What could be more real than a posse of model slash actor waitstaff serving appletinis to Hollywood’s in crowd? Pretty much anything. Bravo’s new reality hit Vanderpump Rules is a spinoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that’s fun, fashionable, and stars a hot cast of co-eds. So what if it’s not that real? Like other docudramas, Vanderpump Rules is a small departure from reality. You won’t find this kind of glamour floating around the kitchen of your neighborhood grill. So while the plot may not be super believable, Vanderpump Rules includes all the right ingredients for a guilty pleasure reality drama that we all secretly crave.
3 parts Love Triangle
A love triangle is essential for success. Laguna Beach is a prime example. Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari went head to head to win over the sentiments of the young Stephen Colletti. Would anyone have been interested in a group of bleach blonde, surfer kids losing their morals over spring break without a good love triangle? Well, maybe. Vanderpump Rules defies geometry turning the love triangle into more of a love rectangle, and eventually a love rhombus. Stassi Schroeder and Jax Taylor’s relationship falls apart after weeks of episodes documenting their incessant bickering. Stassi rebounds with another bartender, Frank, as Jax falls into the loving arms of a recovering meth addict turned movie star. Once the two come to their senses and reunite, Jax reveals a past cheating escapade with a Las Vegas dancer. As expected, drama ensues complete with drink splashing, party crashing, and a whole lot of runny mascara. Reality TV gold.
1 part Fashion
In what world do you wear high heels and full face of makeup to the pool? For Stassi and friends, this world. Glamour is another key ingredient for reality success. The fashionista cast is always dressed for success. The SUR girls even dress up to take orders, donning a uniform of tight black dresses and stilettos. A little fancy for “Would you like fries with that?” The cast primps for photo-shoots to promote the restaurant, wearing outfits that cost more than one month’s rent. For some reason we just love to watch TV stars parade around in designer fashions we can’t afford.
1 part Alcohol
Liquid courage always makes for interesting TV, and the Vanderpump Rules cast has no shortage of cocktail induced conflict. Most of the episodes take place in a bar or restaurant, creating the perfect setting for a good party. But wherever there’s a party, there’s an intoxicated party pooper just waiting to ruin a good time. Pouring alcohol on a love triangle creates big flames. When Jax shows up to Stassi’s Las Vegas birthday celebration uninvited, the sauced stars start a full scale smack down right at the dinner table. The fight continues into the parking lot. You can’t create that kind of debauchery without a little help from the spirits.
1 part Attitude
Nice girls finish last, especially when it comes to reality TV. Just look at some of the most successful leading ladies: Bethenny Frankel from The Real Housewives of New York City, Patti Stanger from The Millionaire Matchmaker, Abby Lee from Dance moms. All queen bees in their own right. Every reality show needs a sassy diva we all love to hate. Stassi Schroeder proves to be the wicked witch of the west coast. She turns from a pretty princess to a full-fledged insult spitting mean girl from one episode to the next. That’s why we love her so.
When all the ingredients combine, a reality TV masterpiece is born. The perfect mix of sweet and sour has fans asking for seconds. But, only time will tell if there is a second season in store for Vanderpump Rules.