Southern Charm. What We Learned. Round Table Discussion 5.
Southern Charm. What We Learned. Round Table Discussion 5.
What Sam Learned:
The most confusing thing about this show is trying to figure out why it is a show. I was trying to determine what all of these people have in common other than having an overwhelming sense of entitlement and wishing they were born during a time when it was still ok to own people.
Thomas Ravenel’s current love interest, Kathryn Dennis, has been catching a lot of flak from the other members of the Charleston hierarchy. Several of them claim she is far too young and immature to be involved in politics, to which she responded, “Bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t.” So I think she put their concerns to rest.
We then see Patricia and Whitney Sudler-Smith grabbing some drinks. Patricia being the mother of Whitney, who is a man by the way, asks him who he intends to take to the upcoming Carolina Day party. Whitney explains that the person he wanted to take has to work. Now that’s a bummer, sometimes schedules don’t work out, everyone knows how that is, right? Well, apparently Patricia doesn’t. She responds with, “You have someone who works?” Evidently in the inner circle of Charleston royalty, working for money is only a myth. The expression on her face was the same one I had when I discovered that narwhals are in fact a real thing. She finished off her quality time with her son by stating, “Well I don’t know about you, but I’m drunk.” Classic mother/son bonding time.
As the Carolina Day party approaches, we get to see the behind the scenes as the elite of the south prepare for a night out. We see Whitney spend a considerable amount of time planning his outfit with the help of his sassy personal chef, Robert. When Whitney has perfected his ensemble, complete with cufflinks of a late Austrian count, he turns to Brandi, his date, and says, “Just throw on whatever, we’re leaving in 20 minutes.”
The Carolina Day party is in full swing when Thomas and Kathryn arrive together, announcing their relationship officially to the public. As they entered, many things were said about the couple, mainly having to do with their 30-year age difference. One onlooker made a comment about Kathryn’s wardrobe choice saying, “Look at her dress, what is this prom?” What a clever joke: light hearted, gets the point across that she is young, just well-crafted overall. Another party attendee adds, “Yeah it (her dress) matches her hair.” Boom! Another zinger, spring boarding effortlessly off of the jab about Kathryn’s prom dress. A third observer, not wanting to be left about tosses in, “Yeah, it matches her abortion.” Wait, what? Excuse me? I obviously have missed something in the progression of this conversation, because were just talking about Kathryn’s corsage and now we are into the very uncomfortable subject of dead babies.
There was much drama in this episode, which would take several hours, and a lesson in the incredibly racially tense history of South Carolina to explain, so I will spare you. But there is one good thing that we can take away from this episode: Shep.
Shep is a simple man. Despite having been involved with three different women in just this episode, he seems to be a man who appreciates the little things in life. At the Carolina Day dinner party he exclaims, “Best table ever!” And at the best table ever, wine is poured by several servers at one time to which he responds, “Simultaneous pour!” We also get to see Shep getting his picture taken and the struggle of the photographer to get him to look at the camera lens. With all that in mind, I’m about 40% sure Shep is a golden retriever trapped in a human’s body.
This episode was filled with gossip, vanity, abortion jokes, and alcohol. What I’ve decided to take away from this episode is that we all need to be a lot more like Shep and embrace our inner golden retriever.
What Hunter Learned:
I really enjoyed the early scene between Whitney and Cameran at Charlestowne Tobacco & Wine. Cameran’s M.O. on this show seems to be to perpetually give relationship advice, and this time, it is to Whitney when she confronts him about any affection he may have for his assistant, Brandi. At first, these “Conversations With Cameran” (what’s up, Southern Charm, spin-off!) felt genuine and actually grounded Cameran as a (somewhat) sensible person, but now that she’s run through the same cookie-cutter conversation with just about every guy on this show, it is starting to feel more like a Mad Lib. Here’s a sample script:
INT. LOUNGE/EXT. PORCH (circle one)
So, [Guy Character]. I hear you’re into [Periphery Girl Character]. What’s up with that, bud/home slice/dude-a-reno (circle one)?
I mean, I don’t see anything wrong with what I’m doing. [Periphery Girl Character] and I aren’t going to/we might (circle one) get married some day.
You need to be honest with yourself!
CUT TO -- CONFESSIONAL
Cameran rolls her eyes.
Good gracious! Guys in the South are __________
d) my favorite, ya’ll.
Their conversation takes an abrupt turn when Cameran pretty much forces Whitney to hire her on as his real estate agent (“I know you’re loaded, and I need cash.”). For someone who loves to talk about poise and tact, this move really lacked both. Whitney is (understandably) taken aback when Cameran suggests that he should buy a $7 million house from her—a real estate agent with exactly zero years of experience—to which she counters with a strong “Pa-sha!” and a classic white-girl-wrinkled-forehead pout. This is a great sales strategy that you may recognize from Real Estate For Dummies.
Whitney concedes that he should move out of his mother’s house, because it is, “a bit Norman Bates.” He does know that Norman Bates had an Oedipus complex, right?
The central focus of the episode is John David’s Carolina Day Party. What you need to know about JD is that he is a perfectionist who likes to party. A Party Perfectionist.
The Carolina Day Party is a nice party, clearly a classy occasion, but also exactly like every terrible party I ever went to in high school. I mean, you guys—it had everything. Here’s a rundown:
1. Shep (the loveable, idiot jock—your friend was probably named, “Chip,” “Carter” or any last name as a first name), arrives with a new girl on his arm. This is to make his crush MJ (the then out of your league pep team dancer, now yoga instructor—at your school, this girl was probably also named “MJ”) jealous. Take that, MJ! Unfortunately, MJ isn’t there but Shep’s ex, Danni is, which leads us to…
2. Shep tries to make out with his ex-girlfriend, Danni. He is refused. (See also: any post-prom after party).
3. Muttered bickering about the prom king (Thomas Ravenel) and prom queen (Kathryn Dennis). Although, Jenna really kicked it up a notch when she said that Kathryn’s hair, “matches her abortion,” which was either a very crass observation or a really bad compliment.
4. A drunk guy (Whitney from the North, who lives in the South) mockingly singing country music. (See also: college freshmen from the North who go to school in the South)
6. A drunk guy (Whitney) telling girls (Cameran, Jenna) that he, “wants to see their tits.” Play fighting ensues. In high school, this would have led to Whitney making out with at least one of them. This does not happen on the show.
7. Pre-gaming dinner/drunk munchies.
8. Girls taking pictures with iPhones while at dinner. (Cameran, every girl who has an iPhone)
9. Girls calling people nicknames. (Cameron, every girl you didn’t like in high school)
10. Girls joking about being lesbians with each other. (Cameran, Jenna, every girl who played high school soccer)
11. Guys (Thomas, Whitney) bragging about who could put on the best throw down in town, and betting money on it. Although, “I bet you $5,000” in high school would have been hyperbole.
12. Guys “taking a step outside” to argue over one hitting on the other’s girlfriend. (Whitney: “I totally didn’t try to bang your girlfriend”—that’s a direct quote, you guys)
13. Dropping the F-Bomb a comical amount of times as someone threatens that he will “put you on the pavement right now.” (See also: every JV lacrosse player)
14. All is well that ends well because everyone dances! (See also: the time you and your friends played beer pong in your basement and it was totally the best night ever)
Hooray! See ya next week!
(Lead Image of Sam Hendry via Caroline Ro Photography)