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In preparation for the seventh season of Vanderpump Rules, premiering December 3, Maddie and Megan are joined by reality TV scholars Ryan Houlihan and Alex Bedder to analyze the show loved by Rihanna and Roxane Gay alike.

What is it about Lisa Vanderpump and her SUR staff that is so much more engaging, so much more real than your average reality show? As Ryan puts it:

I always explain it like, The Hills was young people going to LA and being like, “Anything can happen. Obama’s about to be president, I can feel the change, I’m gonna get a magazine job—like, I am gonna be so famous.” It’s basically The Devil Wears Prada. Vanderpump Rules is like, “Ok so I’m 29 and it hasn’t happened so this is gonna be fine, I’ve settled for cocaine and attention.” And that is an energy I can live with for decades. Hope doesn’t last, but despair does.

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In the Dirtiest Dirt of the week, Rita Ora might be dating Eyal Booker from the DirtCast-endorsed Love Island, Lena Dunham is a child, and why you should always ask yourself before doing drugs with someone: “Are they going to trick me into getting married/doing a sex tape?”

DirtCast has a live show coming up on January 13 at the Bell House in Brooklyn! Buy tickets, see Maddie wear a sparkly jumpsuit, watch Megan make eye contact with only her sister.

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DirtCast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, NPR One and iHeart Media.

This episode was produced by Rachel Withers. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Jamie Collazo.