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Did Bravo actually fix Vanderpump Rules?

After languishing for two seasons in cast firings and controversies, Vanderpump Rules looks like its old self again

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Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval
Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval
Photo: Nicole Weingart

There was a time when Vanderpump Rules was arguably the world’s best reality show. Real housewife of Beverly Hills Lisa Vanderpump’s series about a group of 20-somethings and one horrible 30-something working at one of her lavish, overpriced eateries was appointment television from 2013 through 2018.

During that time, the show was the domain of Mr. Jax Taylor. The Shakespeare of reality TV, Taylor could turn any outing, no matter how insignificant, mundane, or well-intentioned, into high drama. Seemingly bringing the 90s back all by himself, Taylor flipped off his boss like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin; admitted to sexual relations like former President Bill Clinton; and faced arrest for stealing a pair of high-priced sunglasses like a rebellious, bucket-hat-wearing teen outside of a Sunglass Hut in 1999. His boundless foolishness and endless stream of lies (he claimed he was once Channing Tatum’s roommate and that his family owned 47% of CVS) made for some of the best rubbernecking of the ‘10s.

But as is often the case, the cast of Vanderpump wasn’t acting, and their awful behavior spilled into real life. Bravo head Andy Cohen booted bedrock cast members Kristen Doute and Stassi Schroeder from the show after they admitted to filing a racist police report against former co-star Faith Stowers over a crime she did not commit. Even new cast members weren’t immune to these firings. In 2020, after roughly a season on the show, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni were fired from the show after, you guessed it, racist tweets resurfaced.

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Meanwhile, Jax and his wife, Brittany Cartwright, were fired for undisclosed reasons. Though the details of their dismissal were not made public, it probably had something to do with, you guessed it, Jax’s racist tweets resurfacing. Taylor has since found himself in league with Randall Emmett, the besieged Hollywood huckster known for “geezer teasers” starring John Malkovich and ex-husband of current cast member Lala Kent.

The show limped for four years, denying fans the drama that was all over the gossip magazines but not on Bravo. Viewers weren’t privy to the divorce of the sexually inactive couple of Tom Schwartz and Katie Maloney, which many had been eagerly anticipating since Tom first dumped a bottle of water on Katie’s head in season one. Vanderpump Rules’ cast was perhaps so embroiled in controversy outside the show they no longer felt the need to create some on the show.

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However, this new first look has some of that old Vanderpump fire. Sans Jax, Kristen, and Stassi, the remaining crew is willing to put their silly dreams on the line for our viewing pleasure. And a lot of the trailer finally gets to some of the comeuppances we’ve been waiting for, including Katie telling Tom the following: “I think you’re pathetic. I think you’re a drunk. I think you’re a loser.” Plus, longtime MVP Scheana Shay gets married, Lisa finally opens a restaurant in Paris, and Lala learns about some of the horrible things her ex-husband has been accused of.

Your First Look at Vanderpump Rules Season 10! | Bravo

This first look feels like a long time coming, bringing some much-needed optimism to the harrowing world of Vanderpump. Will this season be a return to form for the show, or have Bravo’s crack team of editors simply tricked us with a fantastic teaser? In the immortal words of Lisa Vanderpump, the truth always comes out.

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Vanderpump Rules premieres on Bravo on February 8.