I hate Mondays, y’all. Or rather, I hate Mondays until I get my Southern Charm fix! Nothing is more hilariously rich than Ms. Pat using the phrase “bitch slapping,” am I right? As the recaps for this bourbon and bow-tied deliciousness are a tad verbose for my liking, let’s get to the meat (medium rare dry-aged rib eye from Hall’s, naturally) without the pleasantries of an introduction, shall we?
After a big night out for Shepstradamus’ birthday, Kathryn Dennis is recovering on Jennifer Snowden’s sofa having gotten into a fight with tequila and losing to Jose Cuervo. Jennifer attempts to cure her friend’s hangover with “rich people water,” listening to Kathryn lament about her current situation with Thomas Ravenel. Kathryn doesn’t care if T-Rav is mad that she spent the night away from Kensington, she’s just so exhausted from trying to make things work. Kathryn thought they were a team, but Sandy Duncan is hellbent on causing a rift between the couple with her campaign planning mojo. Across town, Shepard “Shep” Rose calls Landon Clements as he struggles to iron his shirt on the corner of his bedside table. He’s getting ready to show his mother the progress on his house, and he needs to look presentable. Who was as surprised as I was to learn that Shep owns an iron? And who found it as adorable as I did when he joked he was holding out for the right ironing board? Season 2 Shep is head and broad shirtless shoulders above his season 1 counterpart! Mama Shep is everything you’d expect her to be, and she’s a bit concerned about his transitional neighborhood. Reminding us that he’s still a bit of a douche, Shep points out a neighbor’s Audi that he promises isn’t stolen. Mama Shep has already bought the home’s furnishings (she still dresses him for goodness sake!), and she urges him to get an oven, if not for soup then at least for resale value. Now that Shep has a house, she’s ready for him to lock down a spouse. Shep admits that he has an upcoming date…that’s a start!
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.
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.
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.
It’s here y’all! Oh, how I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the return of Southern Charm. I’m auditing a class, and I kid you not, the professor reminded us to watch the premiere tonight. Of course, he then said he was joking and hoped that none of us would watch something that portrayed the Holy City in such an unholy manner, but I only heard the first part! It’s been far too long since I’ve gotten my T-Rav fix. Thomas Ravenel, he loves the taste of the finest bourbon and the smell of the best cocaine. The former politician is raising his infant daughter Kensington Calhoun with his much, much, MUCH younger girlfriend Kathryn Dennis. Despite Facebook break-ups and pool snafus, the couple is trying to make it work. Thankfully motherhood has tamed young Kathryn’s eyelashes.
Cameran Eubanks is married to a doctor (surprise!), but she still wants to grow her business as a realtor. Shepard “Shep” Rose has enlisted her to find his palace (and not his Palace Hotel…but more on that in a second!), and the duo has found the perfect home for him to renovate (read: rebuild) on Charleston’s east side…where I live and work. Just a coincidence though, I swear! Although she once made a prediction that Shep would be married in two years, she’s come to the conclusion that his house won’t see a goldfish, much less a wife! Shep is proud of his restaurant/bar endeavor. Remember that investor who warned Whitney Sudler-Smith that opening so much as a hot dog stand with Shep would be a bad idea? Well, he can suck it. And speaking of hot dogs, the Palace Hotel serves up gourmet versions, as well as a mouth-watering watermelon ricotta salad and amazing cauliflower tacos. Ignore the barred windows and doors, they are just part of the neighborhood’s charm.
Full disclosure: I set out to loathe Southern Charm. I anticipated watching like one would a train wreck. In the beginning, I did, but then something strange happened. It was as if the Who's Who of WhoovilleCharleston various towns throughout my great state were able to change this Grinch. At first I couldn't stand the thought of Thomas Ravenel, having once watched him make out at the table next to me in some oyster bar years ago. Then, strangely, I began to feel sorry for him, as he clearly just wanted to find love and a proper Senator's wife. Finally, he grew on me, much like a wart or some other weird skin abnormality, but grew on me nonetheless. I honestly think he's going to be an amazing dad.
That said, I guess I'm going to have to start following politics, because T-Rav isn't planning on any more Bravo stints. Instead, he's hoping to revamp his political career with the hopes that people will remember his time on Southern Charm more than they do the time he served in prison. T-Rav certainly has a colorful past, doesn't he? He's like a modern day Ernest Hemingway without the works of literary genius.