Living for the Drama

Reality television over the years has become a cultural phenomenon, it captivates audiences all over the world through its diverse range of shows. From talent competitions to fashion and lifestyle programs, reality TV delivers a unique type of entertainment that combines unscripted content with drama and heightened excitement. Today I will be breaking down some of my favourite scandals and reality TV moments that have appealed to these types of programs all worth the watch. 

Vanderpump Rules Drama: Scandoval of 2023 

I had not watched an episode of Vanderpump Rules a day in my life and maybe neither have you. However, because my generation is actively on the internet “Scandoval” absolutely took over my entire social media and not by my own will. I still have not watched an episode of this show today yet I know the lore of this major scandal and so will you because I had to. The drama which unfolded in 2023 centres on Tom Sandoval’s affair with his co-star Raquel (Rachel) Leviss, which ultimately ended his nine-year relationship with co-star Ariana Madix. 

The affair began in August 2022 and was initially characterized by both Sandoval and Leviss as a one-night stand. Furthermore, it later became clear that their relationship had continued and grown during a wedding in Mexico, which Sandoval attended with Leviss all while still in a relationship with Madix. This information then became public during the show’s tenth season, leading to a huge confrontation that went viral. 

A significant moment in the scandal which I saw everywhere was when Madix discovered the affair and confronted Sandoval, this was an emotional climax that was featured in the season finale. Ariana Madix’s heartbreak was built by the betrayal not only from her long-time dog of a partner but also from a close friend, which highlighted the personal and emotional toll that betrayals can take. Sandoval’s continuous dismissal of his actions further painted him as insensitive and self-centered and grew huge sympathy from audiences towards Madix.

The scandal was given the “Scandoval” and it also made the internet shine a bigger light on the cast but more towards Ariana Madix. Friends and co-stars took sides with many supporting Madix and expressed disdain for Sandoval and Leviss’s actions. And being a watcher of this was incredibly entertaining. 

Ultimately, this scandal continues with the show’s last season going on and drama is still unfolding. What I live for most about this is how successful Ariana Madix has become after this. She’s thriving in a wonderful relationship, she has been and succeeded on Dancing With the Stars as the runner-up, starred in Broadway’s Chicago as the lead, and is currently in lineups for hosting Love Island USA. Don’t you just love it when the girls win cause I know I do. Overall, this was one of the craziest plotlines in reality shows I have ever seen, and the phenomenon that surrounded it I had never seen anything like it. The amount of attention it stirred up was insane and it showed off the power of reality TV. 

Kardashians: Dolce Vita Lifestyle (Kim vs Kourtney) 

This drama had my sister and I howling because of how I guess you could say “first world problems” this drama was, but my gosh it was so extremely entertaining it was to watch unfold. But here’s the breakdown. Regarding Kourtney’s wedding to Blink 182’s drummer Travis Barker, the fashion used and a major contributor to the wedding was Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) this was the focal point of the tension that was highlighted in the show. The conflict began when Kourtney accused Kim of exploiting her wedding for a business venture shortly after the wedding. 

Kourtney’s extravagant Italian wedding to Travis in May of 2022, in Portofino, Italy was ultimately coordinated with D&G, featuring custom bridal outfits and vintage themes. The wedding itself was immensely significant for the brand because it showcased archival designs. However, just four months later Kim collaborated with D&G for a special fashion collection leading Kourtney to create this narrative that her sister had not only overshadowed her wedding but also capitalized on its theme and style she had cured up for her special day. Even though people have been doing these styles of weddings for forever now. 

Moreover, Kourtney expressed that she felt betrayed and hurt by Kim’s doings, interpreting them as a sign of greed and selfishness. She believed that Kim prioritized the business opportunity of their relationship and failed to consider how it would impact her. This drama escalated when their mother, Kris Jenner, encouraged the rest of the family to promote Kim’s collection which further alienated Kourtney and twisted the knife in the situation

However, through Kim’s eyes, she defended her decision by pointing out the double standards, noting that Kourtney did not object to the other family members’ ventures with D&G. Kim also brought up the fact that both sisters had shared similar wedding elements in the past including location and even the wedding performer the great Andrea Bocelli which just made Kourtney’s accusations seem irrelevant. Despite Kim’s attempts to justify her decisions she ultimately acknowledges the pain and trouble she had caused and apologizes with wishes to mend their relationship. Because who wants to fight with their sister forever? 

This drama reached its peak during the show’s third season and trickled into the fourth as they revisited the past events and comments that were made before the new season aired. However, they squashed the beef and moved on swimmingly as they always do. And the new season is coming out quite soon with Kim and Khloe looking like they have been budding heads. 

The world of reality TV’s enduring fixation truly lies in its ability to blend real-life drama with the spectacle of unscripted entertainment. The gravitation towards these shows often comes from their capacity to produce authentic human emotion and conflict in the most entertaining way possible. This analysis of these two scandals from “Vanderpump Rules” and “The Kardashians” highlights its genre’s appeal. 

The “Scandoval affair illustrated how deeply personal betrayals can capture an audience. Tom Sandoval cheating with Raquel Leviss and its ultimate ending provided an exciting storyline that pulled in viewers who may have never even seen the show. I mean I wonder how the people who regularly watched it felt. The emotional weight of Ariana Madix’s response to the scandal paired with the public’s immediate support for her, underlines the show’s ability to produce strong viewer empathy and engagement. The scandal also demonstrated the strength of reality TV to transform a personal conflict into a public showcase which then extended the drama beyond its capacity. 

Similar to the fight between Kim and Kourtney over D&G collaboration highlighted the dynamics between family and siblings through business ventures. Kourtney’s feeling of betrayal by Kim, whom she accused of putting money over memories, revealed the complexities of combining personal and professional lives towards the public eye. This drama not only provided intriguing television but also started conversations about loyalty, commercialization, and sisterhood. 

In essence, reality TV and its appeal lies in its ability to present relatable yet dramatized versions of real-life situations. The genre lives and thrives on the authenticity of its “characters” emotions and the unpredictable nature of their doings that offer viewers an enticing blend of reality and entertainment. Through all of that this is why the genre remains to thrive continues to be a force in pop culture. 

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