Sadly, Vanderpump Rules appears to have entered that stage in the life cycle of every popular reality show in which the cast is too relatively rich and famous to engage in the sort of petty squabbles and public outbursts that made them relatively rich and famous in the first place.
(You have to speak in relative terms when it comes to the Vanderpump cast.
They’re much more well-known and well-off than most of their viewers, but the eagerness with which they court celebrity fans like Chrissy Teigen reminds you they don’t carry much clout in their Hollywood stomping grounds.)
Jersey Shore might stand as the only exception to this rule — a non-competition-based reality show that’s managed to stay fresh past its sixth season.
But that’s largely due to the fact that the cast took a several-year hiatus from filming, and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro had a baby with a violent psycho.
All of this is to say that the Vanderpump Rules cast should probably be grateful that James Kennedy is the most colossal douche in the history of television.
Otherwise, you’d just have the happily coupled-up front-of-house staff at an LA restaurant peacefully cruising toward the big 4-0.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just doesn’t always make for the most compelling television.
Take Jax Taylor, for example.
Last year, Jax cheated on his girlfriend, Brittany Cartwright, then proceeded to gaslight her for days once he’d been busted.
We should note that Jax has a long history of infidelity, compulsive lying, and abusive behavior, and yet he still has a circle of friends.
These days, Jax and Britanny are engaged, and the narrative surrounding Taylor is that he’s “changed his ways” and won’t totally cheat on Cartwright while they’re still in their honeymoon phase.
As you may have guessed, we’re a bit skeptical on the topic of Taylor’s miraculous transformation, but anything is possible.
Taylor says the death of his father earlier this year was instrumental in helping to turn his life around — but weed helped, too.
“I was in a deep rut. I was literally going to lock myself in a room and do enough drugs to hurt myself,” Taylor tells Men’s Health in a newly-published interview.
“Brittany was, like, ‘I understand where you’re coming from. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but can you try something?'”
He says Cartwright encouraged him to get a medical marijuana card, which enabled him to cut back on booze, get back in shape, and be a better partner.
“I tried it, and it changed my life,” he said.
“I said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to hurt myself. I’m not going to drink. I’m going to flip this around and make my dad proud. I’m going to go to the gym. We’re going to start some businesses. We’re going to move up.'”
Taylor is slowly but surely getting there.
As we learned from this week’s episode of Vanderpump, he and Cartwright are starting their own “beer cheese” company, which could work, but is sort of an ironic business venture for a guy who just got back into shape.
Taylor says he was appalled recently to learn he had gained 100 pounds in 4 years:
“I was eating more crap than I was working out. Postmates came out. I can order Doritos from my couch?” he said.
“Making a Murderer marathon is on? I’m not getting off of this couch. I’m going to eat everything in sight. Then you wake up and you’re like, ‘What is that?’ That’s my belly.”
Taylor says he was disappointed that his friends didn’t intervene which is hilarious, not only in that he thinks he deserves loyal friends, but also because he thinks he wouldn’t have thrown a tantrum if they’d pointed out to him that he’s packing on the pounds.
You can read Taylor’s full Men’s Health profile here.