claws come out… and we kind of like it. Raquel has already announced her interest in Tom Schwartz this season, even asking him to make out (!) in front of the Bravo cameras. Schwartz has fended her off so far, but the trailer heavily implies that he doesn’t hold out forever — and as we now know, she doesn’t stop there. Raquel has flipped her script from victim to vixen, and we have to say we’re here for it.
Scheana and Brock have taken a backseat
With the abrupt departure of stars Stassi, Jax and Kristen — more on them in a sec — Pump Rules hit a new low last season, forced to spend way too much screentime on the screentime-craving Scheana and her unlikable new beau Brock. Scheana is fine in small doses, but she can grate if she’s given too much of the spotlight, and once we learned Brock left two kids back in Australia to be with Scheana, we were out on him for good. Thankfully, their time on the show has been minimal so far on Season 10, with Brock barely making a cameo. We’re also not mad that SUR server Charli has stepped back this season as well. Why waste your time with new blood when the OGs are serving up plenty of reality TV gold?
We don’t even miss Stassi and Jax and Kristen (that much)
We can’t defend the actions that led to these three being dismissed from the show — we could never really defend any of their actions, honestly — but we definitely felt the gaping void left by their absence last season. (See: Brock.) With Season 10 firing on all cylinders right now, though, we’re not even pining for these SUR alums. Although the news that Kristen has returned to film this season has us very excited. Remember: She dated Tom Sandoval and James!
The best is yet to come
Earlier this month, the Bravo world was stunned as the news broke: Tom Sandoval and Ariana were splitting up after a decade of dating… reportedly because Tom Sandoval had been seeing Raquel behind Ariana’s back. (If this holds true, Raquel will have pulled off the rarely seen Tom Two-fer.) Season 10 had finished filming when this news came out, but Bravo rushed out to get fresh footage of the fallout that will presumably be tacked onto the end of this season. Plus, the Season 10 reunion hasn’t taped yet, and that promises to be the most emotionally explosive reunion Bravo has aired in years. (And they air a lot of reunions!) Season 10 has already surpassed our expectations, but with this juicy twist, it could even reach the heights of Pump Rules‘ classic first few seasons. We’ll happily raise a glass to that.
Got your own thoughts on Pump Rules and the scandal that everyone’s buzzing about? Pour yourself a Pumptini and then spill in the comments below.