As a TV critic, I have to watch a lot of TV, some of which I love, some of which I don't, but all of which is still, at the end of the day, work. That is, except for the shows on one special li'l network: Bravo.
There's a lot of depth lurking beneath the glossy surface of Bravo shows, and a lot of darkness too. But when I'm watching, I don't have to waste my energy trying to piece together Easter eggs or untangle the auteur's intention in a particular scene, because no one ever knows what the f--- they're doing on these shows. Some of the chaos is planned, sure, but because all the reality stars are simply reacting in the moment to events as they unfold, I also get the refreshing pleasure of doing the same. It's an adrenaline rush, living moment-to-moment like this, and no show is better at enveloping my complete and utter attention in this way than Vanderpump Rules.
In the world of Vanderpump, the only thing that matters is what's happening right now,and all else is basically forgiven. The show's polarizing star Jax Taylor is basically the human embodiment of this. One minute, Jax is cheating on Brittany with Faith while an old lady sleeps soundly nearby. The next, he's sliding a big honking engagement ring onto Brittany's finger! In Vanderpump Rules, the past doesn't matter (except when it can be dredged up as ammunition for a present-day fight, of course).
These contradictory, almost nonsensical role changes that Jax undergoes throughout every season -- sometimes he's actual scum and sometimes he's comic relief -- are fascinating to watch, and more complex than certain TV snobs would ever give a reality show credit for. Reality shows are often (and unfairly) looked down upon, and I don't want to feed into that stale narrative by feeling I have to defend Vanderpump Rules' prominent placing on TV Guide's list of the 100 Best Shows Right Now here. So I'll spare you my day-long spiel, instead choosing to express my undying love for Vanderpump and Jax's enraging but always entertaining journey through poetry, because let's be real -- Vanderpump Rules is basically modern-day Shakespeare.
Bless you, SURvers, for your service.
Vanderpump Rules will return for Season 6 on Bravo later this year. And you can check out our full ranking of the 100 Best Shows Right Now below!