Bravo fans have known and loved the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spin off Vanderpump Rules, which has followed original cast member Lisa Vanderpump’s staff of her various West Hollywood restaurants, for 8 seasons now. But can the series survive following cast firings, resignations, and a global pandemic that has shaken the restaurant industry?
No cast, no problem?
Traditionally, Vanderpump Rules films the summer before the season airs. The most recent season was filmed in summer 2019 and began airing in early January, 2020. Obviously due to COVID-19 shutting down all restaurants in the Los Angeles area, the show, which centers around the restaurant business, could not continue filming. On top of Vanderpump’s restaurant shuttering, several cast members were fired following their racist past actions resurfacing in June 2020. Included in this were original cast members Stassi Schroeder and Kristen Doute, along with newcomers Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni. Stassi was an infamous cast member, with many of her storylines dictating the direction of the show. While her actions were inexcusable, it is hard to imagine Vanderpump Rules without Stassi.
In addition to these firings, original cast member Jax Taylor and his wife Brittany Cartwright announced that they would be leaving the show on Dec. 4, 2020. It is unclear if Jax was fired due to past racist and transphobic remarks, or if he left voluntarily with his wife. The previous season centered around Jax and Brittany’s wedding, and previous seasons documented their tumultuous relationship that was a reality TV goldmine. With these two out of the picture, we may not get the same Pump Rules drama we’re so used to.
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TomTom takes over
Future seasons will probably continue to follow original cast members Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz in their endeavors at TomTom, Lisa Vanderpump’s newest restaurant that the Toms partly own. However, the uncertainty about indoor dining during the pandemic makes it hard for production to resume. Even without the restaurants, the remaining cast are still pretty entertaining. Current cast members Lala Kent and Scheana Shay are pregnant, along with former cast member Brittany. Former cast member Stassi also just welcomed a baby girl in January and is supposedly planning a comeback. The storylines about the Pump Rules gang’s first adventures in parenthood would make for great television, so someone tell Executive Producers Andy Cohen and Lisa Vanderpump to get rolling with season 9 already!