Can Vanderpump Rules survive post-scandoval?

Ariana Madix poses for the Vanderpump Rules Season 11 trailer
Ariana Madix is ready to leave Scandoval behind her. Pic credit: Bravo.

Vanderpump Rules was likely entering its final season on Bravo this time last year.

The numbers had been dropping for years as viewers tired of the same storylines that went in circles.

Everything changed overnight in March 2023 when it emerged that Tom Sandoval was having a months-long affair with Raquel Leviss behind Ariana Madix’s back.

It was a revelation of stratospheric proportions and threatened to change the fabric of the show that we couldn’t quit.

Filming resumed to shoot an additional episode to capture the fallout of the cheating bombshell, but by that point, Variety, The New York Times, and other outlets that don’t typically focus on reality TV were reporting on the show.

The viewership and recognition for the show were rising by the day, and now, the series is preparing for Vanderpump Rules Season 11.

Can Vanderpump Rules survive without Scandoval?

The big question is how the series can survive in a post-Scandoval world.

We’ve only witnessed the aftermath on-screen, so we don’t know what the show will be like now that everyone’s seemingly moved on.

The sad part is that Raquel Leviss will not be on the show at all this season, but she won’t be far from the minds of the cast members.

The series successfully morphed her into a villain last season, with some of the most disgusting insults leveled at her during the reunion.

Yes, Sandoval was also in the hot seat, but he didn’t wind up in a treatment facility in the aftermath.

Despite what many people think about Leviss, it’s obvious the backlash was driven by the increased recognition of the show, and the level of toxicity from the show’s fans for her is unwarranted.

You can be critical of someone’s choices, but even some of her cast members said despicable things that would have landed them in hot water had Leviss not been portrayed as this massive villain.

Will Vanderpump Rules suffer without Raquel Leviss?

While Leviss has decided to part ways with the series, there’s a good chance her name will come up so much that Bravo should consider cutting her a check.

Knowing what’s around the corner on Vanderpump Rules Season 11, there’s a high probability the show will focus on the drama as opposed to the dynamics at the show’s core when it kicked off in 2013.

It’s unbelievable that the show has had so many cheating storylines, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change anytime soon if the official Vanderpump Rules Season 11 trailer is to be believed.

A likely manufactured cheating storyline is brewing

Scheana Shay and Tom Schwartz shared some form of interaction several years ago, which comes out in the open after years during the upcoming episodes.

We know Bravo has a habit of cutting out footage from trailers, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a similar situation happens here because it’s such a desperate story to bring up years later.

Had there been any form of relationship between them of substance, it would have come out when the show’s numbers were flatlining after a pandemic-related hiatus.

Another questionable storyline on the way involves Schwartz and ex-wife Katie Maloney falling for the same woman — or so that’s what the crafty editing leads us to believe.

Schwartz and Maloney are clearly worried about their place on the show if this is the lengths they’re going to to have a storyline.

Vanderpump Rules is looking for attention-grabbing storylines

Vanderpump Rules undoubtedly found millions of new viewers due to Scandoval, but it seems the show is desperately trying to throw a lot of headline-grabbing storylines at the wall to see what sticks at this stage.

We may have a different view of the situation when the episodes get underway. Still, people will expect the same level of drama as the final episodes of Vanderpump Rules Season 10.

Viewers will disappear when the storylines get stale again, so the producers should think about who they want to be caught up in a cheating scandal next.

On top of the likely problems coming up for the show, we also have the return of Jax Taylor, who will get embroiled in an argument with Sandoval that will segue into The Valley.

It’s the wrong time to launch The Valley spinoff.

It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen because, when you think about it, Vanderpump Rules needs all the drama it can get to keep people talking about it.

It isn’t the right time to dilute the franchise with The Valley. That show should have happened years ago, or execs should be holding off at least another season to see how Vanderpump Rules holds up.

It’s nearly impossible for the show to keep up the pace, so it’s hard to believe it will get the same promotion level from Bravo next year.

Time will tell.

Vanderpump Rules returns Tuesday, January 30, at 8/7c on Bravo.

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