Our Laguna faves just can’t keep off the reality screen, can they? To be clear, we’re not mad about spending more time with Kristin Cavallari, who is now the Lisa Vanderpump to a new group of Nashville beauties on Very Cavallari, that new show that follows Kristin and company as they work to open her first Uncommon James store.
Brooke, this may have started with a requirement from AM, but be honest, this was a requested Required Viewing from you. Tell us why you’re here for KCav and what you think of her life now in TN.
B: I mean, we all know KCav is my girl! And I feel no shame admitting that I said something like “WE HAVE TO WATCH,” when you send me the trailer. From her fledgling days of making Stephen buy her tons of lobster and desserts to the relish she brought to playing the part of “The Bitch” when she cropped up on The Hills, Kristin has always been a girl who knows exactly who she is, what she wants, and suffers no fools. As far as I’m concerned, she’s the perfect choice for the heir apparent to the Lisa Vanderpump throne, and though we’ve yet to really document it here, I looooooooove me some Vanderpump Rules. What I’m saying here is I am obviously all in on this concept.
Admittedly, I had some questions about my main gal Kristin settling down with Jay Cutler, but I think the most surprising and delightful thing about this show is seeing her dynamic with Jay and the deep love that obviously runs through their snark-laced manner of relating to one another. I’ve said in the past that Talan was the only guy who every really seemed worthy of Kristin. He was the guy version of her, cool and self-assured and fun when everyone else was a bummer. And as it turns out, Jay is the grown-up version of Talan who can take what Kristin dishes out and give it right back. He’s aloof and sarcastic and gives zero fucks when Kristin makes fun of his hobby of watching videos of the wildlife on his forest cam. But he’s also the guy who wants to be first in line to pick up the kids from school and who calls Kristin “gameless” as she schemes with her best friend about how to flirt with a long distance flame. It’s an unexpected value-add, and they’ve quickly become one of my very favorite TV couples.
I have actually followed Uncommon James for some while and purchased some merch as well. I dig Kristin’s aesthetic and would for sure visit the store if I was in Nashville. So on the whole, I think she’s doing a beautiful job of still doing her in her new life, and I’m there for it. But when we get past Kristin, I have some criticisms of VCav … we’ll get there. For now, AM, let’s hear your thoughts on what we’ve seen of present day Kristin’s world.
A: Your girl KCav was always, always set in direct opposition of my girl, LC. I actually thought back to it, and I know we discussed this before in great, great length, but I don’t believe there is a single shot of the two women conversing in the two shows they were on together. And because I also have a longstanding admiration of Kristin’s empowered attitude and (frankly) charmed life, I was also v v into the idea of Very Cavallari.
And, you’re right about Kristin’s lifestyle brand. Not only are her jewelry designs adorable and affordable, she’s got a whole line of shoes, home goods, books, and now a TV show for us to ogle at. You might not have noticed, but just about every shot of VCav is showing off Kristin’s entire brand, not just Uncommon James. There’s pivots to show her shoes as she gets out of the car. There’s subtle mentions of recipes as they show Kristin and Jay hanging out in the kitchen. As a style icon, her clothing also gets a fair bit of attention, but as Jay points out, he should probably get the credit for her brand as he picks out about 95% of her outfits.
I will admit that I didn’t get the Cutler thing AT ALL. To each his or her own, but I know Jay Cutler for being a lazy Denver Broncos player. Great arm, but really never seemed to give a shit about being there. So I was right there with you in mercilessly judging KCav’s relationship with him. I was very wrong. There’s something completely entertaining but very real there, and I like the Talon comparison very much. I can’t think of a reality TV pair that I’ve a) been so wrong about and b) have decided are the most perfect for each other of all the possibilities, including Steph-aaaaaan. #TeamNeverStephen
Brooke, talk to me about the rest of the cast not living with Kristen and Jay. We don’t see their kids, but we do get a lot of drama from the 22-year-olds KCav has hired to work for her. Who are your faves and who is a “no” from you?
B: So here’s the thing, we’re a number of hours into Very Cavallari, and I’ve committed very few of Kristin’s minion’s names to memory. I remember Shannon because she’s the worst, and the polar opposite of our Shannon who is the best. Her singer-songwriter boyfriend is fine, but should probably find someone better to date. His name in my brain is literally “Shannon’s boyfriend” so that’s a problem. Then there’s “Hot Rich Guy Who Works For Kristin Anyway.” I want to say his name is Werth, but clearly, my moniker is better. He actually is one of my favorite of the bunch, he’s drama free and I love the fact that Shannon pines for him and is getting nothing back.
Then there’s Brittainy, she seems fine, and I like her more and more as she comes into her own as a leader at Uncommon James and on the show. Her music producer boyfriend, however, is awful. I don’t know his name, but I call him “Got Tattoos On His Fingers And A Pharrell Hat To Look Like A Music Producer On Camera.” Gross. I also don’t remember the name of the blonde assistant, so I think of her as “Brought A Watermelon But Nothing To Cut It With.” She hasn’t done much yet, but I can see her continuing to provide comic relief, so I’m fine with it.
Did I miss anyone, AM? And do you have similar nicknames, or do you know all of the names since you keep watching this show without me and having to rewatch episodes?
A: That’s actually pretty close to who is in my memory as well. The blonde assistant is Reagan, and yes, aside from buying an uncut watermelon and not thinking about how the people at the photo shoot might eat the fruit, she also spends a fair amount of time talking about how big her boobs are. She and her mom are close, but she’s definitely secondary. I believe it’s “Wirth” and he is v v rich. Old Southern money. I am quite certain the reason he’s working at Uncommon James is because of “E! producers.” It’s entirely possible that the E! people will only improve upon what the MTV producers are able to get people to do on-camera.
As for the two boyfriends, I had to look it up because your nicknames actually made me forget their names if I ever had them committed to memory. It’s easy though! They’re both named John! Shannon’s John is actually pretty sweet, and I like him and Shannon (more on her later), but Brittainy’s John is the worstttttt. He’s doing the thing where he’s dating a woman who’s younger than him but he thinks he’s the most wise and he’s condescending as hell to her. Plus he absolutely got new tats for this show to be more “music guy” and is one of the most obvious cases of a reality show cast member acting up for the sake of the cameras. It’s all very fake and manufactured, and one of the storylines will follow Brittainy and her guy potentially falling apart. I’m there for it.
I actually am growing to like our resident sosh meeds expert redhead Shannon. She’s no Shannon Fern, you’re 100% right about that, but she is not as horrible as we first thought. She’s definitely a drama magnet, and I don’t envy having to manage her, but I think she does do an awesome job on the sosh meeds and also, her coming around to Brittainy made me really like her.
Brooke, let’s dive into what bugs you about these kids, and then let’s move onto my other fave, KCav’s BFF Kelly!
B: There are two things that get me about these kids. First, the classic reality conceit of doing things one shouldn’t and acting for all the world, like you’ll get away with it, when we all know it’s on camera and bound to come out. Uncommon James girls, probably do your jobs cause Kristin will see when you don’t, even if she doesn’t notice in real time (which she totally will). But worse than that, these kids are kind of boring. Kristin probably wouldn’t have hung out with them in her Laguna or Hills days, and for that, they need to step up their game. I HIGHLY recommend they look to the staff at SUR and Vanderpump Rules for tips. We know Kristin is! I’ll take a brief aside here to note that at the point of the Lisa Vanderpump reference I could practically feel Annemarie waiting for my reaction because she knew how there for it I would be.
Okay, now on to Kelly. I am a Kelly fan! Unlike the younglings, she knows how to keep it fun and she’s thrown out some killer lines. First, her flirtation with “The Canadian” was the source of our single favorite exchange, Kristin and Jay each claiming credit for their relationship and Jay ultimately calling his wife and Kelly, “Gameless.” Delightful. Then there’s the night of Wirth’s housewarming party. The producers ask Kelly if she’s excited about the party and she offers a resounding “No.” in response. She’s the best friend KCav has always deserved.
AM, your thoughts on Kelly? And should we make some finale predictions before we wrap up the season and return with our final thoughts?
A: Kelly and Kristin’s exchanges are the funniest on Very Cavallari. Yes, it was a surprise that Jay Cutler is funny as hell, but Kelly is great as well. I love a “new man friend” story arc on a reality show, and this one is fantastic, because again, I strongly suspect the E! producers had a hand in finding The Canadian and connecting him with Kelly. Aside from the “Gameless” exchange, my other favorite is when Kelly and KCav are discussing circumcised peni, and it comes out that (presumably) years ago, Kristin discovered the one she was with was unshorn, only when he was in… her mouth. If that scenario, and the way we learn about it, isn’t a classic KCav life lesson, I don’t know what is. I do like the staff shenanigans, but I’m 100% here for the Kelly/KCav stuff. MOAR KELLY!
It’s interesting that you’re looking for matches for Kristin, and I was also trying to figure out why she’d have hired the staff she did. Again, some combination of people “in the know” in Nashville and the E! producer team. Shannon, as noted, seems to be somewhat of a Nashville Scene It Girl. She’s super good friends with Wirth, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole crew was hired with the assistance of a “who’s who” in the South registry. I mean, it can’t be a coincidence that Shannon and Brittainy are dating best friends / music business coworkers. They might all have been hired with a casting director present, for all we know.
Ok, the finale is coming up as we write this, so here are my predictions for how this season will round out:
- Uncommon James will finally open its doors and there will be drama.
- There will, however, be an immense amount of success and celebration as the aforementioned drama calms down.
- KCav + Jay move into their new farm and buy lots and lots of farm animals. Season 2 will be a lot about goats.
- Fingers crossed that Brittainy and her John go Splitsville.
What else will happen?
B: Listen, you can’t make three of your four predictions just be known facts. There’s no guesswork at stake! So, to offset you, here are a few wild predictions:
- Kristin will put the hammer down on the staff at some point during the aforementioned store opening BUT Shannon won’t be the problem this time
- Jay will be the first in line to pick up the kids at school, but be forced out when they take too long
- Kelly will get into a dramatic situation with The Canadian and Kristin will dispense some harsh truths. (Okay, this one isn’t much of a stretch.)
Now all we can do is wait and see.
A: The Very Cavallari finale has been watched, season two confirmed, and now that the dust has settled, were we right?
- Yes, drama was had, but it wasn’t the fun kind. The launch of the home goods line was marred by two issues: one, the website was only charging people the flat jewelry rate for shipping (OOPS) and Shannon’s newsletter was missing the correct link in the header (OOOOOOOPS). Brooke and I work in this field, and let me tell you: If you don’t test your links you are more than likely going to fuck something up. TEST YOUR LINKS PEOPLE!
- So much celebration! The store’s numbers are great, the issues were fixed, and Brittainy gets a promotion to the brand manager for the home goods line.
- Plus: KCav and Jay start the renovation process on their new cool country house. Sidebar: this must be what rich people do before they move into a new house?
- No breakup, but we did get a very pensive Brittainy after the shipping shenanigans, and we were treated to three separate conversations she has with her John about their future. I dunno, I think by the time we come back for season two, Brittainy might be single.
Brooke, let’s hear about your predictions!
B: Before I get into my bold predictions, I’d like to add one more thing about Brittainy and her bad boyfriend. We’ve now seen KCav, Brittainy’s mom and Reagan tell Brittainy to her face that John isn’t right for her. Girl, listen up. Okay, on to my results.
- Kristin did bring the hammer down on the staff during the store opening, prompting tears even, but Shannon was (unsurprisingly) part of the problem. Half-credit.
- The jury is still out on if Jay ever made it to be the first car in the pick-up line. Staying tuned for next season.
- Can you say “SWISH”? Cause: SWISH. The Canadian did fly out to kick it with Kelly, Kristin and Jay (who liked him way more than he wanted to) and he did have a sleepover with Kelly, but, Kelly still video called Kristin (with a team of stylists around her) to debrief and confess she wasn’t vibing. Kristin knew it, but also sagely advised her BFF to have fun and let the pressure fade away.
Very Cavallari season two, we’re ready for you.
Next time, we’re shaking off all of the glam girl drama with Drew Barrymore’s riot grrrl-flavored coming-of-age comedy, Whip It.