It was a “Vanderpump Rules” off-season rife with uncertainity—dubious new cast members were slotted into the ensemble, marriage and homeownership seemed poised to sap the crew of their entertainment value. But from the instability emerged a hero. Standing in the dust of her coupled costars, Scheana Shay—singer, waitress, podcast host—was there to pick up the pieces.
Thirstier than Jax in Vegas, Scheana desperately flirted her way through the one-hour premiere, a soothing reassurance that no matter how many mortgage payments the crew makes, the spark of crazy will flicker on.
The episode started strong, with Scheana very subtly informing a “very good-looking” Brett, that she’s divorced, but “it’s not a big deal, it doesn’t define me.”
Raquel started a new gig at SUR. “I feel like my pageant training has really prepared me,” she assured Lisa in her dulcet human voice.
Then came the deeply weird revelation that Brett had recently made his way to Scheana’s house after a night out for a game of Scattergories—and left with the knowledge that she’s a “bad kisser.” (That’s not how you play Scattergories.) Then came the other revelation that Scheana bought Max an Apple Watch. (Calm, cool, collected, as ever.)
Jax planned something called a pre-bachelor party. Stassi asked to be taxidermied. Everyone yelled at Kristen.
Katie overheard the extremely indistinguishable new guys comparing notes on Scheana (she’s “boy crazy,” they determined), who proceeded to prove just about all their points by darting across the room to interject a totally unassuming, “What are you guys talking about?”
“Scheana and I have not hooked since the time that we stopped hooking up,” Max told someone named Dayna who was mean to Peter. (Not a good first showing.)
“Kristin is our friend. She cries often,” sober Lala lectured Carter. As the girls fought hysterically, Tom Sandoval calmly plucked vodka and Miller Lites from the refrigerator, Super Soaker in hand. Tom Schwartz wore his muumuu. Lisa and Lala spent time with dogs.
I always said “Vanderpump Rules” managed, somehow, to get better every season. That ended last year. But even for all the shots of Jax mowing his lawn, Stassi generally enjoying life, and Schwartz holding a hammer, the premiere was vintage “Vanderpump.”
That, of course, was thanks in large part to Scheana. But the rest of the cast pulled their weight too. (Jury is still out on the three newcomers.) More importantly, it provided hope that in the dead of winter, Tuesday nights will still be aglow with the warmth of reality television’s greatest treasure.