If you haven’t yet been wooed by the idea of men-children in tight white chinos paired with pastel polo shirts, then I implore you to tune in OnDemand, if only to better appreciate this recap. Because taking a cue from any good Bravolebrity, everything is about Me! Me! Me! Even Summer House. Last night we got our first taste of Montauk living from a bunch of late-twenty/early-thirty something New Yorkers who spend their summers in a rented mansion partying, playing girls (and each other), and wearing pastels.
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You can meet the cast of Summer House here.
During the week, they return to Manhattan to toil away in the sweat and the heat and the dark colors until jitneying (or in this case carpooling) back to Montauk for boozy brunches, drunken dinners, and sloshed swimming. If it sounds like the early seasons of Vanderpump Rules, that’s because it seems to be the point. And for that reason alone I am loving it. The one thing I am not loving are the wardrobes. Especially of the boys. I have never been one to appreciate so-called Hamptons chic, or the Northeastern beach wardrobes of prepster yacht clubs, especially when its donned as a costume as is the case with this crew.
Summer House opens in the first weekend of July, for what is apparently some sort of pre-Fourth of July celebrations. The crew reserved their house in February, and now, six months later, things have changed: from relationship statuses to friendships, to wants, desires, and needs. The Wirkus twins, Lauren and Ashley, who are clearly the centrals of the show, are doomed to sharing the master bedroom together because they need 7-8 hours of beauty sleep and therefore are not ‘party-friendly’. They make up for it by wearing thong bikinis and push-up bras. These girls are a tall drink of rosé – and rosé is what everyone is drinking this Montauk season (well at least in Lauren and Ashley’s minds).
So let’s meet the rest of the cast. First there is Kyle Cooke who made a splash – or, should I say, made a sink – when he insulted Stassi Schroeder‘s turtleneck swimsuit during a Montauk ritual known as Sloppy Sunday. The idea is to drink all day and night on Sunday, then wake up at the crack of dawn on Monday to drive back to NYC for a five (or four) day work-week, because “unlike those L.A. girls we actually have to work” explains Kyle. Except after a night of partying with Tequila Katie, the earliest Monday morning riser is Carl Radke, who doesn’t wake up until 8 am.
I have no idea what Carl does, but he’s from Pittsburgh and he’s the ‘new guy’ of the Summer House crew, which is anchored by Kyle and the Wirkus twins.
Ashley and Lauren are 6 feet-tall and from Cali. Ashley is married, but her hubby is back in SoCal while she spends her final summer in NYC. Lauren is hopelessly single, despite boasting a G-bra size and mile-long legs. She picks the wrong men every time. A tradition which will seemingly extend to Carl, who Lauren has the hots for instantly. She frets about how to handle their instant chemistry, while Carl sneaks out at night to hook up with a random.
On the first night of the first official weekend in the house, everyone makes their “summer social goals” (Kyle’s is to be less invested in bromances and more invested in hook-ups). He makes progress towards this by staying out partying until 4 am, then skinny-dipping and beer goggling with his ex-girlfriend, whom he dumped just to be single for his final Montauk summer before “growing up.” He dubs himself the last single millennial in Manhattan (or Montauk), and apparently requires a last-hurrah of boozing before Botox begins.
Kyle and Carl dub their hook-up differences, playing a “home game” vs. an “away game.” Carl prefers the away because he enjoys being the lone wolf whose movements can’t easily be tracked. More likely the Big Bad Wolf – all the better to eat you out with, ladies! Lauren has some mighty long legs to entangle him with, though.
While Carl is on the prowl as every woman’s worst Montauk nightmare (coming to Lifetime next year), Kyle by comparison declares himself a benevolent player because he only juggles one or two girls at once, which he feels just a teeny bit bad about deep within his conscience. How kind! Lauren and Ashley believe Carl’s problem is that he’s only lived in NYC two years and hasn’t sufficiently tasted all two million flavors.
I feel like Carl suffers from an inferiority complex overcompensating with false bravado. Carl grew up blue-collar and has been trying to make up for it ever since by bedding every girl he sees and playing the role of NYC player to the stereotypical hilt. Unlike the early seasons of Vanderpump Rules, these cats are more polished, much more educated and worldly, and after living in cutthroat NYC as a singledom for years, they’re much savvier about how the manipulative game is played. They also take themselves more seriously.
The relationship in the house is occupied by Everett Weston and Lindsay Hubbard, who are newly coupled yet obsessed with showing off the legitimacy of their coupledom. They are love blind and PDA-filled, and it’s making everyone pissy – especially Kyle, because Everett was previously his best wing man, but also Christina Gibson, who is Lindsay’s roommate back in NYC. Christina is sick of hearing about Everrett-this and Everett-that, so after Lindsay loses her sunblock but refuses to go look for it, Christina confronts her about brain on Everett while shopping in Kyle By AleneToo (YUCK).
Lindsay snootily decides Christina is jealous she snagged Everett and is no longer single, because previously she was Christina’s “eternal plus-1.”
Christina and Lindsay originally met in L.A., and then moved to NYC together. The Wirkus twins deduce that it’s too much togetherness to share a NYC apartment and a summer house, and Everett is the straw that broke the selfish roommate’s back. Everett, as it turns out, was friends with Lindsay and Christina for years before he and Lindsay decided to finally be a couple – two months in, they’re already talking wedding and engagement. This is not kosher for Kyle. He’s got the serious concerns that Everett is throwing away his precious few days of remaining youth on the girl they used to hook-up with meaninglessly.
Everett has the most interesting story of the group. As a former Iraq war veteran who narrowly avoided being seriously injured by shrapnel, he admits to having a hard time adjusting to NYC life after he returned. It seems like he grew up with money? He also seems sensitive and kind underneath, and he tears up while relaying his military days to Carl, who doesn’t know him well. Kyle and Everett are close friends and it appears to be a bromance to rival the Toms as Kyle consoles an emotional Everett on the balcony. Oh, I do love a good bromance, even if it’s one in fitted khakis!
The omniscient narrator of the cast is Stephen McGee, whom I’m gonna go ahead and assume is gay? At the very least he’s in some sort of long-distance relationship, which means he pairs off instantly with Ashley to provide social commentary on all the shenanigans while behaving adult-ishly. Stephen finds #Sarcasm “World’s Happiest Couple” (Everett and Lindsay) fake and annoying, and hopes Carl can be trustworthy with Lauren’s affections, although Ashley has serious doubts.
But Carl has been perfecting his American Psycho routine for years. After returning home from a hookup at 6 am, he does a boys brunch with Kyle and Everett where he smugly recounts how he dumped his rich girlfriend on a private jet moments before she almost duped him into proposing. He had even hired a skywriter to pen “Will You Marry Me?” across the sky. His reason: he knew the ex wasn’t the type of girl he could live in a cardboard box with. More than likely she wanted to keep his lone wolf in a gilded cage.
Everett swells with pride that what he has with Lindsay is “cardboard box material.” In response, Kyle sneers openly. Carl merely excuses himself to go throw himself at a table full of girls celebrating a birthday, because he’s definitely not ready to fill his cardboard box. I predict, however, that if he breaks anything on Lauren, Ashley will be packing a box for him and kicking him out of Summer House!
I can’t decide it Carl is cute or not? He’s got funny ears, but he’s also got a shameless cockiness that in some small ways makes him look hot? However, the wardrobes of these men is the deal-breaker for me every time. For all Stassi’s giggling for stripes and navy, I’m gagging.
On the second night in the house, the group celebrates Fourth Of July with tacos. And after watching fireworks from their balcony they hit the club where Carl focuses on Lauren as Ashley and Stephen observe from the sidelines. Lauren muses that when she likes someone she’s “all in” – that’s where the issue lies, because when Carl likes someone, he’s only temporarily in (and out), then permanently out.
Despite everyone’s concerns about hooking up with a housemate, Lauren breaks her own rules and spends a drunken night in Carl’s bed.
We haven’t met other housemate Jaclyn Shuman, who I think turns up next week.
TELL US – DID YOU WATCH SUMMER HOUSE? WHAT DO YOU THINK SO FAR?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]