Bravo knows that amid the ongoing “Scandoval,” people can’t get enough of Vanderpump Rules, and the numbers are speaking for themselves. The May 17 finale and Watch What Happens Live! With Andy Cohen with Ariana Madix both broke ratings records, the latter bringing in the most viewers in the series’s history. So it’s not surprising that the show’s producers are trying to milk even more content out of it with “Pumped Up” versions of each of the three reunion episodes.
Here’s how that works: 43-minute reunion episodes air without commercials Wednesday nights on Bravo, then the next day a longer, uncensored episode streams on Peacock — the “Pumped Up” May 25 episode ran 11 minutes longer than the reunion. And there’s even more that will stream in the weeks to come. Each reunion episode is punctuated with clips from one-on-one interviews host Andy Cohen conducted with Madix, Tom Sandoval, and Raquel Leviss, the key players in Season 10’s earth-shattering affair drama. Those will eventually be available in their entirety on Peacock. And on June 15, a week after the final part of the reunion, Peacock will stream a special “Secrets Revealed” episode, featuring previously unseen footage shot during production of the season, and extending its run well beyond previous installments.
While they’re undoubtedly part of an effort to ride the “Scandoval” wave as long as possible, the first of these “Pumped Up” episodes also proves that, for diehard Vanderpump Rules fans, they’re a must-watch.
Even if nothing new was revealed in that extra 11 minutes, the first part of the reunion begs to be rewatched. There’s so much crosstalk (or, more accurately, cross-screaming) that it’s hard to take in everything the first time. In fact, because of the chaos that ensues every time Sandoval attempts to speak, the first 43 minutes shown on Bravo barely scratch the surface.
New wrinkles emerge. One of the most damning new moments is a side-by-side comparison of how Sandoval spoke to Kristen Doute about the demise of their relationship nine years ago and how he spoke to Madix in Season 10’s finale — his defense in each situation is nearly identical. Because so much of what happened in Season 10 brings a new perspective to past seasons, the added time afforded by Peacock allows for a deeper dive into the show’s archives.
Most of the first reunion episode focuses on the scandal, but Cohen explicitly says it’s been easy to forget that this season started with three major splits: Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz’s divorce, Lala Kent and her ex-fiancé Randall Emmett’s volatile separation, and Leviss and James Kennedy’s broken engagement. With their extended runtimes, the "Pumped Up" episodes are better positioned to explore each cast member's journey this season, and set up possibilities for Season 11.
Even the lack of censorship adds something. Despite knowing exactly what words the Bravo bleeps are covering up, hearing them fully makes each insult hit a little harder. Seeing and hearing Madix drop her many f-bombs provides a more unfiltered depiction of her raw anger, a reminder that while audiences are watching the reunion months after learning about the affair, she had to film it and confront the situation only weeks after her life fell apart.
“We’re here for like 10 hours for god sakes,” Lisa Vanderpump says at the start of Part One of the reunion, already fed up with the constant attacks and interruptions against Sandoval right out of the gate. Kent confidently declares that she’s ready, bring it on. If Vanderpump’s estimation proves to be correct, there will be plenty for Bravo to pull over to Peacock in the coming weeks. The streamer is providing more than enough morsels for fervent Vanderpump viewers to devour until they’re satisfied. By the end of it all, no detail will go uncovered, no topic untouched, and no voice unheard, providing ultimate closure.
Part two of the Vanderpump Rules reunion airs May 31 on Bravo and an extended “Pumped Up” version streams on Peacock the next day. Join the discussion about the show in our forums.
Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R.
TOPICS: Vanderpump Rules, Bravo, Peacock, Andy Cohen, Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Lala Kent, Lisa Vanderpump, Raquel Leviss, Tom Sandoval, Tom Schwartz