Southern Charm. What We Learned. Round Table Discussion 4.

Hunter Gardner

Southern Charm is four episodes deep, and we’re starting to see the emergence of a second act: T-Rav and Kathryn look to be cosmically linked and reality is encroaching on “Neverland” as Ravenel may be her baby’s daddy. Jeremy McLellan and I took to the tube again this week to observe, reflect, and learn. 


What Jeremy Learned:


1. Pregnancy scares are rough. I hope they have an adoption scare next week. Like, I hope T-Rav comes back from a night on the town and is like, “wait a second…whose baby did I take?”

2. Whitney’s mother is wondering that right now.

3. It’s OK to walk around drinking on the streets of Charleston if you’re on a TV show.

4. Shep said he’s 99.9% sure the baby isn’t his. This is the only time Shep can say he’s part of the 99%.

5. I tried to write a joke about how all of T-Rav’s pauses are pregnant but it wasn’t very funny.

6. Whitney doesn’t like sweet tea. That’s fine because not everyone in Charleston has to like something just because a lot of people in Charleston like it.

7. Carolina Day is entirely made up. It doesn’t exist. I looked it up, and it’s totally fake. Every website that says otherwise is a parody site. No one celebrates that here.

8. The easiest way to get to N. Market St. is to go up Folly Road.

9. The exchange student program we have with Ohio is going well. I once spent a summer building a well in Cleveland and taking pictures with the natives for my Facebook profile picture.

10. Jenna saying she has a “crystal meth vagina” just reminds me that I could be watching Breaking Bad and/or vaginas instead.


What Hunter Learned: 


At the top of the episode Kathryn Dennis, possibly pregnant, enjoys a glass of wine with Thomas Ravenel as they face the inevitable: their cab will have to stop at the drug store for a pregnancy test before heading to South of Broad. Kathryn takes the test, which you should never do when you’re drunk. It makes them harder to read, you’ll probably mess up and get an error—because you’re drunk. 


Here’s the skinny: Thomas Ravenel had unprotected sex with Kathryn Dennis, which was a, “no-no.” Now Kathryn might be pregnant. This was not the plan. It never is. It’s a dumb mistake. Nothing grounds you, or snaps you out of your hangover, quite like a pregnancy scare. Being drunk and stupid has its costs. And I’m no saint: I’ve made that mistake without the consequences. It’s scary. But this very real possibility is met with a common coping mechanism. I’ll explain.


When Thomas confronts Shep about the scare, Shep thinks the whole thing is hilarious (only because he is 99.9% sure he’s not the father). I’m a guy (I’ve been one forever) so I know this is just a guy’s way of staying masculine, while also showing relief. Thomas also takes refuge in Whitney, for some good guy one-on-one time. You’d do the same thing. After Kathryn and Thomas’ pregnancy test comes back negative, they go get drunk. You’d probably do the same thing. But what we really see throughout this episode (and series) is adults acting like children. That happens all the time. My friends and I do it. My family does it. Yours do, too. The fact is we may not all know what it is like to act like an adult, but we can all point out when someone is acting like a child, and that is what makes this show (sadly?) funny.


Mid-episode, Jenna brings up the perspective that men are glorified for dating younger women, and younger women are called gold diggers for dating older men. That’s true. It appears that the goal of the men on this show, regardless of their age (and maybe all men) is to have sex with as many 20-something-year-old women as possible. 


That raises an important question for me, personally: Am I going to perpetually have the libido of a twenty-something-year-old guy forever? I’m 26, and if I’m basing my expectations on this show, then I am not having sex with 20-something-year-old women nearly as much as I should. 


20-something-year-old women really run the game. They set the trends, then women from middle school cheerleaders to 45-year-old moms at Whole Foods start wearing the same style at approximately the same rate of dissemination (see: yoga pants, cowboy boots). At 26, it is acceptable for me to sneak a glance at said 20-something-year-old women (not their clones), but when I’m older, will I still be checking out 20-something-year-old women? Not only that, if this libido situation is true, then I’ll also be checking out 20-something-year-old guys thinking about how many 20-something-year-old women I bet he’s having sex with. Great, now I’m feeling self-conscious and, well, creepy. Now, a lack of millions in the bank and a heralded family name aside, maybe it comes down to this: 


1. I’m not good at hitting on girls in bars.

2. I don’t have a account.

3. I spend a lot of my free time writing articles like this—damn it, Southern Charm, you win.


Maybe we’re all just doomed to think that acting like children is excusable. We can all keep waking up hung over to pregnancy scares and mimicking our teenage daughters’ style, knowing that reality television excuses our actual reality. Here’s something to think about, though: MTV’s Sixteen & Pregnant was actually found to diminish teenage pregnancies in the small towns where the teenage demographics similar to the girls on the show were watching. It didn’t encourage teenage sex—it discouraged it—because it’s scary. People were able to reconcile that this thing happening on television had real life consequences. Way to go, people. Let’s keep that up, and learn not to act like children.