For many fans, Vanderpump Rules Season 5 had something of a shark-jumpy air about it.
Critics feel it focused too much on the wedding of the show’s least-lovable couple (the seemingly mismatched Tom and Katie Schwartz), while ignoring far more compelling storylines, such as Scheana Marie’s divorce from Mike Shay.
The capper to what was arguably already an over-long season is a three-part series of Vanderpump reunion shows (which brings the season’s total episode count to an astonishing 24, possibly another reason for the drop-off in quality.)
The reunion shows are padded to within an inch of their lives (He seems like a cool kid, but did Stassi Schroeder’s 12-year-old brother really have to dole out life advice to every member of the cast?), but they contain the occasional big reveal.
Or at least they confirm rumors that have already been out there for months.
On last night’s episode, we learned that the Jax Taylor-Brittany Cartwright spinoff series (previously known as the worst-kept secret in Bravo history) is officially a go.
Jax and Brittany Take Kentucky will premiere sometime this summer, and while the show is a spinoff of a spinoff, it’s not surprising that Andy Cohen and company have decided to go this route.
Vanderpump remains immensely popular and Jax is still the show’s biggest personality.
Watching Jax put in work on a Kentucky farm in an effort to convince his future in-laws that he’s the right man for Brittany could make for an amusing fish-out-of-water tale.
The fear among fans, however, is that the show will spend have too much of a lighthearted Green Acres tone and get too much mileage out of Taylor fumbling with simple farming tasks.
Fortunately, last night’s sneak peek put some of those fears to bed.
Jax is entertaining, but he’s no cartoon character, and the new series clearly won’t be turning a blind eye to his short temper and other darker qualities.
The extreme conservatism of the Cartwright family was put on display this past season, when Brittany’s mother made homophobic comments after watching Jax get roasted by his friends.
(Despite what Cohen and the cast claim, the fact that the elder Cartwright has a bigger problem with Jax possibly having hooked up with a guy than with his long history of violence, cheating, drugs, and arrests is deeply problematic.)
So the show could provide the dramatic fireworks that fans have come to expect from Vanderpump.
Or it could amount to overkill at a time when the main series can least afford to further alienate fans.
Either way, the sight of Jax trying to figure out which end of a pitchfork to use should be entertaining.
Watch Vanderpump Rules online to relive the rocky road that brought Jax and Brittany to where they are today.