On a recent episode of Vanderpump Rules, Randall competed in a pickleball match against Tom Schwartz. It was not the first pickleball match of the season; Randall has a pickleball court and there have been several. The cast came and sat around and watched, sort of. Lala expressed resigned confusion at the fact that this was happening at all. A significant chunk of the episode was dedicated to the match and the bets placed around it. Randall won, and for his efforts he got a large trophy he had purchased for himself in advance, plus — as the winner of the much-talked-about bet — a drink named after him on the Tom Tom menu. But, actually, he did not get the second thing. Tom Schwartz admits in a confessional clip immediately following the tournament that of course they would not be altering the Tom Tom menu to feature a drink named after Randall.
What are we doing here.
Vanderpump Rules should have ended after its seventh season; someone very wise and beautiful called this long ago. At that point the main cast was famous. They were home owners. The enjoyable quality of their youthful dalliances had become less enjoyable as they became less youthful. James Kennedy seemed like he might accidentally die, which I am saying in a flippant way even though it was in fact not funny. The Vanderpump Rules we once loved was already gone.
Now, five thousand years later, we are still having Vanderpump Rules on our TVs. Many members of the main cast have been fired for racist acts, which places most of the show’s focus on the Toms. After watching their faux involvement in the opening of Tom Tom, we are now watching the Toms attempt to open their own bar called “Schwartz and Sandy’s,” which is a name no one likes, without the help of Lisa Vanderpump, who now seldom appears. It seems like the enterprise is going to legitimately ruin Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney’s financial future and, since Schwartz supports his family, the financial future of his family. They are, it seems almost guaranteed, going to lose their home over this bar. Tom Sandoval is investing with money from his parents and seems fine, save for the fact that he has become the show’s villain and is a raging asshole, with most of his ire directed at Katie, who has only her limp noodle of a husband to defend her, which he does not do.
Lala and Scheana have babies. The father of Scheana’s child has a few other children who he has not seen in many years, as well as a domestic violence charge against their mother. Lala and Randall broke up after filming the season because Randall cheated on her.
James Kennedy is now Cali sober, thank god, but is still struggling with anger issues. He claims therapy did not help him, so now he is trying things like ice baths. His main plotline during the season has revolved around proposing to Raquel, and they, too, have since broken up.
I have not mentioned Ariana because there is no reason to.
A few seasons ago, one could form a reasonable critique about why Vanderpump Rules was, at that point, bad, and needed to, at that point, end. Now all one can do is sit slack-jawed in awe at the fact that the show continues to endure. It is an incredible feat. The cameras remain on. The pool parties remain attended. The cast talks and moves around on-screen. Tom Sandoval created a cocktail that featured a caprese skewer that you dunk into the cocktail before drinking it.
I have to imagine this is the final season. I have to. To go about my days, I have to. But in my heart I know it will outlive us. The show will film as we’re laid to rest. The cast will discuss their latest sad venture as the world turns to ash. The cosmos will whisper, these are the best days of our lives.
You almost have to admire it.