HOLLYWOOD—It has been the reality series and scandal, excuse me, Scandoval that has all of America talking. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you must have been living under a rock. I’m talking about the Bravo series “Vanderpump Rules.” I remember the series quite vivid as when it premiered almost a decade ago, I was an avid fan. The first three to four seasons were a guilty pleasure where I didn’t want to miss a single moment. As the seasons progress, the fun of the series lost its luster, I would say right around the pandemic is when it was at its worst.

Why? A bloodbath of cast members got the boot as a result of offensive tweets and behavior that came under fire on social media. The past two seasons, not so great, but this current season, whew, beyond explosive people. After dating for nearly a decade, Tom Sandoval cheated on his girlfriend, Ariana Madix (they recently purchased a home together), with one of her best friends, Raquel Leviss.

Yeah, it was explosive when TMZ dropped the news because the night before Raquel was on “Watch What Happens Live” with co-star Scheana Shay, who just happens to be Ariana’s bestie. When the news dropped fans of the series were stunned they couldn’t believe it, because Tom and Ariana seemed destined to be together forever. However, as the truth about this scandal started to unfold as the series was currently airing, all the hints and signs were there and it is crazy to see how obvious Tom and Raquel were while the series was shooting.

Rumor had it that Scheana assaulted Raquel. It’s a she said, she said, as Raquel noted Scheana punched her which resulted in a restraining order. Scheana noted she was simply so angry she just shoved Raquel. I guess only those in their orbit know exactly what unfolded. With that said, more and more details about the cheating fiasco started to come out. Granted people, Ariana already lost her grandmother and beloved pet during the recent year of filming, so she was already on an emotional rollercoaster before this bomb was dropped.

However, when it came out, Tom Sandoval is perhaps the most hated man on reality TV right now. It didn’t help that his business partner Tom Schwartz was complicit in the scandal. How so? He also appeared on “WWHL” and was asked a series of questions by host Andy Cohen, about what he knew and when he knew it. Tom apparently knew about the affair for months.

Hmm, I know most people would say stay out of it, but this is someone you’ve known for years, this is a close friend, your best friend’s practical wife and you say nothing. Tom Schwartz should have given Tom Sandoval an ultimatum, YOU TELL HER NOW OR I WILL. By staying mum, he’s complicit. Why? This affair was happening, while the current season was still filming, you’re smiling and giggling in this woman’s face, who has no idea her bestie that she is standing up for, who half the cast was not fans of because of her recent behavior with Tom S and Katie Malooney, is sleeping with her significant other and you say nothing?!

I’m sorry, that is cold, it’s brutal and it is painful to sit and attempt to justify it. When Tom S tried to have a conversation with Ariana on the season finale of “Vanderpump Rules” she immediately shut it down. She made it clear their friendship was over and I’m in agreement with her. He didn’t care about her and that TEXT message Tom S sent, dude, have a bit of tact and compassion. Your friend deserved to be dragged and kicked while he was down, after the way he embarrassed Ariana, give me a break. Tom Schwartz pick a damn side for once and stop riding the fence already!

The one hour season finale of “Vanderpump Rules” last week was perhaps the best thing I witnessed on reality TV in years. It was compelling, gripping and just left you speechless. I mean Sandoval was angry at Ariana people, he was angry at Ariana because he got caught. Seeing her tell him exactly how she felt was brutal, but so satisfying to witness. I have never been so glued to my TV screen in years and the editing: perfection. The truth bombs: gasping. The conflict and shade: genius. I mean seeing Lala and James call out Tom Sandoval and Raquel on their antics and seeing them flirt in the process of this bomb rocking their core group was vomit inducing. In addition, seeing Tom and Tom have to deal with the fallout of the scandal impacting their new business venture was chaotic. Schwartz didn’t like this was about to impact their livelihood. Hmm, in real time we’ve seen the business really take a beating with people posting all sorts of crazy reviews and causing stress on both Toms.

Learning when and where Tom S and Raquel first had sex was stunning. Learning they were schmoozing for months after, just explosive. Seeing that conversation with Scheana and Tom S about him cheating on her bestie more than once was jaw-dropping, not to mention the audience didn’t learn who the culprit was. Ariana teased that individual on WWHL, and while she noted she was not in the friend, I suspect we may have seen the person before, but time will tell.

The 3-part “Vanderpump Reunion” which kicked off this week, seemed like ions compared to when this news first dropped. However, when you have major news outlets, radio stations, daytime talk shows talking about the #Scandoval then you know it is big. People are consumed by this, and I think it’s a direct result of the issue of cheating. Most Americans have known someone who has been cheated on or has been the victim of being cheated on. Sounds like the perfect topic to bring Americans together and this chaos seems to be never-ending.