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The current season of “Vanderpump Rules” has been a journey, to say the least.
While there have been milestone moments (Jax and Brittany’s wedding! Stassi and Beau’s engagement!) and genuine drama (Kristen’s fallout with Katie and Stassi), an onslaught of additional cast members have left a lot of viewers frustrated with the state of the Bravo staple.
During a recent interview with In The Know’s Gibson Johns, original cast member Kristen Doute agreed that “Pump Rules” isn’t at the top of its game right now, calling season 8 a “transition season.”
“I feel for a lot of the viewers,” she said. “There are moments sometimes that I watch the show, and I’m not sure what I’m watching. I don’t know what show I’m watching.”
“I think that it’s always great to have fresh blood and to have new people. Especially because, at the end of the day, the show did start as a show about Lisa Vanderpump and her restaurants,” Kristen went on. “You know, especially with the OG cast, our opinions are, like, ‘No, this is a show about our lives.’ But, at the end of the day, that is how it started, and Lisa is the matriarch of this series. This is her show.”
One of the central hurdles for the show, which began as a spinoff of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” centered on the lives of the wait staff at Vanderpump’s restaurant, SUR, is that most of the original stars don’t work there anymore — and haven’t for a few seasons now.
“I don’t think that it is weird to continue to bring people in that work for her. What I do think is weird is to shove seven new cast members down our throats when we didn’t have the opportunity to really get to know them, especially since a lot of us — most of us — don’t work there anymore,” the “He’s Making You Crazy” author explained. “If we get a season nine, I hope that it’ll be different for the viewers and for us, because now we’ve had so much time to get to know certain people.”
That being said, Kristen made it clear that she thinks that some of the new additions to the cast lack the authenticity that made viewers fall in love with the show to begin with.
“I just think other people watched seven seasons of ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ and then went, ‘Hmm, who should I be like? How can I be on, quote unquote, ‘reality TV?” And that is not what our show is about, so it’s frustrating,” she said. “I’ve read comments from viewers on social media where, because they’re feeling that way about certain scenes with new cast members, they’re starting to wonder what they’re watching with the rest of us — if that’s also contrived or manipulated or produced. And it’s like, that frustrates me, because we don’t work like that, clearly.”
A proposed fix for the problems facing “Vanderpump Rules” that has proven to be a popular one on social media is that the series could become two separate shows: One that focuses on the SUR employees and one that focuses on the characters we know and love who have since moved on from the restaurant but have more or less remained friends.
While Kristen seemed up for such a move, she also expressed that she trusts Bravo and their producers to know what’s best for the show’s future.
“I’ve been doing it for so long I really don’t know any better. So, I would be probably pretty down for whatever the network and our production company wanted to throw our way. They know what they’re doing and they’ve been in it with us since day one,” she explained. “I feel like this was a transition season, for sure, and I have never heard that that’s something that they’re doing. Obviously, we’ve all talked about this, and we’ve heard rumblings of this on social.”
“I don’t really know if it would work. I guess it would depend on how much the viewers fell in love with all of the new people,” she went on. “The issue with that is that we don’t really know them. I feel like the only person I really know well just as a viewer is Dayna, because she’s starting to bleed out: She’s talked about her family, you’ve now met her sister on the show, and things like that, where all these other people I’m like, ‘I don’t even know your last name, and I’m on a show with you.'”
For more from “Vanderpump Rules” star Kristen Doute, listen to her full interview with In The Know below. You can pre-order her book, “He’s Making You Crazy,” out June 2, here.
If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s recent interview with fellow Bravo star, Lindsay Hubbard, here!
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