Well, that was fun. More than 150 Vanderpump Rules fans packed into the new-ish Capitol Hill Comedy/Bar last night to boo, hiss, cheer, and laugh at part one of the much-talked-about Vanderpump Rules reunion, and to experience this inexplicably mesmerizing moment in the pop culture zeitgeist together.
Comedy/Bar printed out VPR bingo cards, the bar served Pumptinis and themed snacks ("#1 Fry in the Group"), and some fans even wore homemade T-shirts decorated with lines from the show. Was it silly? Sure. But it felt no different than a room of passionate sports fans coming together to root for their team. We cheered when the good guys got a hit (Ariana Madix's eye-roll was *chef's kiss*), we booed when the bad ones made a play (literally every time a man named Tom opened his mouth), and the room exploded with giddy laughter and applause that could be heard down the block when someone hit a home run ("You're a worm with a mustache!").
Throughout the night people excitedly shared their own takes on the situation—table neighbors jumped into one another's conversations to discuss rumors and theories and to try to predict who was lying and who was telling the truth. More poignantly, people could also be heard bonding over their similar shitty circumstances. I wandered through the crowd a bit before the show started, and I could hear friends and strangers alike sharing their own stories about their own Scandovals.
Madix is all of us—or most of us, anyway. Most humans in the world have been wronged by someone at some point, whether it was by a partner, a friend, or a family member. To see Sandoval lie, scheme, and gaslight—blatantly and without (unrehearsed) apology!—is maddening. But to see Madix turn that public humiliation and heartbreak into success and cold hard cash is thrilling.
Beyoncé wrote the rule in "Formation": "Always stay gracious / best revenge is your paper." Madix is doing just that. She's playing the game exactly as it should be played. She's letting her friends say what needs to be said—bless you, Lala Kent—while she stays calm and gets paid. Last night Madix starred in Uber and Bic commercials, and we learned that she and business partner Katie Maloney made somewhere around $200,000 just selling merch for their not-even-open-yet West Hollywood sandwich shop. May we all become so prosperous if ever wronged by a Wish.com Harry Styles!
Let's do it again next week, yeah? Capitol Hill Comedy/Bar is hosting watch parties for part two and part three of the reunion on May 31 and June 7, respectively. Tickets are on sale now.
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