I have officially been Southern Charmed. This Shakespearean comedy of errors continues to grow on me from week to week, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that I was lucky enough to pop in on Cooper Ray’s recent fashion show promoting his Social Primer line. The vibe was Risky Business, with chiseled models in Oxfords and undies sporting his whimsical designs. Who knew one could make classic seersucker and madras so cutting edge? Cooper was a gracious and genuine host, and he revealed that he styled NYC Prep’s Sebastian for the Paper Magazine article I harped on a few weeks ago. Did someone say “kindred”?
Last night’s episode begins with Kathryn Dennis tending to the adorable Kensington as Thomas Ravenel struggles to move a crib into the new downtown nursery. Cameran Eubanks is working the real estate market, and, not surprisingly, Craig Conover and Shepard “Shep” Rose are snoozing through a beautiful morning. Shep admits he doesn’t do anything productive before noon, citing that he once broke up with a girl who tried to start his day at 9:30. No thank you. Patricia Altschul is perusing Garden and Gun (but of course) as the OG butler plays veterinarian to her pampered pooches. She dials up son Whitney Sudler-Smith who regales her with his European vacation plans–Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!–with his German reality star girlfriend, giggling at how pretentious his travel agenda sounds. He relays that he will be attending a party thrown by Winston Churchill’s grandson at a pristine castle. It’s all so gauche I can hardly stand it!
Kathryn and T-Rav head to Upper King to buy out Morris Sokol for their downtown abode. I once took out a loan to buy a throw pillow there, but the store’s furniture is absolutely stunning. Thomas is beyond thrilled that the new house will keep Kathryn preoccupied with decorating and coffee dates and ladies who lunch, but Kathryn thinks the closer proximity to Thomas’ office will allow for more couple time. T-Rav humps a temperpeadic (“I like it, it’s quiet…”) and claims that they will have plenty of opportunity to work on their relationship once his election is over. Until then, he needs to focus on the campaign trail.
A dear, dear lifelong friend (transplanted to Boston but addicted to seeing her state featured on Southern Charm) texted me a “Which Southern Charm Gentleman is Your Soul Mate” (or something to that effect) quiz, stating, “I’ll tell you mine, but ONLY after you tell me yours.” I got Shepard “Shep” Rose (natch), and she hesitantly admitted that her match was Whitney Sudler-Smith’s divinely devilish mother. She lamented, “I think it’s slightly embarrassing that an opinionated lady who loves her medicine is my soul mate. What does that say about me?!?” Um, I’d say it just confirms how amazing my friend is…had I known Ms. Pat was an option, I may have swayed my responses! That said, last night’s episode proves that Whitney and Patricia are just fine playing the villainous upper echelon who take pleasure in looking down (way down!) on their co-stars. She’s like the love child of Julia Sugarbaker and Regina George with her flawless style, biting observations, and ultimate Mean Girl exclusion.
The show begins with Patricia summoning her butler (the newbie Mr. Belvedere has been busy polishing the silver…I’m glad to see he got the job!) to request glue sticks on his next run to the Publix. She’s compiling scrapbooks for her son as practice for a wedding photo album, but you won’t find these leather, gold-embossed babies on Pinterest, that’s for sure. Patricia opines about Whitney’s young, European reality star girlfriend and their foray into foreign tabloids as she dreams of a couture Valentino for their ceremony. Whitney arrives to complain about the Sandy Duncan from hell who Thomas Ravenel has enlisted to run his campaign. She doesn’t like the Raise the Roof ad, and Patricia is confused by this serf’s taste in low-budget political propaganda. Pat found her son’s vision of a dancing T-Rav to be “brilliant.” The duo laughs at the thought that any ad or manager could get Thomas a seat in the US Senate, as Whitney recaps his fundraiser at Bowen’s Island (Patricia briefly turns into Cher Horowitz…”as if” she’d attend any event off the peninsula!). He relays Kathryn Dennis’ bunny boiler meltdown when she felt condescended to by Whitney. Patricia poo poos the grammar and turns the attention to her diamond studded flats.
Say what you will about Whitney Sudler-Smith (I certainly do!), but regardless of how sinister he’s coming across on the second season of Southern Charm, he’s pretty funny (even if we’re sometimes laughing at him and not with him). I think there is a lot about his life that we don’t get to see on the show. Whitney is clearly a talented film maker, so the silver spoon that seems constantly lodged in his mouth can’t be a permanent fixture. He has to work hard. We all know he’s the creator of my guiltiest Bravo pleasure and is a producer of the series.
Given that fact, Whitney has to know how he’s being portrayed…heck, he’s likely writing his own script! It’s a bit intriguing (and dare I say, endearing?) that he’d poke enough fun at himself to be the requisite villain. Y’all know I stalk them at any opportunity (I have a few grainy cellphone pics of a white jean clad Whitney waiting at a crosswalk…restraining order, what?), and I’ve been known to approach members of the cast when I see them around town. The one time I fan-girled Whitney, Shep Rose, and Cameran Eubanks at lunch (off season–they truly are friends), all were incredibly kind and cordial, but Whitney struck me as sincere and genuinely nice. Plus, we all know that “reality” these days means scripted stories where the stars use their real names!
Y’all, I just can’t help myself. Like Craig Conover is addicted to VIP status and Shepard “Shep” Rose is addicted to teeth whiting, I have a serious problem when it comes to saying no to Southern Charm.Cameran Eubanks is spot on with her assessments of things idiots and asshats, and it is fascinating to watch the drama play out between Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis on every episode knowing that we can catch the live show at any time on any given form of social media! Now, if only we could add some spice to the resident nice girl Landon Clements. Perhaps a seedy after hours encounter with Whitney Sudler-Smith? Nah, she’s far too sweet and likeable for that!
Last night’s episode returns on the heels of last week’s “to be continued” napkin-swatting, roof-raising cliffhanger. Kathryn storms out of Red Drum to Danni’s awaiting car as Thomas heads out to his Edisto plantation to relieve the nanny. The following morning, Craig is playing video games and sucking every last drop out of an Icee pop (breakfast of champions) while ignoring Cameran’s calls. Shep and Whitney are cleaning up after their wild party. Surprisingly (to me, at least), Shep isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty (although the stray boxers on the porch are a lot, even for him). Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think Whitney would be quick to play maid…I just didn’t see either one of them lifting a finger to bring the cleanliness of the beach house back to status quo. Shep acknowledges that while he raised in a privileged manner, he still had to clean up his messes. He’s always wearing a Bert’s Market t-shirt which tells me he appreciates a 24-hour convenience store featuring any household item known to man and two crock pots…one full of chili and one full of hot dogs for the best post-Budweiser fueled beach day snack imaginable. Whitney is likely wearing something from Kanye West’s latest collection, but he’s wearing it to be ironic.
While some reality TV stars make a huge production out of going to church on Easter <cough-Kris-cough-Kardashian-cough> for the paparazzi, others enjoy quiet, quality time with family. Of course, they ARE still reality stars, so they post pictures. Here is a roundup of our favorite pictures from the holiday weekend.
T-Rav and Kathryn are packing for a trip to town, and she’s beyond ready to move back to Charleston. Edisto is such a haul! She questions why Jennifer Snowden was in attendance at Thomas’ dinner at Sermets to announce running for U.S. Senate. Is Jennifer a friend? A confidante? An ex? After all, Thomas has always maintained to her that he barely knows Jennifer. T-Rav knows Kathryn has been through a lot in the last year, and her young age causes her to suffer from insecurity. Kathryn found his behavior to be both disrespectful and inappropriate, and all he can do is tuck his tail between his legs and utter a soft apology.
Y’all there’s a lot going on with the reality elite of Charleston. After last week’s episode, we were treated to a Thomas Ravenel debacle of single malt proportions on Watch What Happens Live, and then the political (once) hopeful took to social media to passive aggressively snark on co-star Cameran Eubanks while sharing his disdain for his involvement with the show. Don’t be so blue, T-Rav…you’re only two episodes in at this point! You’ve got this, buddy.
Last night’s Southern Charm begins with Cameran moving into her new office…in her mom Bonnie’s office space. Bonnie is still as poised and beautiful as she was twenty-five years ago when my mom signed me up for Millie Lewis so I’d know which fork to use at a dinner party. You know, what twelve-year-olds desire to learn! My mother is probably looking down on me and shaking her head as I pull out the Chinette and plastic ware for my guests (when I can convince people to come over!), and I hope Bonnie never learns of my disposable faux pas. Despite the fact that her new husband is a doctor, Cameran is determined to establish her own career. Across town, newbie Landon Clements greets Shepard “Shep” Rose who is helping her move to her new home on a sailboat. Landon reminds us again that despite her refined Georgia upbringing, she’s not your typical Southern belle. Her new abode, the “Miss Adventure,” is docked at the Charleston marina. She loves her friendship with Shep because it’s easy compared to the who’s who/what club is hot tonight scene of Los Angeles.
Southern Charm has returned, the weather is warm, it’s Friday. I’d say all is right with the world, wouldn’t you? Last week, the cast of my guiltiest pleasure made their way past the Mason-Dixon line to celebrate the second season’s premiere in the Big Apple. On hand to celebrate was everyone’s favorite politician turned felon turned lovable lush Lotharia turned new dad Thomas Ravenel. Joining him were co-stars Shepard “Shep” Rose and Whitney Sudler-Smith, along with newlywed Cameran Eubanks.
The southern socialites mingled with fans to toast the show’s sophomore season with–what else?–mint juleps while noshing on gourmet grits and ham. No warm white wine, mason jars, or sweltering swamp humidity for this fete! As usual, Cameran was hanging out as one of the guys. Cameran is the Taco Bell-loving unattainable (for these guys, at least!) beauty who doles out tough love and one-liners like it’s her job (which I guess it kind of is). Of course, now she’s unattainable in a whole new way. She’s no longer just out of these playboys’ league, Cameran’s a married woman. So, will we get to meet her new husband over the course of this season?