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Jax Taylor and Brittany Cartwright on ‘The Valley’ Premiere: ‘The Drama Followed Us’

By Emma Chance | TV | March 20, 2024 |

By Emma Chance | TV | March 20, 2024 |


When Jax Taylor appeared in the last 15 minutes of this morning’s episode of Vanderpump Rules—ostensibly to offer Tom Sandoval advice as an experienced adulterer—I sat up a little straighter in my seat, thinking we were about to get a repeat of the now legendary transition from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to Vanderpump Rules premiere episode, this time moving just as seamlessly into the premiere of Taylor’s new spinoff, The Valley.

@realhousewivesbh Here is a throwback to the lost transition between #RHOBH & #pumprules! This happened in 2013 for the debut of Lisa’s show! Wasn’t this just a great way to introduce the gang of Vanderpump Rules? 💎🍸 #RHOBH #bravotv #realitytv #housewives #pumprules #vanderpumprules #lisavanderpump #vanderpump #tbt #throwbackthursday #throwback ♬ original sound - Real Housewives of BH 💎

But, alas, the VR episode ended on a cliffhanger of Taylor and Sandoval predictably yelling at each other about how the other handled their respective cheating scandal, and The Valley began with flashy shots of suburban Los Angeles and quick introduction packages of Taylor’s and wife Brittany Cartwright’s middle-aged couple friends.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen this very calamitous couple on Bravo. “I thought I was going to have to dust off the cobwebs a little bit and get back into it,” Taylor says of their resurgence. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to navigate it now that I’m a husband, and I’m a father. But no, I just feel right back into it. Within five minutes, I was right back into it.”

But not right back into the lifestyle we saw him living on VR. Now he and his buddies have settled down and live in the titular Valley neighborhood of L.A.

“I wish I would’ve moved here sooner. I just love it. It’s just a little bit more my speed. I like the Valley. I like homes and suburbs and chain restaurants and soccer practice and schools. I just like that kind of life. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time living in Hollywood when I did. But as soon as I got married, I made the right choice to get out of there. It’s a different world, Hollywood now, these millennials. I can’t keep up with that lifestyle.”

Fellow VR alum Kristen Duote (who Jax hooked up with when she was dating Tom Sandoval, but that was a minor cheating scandal compared to Scandoval) has settled down too and appears on the show alongside her boyfriend Luke Broderick.

“I’m glad she’s back,” Taylor says of Duote. “I think she’s a lot of fun. I have my ups and downs with Kristen all the time. One week she’s my friend, another week I want to kill her. Am I’m sure she thinks the same with me, too.”

Cartwright is glad to be back on TV in a more domestic way. “We film in our houses and stuff a lot. It’s a lot more family-oriented. There’s just so many things that women in general are going to relate to with this cast. And I think that’s going to be what sets this show apart and makes it a lot different than Vanderpump Rules,” she says.

“We’re at the point of our lives where people are getting married, separating, divorced, trying to have kids. Some people can’t have kinds. People are buying homes. We’re trying to find the next chapter of our lives. That’s what your 40s are about. It’s like the next phase. It’s the back nine of your life—that’s what I like to call it,” says Taylor.

What’s funny is they made those statements from different homes, as they’re going through a very public separation right now. While the cracks may have been there during filming, the split didn’t occur until after the cameras went down.

“I wouldn’t blame anything on filming because our whole relationship, from where we first started dating, was on camera. So, it was almost weirder when we stopped filming after Vanderpump Rules, honestly,” said Cartwright. “I just think that personality-wise, we’ve just been clashing too much recently. And my son, he comes first, and I’d rather him be in a happy home than have to deal with us fighting and arguing. And I don’t know what the future is going to hold by any means, but this space that I’m taking is much needed,” says Cartwright.

I’ve now watched the premiere about halfway through (I had things to do today, okay?) and I can confidently tell you that they are not the only couple going through it. I would wager that, once we’re a few episodes in, Jax and Brittany will be looking pretty good compared to the others.

Taylor isn’t surprised by that. “When I created the show, I didn’t want the drama that they have on Vanderpump because I’ve just done it,” he says. “I’ve done it for so long, and I didn’t want to go back to that. I wanted to show the next chapter, that was my plan. That lasted about five minutes. And then, of course, just like anything else, it gets back into the drama and everything.”

Cartwright agrees:

“Jax kept saying, ‘Oh, we’re grown up now, we’re in The Valley.’ I was like, ‘The drama followed us to The Valley. It did not stay in West Hollywood.’”

New episodes of The Valley air Tuesday nights on Bravo or the next day on Peacock.