I have to say, I am enjoying this season of Southern Charm for no other reason than the lacking drama. It’s kind of nice when everyone gets along…for the most part, at least! Of course, with this crew, there are always whispers of underlying messiness. After Patricia Altschul and Whitney Sudler-Smith tried to set up Landon Clements and Thomas Ravenel at a small dinner party last week, I received an e-mail from a friend who saw the duo grabbing coffee at Starbucks this past Sunday (or as the rest of the world called it, Mother’s Day) with Kensie. Who knows if this intel is true, but if so, it’s a doozy! Maybe their budding romance isn’t just a story line? (or maybe it is?) That said, friends can have coffee together whenever they damn well please, but what a not-so-subtle burn to Kathryn Dennis if it’s accurate. Or perhaps she knows and everyone is getting along now?? Sure.
The most recent episode begins with everyone getting ready for another beautiful day in the Holy City. Kathryn heads to JD and Elizabeth’s house to catch up, and the trio discusses Jennifer Snowden’s sip-and-see. Kathryn can’t believe that Thomas was invited and she wasn’t, especially given that, according to Kathryn, Jennifer slept with T-Rav while Kathryn was pregnant. She definitely should have been included in the afternoon. Um, does she remember her lunch with Jennifer? Elizabeth skirts the issue, focusing on adorable Kensie, but JD rationalizes that it’s difficult to accommodate both at a party given their tumultuous past. As godparents, JD and Elizabeth want to see the couple co-parenting, and JD gives the same advice to Kathryn as he’s given to T-Rav. Just be civil for the children. Kathryn reveals that she has received a text message from Thomas, which is the first communication she’s had from him in over nine months. However, she’s not sure she’s ready to respond.
Oh Lord. So basically Southern Charm Savannah is like Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Mr. Belding is the only common staple while the new kids are just caricatures of the original cast we’ve grown to love. In the case of these shows, a beautiful Southern backdrop is the common element while the new kids are a mish mash of our Charleston darlings. Nelson Lewis, with his European girlfriend and over-the-top elitism is basically Whitney-Sudler Smith with Cooper Ray’s one-liners. Ashley is Jenna from season one, back from the big city with a bit of an edge, while possessing the dinner party hosting skills of Thomas Ravenel. Lyle Mackenzie, Daniel Eicholz, and Louis Oswald are equal parts Shep Rose and Craig Conover, and Catherine Cooper wants to be Cameran Eubanks but she’s falling incredibly short.
Two years ago, a Savannah-raised law clerk at our firm spent lots of time name dropping Landon Clements and partying with Shep at Republic. He said Landon had enlisted him to help scout folks for a Savannah based spin-off that she was pitching to Bravo. Obviously, I didn’t believe him then and now I’m eating crow. That said, I’m hooked.
Talk about a double shot of Southern Charm! After Craig Conover acted like a straight-up asshat to his girlfriend Naomie Olindo, it seemed that the only solid couple on the show could be crumbling. Of course, use it Cameran Eubanks to swoop in with some love potion for her faint of heart co-stars. Shep Rose needs all the help he can get as he bid farewell to his latest slumber party guest. Why can’t girls just leave when he’s still sleeping? Why do some insist on sticking around…even suggesting lunch? The nerve! As he laments his love life, Shep takes a call from his doctor. His liver is inflamed and he may want to seriously think about cutting back on the alcohol–like completely. It’s a wake-up call for the eternal frat boy, for sure! Across town, Whitney Sudler-Smith is plotting with his mother Patricia Altschul to bring together Thomas Ravenel and Landon Clements. T-Rav has been feeling down and out about his player ways and needs a pick-me-up…preferably one with lady bits. Pat recalls a time when Landon approached her for life advice. Perhaps this is her calling? It sure beats internet dating!
Cameran is showing property to a very tardy Craig. He can’t seem to get anywhere on time. Craig finds one thing after another wrong with the potential investment property. Popcorn ceilings? Smaller bedrooms? Cameran tries to remind him that he’s going to be renting out this house, not living in it, but it’s not up to snuff for his portfolio. Um, that portfolio is empty, son! Cameran wonders how Naomie feels about this potential purchase, and Craig skirts the question. Cameran suspects that Craig is just telling Naomie what she wants to hear, but that is no way to build a relationship. Craig isn’t happy to learn that Naomie has spoken about their rifts to Cameran, and he admits that he will begin to resent her if he has to appease her at every turn. Laying the smack down, Cameran raises her voice. Does Craig understand how marriage works?
Before we begin with last night’s Southern Charm shenanigans, can we please give a big, fat “Atta boy!” to Craig Conover for passing the South Carolina bar exam! It looks like Shep Rose is going to have to find another reason to deride his pal. Of course, while Craig can celebrate this milestone, he’s going to have to atone for being a complete jackleg to his girlfriend Naomie Olindo on last night’s episode. Once again, she proves to be the only voice of reason in this motley crew!
After the gang muddles through their various (hopefully not morning, as most of them are slugging cocktails) routines, Cameran Eubanks takes her mother to purchase some hoodoo dolls in hopes of reclaiming her high school efforts to become a white witch…complete with spell incantations, purple hair, and a homecoming queen sash. Unlike voodoo dolls, their hoodoo counterparts bring positive energy to those who use them. Cameran is hoping this doll will help with matchmaking her friend Chelsea with Shep.
A big heap of well wishes are in order! There’s a Southern Charmer who isn’t Thomas Ravenel with some baby news! Cameran Eubanks, who has been riding an iffy maternal train for the first three seasons has just announced that she is expecting a daughter with husband Jason Wimberly. That’s going to be an adorable little one, for sure!
Cameran, who has spent her time on the Bravo hit wondering if she’ll ever feel ready for motherhood (while narrating the show and snarking on her co-stars), has flipped the switch. Avid viewers know that Cameran often opines about whether she’ll ever get the baby itch, most recently stating on the show that she’s quite fine with just taking care of her pooch. However, I think we all knew it was only a matter of time before she changed her mind!
Is it just me, or is this season of Southern Charm getting off to a slow start? I guess we do things at a more leisurely pace down here. Last night’s episode cut out one corner of the Chelsea/Austen Kroll/Shep Rose triangle while educating us on the importance of bro code. Additionally, Thomas Ravenel hosted the crew on Edisto Island. At T-Rav’s plantation, Landon Clements is playing house while she preps for the polo match. She is channeling her inner Goop which brings a sparkle to Thomas’ eye. His last lady didn’t know her way around a kitchen, so Landon is a welcome change. As the pretend power couple awaits its guests, both are equally impressed with the other. Thomas has a plantation and Landon is a refined hostess with the most. My dog’s water bowl has more depth. I sincerely hope these two actually end up together. They deserve each other.
Austen has Chelsea programmed in his phone as “Dream Girl” which makes him even cheesier than I’d already assumed. Bless his heart. However, Chelsea seems excited about the pair’s first date, and they are two of the least annoying of the crew. Yes, I realize they have only been in my face for three episodes, so I’ll reserve my final judgment. On their way to Edisto, Austen questions Chelsea’s relationship status with Shep. She reveals that they are both from Hilton Head and may have engaged in a recent make-out sesh with Shep. Tonsil hockey aside, she still thinks Shep is an idiot. Shep 2.0 is happy to hear this news, despite the irony.
After roaming around the peninsula on the previous episode of Southern Charm, the crew was up to new antic’s on last night’s installment, and it included a cameo by Billy Ray Cyrus. Could this show GET any better (typed in my best Chandler Bing font). After the requisite morning montage, Thomas Ravenel dons his Joker glasses to get down to business as Cameran Eubanks and her pal ChelseaMeissner are working out with a trainer after a boozy night. Cameran needs to counteract her gas station diet, and Chelsea dishes on her slumber party with Shepard “Shep” Rose. Spoiler alert, there was no nudity. Cameran is excited her pal may be on the Soulmate Express with the fratastic bachelor, and she encourages Chelsea to keep playing hard to get (ie, no pants dropping) to pique Shep’s interest. He’s used to girls to giving up the goods and is need of a challenge.
Craig Conover meets Landon Clements at Tavern and Table to sympathize over adulting difficulties when there are happy hours to be had. The two giggle over the pronunciation of charcuterie, making a profession out of philanthropy, and hobnobbing with the richest of the rich. Craig is working on an event for his girlfriend Naomie Olindo’s friend’s charity. It’s focus is disaster relief for orphans in Haiti, and Craig has been tasked with ordering the step and release, um, repeat. Landon and Craig bond over how hard they work and how sucky it is when their friends claim they aren’t working hard enough. Please! These tapas aren’t going to eat themselves. Someone has to do it! You can’t spell fundraiser without FUN after all.
This season of Southern Charm has just begun, but already the cast interviews are in full swing! While Shep Rose can come across as an arrogant playboy who hates on his inner circle, there is something inherently affable (at least to me) about him ninety percent of the time. His goofy confidence, fratastic lifestyle, and penchant for mailbox money makes Shep fun to watch when he’s not railing poor Craig Conover. As much as it sometimes pains me, I find him incredibly congenial.
Not only is Shep entertaining, those of us lucky enough to live in Charleston know he is also good at finding (and funding) some excellent hot spots. His Commodore Club is a hole in the wall that boasts an eclectic vibe and amazing live music. There is often a line around the block on a Friday nights. Likewise, the Palace Hotel, which burned down last year, was a tiny, nondescript store front with bars on the windows and no sign in sight. The first time I went for dinner, I wasn’t sure if I was opening the door to a new dining experience or a Law & Order set. However, the cauliflower and pistachio tacos (yes they are a thing, and yes, they are DIVINE!) were on point. AND THEY’RE COMING BACK! Shep is dishing on the return of the Palace Hotel…but first, let’s hear his take on this season of Southern Charm!