It may have originally been said by Alice Roosevelt Longworth, but last night, Andy Cohen was certainly channeling his inner Clairee Belcher who, in the best movie ever known to man (tied with Goonies, of course) cooed, “Well, you know what they say: if you don’t have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!” That’s pretty much how it went down on the first hour of the Southern Charm reunion. Can I just say how thrilled I am that the crew finally got a proper reunion and wasn’t crammed into the WWHL clubhouse? Finally, right??
Before I get into the meat of the show, I’d like to make a few observations. I try not to share too much of my personal feelings (some of y’all may disagree with that statement, but I do try), but we all know a reunion is 30% footage and maybe 70% reaction, so I need a bit of filler. Y’all ready? People have commented before that I am too easy on the cast because I’m starstruck by people I could run into at Harris Teeter. You would be ninety percent correct.
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However, the main reason I don’t snark as much on the individuals has more to do with the few degrees of separation I have between them and others…this isn’t to say that I run with a crowd of people who hangs at the Hibernean Club or golfs at Yeamans. Anyone who has lived any amount of time in South Carolina (heck, anywhere in the South) can attest that this state is so small. The office manager at my firm is from one of the tiniest of towns and I am from one of the biggest. She is eight years older than I am, yet we know a dozen of the same folks. It’s unreal, and it’s like that anywhere you go here. Forget Kevin Bacon. South Carolina has him beat. So you’re right. I sometimes hold my tongue more than I would, but I like to think that maybe I make up for it with inside scoop on the places these folks are frequenting. Right? Hello? Maybe? Not at all…I get it. 😉
That said, let’s dish. Shepard “Shep” Rose is fratastically charming and genuine. Only he can opine about not wanting to be considered a misogynist while claiming the “twos” he may have bedded in the past were on a binary scale. Why this shouldn’t work…the guys are judging women’s looks and making fun of Shep for sleeping with some they consider to be less attractive on a scale of one to ten. Why it works for Shep…binary! He’s smart. He’s funny! He’s self-deprecating, yet he could charm his way out of a hostage situation. And I think he’s sincere to boot? Boorish? Hell yes, but sincere.
Let’s move on to Craig Conover. Hashtag New Craig doesn’t have the candor of his buddy, but he makes up for it with heart. He owns his mistakes, he doesn’t make excuses (at least not anymore when it comes to that pesky bar exam), and he truly love his friends. Fans call out Cameran Eubanks for not sharing her life and morphing into a mean girl. I’ll admit, I agreed early on, but what if she’s just being rational and honest when she says she doesn’t do drama? I don’t (not counting this job), so why is hard for me to believe that she doesn’t either (if you disregard the fact that 99.9% of reality stars thrive on it)?
Kathryn, Kathryn, Kathryn. Kathryn Dennis‘ volatile relationship with Thomas Ravenel is what keeps people tuning in to Southern Charm, but girlfriend hasn’t quite learned how to work the system. Despite her behavior (which was pretty bad the first two seasons, if I’m being nice), she’s gained a lot of sympathy and support this go-round. Her super defensive demeanor last night wasn’t winning any allies in my opinion. If she’d just heeded Shep‘s advice about taking the high road, she still could have icily gotten her point across more effectively. I realize acting as if she was ultra bored was a defense mechanism, but it wasn’t a good look…and I won’t even comment on her outfit. I think I wore something similar to Old South back in ’95. To his credit, T-Rav did a good job of keeping his cool (and keeping quiet), but he could have intervened on her behalf a bit…not for her sake as she’s a big girl (I also don’t buy into the “she’s young” argument), but for the sake of their children.
Whitney Sudler-Smith really cleaned up well, but he proved once again he’s not the best liar. Kudos to him (kind of) for recognizing it. As for Landon Clements, I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but pretty is as pretty does, and while she looked gorgeous, she, to use her own words, laid down with the dogs. So, to those of you who think I’m too easy on this group, say a prayer for me next time I hit up the Teeter because the shiz just got real!
So that pretty much sums up my recap except for, you know, what actually happened during the reunion. Andy Cohen focuses on Shep first, and the cast agrees that Shep is going to let things roll off his back. He finds Speedos to be instant comedy, he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and he wants fans to know he’s not a crap-talking, disrespectful ass when it comes to women. He’s honest with his expectations, and Kathryn agrees. Their hook-up was just fun, and what twenty-one-year-old girl not want a casual hook up with Shepstradamus? Heck, what forty year old wouldn’t turn it down? Um, me, totes. Yeah. Shep even gave Kathryn books to read and it was refreshing. He is charming. Shep stays true to himself, and Cameran agrees when called out for including him on her real estate endeavors. Sure, it may not have worked at the time, but it’s Shep, and Shep is fabulous.
Cameran is then praised for her hard work among the trust fund crew, and it’s deserved. Kathryn agrees even though she wasn’t invited to Cameran’s coming out to the domestic world. Again, Cameran cites her distaste for drama, and that’s her prerogative. Kathryn and Cameran bicker about Cameran’s use of the word tawdry in regard to her relationship with T-Rav, but when Landon intervenes, Kathryn shuts down.
When a viewer calls out Cameran for not meeting Kathryn for coffee, Cameran sticks to her guns. She’s never been friends with Kathryn so why pretend? Landon nods empathetically over Cam’s shoulder as Craig interrupts to say it wouldn’t have been hard for Cameran to take fifteen minutes out of her day. Cameran’s hesitance to start a family is highlighted, and Andy questions whether Kathryn regrets having children so young. While it wasn’t in her grand plan, Kathryn believes she can still accomplish all her pre-baby goals as a mother. Cameran doesn’t want to have a baby just to appease her husband, and T-Rav and Kathryn share a rare tender moment when Thomas asserts that Cameran would change her mind after spending a few moments with their baby Julien. Cameran’s husband loves the show, and he’s forgiven Thomas for the harsh words he had for Cameran at that awkward dinner party.
Craig is happy to be back from Delaware. Craig and his co-stars agree that the biggest difference between old Craig and Hashtag New Craig is Craig’s beautiful and sweet new girlfriend. Craig isn’t caught up in anything other than talking about himself in the third person. Andy jokes about the time Shep put the moves on Naomie, and Craig laments that if Shep had hooked up with Naomie, it would have ruined Craig’s future with her. Shep knows he’s hard on Craig, and he recalls a time not too long ago when he was high on ‘shrooms playing whiffle ball in California. Pulled over on a beer run, Shep played the role of discombobulated visitor before landing in jail. He remembers a prison clerk walking past him and admonishing him for being so hard on Craig. We won’t call it Shep’s epiphany, but that’s the moment Shep decided to go easier on his friend.
That’s not to say that Shep wasn’t peeved for being drawn into Craig‘s bar application story line only to learn that Craig was one paper away from his diploma (even though he was permitted to walk at graduation). Craig concedes that he wasn’t allowed to sit for the bar because of this unfinished “thesis” (FYI, it’s basically a pass/fail 25-page paper on the topic of your choice which is required for graduation. In case you’re wondering, mine was about the monetary value of the loss of a spouse which was based on a fake case study of Desperate Housewives–it was popular back in 2009! I got an A. So you see anything makes for a passing paper…). Shep felt duped for being an unwitting party to Craig’s lie, and Craig harbored ill-will towards Whitney for unknowingly calling him out to his parents back in season two. But bygones are bygones, and hopefully by this time next year, Craig will have taken–and passed!–the bar.
Next up on the agenda is Landon‘s confession of love for Shep. He’s flattered but hates emotions. Cameran felt Landon’s feelings were obvious, and Shep admits that they hooked up (no sex), but it wasn’t in the cards. When Andy wonders about Patricia Altshul suggesting Thomas as potential suitor for Landon, Thomas admits to being surprised. Kathryn continues in her quest to pretend not to care. This delves into the rift between Kathryn and Landon, causing Landon to briefly apologize for not inviting Kathryn to Shep’s party. It doesn’t last as both girls go toe-to-toe with Kathryn accusing T-Rav of taking Landon on a Valentine’s Day trip that was planned for her. Kathryn screams at Landon for hooking up with Thomas, and Landon takes immense pride in reminding Kathryn that she’s slept with every guy on the couch. This revelation lends itself to her five-day situation with Whitney.
Whitney is adamant the pair just had a one-night stand, but Kathryn has very specific memories of their night(s) together. She’s not saying their relationship was “a relationship” in that they were together, but it was, in some sense, a relationship. Kathryn chides that she’s not going to degrade herself more than she’s already been degraded, and Thomas comes to her defense, reminding Whitney that his mother said she met Kathryn in her kitchen over breakfast. Whitney begrudgingly asserts he may not remember their tryst well, but he certainly wasn’t in love with her. No one said he was, or am I missing something?
When Andy highlights Craig‘s accusation about Whitney‘s extreme hatred for Kathryn, Andy calls out Whitney for being so defensive. Whitney blames Shep for getting him wasted on moonshine earlier in the evening. Cameran argues that Craig should have approached Whitney in private, and she doesn’t believe Whitney was ever in love with Kathryn. No one disagrees. Shep interrupts to say that he’s not siding with Whitney and Pat in regard to hating on Kathryn, but he feels Whitney’s disdain for Kathryn stems from her beat down of him on last season’s Jekyll Island vacation. Andy hints that Kathryn and T-Rav conceived Julien after the season two reunion and jokes that baby number three could happen this time. Kathryn side-eyes Landon and states that she won’t be with Thomas, but she’s sure someone on the couch wouldn’t mind. Always the comedian, Shep barks that he has no plans to bed T-Rav post-reunion. How can you not love this guy?
Andy mentions the time that Pat called Kathryn and Thomas morons for continuing to procreate. Thomas, who shared he had a therapist on set, calmly beguiles that everyone is a moron at some point in their lives. Kathryn doesn’t pick up on this “high road” cue and espouses about her one-time love for Thomas. T-Rav actually seems humbled by her confession. They vaguely touch upon the couple’s tumultuous relationship and how happy they were after the birth of their son. This conversation segues into Thomas’ friends’ doubts about Julien’s paternity. Craig feels badly for indulging in the conversation, but Kathryn is disgusted by the line of questioning. When Landon intervenes, Kathryn shuts her down, claiming to placate the crazy. Whitney looks incredibly uncomfortable before comparing Kathryn to Patricia at Kathryn’s age. Whitney promises that his mom isn’t a snob…she’s not just not a fan of Kathryn. Landon intervenes and Whitney calls out Kathryn for having pills strewn about her room at Jekyll Island. Kathryn counters that those were anti-depressant medications.
When Andy brings up Thomas and Kathryn‘s penchant for feuding on social media, Kathryn jumps in to say she’s not a gold digger. T-Rav may be paying her rent, but that’s it. He gave her face wash for Christmas, so if she’s digging for gold, it’s fool’s gold. When she accuses him of being an alcoholic and drug user (she definitely opened that Pandora’s box), Thomas quietly disputes her allegations. However, a giggling Landon reminds Kathryn that she just failed a drug test. Excuse me, Landon. Not your place. To quote Cameran, “Not my monkeys, fly away monkeys!” T-Rav and Kathryn clearly have serious, serious issues, but it’s kind of gross to see Landon interjecting herself in their drama. She seems to take far too much pleasure in cheekily asking Thomas if he’d like to supply documentation showing that Kathryn failed her drug test. Thomas warns Landon to “stay out of it” before Kathryn storms off stage.
Landon believes Kathryn‘s tantrum is rude and disrespectful to those remaining on the sofas. Geez Louise! Take the cues! Never say more (or anything, really) than the person who is actually involved in the argument. I never thought I’d have sympathy for T-Rav, so thank you for proving me wrong!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE REUNION? WHO SPOKE OUT OF TURN THE MOST?
[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]