This was supposed to be Jax Taylor’s season of redemption on Vanderpump Rules.
Much has been made of Jax’s “changed man” narrative, and fans hoped that his fairytale wedding to Brittany Cartwright would finalize his transition into a loyal spouse and sane, sober(-ish) adult.
Unfortunately, recent episodes of Vanderpump have demonstrated that if Jax has changed at all, it’s for the worse.
Picking petty fights with friends, shouting at his new wife, overloading on substances in a desperate attempt at self-medication … Jax might not be cheating on Brittany anymore, but he’s ramped up every other type of egregious behavior.
“I hear something, I get triggered. I have super highs and super lows,” a manic Taylor explained to Cartwright on a recent episode.,
“I smoke a lot, then I get hungry and I gain 20 pounds and I’m like, sh-t I gotta lose weight, so I take f–king Adderall. I can’t win.”
As many fans pointed out, other cast members insisted that James Kennedy get sober when he engaged in similarly abusive, erratic behavior, and James never confessed to rampant substance abuse in an unhinged rant that made it to air.
Producers recently attempted to explain away Jax’s bad behavior, blaming it on a post-wedding emotional hangover.
“Historically, Jax has acted out and self-sabotaged when things weren’t exciting enough in his life,” one producer revealed on a special episode that featured commentary from the crew.
“It seemed like he was having a wedding comedown… not consciously realizing why he was acting out.”
But fans of the show have a different theory.
They believe there are two driving forces behind Jax’s recent … and they’re the same things that have been fueling his bad behavior from the start — namely, narcissism and drugs.
“Seriously #JaxTaylor how much fucking cocaine you go through during filming of @VanderpumpRules?” one viewer tweeted during Tuesday night’s episode.
“I mean you might want to ask crew to adjust lighting to not highlight your blown pupils.”
“Jax either needs an intervention or an exorcism!” another Twitter user suggested.
Fans are less sympathetic than ever now that Jax has publicly acknowledged his problem, but still refuses to seek treatment, despite the way his behavior is hurting his wife and friends.
“The way I DETEST Jax Taylor more than anyone else on Bravo. Not a single redeeming quality,” one fan tweeted.
“Not a single feud he’s been in where I root for him. I don’t know a W O R S E person. #PumpRules”
Another viewer put it even more bluntly, tweeting simply, “Jax Taylor is cancelled forever.”
Throughout this season, the causes of Jax’s rage have been as troubling as the tantrums themselves.
Whether nonsensical (a friend hosting a beach clean-up), asinine (a different friend hosting a pool party at an inconvenient time), or problematic (the preacher Jax and Brittany hired for their wedding was openly homophobic; Taylor became enraged at friends who pointed this out to him), Jax’s triggers paint a disturbing portrait of a man teetering on the brink of collapse.
And then there are the incidents that weren’t caught on camera.
Before the season even began, viewers were calling for Jax to be fired from the show due to bigoted remarks he made to a stranger on Twitter while bullying the man because of his opinion about a hockey jersey.
Clearly, Jax is a man who’s desperately in need of help.
And it seems unlikely that he’ll receive the treatment he needs as long as his behavior is being subsidized and rewarded by Bravo.