In a Villain of the Week first, we’re giving this highest of honors to someone after the debut episode of her series. Congratulations, Stassi Schroeder, you’ve hit the big time! You can quit that boring day job now!
Just based on Bravo’s advertising campaign prior to the premiere, it was easy to predict that Vanderpump Rules was going to be a gold mine of obnoxiousness. Starring a collection of SoCal hotbodies who sneak in their jobs at Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant Sur amidst continual clubbing and sleeping around, this Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spinoff was just made for snark. But while many likely had their money on noted Hollywood husband-banger Scheana Marie as the favorite to achieve quick villainy (and it’s safe to say she’s no prize), it was her Episode 1 antagonist Stassi who instead made teeth grind across America.
Stassi is billed on Bravo’s site as a “model/fashion writer,” which since she lives in L.A. means she works in a restaurant (Lisa implied that she gave Stassi a job because she was friends with her daughter, and would have gotten rid of her long ago except for that). She had already achieved a small amount of reality TV fame before now: several years ago, when she was still a teenager, slightly heavier than she is today, and had hair dyed goth-black, she was part of the misbegotten “Family Edition” of The Amazing Race along with her brother and parents. At the time, Stassi was just annoying like most teenage girls and not very villainous, but you know what they say about late bloomers.
Since the fame-and-fortune thing has been slow in materializing (she has been working for Lisa for three years), Stassi has in the meantime settled for being the termite queen of the Sur staff, admitting that she tries to make life miserable for any employee she doesn’t like, in order to make them quit.
The premiere episode established Scheana as the newcomer to Sur, having just moved over from Lisa’s other restaurant. It’s amazing anyone at a place this hormonal would look down on someone just for having had an affair, but Stassi had her claws out immediately, on the grounds that Scheana is trash, and not a cultured private school graduate and (!) descendant of a Swedish princess like her. Stassi’s own history of having boyfriends cheat on her (can’t imagine why) played into her hostility.
One day, Scheana walked into the workplace wearing a dress that Stassi felt looked suspiciously familiar. “Everyone at Sur knows that the gray-blue dress is MY color dress,” she huffed. “You just don’t go there.” She punished the newbie for this nonexistent crime by making her polish glasses to no purpose, even though she has no authority to be giving any orders.
Stassi’s bartender boyfriend Jax, who looks like a cross between Dylan McDermott and a caveman, argued it made sense to try to get along with a fellow employee, but she demanded total loyalty regarding her anti-Scheana views. “I don’t want anybody in my circle that’s a husband-stealing, famewhoring piece of shit,” she announced, oblivious to the irony of calling anyone else a famewhore. This happy couple is clearly on its last legs, foreshadowed by charming scenes such as Stassi warning Jax, “I am the devil, and don’t you forget it.”
It’s pretty obvious Stassi is playing up her mean girl side to make “good TV,” but it’s not hard to believe that the level of arrogance we saw on the Vanderpump Rules premiere is the real thing. How joyous that we have so many weeks ahead with her!