I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. For weeks I have fought off my urge to post about Vanderpump Rules on Slog.
"No one cares!" I told myself. "It has nothing to do with Seattle!"
But my willpower has run dry; my strength is depleted. The Seattle Kraken have been eliminated from the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and I miss yelling at my TV. I have no choice but to pour my energy into my next favorite competitive sport, reality television.
You're on the internet so I'm guessing you know something is happening in the Vanderpump Rules world, even if you don't watch or follow the show or stay up until 2 am reading fan theories on Reddit. It is fascinating. Truly. We're witnessing reality television history.
Here's the two-minute recap:
Vanderpump Rules stars Tom Sandoval, 40, and Ariana Madix, 37, have been together for nine years. They're not married—Madix doesn't want to get married—but they own a house together and, while Madix has maintained that she doesn't want children, she elected to freeze her eggs and this season she and Sandoval started the process of fertilizing those eggs should they want children in the future.
Raquel Leviss, 28, is best friends with Sandoval and Madix. She used to be engaged to James "Not About the Pasta" Kennedy, but she broke off their engagement last season. Leviss says both Sandoval and Madix have been incredibly supportive as she recovered from the breakup, even offering her a place to stay while she looked for a new apartment. Sandoval described her as "a little sister;" Madix confided in her about her insecurities and occasional relationship concerns. BFFs for real.
In March, goat cheese balls hit the fryer. Madix discovered an allegedly dirty FaceTime session between Leviss and Sandoval on Sandoval's phone. Madix immediately confronted Sandoval and Leviss and they both owned up to the affair, eventually admitting it had been going on for several months. When did the affair start? They say last summer. RIGHT AFTER MADIX'S 18-YEAR-OLD DOG CHARLOTTE DIED. Pure evil. RIP Charlotte.
While this all sounds like typical drama-fueled trash TV, it's actually a bit more interesting than that. Sandoval and Leviss hid this from everyone on the show, including producers, and this new season of Vanderpump Rules had already started airing when TMZ broke the news. The entire season they just filmed WAS A LIE. Since March, fans have gotten to watch a whole season play out knowing what the cast members did not know themselves, and it has made for some truly fascinating television.
Producers turned cameras back on within hours of finding out about the affair and we finally got to see that footage during Wednesday's season finale. It was so gratifying to see Madix lay into Sandoval for being a narcissistic liar—and to see his dick whistle get snapped in half. At the reunion, we'll get to see all the Vanderpump Rules cast tell Sandoval and Leviss exactly what they think of them.
There are layers! All of their friendships and relationships were impacted by this affair, by these lies. There is a lot to unpack, untangle, and uncover, and producers are hinting that more bombs will be dropped during the reunion. Fans have theorized about everything from secret pregnancies to money laundering. But even if it just ends up being three hours of Andy Cohen forcing Sandoval and Leviss to face the consequences of their actions, that'll be satisfying to see, too.
So here's where we are now: In April, Leviss reportedly voluntarily entered a facility for "mental health and trauma therapy" and she hasn't been heard from since. Sandoval has been making bracelets for paparazzi and cosplaying as a round one American Idol reject with his cover band the Most Extras. Madix, meanwhile, has spent the last couple of months attending the White House Correspondents Dinner, snagging sponsorships with Bloomingdales and Uber, and receiving public support from Kristin Chenoweth, Aidy Bryant, and Kaley Cuoco.
This is the Super Bowl. This is the World Cup. This is the Olympics. This is something that can only be made better if we experience it together. For the next three Wednesdays Capitol Hill's Comedy/Bar will host Vanderpump Rules reunion watch parties, complete VPR bingo cards, and lots of rosé, pinot, and *James Kennedy voice* PUMPTINIS! Let us unite to witness this historic moment in pop culture and collectively scream at the worm with a mustache together.
Capitol Hill Comedy/Bar's Send it to Darrell Vanderpump Rules Viewing Party is Wed May 24, 9 pm, $10.