The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion has so far been a circus of half-baked accusations waded through by a baffled Andy Cohen, trying his best to deal with Brandi's flip-flopping from victim to predator and Kim's weirdly veiled threats. But even the most beloved 'wives are getting a taste of the fire lately. The most recent controversy surrounds fans who have been getting angry with Lisa Vanderpump making her son, Max, work his way up in her business, even joking about his apartment getting the power and hot water shut off if he doesn't pick up enough shifts down at the restaurant. Seriously? This is what's going to sink the unsinkable Lisa Vanderpump? I think the rabid masses might be seeing something that isn't there with this one.
First of all, enraged fans, after five seasons, it's about time that you learn Lisa's sense of humor. She's droll, she's sarcastic, and she's... kind of mean sometimes, especially if she's talking about someone she really cares about and assumes can take a joke. Max is her son, and she's made affectionate jibes at him since Season 1. She's always had a stiff upper lip that doesn't necessarily indicate that she's joking, but I'm sure Lisa wouldn't make her son live in a roach motel, no matter what people on Twitter seem to think. And if she did, living in a gross apartment is a hallmark of your early 20s anyway. Are we supposed to think that because Max has rich parents he shouldn't go through the important rite of passage that is learning to pay your bills and get by on what you can afford?
Second of all, if you look at the explanation Lisa gives in the sneak peek clip for "Reunion: Part II," she immediately dismissed the idea as cruelty or not caring about her son. She's trying to teach the kid responsibility. You know, that thing you need to be a fully functioning adult?
I think Lisa's explanation makes sense, especially for the restaurant industry. If your mom is the owner of the business, you could walk in as the manager of the whole place at 22 years old, but I'm sure the rest of the staff, even if they're also reality stars, would have a hard time taking a kid right out of his teens who's never held down a job before. Now, could Lisa have made it a little bit easier on Max, sure. But it wouldn't have made him a better person. And some fans agree!
But there is one caveat. I don't remember Lisa's daughter, Pandora, whose wedding topped off the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 2 finale, going through the same "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" upbringing. I mean, she did pay for Pandy's "million dollar" (in appearance, at least) wedding. But there's nothing to suggest that if Max were to find his dream girl that Lisa wouldn't pay for that wedding.
But could Lisa be treating her two children differently? Now that would be a compelling question. Adoption can be hard for children to adjust to and for parents to navigate. And some fans think that Lisa is perhaps focusing too much on Max's adoption on the show, when she could be showing viewers why adoption is completely normal.
And this season on RHOBH we've seen Max get curious about his birth parents. But once again, I gotta say I don't really think Lisa has been and that was a struggle for Lisa, who's raised Max and is his "real" mother. But she's dealt with the conflict admirably, in my humble opinion.
As much as I think Lisa can sometimes be a scold to the other Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, I don't think there's any way to think that she's being too hard on her son by making him get an entry level job at SUR. If the geniuses on Vanderpump Rules can handle it, then so can Max Todd.
Image: Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo