Southern Charm Premiere Recap: How Many Christenings Does One Baby Need? Apparently Two (Extra Heaven Points!)

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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. 


With Shep’s lease about to end and his bachelor pad far from completed, he informs Cameran that he and Whitney are moving out to the beach for the summer. She knows the pairing of those two is a recipe for disaster, but then again, so is Kathryn and Thomas’ relationship. The group is going to their baby’s Christening…wait, make that the second Christening. Are they expected to get a gift for that if they brought one to the first? Cameran wasn’t the least bit shocked to learn that Kathryn had gotten pregnant with T-Rav’s baby, but she was surprised to get another Christening invitation. Apparently that’s the protocol one must follow when dethroning a godmother for flirting with the baby’s dad. 

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At Thomas’ Edisto Island plantation, Kathryn admits that life has changed drastically since having her daughter. Kensie brings so much love and joy to her life, but it’s much harder than she’d ever imagined. She’s over the gossip insinuating she was trying to trap Thomas by having his child, and she misses being able go throw on a mini-skirt and go for a night out on the town with her friends. There’s no question that she loves that child immeasurably, but it’s almost sad to see how heavily reality has set in with the poor girl…because that’s what she is, a girl.

Downtown, Whitney is visiting his mother Patricia who is wearing marabou and eating breakfast in bed which her butler has served upon South of Broad’s finest china. She’s just ridiculously offensive perfection. As they discuss the second Christening, Whitney admits he’s glad he missed the first…but not as glad to learn he wasn’t the baby’s father! Patricia is confused by the event. In her day, unwed mothers were sent off to “camp” for eight months while their parents relocated and changed their identity. There certainly was none of this second Christening mumbo jumbo. She turns the topic towards the debauchery and gallivanting and cavorting that will be happening at Whitney and Shep’s beach house. She’s heard that Shep’s restaurant is doing very well (although you’d never catch her on that stretch of Hanover Street…or any stretch of it, for that matter), and with a pearly white smile and a spiked tongue, she asks how her son’s eatery is coming along. Ouch. 

Well, looky here! Bravo is giving the fair amount of commercial time slots to some of the haunts featured on the show (locally at least, although how awesome would it be to have a tourist bus hitting up all the Southern Charm hot spots? Trademarked–called it! I kid. There is too much congestion as it is!). Heading a little northwest of Columbia, T-Rav is campaigning in the charming town of Chapin. He’s running against Lindsay Graham for South Carolina’s US Senate seat. He faces some opposition from locals who don’t want to vote for a convicted felon. Hey, he wasn’t selling cocaine, he was merely sharing it!

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Craig Conover has graduated from law school. He’s quickly learning that taking fifteen hours of classes each week with a bank account full of Uncle Sam’s high interest cash he doesn’t have to think about paying back (yet) while living it up in one of the best cities in the world is vastly different from actually working in a law firm to make the money to pay off those loans that seemed like such a far off future responsibility mere months ago. I feel you Craig, but your ass needs to get to bed at a decent hour, put on the least wrinkled of your Brooks Brothers and head into the house that Extreme Akim built before you’re forced to face the wrath of the Bat of Justice, or, even more frightening, Kato Kaelin. Craig is summoned into work where he lectured about a little something employers like to call “actually showing up” and “being an adult” which are both totally foreign concepts to Craig. His boss reminds him that the other associates and employees are chastised for being an hour late to work, and Craig likes to arrive an hour before quitting time. This ain’t law school, kid, and Andy Cohen won’t be sitting on the bench when you’re defending your clients…once you’re licensed, that is. The bar exam is hard. Real life is harder. Craig hadn’t taken the bar as of the end of filming for season two. If he sat for it in February, results should be posted next month, so I’ll keep y’all informed. 

Thomas is visiting his friend JD who thinks fatherhood is a bit more than T-Rav bargained for when dreaming of a house full of little ones. Thomas admits that he’s not quite ready for marriage with Kathryn. It’s not so much the twenty-nine year age difference as it is her penchant for jealously, insecurity, drama, and paranoia. Last time I checked, those traits basically define a normal twenty-one year old’s dating mentality…or at least a good majority of ’em! Kathryn arrives with the baby, and Thomas is totally smitten with his daughter. Kathryn, however, is sick of the constant driving back and forth. The hour long commute from Edisto is taking its toll on her, and she always assumed that they’d be shacking up in the historic Church Street home Thomas was inhabiting when they got together. Before Kensington was born, T-Rav sold that house for over three million dollars, and satisfied a hefty tax lien in the process (see, I was listening a little in my class!). The adults sit down to dinner, and Thomas is excited that JD and his wife Elizabeth will be serving as Kensington’s godparents. Imparting his faith onto his daughter is extremely important to him. Kathryn admits that Elizabeth wasn’t her first choice, but the original godmother got a bit fresh with her man. Sure, T-Rav admits that said friend was rubbing his thigh, but it was an innocent attempt to get his attention, and Kathryn totally overreacted…hence the second Christening. 

Cameran and Craig are heading to the second Christening, and the two ponder whether Ravenel/Dennis nuptials will ever be a thing. Craig’s money is on “what wedding?” while Cameran opines that Kathryn is understandably jealous. Women are throwing themselves at Thomas even more now (if possible!) due to his reality star status. Regardless of whether their love story is one for the ages (or even 2015), she’s excited to see their precious baby. The preparation at Thomas’ plantation is in full force, and Elizabeth gifts her soon-to-be goddaughter with a heartfelt note that Kathryn dubs “adorable.” Thomas’ pastor and confidante is performing this Christening, and he should have it down pat given he did the first as well. Back on the carriage tour side of town, Patricia’s butler is packing a picnic of gin and snark as her neighbor Cooper arrives. As he’s in tune to Charleston society, she’s asked him to escort her to this odd event being hailed as a second Christening. Patricia utters the phrase as if she’s speaking another language while simultaneously smelling garbage (something she’s never done in real life, thanks to her butler). Basically Patricia needs Cooper to carry her Birkin and pour the car-tinis. Shep is also en route with Jenna King’s replacement, Landon Clements. The two are good friends from their post-college Charleston heydays, and she’s moved back from Los Angeles after the demise of her marriage. Landon is normal and likable, but I realize we’re just halfway through her first episode. He fills her in on the premise of a second Christening. It’s going to be the new thing, y’all! On the long ride to Edisto, Craig admits that he’d love to hate Cameran’s husband, but he’s just such a great guy (probably made even more likable but his refusal to jump through Bravo’s hoops). The Shep lawyer-in-training inquires about her pregnancy timeline which is now even longer thanks to Cameran’s recent YouTube search of vaginal births. That could certainly do it, I’d imagine!

What the second Christening is lacking in guests, it’s making up for with a heat index. Cameran wishes she’d gotten the memo that it would be taking place outdoors…again. Shep reintroduces Landon to Cameran and Craig, and people begin to shuffle in, including Shep’s ex Danni. He teases her about her stints at T-Rav’s plantation when it was a den of debauchery, citing it now has more of a morgue vibe kicking. What a difference a year makes! Thomas wishes his parents were there for the special occasion, but they saw the first go-round which is apparently sufficient for grandparents in their eighties, regardless of whether the key players are the same. I expect to see some Spanish moss roll through the event (the Lowcountry’s version of tumbleweed) given the smaller than expected crowd. The crew has their pick of seating which Shep doesn’t find odd in the least given that it’s–say it with me, y’all–the child’s SECOND CHRISTENING. Cameran likens the set-up to wedding ceremony. Is Kathryn hoping to work some subliminal magic on the father of her child? They laugh about how this is uncharted territory and question the procedure involved in a baptism after kicking the original godmother to the curb. Was she ugly? Should she be in attendance for a public flogging? Would she drink this warm Chardonnay? As Thomas addresses the (tiny) crowd, Shep silently pats himself on the back for avoiding this scenario.

After the baptism, Cameran vows to stay on birth control as Patricia rolls in fashionably late. Kathryn is incredibly intimidated by Whitney’s mom, as she should be. Patricia is silently ripping the event to shreds with every poised turn of her head. Mason jars and wildflowers, really? How very Pinterest. Taking a cue from his mother, Whitney arrives even fashionably later (if that’s a thing. It is. If a second Christening is a thing, fashionably later can be one too). He’s still not keen on his friend’s choice for a girlfriend, likening Kathryn to a hillbilly femme fatale who tricked his pal into this horribly humid situation.

Patricia has retreated with Cooper and the butler to the air-conditioned kitchen to partake in their own party. She can’t drink cheap wine in the sweltering heat when her butler has packed the perfect ice bag and mallet…not to mention her top shelf martini accoutrements.

Kathryn is struggling with insecurity due to her post-baby weight, especially next to skinny-minis Cameran and Danni. She looks fabulous, but she’s clearly uncomfortable in her surroundings. She asserts that she won’t be having another baby until there is an a wedding ring on her finger. Something tells me this isn’t Bravo’s attempt at foreshadowing this season…


[Photo Credit: Bravo]