Somewhere, Hidden In The Back Alley Of SUR, There's Still Hope For 'VPR'

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Somewhere, Hidden In The Back Alley Of SUR, There's Still Hope For 'VPR'

It’s been nearly three months since the ninth season of Vanderpump Rules premiered, and I’m sad to admit that things are not going well. The first episode was fantastic and gave me huge hope that we were about to face a Pumpaissance of sorts, but now, as the show trundles toward its reunion (was there even a mid-season trailer?) it seems as though this was not the triumphant return to form I had prayed for.

Ariana Madix and Lala Kent’s feud? Settled unremarkably. James Kennedy and Max Todd’s salad brawl? Resolved off screen! Sheeshu’s famous enchiladas? Rejected by Charli Burnett! What other indignities must we suffer?

I place much of the blame on Bravo, who I suspect ordered more episodes than the show could realistically fill with good content. There have been strong moments — Brock Davies facing his past, James struggling with sobriety, and even Raquel Leviss's nose journey – but too much of the good stuff is getting lost amongst endless pickle ball scenes and tired comic bits. This is most evident with the season’s central storyline: the power struggle for the Toms’ latest venture.

At its core, the mounting tension between work and marriage for Schwartz is a relatable and fascinating dilemma, but dragged out over weeks, it loses its luster. And let’s not even talk about the show’s genuinely insulting attempt at diversity, which as far as we can tell involves putting Richardson Chery front and center on the title card and nowhere else.

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