- Vanderpump Rules -You're Remembering Tom Schwartz All Wrong
Tom Schwartz is a secret villain on Vanderpump Rules and I know that this is conversation a lot of you might not be ready to have, but we need to do it. First things first, Jax Taylor is obviously a demon from hell, we know this. But he lives his asshole-ness out loud and we don't need to ~dive deep into how awful he is because, I mean, we've all watched Vanderpump Rules.
Schwartz, on the other hand, has never really been called out for his behavior. Continuously calling Tom the "nice guy" is revisionist history, and I am here to tell you why.
Let me start by explaining what I call, "The Hoppy Principle."
I named this concept after the one and only Jason Hoppy, Bethenny Frankel's ex husband. And it will probably hit home for a lot of you. So, "a Hoppy" is a fundamental synthesis of a person who projects a "chill," sometimes "dopey" persona, which in turn allows them to exert control in a relationship, because they're seen as calm, as opposed to manipulative.
A Hoppy is a standard nice person who's non-confrontational; they can hold a conversation with anyone and they're usually dating or married to a partner who is a little more outspoken, decisive, and independent.
The person who dates a Hoppy usually comes across as abrasive when compared to their Hoppy partner, who, when viewed by the untrained eye, seems to go with the flow.
If resentment builds in this Hoppy relationship, it's because the non-Hoppies are usually being told to "relax." The Hoppies rarely defend their partners when they become confrontational or speak an unwanted truth in a group setting, because the Hoppy is afraid of being seen as the bad guy. But really, behind the scenes, Hoppies are constantly gaslighting their partners, making their partners feel wrong for having what might be considered an unpopular opinion, regardless of its veracity.
Eventually, the Hoppy and the non-Hoppy collide in a drunken argument. The Hoppy will typically pull the "let's not cause a scene" card when things get heated, though, because they care more about what other people think than what their partner is feeling.
In Season 2, when the Vanderpump crew is in Mexico for Stassi's birthday extravaganza, Schwartz stands up for Scheana — the known enemy to Stassi, Kristen, and Katie — which is a very Hoppy move. Katie, dubbed "Tequila Katie" when she gets drunk, gets more and more upset at the fact that Tom is not listening to her, but Tom just keeps dismissing her and calling her a bitch and... then he dumps a beer on her head.
Yes, we all hated that hair color, but damn dude. Don't dump a beer on your girl. In the moment I remember Katie was so unlikable that I kind of thought, "well, it was warranted," and wow I was a fucking idiot. No one should get drinks dumped on them by their boyfriend because they are upset. Not fucking cool. But Tom then immediately looks at her like a puppy who peed on the rug, which manipulates the situation. He is not a Jax who just continues to rage and double down; instead he sulks to win over the people around him (going so far as to get Katie's closest friends on his side) and acts like what he's done is so out of character. A nice person wouldn't do what he did; it was a blip on an otherwise clean record, is what he wants you to believe.
Next up on Tom's Hoppiness, we have one of his many cheating scandals that seem to be consistently overlooked. He has cheated on Katie many a time and each time he just says "Bubba, I'm sorry" and suddenly he's a good guy again.
In Season 3 there was a rumor going around that Katie "motorboated a D," which, still unclear what that actually means, and Jax was the one spreading it. Jax is/was one of Tom's closest friends, but he constantly attacked Katie and wanted them to break up, and... Tom said and did nothing about it. He didn't refute anything Jax said and he just let Katie take Jax's constant attacks.
When Tom and Katie meet in the SUR back alley and he tells her that he blacked out and made out with some girl... everyone just moves on and says, "Oh, Schwartzy." Yes, of course, it's Katie's choice as to who or what she wants to forgive or not, but as a fan, you know, on the outside, I'm just sort of over the Schwartzy apologists.
Because, it's the constantly not having your partner's back and throwing her under the bus for me.
This all came to a head last season when Randall and Jax "play a prank" on Sandoval involving the police, and Katie, being the woman of the world that she is, realizes this is not OK nor appropriate, which she was absolutely right about. There are multiple cop cars with lights flashing and everyone is confused (except Jax and Randall who are both fucking clowns) because it's incredibly realistic.
Katie laughs it off at first then becomes angry and, rightfully so, she says in her confessional, "Maybe I'm the only one that associates this with something terrible. Turn on the news." And I 100% get that. It's not funny. It's not fun to watch your friend get pretend-handcuffed in this climate, especially not at the hands of Jax fucking Taylor. Thankfully Ariana, Stassi, and Beau see where she is coming from. But you know who doesn't?
Schwartz takes this opportunity to let all of his anger out. He tells Katie to shut up repeatedly, telling her that her opinions don't matter and then says, "I've never been more turned off in my life." He proceeds to make gagging noises and says, "This why I don't have sex with her." THIS IS HER HUSBAND SAYING THIS. It's disgusting. Everyone is embarrassed for her and Tom Sandoval keeps trying to stop Schwartz's tirade. It was in that moment a light bulb went off in my head: Tom can be a villain, just like the rest of them.
One of the worst parts is, I was one of those people who hated Katie. I felt she was so unlikable, but really, one of the reasons she was painted in such a negative light was because she was the counterpart to someone who pretended to be a good guy. Sir, you can't play smart and stupid at the same time.
You can't be a great partner, and at the same time be cheating on and gaslighting your girlfriend. Yes, Katie's frustrations would come out and she would lash out in the meanest of ways, but it had to be coming from such a resentful, sad place. She wanted Tom to be the man he was to his friends, to her. And he consistently never showed up for her.
The obvious thing of it all is: men can be all the things women can't be, and still be looked at as adorable and lovable. Tom is one of the most unmotivated people of all time; the only reason he's successful at TomTom is because he fell into fame due to the fact his friends are hot monsters who gave us consistently juicy television for seven seasons (I refuse to acknowledge their final season). Tom didn't want to work, he didn't want to propose or grow up, and yet, he'd make Katie look like this overbearing woman that she just, like, wasn't.
Tom is a more subdued Jason Hoppy at this stage, but if Katie sold a business for 40 million dollars, we might see a different side to Tom really quickly.
If you recall, when we met Jason, he was the steady-going businessman with a full head of hair, boyish charm, and he seemed to really love how opposite he was from Bethenny. We championed them, we loved them. Bethenny was finally with a good guy who loved her "crazy."
During their spinoffs, we see Jason as this figure in her life that grounds her to reality... and then it shifts. Over time, we see her unravel and become resentful that she's always deemed "the crazy one" who needs to relax, and you can see he kinda revels in it.
Once she sold her business, things really took a turn. He felt he owned part of it, that was somewhat his. And it wasn't. They ended up divorcing and boy... those court documents do not paint Mr. Hoppy in a good light. He would torture her slowly, according to Bethenny, leaving notes around the house saying she would never seen Brynn again, just, slowly wear her down.
I'm not saying Tom is this extreme but then again, Katie isn't on the cover of Forbes. If there is a TomTom spinoff happening, just beware that the spinoff is where a Hoppy thrives.