I went into the last episode thinking Louis, Lyle and Hannah didn’t exist as people. Like I literally forgot they were members of society, never mind upwardly mobile, fairly local reality stars.
That’s how profoundly uninteresting they were in the premiere.
They are all the Austen of the OG “Southern Charm.”
But after the last episode …
Actually, no. I did not change my viewpoint significantly. In fact, it’s mainly gotten worse.
After watching the last episode I truly am amazed that every person on this cast has made it this far beyond their Baby Bjorns.
When did 31 become the new 14?
When did 31-year-olds lose the shame that should accompany still having to convince their parents that they’re adults now?
When did 31-year-olds stop finding “I can’t wait to see your crabs” a hilarious thing to inadvertently say?
I have no answers.
Just judgy observations.
Here are my thoughts from last night:
— First, and let’s just establish it now, this cast will never be as fun and as silly as the Charleston cast because they seriously don’t know how to hang — I don’t care how many elephant stools your parents give you, Hannah (Lol! Elephant stool! See? That’s how you do that). And if you don’t want to show your “biscuit” then may I suggest not showing your biscuit? I swear to you, it’s that easy. It doesn’t even need to be discussed. You just, like, don’t show it. Unless you’re Ashley. But more on that later.
— Why isn’t this entire show about Happy and Azam? They’re a great couple and I’d much rather watch them teach the lower half and middle parts of this country that Muslims eat chess pie too. Happy, Azam and Nelson. THAT would be a fun cast that could rival the felons and oversexed grandpas in the Charleston show.
— I have never ever met someone who name-drops their grandmother as much as Catherine does. Tell me more about your nana, Catherine Cooper. Actually don’t. I think we can just rely on our Southern stereotyping skills for that one because that’s what you’re already doing ...
— Have you ever watched a bridal shower on TV and thought to yourself “Oh thank God I wasn’t invited to that”? Kudos to the editors for perfectly capturing the blank-stare, fake-joy boredom that comes with wearing pastels, eating little sandwiches and watching your friend open platter after freaking platter while having the audacity to act like this is all just such a surprise and that she didn’t, in fact, make a list of the exact gifts she wanted you to buy and wrap up for her. Also, what was with all those platters? (I am just now realizing that my personal platter game is dim.)
— OK. I’m about to compliment Catherine three times in a row. One, I couldn’t help but laugh at her perfectly timed comment about The Cottage Shop. Comic gold. Why? I mean ...
If that doesn’t explain it, then what? Two, that was mean when she called Ashley’s cheese slate a “chalkboard,” but after one full “Southern Charm” episode and one half “Southern Charm” episode in a single night, I really needed that moment. Plus, it is a chalkboard. Someone just decided to put cheese on it, label the cheeses and charge $50 for it. Oh, and three, I absolutely loved that “Oh Jesus, this lady really doesn’t get it” breath-laugh reaction thing that she had when Ashley was explaining her golf-nudity. It was the only appropriate response to that and yet not at all appropriate. More on THAT later.
— So …. let’s talk about Ashley. Did she study a textbook on how to get more screen time or something? I’ve read that she was instrumental in bringing a segment of the film industry to Savannah so she knows what she’s doing, and she does seem like a go-getter etc. etc. But this girl is just checking all the boxes with Bravo and to my mind she is clearly a reality show savant. Random acts of nudity + first episode house fire + heading toward divorce + no one likes her = Editors have no choice but to make this show all about her.
— When Ashley first brought up that game of strip-golf with Daniel and Louis, I was like “Of course the no-sex-marriage woman is suggesting strip-golf while wearing a romper.” That’s a one and done situation, friends. It’s a suicide mission. Going to the bathroom in a romper is a suicide mission if the bathroom door lock is dodgy. Ashley is apparently into this, though. Also, turns out it wasn’t a romper — it was a two-piece sitch — but she was like “Mmm. I’ll just immediately strip down to this swath of sheer fabric from the Miley Cyrus Collection while these two lame-o’s try not to look at my nipples even though I’d very much like them to.”
— No-shirt Louis’ demeanor is exactly like that of my dog when I put clothes ON him. As in, it’s not a natural state of affairs. I imagine Louis was born wearing a collared shirt. Or maybe just socks not stocks?
— By the way, was that not the most awkward and perverted scene you’ve seen on a Bravo reality show? I felt like I walked in on someone’s older sister lining up the boys to look down her shirt. Ashley, my God. Download Tinder. Get it out of your system, girl. And props for wanting to show your “imperfect” body to society, but that’s not the whole reason you did that, right?
— Lyle. I now remember who he reminds me of: Richard from “Sex and the City.” The guy Samantha was obsessed with. He has the same “Silence of the Lambs” way of talking and the same sex registry-mugshot lips. And yet, he won me over just a little this episode. Just a little. I think it’s because he was raised with a wooden spoon. Or did he say wooden personality? I can’t remember.
— Hannah and Louis’ conversation about the strip-golf SCANDAL is everything that is wrong with male Southern politicians. I swear. And now I get it. Louis treated Hannah like she was his mother. And she treated him like she’s Catherine’s grandmother. But also, I kind of liked how she handled it. She was like “You embarrassed yourself, young man.”
— OK. Back to my comment about Catherine’s breath-laugh reaction and its appropriateness. Again, great reaction. But also … reality shows need the Ashleys to jump in the alligator river at a pig party. They need the Daniels not to wear underwear while golfing. They need the Nelsons to put the “party” in “GOP” and the “really?” in “He is not a gay man.” And they need the Catherines to not straddle the line of politeness with subtle burns while on camera. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the producers will be able to capture the nuances and contradictions in Southern conduct. Maybe they can create a compelling show that doesn’t rely totally on Ashley disrobing … it would be like sticking the Bravo flag into the surface of the moon, though.
For last week’s “Southern Charm Savannah” recap, click here.
For Charleston recaps, click here.