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The Vanderpump Rules Relationship Is a Special Kind of Hell

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Screenshot via

This season of Vanderpump Rules is centered around a wedding between two people who clearly despise each other—not to be confused with season 3 of Pump Rules, which was centered around a wedding between a woman and a tree stump (who was recently served with divorce papers).


In their bizarre quest to marry each other, Katie Maloney, a petulant cotton mouth with a wholly undeserved god complex, is pitted against her fiancee Tom Schwartz, a passive-aggressive doormat who for some reason keeps getting modeling jobs. They sure do not make being in a relationship look fun! In this week’s episode, we discover that the theme of Katie’s wedding—and this is Katie’s wedding, am I right, ladies?—is “woodsy elegance,” which means, as far as I can tell, that it is a wedding (elegance) in the woods (woodsy).

The show goes to great pains to reinforce the well-established roles that Katie and Tom are playing here: Katie, more focused on her wedding than the relationship that will ostensibly survive it, has a “vision” and it involves spending (or “spending,” since obviously the show is footing at least some of this bill) irresponsibly and steamrolling her partner into agreeing with everything she says. Schwartz is a man with cold feet who is emasculated at every turn—forced to do a creepy underwear modeling job to pay for the wedding, for example, or told his “dick doesn’t work” during an argument. Many euphemistic references are made to Katie’s “dark side,” i.e. her alcoholic outbursts.


No one else in the cast appears capable of making a good case for the merits of heterosexual romance, including lovebirds Tom and Ariana, whose smug date I was unable to take seriously due to the deliberate white streaks in Tom’s weird black bob.

A thirty-something waitress named Ellie documents her sleepover with DJ James Kennedy to prove that he cheated on his girlfriend with her, a charge he denies with typical restraint (“Girls will bring me down and try to get a piece of the fucking cake, but there’s only so much cake to go around”); Ellie tells her friends that mid-sexual intercourse, James informed her: “Just so you know, this doesn’t mean anything to me!” Meanwhile, Lala continues to field accusations that she is dating a married man, something Scheana says “just proves her character that much more that she is a dishonest person who can’t be trusted” (Scheana famously slept with Eddie Cibrian while he was married to Brandi Glanville). Kristen, who at another point in the episode is shown in flashbacks physically assaulting multiple ex-boyfriends, also finds this appalling: “She is straight up motherfucking skank trash.”

“I am in a committed relationship, and yes he likes to reward me because I give good dome” is Lala’s defense.

And on last night’s incredibly brutal episode of Watch What Happens Live!, Andy Cohen showed Katie and Tom, who are now married, a poll that asks “Do you think Katie & Tom will last?” Only 17% of respondents answered “Yes.”

Screenshot via
Screenshot via

Later, Johnny from Chicago calls in to the show to ask: “Tom, when Katie goes to the dark side, is she more Darth Vader, Darth Maul, or Kylo Ren?”


“Ohmigod, I hope you get this right,” Katie tells Tom, a bright smile plastered on her face.

I love love!

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.

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Katie is the worst for being an alcoholic rage monster in complete denial who is willing to emotionally abuse her boyfriend to ignore the problem. DJ James Kennedy is the worst because he is James Kennedy (although these lines about women wanting water and cake he can’t provide them makes me concerned he doesn’t understand food). Schena (I refuse to learn how she spells her name) is the worst for being the world’s biggest hypocrite re: adultery. Tom Sandoval is the worst for that intentional hair choice. Stassi is the worst for letting herself get relegated to the best friend position this season so we have to focus on Katie. Kristen is the worst for not understanding simple phrases like “dodge a bullet” in her native language. Jax is the worst because he whines like a 12 year old. Tom Schwartz is the worst for whatever that thing with the peach was.