The 2013 series premiere of Vanderpump Rules introduced Bravo fans to the eclectic waitstaff of restaurateur (and then-star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) Lisa Vanderpump's sexy restaurant SUR. Vanderpump's SURvers were a group of bright-eyed twenty-somethings, all pursuing various careers in the entertainment industry while waiting tables and bartending.
Each member of the SUR waitstaff was handpicked by Vanderpump, the British businesswoman that saw a certain je ne sais quoi in them and deemed the Hollywood hopefuls worthy of working in her restaurants — and appearing on her spinoff series.
Stassi Schroeder was undoubtedly the star of the earliest seasons of the reality series. On Vanderpump Rules, the New Orleans native was often at the heart of the show's storylines, responsible for providing the necessary punch of chaos that each episode required. The queen bee amongst the common SURvers, Schroeder was bossy, judgmental, and self-absorbed on more than one occasion, and naturally evolved into the show's villain.
Everyone around Schroeder was in danger of being on the receiving end of her ire, including her best friends Katie Mulroney and Kristen Doute. The self-described Witches of West Hollywood were a tight clique, having nabbed jobs at SUR around the same time, but that didn't prevent Schroeder from shooting daggers their way. Triggered by everything from ruined birthdays to illicit affairs involving her ex-boyfriend Jax Taylor, Schroeder's meltdowns put everyone in the line of fire.
But after three seasons of petty drama and actual catfights, Schroeder stepped away from Vanderpump Rules, suddenly moving to New York to become a blogger and work on her jewelry line. Meanwhile, things moved right along in Los Angeles without her; Maloney stepped into her vacancy to become SUR's resident mean girl, and the rest of the cast fell in line. Vanderpump Rules had found its new evil queen, and after a few shots of tequila, she could be even scarier than Schroeder.
When Schroeder returned to the reality series after a brief hiatus, she was surprised to find that her kingdom was in much different shape than it had once been. She spent a great deal of time groveling at Maloney's feet, doing everything in her power for the chance to be part of her former friend's wedding to resident goofball Tom Schwartz. Maloney resisted initially. After all, Schroeder had been a true terror in the past. Ultimately, the Witches of WeHo reunited.
Fans of the show will say that Schroeder's return changed her for the better. For the most part (Lala Kent's not-so-warm reception excluded), the reality star's behavior was on the up and up. No longer able to control the lives of everyone around her, Stassi shifted into a new, less "head bitch in charge" position. She provided her usual sarcasm and snark, but had finally learned to not make everything about her. She was working on her personal life, and she was making strides to establish herself professionally; Schroeder started her own podcast and even wrote a New York Times bestselling book.
Still, Schroeder's inner-villain can't help but pop up every now and then — it has just trained its attention on other people. On the last season of Vanderpump Rules, she joined forces with Maloney-Schwartz to back best friend Doute into a corner, excessively nagging her about her toxic relationship with Brian Carter. Somehow, Schroeder and Maloney-Schwartz have come to the conclusion that they are too "evolved" to deal with Doute's constant rollercoaster of a love life.
It's a classic case of the "pot calling the kettle black"; Maloney-Schwartz got married only after offering a hard ultimatum to a serial cheater, and Schroeder's admittedly cute relationship to real-life Prince Charming Beau Clark came after years of truly disastrous love life. Through it all, Doute stood by her friends.
Last night, on the season eight premiere of Vanderpump Rules, we watched the trio duke it out. From the show's shocking mega-trailer, it appears that their friendship is a sinking ship, and Schroeder is in the captain's seat. "Witches of WeHo, dunzo!" she exclaimed in the teaser. And the drama is real; the three women are no longer friends in real life. Doute was notably absent from Schroeder's engagement party last summer, and at Bravo's first BravoCon fan festival, things were notably tense between the former pals.
"If taking a break from someone is a bitch move and makes me nasty, then I don’t give a fuck,” Schroeder said of her decision to step away from her relationship with Doute on an episode of “Straight Up With Stassi."
"Am I gonna look like the asshole in this situation or is she? I have no idea,” she continued on the podcast. “I’m prepared to look like the asshole, but whatever it is, I’m like, ‘Listen, I have to take care of my own mental and emotional health first.' "
Well then. Perhaps she hasn't changed so much after all. Different day, same Schroeder.