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.
As Jax Likes It, a Love Poem
All the world's a bar
And all the men and women merely SURvers
They have their fights and their affairs
And one Jax in his time ruins many lives
His lies being seven stages. At first the innocent,
Denying and crying in his girlfriend's arms;
And then the trapped deceiver, with Faith's recording
And late menstrual cycle, lying like Kristen
Unwilling to change. And then the lover,
Dreaming of Jason, with a woeful plea
Made to his Reiki master's heart. Then a fiancé
Full of faux oaths, playing the dutiful part
Jealous of Adam, sudden and quick in accusing
Seeking the perfect excuse
Even in Brittany's hometown. And potentially Tampa
In fair WeHo with ex-lovers a-strewn
With eyes puffy and chunky cardigans galore,
Full of mistakes but never regrets
And so he plays his part. The seventh season shifts
Into the dark and boozy future,
With diamond on finger and DIFF Eyewear on spon,
His latest nose, well-shaped, barely different from the last
For his age grows, and his big manly body nearly drowns
Turning again toward childish Schwartz, Sandoval
And jealous in his sound. Last stage of all,
That ends this strange eventful watch
Is second childishness beaten only by Shep
Sans trust, sans class, sans sobriety, sans morality
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!