There is a little twinge of an emotion that exists somewhere way in the back of the chest called “Reunion Jitters,” and though I barely passed any Science class I ever took, I know that this emotion is real. I personally felt those Reunion Jitters take hold when I attended my high school reunion a couple of years ago and I vividly remember that that a clear side effect of RJ (That’s right: I’m gonna abbreviate my made-up emotion, patent the phrase itself, and then contact Merck to see if they can develop a pill that quells the ailment, one whose only side effect is drastic weight loss and shinier hair) was that my hand shook when I applied my mascara. I’m not sure what it was that I was so nervous about, but it was probably an unbalanced combination of having not seen most of those people in years and wondering if certain guys were going to show up and whether or not it would be weird that I wasn’t married. (Who cares? said a friend of mine who couldn’t go to the reunion because he lives across the country. You’re the only one who has published a book.) Still, there was something really fucking weird about pulling up to the house of a girl who is now a woman and walking up to a front door that her mom wouldn’t be answering.
The reunion itself turned out to be a whirlwind of drinking and conversations that occurred in brief bursts, but it was really fun and there was actually no need for the RJs, but please don’t tell Merck that – I’d like to retire soon. Everybody got along and we all laughed a lot, and I guess that it’s pretty clear that the tone of a room is set by those who inhabit it – which is why the lucky Sur bartenders and servers should gulp down a handful of my newly-minted medication right here and now because shoving them into a room with one another with the express purpose to rehash all of their misdeeds should be causing them to collectively tremble – and the ones who aren’texperiencing full-body tremors clearly either lack self-awareness or they were born without a conscience.
Maybe there’s a pill for that too.
Now, there’s precious little I enjoy more than the arrivals of the participants to a Bravo Reunion show. They walk onto the set sans makeup and the most idiotic ones in the bunch question aloud whether or not anybody will be “gunning” for them and they have the audacity to wonder what it could possibly be that they might have done that could cause anger – after lying, cheating, manipulating, and instigating all season long while being recorded by cameras.
“I’m sure they’ll find something to yell at me about,” says Jax, the human equivalent of the grimy, blackened snow currently covering the gutters in New York City that dogs enjoy pissing on. Hmmm, I expect this idiot allowed himself to ponder, could it be the fact that I continuously exposed the secrets of my best friends, toyed with the emotions of several tragic women, or lied vociferously even though I knew it would come back to bite me on my ass since every time I lied I was wearing a microphone? But really, I cannot spend too much time contemplating Jax’s fractured thought process because I am far more concerned with mentioning what I think nobody else wants to mention: that I’m relatively positive that his new facial scruff – far more scraggily than usual – has been steadfastly constructed from the pubic hair of women who have very little self-esteem, like Carmen – I mean, the hair of his beard totally matches the color of her roots – who was with Jax the night before the reunion.
Also trying to prepare herself for yet another experience in which she is The Most Hated Woman In The Whole Room is Kristen, whom we first see as she sits with her hair in rollers. I’m wondering if those rollers are created by the same company that makes the placebo pills that come in my birth control packet since neither one of them work, but that’s really an investigation for another day. Today I must focus on the fact that, as she is getting dolled up, Kristen utters the words: “Somebody needs to get called out on their bullshit,” which I think probably means that this girl has officially devolved into a madwoman so completely that she is now speaking about herself in the third person. Also, I’m relatively sure that it’s one of her pubes that is in the part of the beard that resides right near the corner of Jax’s lip and the whole thing has finally allowed me to realize that I do have limits when it comes to being skeeved out by things other than vomit.
In the very first wide shot of the entire cast, we see that Kristen is gripping the shit out of James’ inner thigh, and I think it’s mildly hilarious that he is her ally and that she wishes him luck. They should really be wishing one another luck for so many other reasons, no? Anyhoo, in the first few minutes we learn that Sandoval and Ariana are living together, but until she gets him to forgo those ridiculous bowties, I will not be sending them a Keurig or a melon baller as a housewarming gift; Kristen still comes into Sur frequently, but I’m sure it’s not so she can continue to stalk her ex-boyfriend and anyone who thinks such a thing is wrong and just jealous of how perfect Kristen’s life is; Katie has long extensions and no ring on her finger; Schwartz looks yummy but I’d like to file an official complaint that he’s not wearing his cute little glasses, which my Schwartz Doll wears all the time, even when I submerge him in a bubble bath; and Scheana has had more Botox to prevent all of those pesky wrinkles that set in somewhere around the age of twenty-four. We also learn that Stassi will be joining the group at some point soon and I very much expect that she will saunter in lugging a statement necklace behind her and that we will all get to watch her interact with Jax, which is a scenario I could go to my deathbed without ever having to witness. See, as nasty a person as Stassi can be, nobody is worse than Jax so there’s very little of a chance that she will not come out of any debate with him on top since she’s not the most repulsive being with opposable thumbs that the world has ever seen and she can form sentences that are not completely constructed from badly told lies.
It’s during these Reunion shows where I remember just how smarmy Andy Cohen can be. I get that this is his job, but I also understand that he created this job for himself. He poses question after question to idiots while arranging his face into either a smirk or a dazed and blank expression that still manages to read as haughty and yes, these people deserve to be in this position because they have chosen to engage in and to profit from participating in this odd form of a televised life that gets edited by a team of people who have anything but their best interests at heart, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t react to it all with a teensy bit of disgust.
I’ll shake off that disgust quickly though; I’ve prepared some festive appetizers for this event programming and my spinach and artichoke dip is not going to consume itself.
Brought up almost immediately is that pesky little event during which Jax and Kristen had sex (twice) while she was with Sandoval and while he was Sandoval’s best friend. All that happened last season, of course, but much like the seismic waves created by earthquakes or a Cyclops, everyone is still feeling the effects. Actually, only Kristen is feeling the aftershocks of a situation where she had herself some company and Mr. Cohen would like to know how it is that Sandoval has been able to forgive Jax.
“He didn’t do it out of maliciousness or spite,” Sandoval explains. “He did it out of insecurity,” to which men and women watching this show across this vast hemisphere roared with laughter at how stupid Sandoval is and then we all nodded our heads solemnly because it looks like what Ariana said during the last episode was entirely correct: she is the smartest person she knows!
But James is about to give Ariana some fierce competition for the Wisdom Bowl (the prize is a crown weaved together from the leftover pubic hair Jax didn’t need for his beard) by offering up his own belief system that might very well help explain the dastardly and repulsive deeds committed by Jax and the woman with whom James is inexplicably in love. It’s not that Jax is insecure or that Kristen is a woman who cannot tolerate gluten or morality; it’s just that hot people like fucking other hot people.
There’s just so much for me to comment on right here, but in order to save some time, I will make a brief list of my reaction to James’ scintillating viewpoint:
1. What does the word “attractive” mean? Because now I believe that I have clearly been misinformed about that particular vocabulary word for my entire life. Thank goodness, though, that I have a complete understanding of the words “asinine moron” and “personification of a leaky douchebag.”
2. If the word “attractive” can be legitimately applied to Kristen, here’s what I have to say about that: I never found Kristen to be all that pretty, but under no circumstances did I used to find her to be markedly unattractive. But I think that she is a prototypical example of how one’s ugly actions can cause a decent appearance to morph into pure hideousness. It’s legitimately hard for me to look at her now and it’s not because her appearance has actually changed; she just reads as gross to me. And I’d feel genuinely badly for saying that if she wasn’t tied for Worst Person In All Of The Land with Jax.
3. The look of dumbfounded appreciation that immediately flashed across Andy Cohen’s face when James said something so pathetic was absolutely priceless. In fact, I just decided that I will be getting ornaments made that have all of the expressions Andy Cohen makes during Bravo Reunion specials festooned upon them and I will hang them across my Christmas tree next winter because nothing speaks of blessings and good tidings more than Andy Cohen’s Are You Fucking Really That Stupid? face. Mazel!
4. As James tried to explain himself, I had a good opportunity to take a full gander at him and here’s something I know for sure: James’ face looks like it was constructed entirely from the skin of an infant’s ass. Now, I’m not positive about whether or not it’s the lighting or the fact that he is in front of a blue backdrop that is reflecting shadows in odd ways or because he is sitting beside Kristen, but I feel like I’m staring at a pale, poreless moon. And I also believe that I have solved the mystery of the origin of James’ chin dimple: I think that it is entirely possible that dimple was formed when Kristen stepped on his face once while wearing a stiletto after James asked her not to say Sandoval’s name during sex, but don’t worry: James took full blame for her actions because he left his face open and because he once told her that he really liked those shoes.
But James’ ridiculous comment might have done the trick, because the focus shifted from Jax and Kristen potentially creating a demonic spawn to Sandoval and the incident that might have occurred between and him and Miami Girl. I feel the need to say that it’s very strange that viewers of a reality show are supposed to care about events that were never filmed. In my opinion, Sandoval probably did hook up with that girl and regretted it immediately and Ariana either doesn’t believe it happened or has chosen to get over it and I can’t really imagine why anyone else is supposed to care. I know that the Jax/Kristen thing also happened off-camera, but that was different. That scenario involved cheating on both boyfriends and girlfriends and best friends so viewers had somewhat of a stake in what happened in relationships that we’d already classified as damaged. But here? Who cares? Nobody knows who this Miami Girl is and Ariana and Sandoval seem really happy. And though I don’t believe him for a second, I found it sweet when Schwartz clearly stated that Sandoval did not cheat on Ariana because loyalty is nice to watch in the way James doing anything is torture to watch.
I would think that I’d enjoy the moments when James attempts to put Jax in his place, but it’s really just example after example of the abominable leading the despicable. Who can a girl root for in a James/Jax showdown? If I have to place my loyalty somewhere, I guess I’ll root for James’ low-cut tank top which manages to show off more cleavage than any shirt I own and let’s just say that I’m not the shyest girl in the world. I did laugh when Jax tried to shut James down by saying, “Shut the fuck up. You’ve been here for five minutes,” meaning he has been a Vanderpumper for eons longer than James has, and it’s comforting that I can definitively identify the saddest sentence I’ve heard in over a month.
The next segment becomes all about Jax once again, which means that I need to completely forgo the spinach and artichoke dip lest I begin to convulse from all of the images dancing across my television screen of the terrible poker face on a man who looks alarmingly like an intoxicated ram. I realize he’s not particularly bright, but I cannot help but be continuously stunned by the fact that such a relentless liar has no ability to hide an expression of guilt. As it’s brought up that he lied about Carmen and Tiffany knowing about one another and while he sort of maintains that he didn’t have sex with that random girl in the sink in the bathroom of the suite in San Diego or that he didn’t sleep with that guy back in his South Beach days, his expressions veer from terrified grimacing to staring at the floor to the side of his face twitching. All in all, it’s hard to believe that his name is even Jax.
Talk then turns to the group’s sojourn to the balmy setting of Miami, and it’s around this point when Kristen reveals with a tremor in her voice that she felt like she was walking on eggshells the entire time. I’m guessing that her staunch desire to be liked is the reason for all of the kindness and compassion she exhibited during that trip, because nothing says “tread carefully” more than wishing a violent death caused by a very large truck on the bride’s maid of honor. And speaking of Ariana – who stated at least three times that she was mortified to have claimed to be the smartest person she knows – when she defended Sandoval about the cheating allegations, it appeared that Kristen needed to grab a bag and begin to breathe heavily into it because seeing such devotion could possibly kill her even though James lets all of us know some wonderful news that I totallybelieve: Kristen is completely over Sandoval and she and James are head over heels in love with one another, though it sucked for him to watch his girlfriend wipe the tears off of her ex-boyfriend’s face in Miami, but who cares because they are the happiest couple in the whole wide world as long as it’s a world ravaged by an apocalypse.
It’s still brought up though – again – about whether or not Sandoval and Ariana slept together while he was with Kristen. Both of them deny it and Lisa jumps in to maintain that she saw no sign that there was anything questionable going on but Kristen refuses to believe this version of the facts because doing so might mean that she has to take most of the accountability for why the relationship of her dreams (and our nightmares) blew up in her smirking face. Still, she has these poignant words about the matter: “There’s three truths – my truth, his truth, and the actual truth,” to which Sandoval, without hesitation, responds, “Your truth exists only in your mind, Kristen,” and that made me want to hug Sandoval, but mostly so I can get close enough to him to rip off that fucking bowtie.
The end of the Reunion (part one anyway, which makes me wail to the darkened skies, “Dear God, how many parts is this Reunion going to be anyway and is there any chance it could end with a public lynching of Jax – and might that lynching occur in New York?”) is all about the return of Stassi and before she walks onto the set, we are treated to some wonderful moments including her downing a mini bottle of liquor in the makeup trailer – which now makes it official that I have never seen Stassi appear on television without having ingested some alcohol – and Sandoval taking bets on whether or not she will walk out. I’d like to put twenty dollars on the likelihood that Stassi willeventually toss her hair and walk out and another fifty bucks on the likelihood that Jax’s piss is currently a dark shade of green.
Before she arrives, we are treated to some footage of Stassi refusing to speak to Katie after Katie chose to go to Miami with the people she has to work with every single day, and Stassi’s levels of bitchery are even worse in retrospect. Andy Cohen asks Schwartz about Katie’s reaction to Stassi’s friendship freeze and Schwartz states that she was distraught. Lisa then jumps in to say how ridiculous Stassi’s judgment of Katie was and commends Katie for breaking free from a friend who wanted to keep her subservient, but I think my very favorite moment was when Lisa said that we had all witnessed “the emancipation of Katie,” which was literally the title of one of my blog posts months ago, though my phrasing sounds way better with a crisp English accent.
Immediately before she walks onstage, Jax says that he will always love Stassi and he will always be there for her and he also intimates that she is going through some really terrible stuff these days, of which there is no elaboration and maybe there won’t ever be – until the day arrives when Jax feels the need to deflect some blame away from himself. And then the girl who hates everyone is introduced and she kisses Andy Cohen on the cheek and takes her seat wearing a gingham dress a stylist who obviously loathes her chose and when the question is broached about why she took such pains to ignore Jax during filming, the girl’s got some good points. She explains that Jax is a known liar who creates stories about people and she refuses to willingly put herself in a position where such a lie will be constructed about her and she has respect for her boyfriend, who would not appreciate watching his girlfriend interacting with her ex-boyfriend. At that comment, Sandoval jumps in to say that he has heard rumors that Stassi’s boyfriend threatened to break up with her if he ever saw her in a room with Jax, which makes me want to find that guy and shake his hand for being normal and wanting to keep his girlfriend from contracting anything else Jax might currently be carrying.
“Do you feel like you genuinely care about these people?” Andy Cohen asks Stassi.
“No,” she replies.
And that’s when it comes out that Jax would have liked to have some closure with her, to which she tells him that she owes him nothing, and – again – she’s right! This guy is almost a cartoon character of awfulness, and regardless of how bitchy she can be, she should never have to sit across from him ever again. It is also revealed that the only person (I’m using that word loosely) in the room Stassi is currently speaking to is Kristen, which Katie says is due to the fact that they have a very important thing in common: they both hate the same people, which every (psychotic) person knows is the most important attribute in a friendship. Kristen also alludes to The Traumatic Things That Ought Not Be Mentioned about whatever it is that Stassi is going through, and that’s when Stassi says to the group, “If any of you had actually reached out to me…” before Schwartz cuts her bullshit off by telling her that he did reach out to her before finding out that Stassi has blocked his calls, texts, and emails because she is a total coward.
“I’m not a bad person,” Stassi maintains to a group populated by some very bad people. “I have feelings too. I will always love Katie,” which is a sentence that causes Katie to look directly at her former best friend and say, “You dispose of people like they’re nothing, like they’re things, and you have no concern for their feelings.” It’s a harsh thing to say and it’s probably a harsher thing to have to hear, but it seems like it’s rather accurate.
But perhaps the most accurate comment made to Stassi was one by Scheana. Now, there’s no love lost between these two painted girls and I think it’s funny that Scheana believes that Stassi doesn’t like her because Scheana was friends with Kristen after Kristen betrayed Stassi – which Scheana views as a completely hypocritical stance now that Stassi and Kristen are friendly again. I think it’s far more likely that Stassi just doesn’t like Scheana and finds her kind of tacky and annoying, but none of that matters. What does matter is that Scheana kind of sums up who Stassi has portrayed herself as publicly for three seasons, someone who is incapable of being nice about anything that doesn’t center around herself. If Stassi is not pleased with that assessment, she should either change completely as a person (I hear nunneries are currently hiring) or stay the hell off of this show where only her very worst attributes come out to play.
Based on the previews, next week we can expect to hear more about Sandoval’s inimitable dick (after all this publicity, he should really create a mold of that thing and sell it beside the fleshlights of the drugged and mildly famous); Jax’s new tattoo of Stassi’s entire face that is covering his bicep; Schwartz potentially proposing to Katie – though if he hands her a necklace, I genuinely fear for his safety; and everybody screaming, “Shut the fuck up!” each and every time Kristen or James attempt to say anything, which is the kind of footage I could watch on an endless loop and I will now make my ringtone.
Until next week’s carnage, my friends!