If the reality shows of the Real Housewives extended universe were a high school, Vanderpump Rules would be the freshman class. Its cast is younger (Jax Taylor excluded), poorer, and less scripted. In Season 7 of the Bravo series, the premise is that the Vanderpump Rules kids are finally growing up.
Well, they are and they aren’t! Despite getting older, they maintain the emotional development of hyena cubs. With arguably only one exception (the angel-cum-martyr Brittany), they are a cast of villains who only occasionally reveal their ability to understand and display empathy.
It’s difficult to track who exactly is the true villain of Vanderpump Rules. It may seem like it has to be Jax—but he’s allegedly turning things around, putting all those Season 6 reiki sessions to good use. So who replaces him? Well, we’re keeping track: Every week, we’ll gather and rank each episode’s most villainous moments (and one moment of redemption), which will help determine who, exactly, is The Worst come season’s end. And now, Week 1!
3. Jax proves he’s still a blowhard.
The opening scene of Season 7 reveals the atonement of Jax Taylor. Season 6 started with the revelation that Jax cheated on his girlfriend Brittany (a “----ing sweetheart, you dumb-ass motherf---er!”), and continued with his repeatedly terrible treatment of her. There was even a story line surrounding a recording of Jax admitting he would never marry Brittany. Suffice it to say that the season did not end on a hopeful note for the two.
But Monday’s premiere finds him in their apartment, making her a mayonnaise-soaked turkey sandwich. Then, mere moments after delivering her sandwich, which she is presumably about to eat, he … farts. She pleads with him not to. He does anyway. Audibly. Loudly.
Later, en route to proposing to Brittany, he admits he “has to go no. 2.” Two steps forward, one step back, etcetera.
2. Billie Lee sasses Lala.
We were introduced last season to Billie Lee, a transgender woman who quickly became a cast and fan favorite. But Season 7 opens with a sassy Billie Lee, who immediately chastises former friend Lala for being distracted by her phone. (Which everyone on the show is, all the time, constantly.) Rude!
Is Billie Lee a sleeper candidate for season villain?! Twist!
1. James “raps” in front of Brittany.
James Kennedy, Vanderpump Rules’ resident Brit, is a relatively divisive character. He initially strolled into our lives in Season 4 as a romantic foil for Jax (they were competing for the affections of Lala, a short-lived interest for both). Since then, Kennedy has become something of a pathetic antihero; in one breath, he’ll issue a cutting personal insult, and in the next, he’ll sob about disappointing his parents.
This season, he appears to be leaning further into his shithead persona. To kick things off, he decides to publicly rap about Jax’s former infidelity, in front of Brittany and the entire restaurant.
This man consistently confuses hostility for swagger. He’s a front-runner for season villain.
Plus: This week’s moment of redemption — Lala
In the season opener, Lala talks about her father’s recent passing. She’s vulnerable and honest, also admitting that though she wasn’t an easy child, her father was always kind.
Lala did not originally endear herself to viewers: She was cocky without being clever, cruel without any charm. But over time, she’s become one of the most reasonable people on the show, often holding herself and her castmates accountable. Might she be this season’s heroine?