Southern Charm Recap: Gentry-fication Among Friends

Southern Charm Recap:

I cannot tell a lie. Southern Charm has been one of my guilty pleasures since it first premiered, but the past few seasons have been far too dark and depressing…like Bravo was exploiting some serious issues of people with young children simply for entertainment value–oh wait. But I couldn’t let myself think such harsh thoughts about the mother ship, so I focused on the background, a city I love with all of my heart. That said, with a Kathryn Dennis comeback (who knew I’d ever be excited about that?) and a return to friendships that existed long before the cameras arrived, this season is very refreshing. Throw in a cringe-worthy Thomas Ravenel and Craig Conover’s Singer, and it’s ratings gold.

Cameran Eubanks is trying to induce labor while reveling in her shower gift from Patricia Altschul, butler Michael on loaner. The South’s Mr. Belvedere is helping her organize gadgets while sweetly prodding her to make her own baby food…or rather have her chef or her chef’s assistant whip up some organic goodies for her little one. It is the way of the well-to-do, after all. Cameran retorts that she’s far from high society–she’ll be getting canned jarred Gerber BOGO, a-thank you very much. She may not need the finer things, but she won’t shrug off a foot massage from the man behind the caftan. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t either. There’s something about that Williams-Sonoma apron…

Craig is video chatting with his parents, and his mom chastises him for looking hungover. He counters that he just woke up from a nap. When asked about his sewing, Craig loves his new hobby (he tries to finish a pillow each night while watching his stories with the new roommate), but it created part of the rift between he and Naomie Olindo. He takes relationship advice from his parents who admit to having their own share of rough patches. It’s disheartening to him that Naomie bolted at the first sign of stress between them. Craig needs someone to support him, someone to help him get his life on track with the proper adulting skills, someone to drive him around the city. Perhaps he should look into getting an Uber driving life coach!

Southern Charm Recap:

Thomas is meeting J.D. Madison for afternoon cocktails because, what else would they be doing? Thomas has been working out recently, as has J.D., doing multiple reps with eight ounce free weights. T-Rav reminds his pal that as a single man, he really should be hitting the actual gym. As they cackle, I can see a trickle of skeeze oozing down my television screen. What a smarmy duo. Thomas questions why J.D., who purports to be getting divorced, is gallivanting around town with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. Of course, J.D. is a Southern gentleman through and through, and he and Elizabeth are going to remain friends. When she pitifully asked to go to Cameran’s baby shower with him, he was just too honorable to say no. Thomas is worried that he’s going to risk losing the one friend he has who may be slimier than he is, so he quickly reminds J.D. that staying friends with your ex can be tricky. Not only will it make people question what’s going on, it could confuse the children. J.D. and Elizabeth need to stay far, far apart. Thomas knows how to break-up gracefully and co-parent, so J.D. should be reveling in this tutorial in divorce decorum. Lesson number two is to find a fame hungry tart. Oh, I completely forgot that J.D. ordered a Gentry, as if wherever they are actually serves it. You know that waitress poured him some Beam and called it a day.

Kathryn calls Cameran, and girlfriend needs to treat herself to a new phone. She’s got her own mailbox money now thanks to Bravo. They make small talk about the shower, and Kathryn 9.0 is relatively passive when hearing about the event. The first eight versions of Kathryn would be screeching like a banshee and sprinting around in a fur stole while tequila flowed like sweat from her pores if she was banned from a Pat party. But no, this new and improved, calmer and mature version of Kathryn recognizes she’ll never change Patricia’s opinion of her (never say never!), so why bother trying. She calls Patricia petty, but let’s be honest, she was. Kathryn reveals to Cameran that she’s asked Thomas for his new lady friend’s phone number in the hopes of inviting her to lunch. Cameran is impressed at Kathryn’s attempt to be the bigger person in this love triangle drama, and Kathryn motives are pure. She wants to make sure this Ashley chick isn’t a loon since she spends so much time with Kensie and Saint. Kathryn’s kids only have room for a certain amount of crazy in their lives, and between both of their parents, the quota is full.

Oh sheesh. Peyton from RelationShep has relocated to Charleston, and Shep Rose is trying to forge a friendship with the girl he dated for about a week and a half. Y’all realize she was working at Lisa Vanderpump’s dog place in Los Angeles and moved all the way across the country to try to get some screen time on Southern Charm, right? Wouldn’t it have been easier to become a third tier Bravo player by flashing some boob at Jax Taylor during a night out at SUR? Shep is happy to set Peyton up with a girls’ night out with his gal pals when she casually mentions that Austen Kroll texted her mere moments before Shep arrived. In fact, they just had dinner at Barsa (okay, I’m jealous–Barsa’s paella is amazing) and watched a movie at his place. Shep does a poor job containing his shock and jealousy over this information. Mission accomplished, girl from a faux dating show. First Chelsea Meissner, now Peyton? Shep laments that he gets the girls on base just in time for Austen to hit a home run. However, he’s quick to switch back on the charm, telling Peyton what a great guy his friend is. That isn’t quite the reaction for which she was hoping.

Southern Charm Recap:

When Ashley and Cameran meet for lunch, Ashley couldn’t be more insincere. She clearly graduated in the top of her class from Landon Clements Finishing School for Fake. It’s like Hogwarts, but witchier. Kathryn has toned down her skunk hair but she’s amped up her resting bitch face and stank eye, and I’m here for it. Ashley awkwardly drones on about Kathryn’s statuesque height before asking innocently if Kathryn will be joining her in a cocktail. Except it’s not so innocent given she knows Kathryn lost her kids, went to rehab, and is sober. Tacky, tacky. She giggles that she should probably forego the extra calories and opts for a sweet tea, because that’s less sugar than a pinot grigio (said no one ever). Kathryn explains her reasoning for this meeting and asserts she wants to better get to know the woman who is spending time with her children. Despite what Ashley may have heard from T-Rav, Kathryn wants to be nothing but cooperative. Ashley seems to relax, sharing her story of coming from a broken home and describing how worried her mom was when she decided to move across the country for a man whose Google search is full of cocaine, prison time, and drunkenly falling into a pool while holding his child. In hindsight, it’s a wonder he didn’t get elected when he last ran, and I type that without a hint of sarcasm. Seriously.

Southern Charm Recap:

Kathryn explains that she wasn’t aware of Ashley’s existence until Shep’s birthday party, so she’d like some very general details about her relationship with Thomas. How long have they been together? When did she meet the children? Ashley hems and haws that she can’t really remember…she thinks she maybe met them after being in Charleston for a week. Was it a week? Yes, yes, it was definitely a week. Kathryn remains stone faced during this admission, and I half expect her to slip on her gold diggin’ Target leggings and bitch slap this newbie with a half smoked Virginia Slim like the Kathryn of yore would have done. But alas, she remains calm, cool, and collected. Ashley casually lets it slip during her very intentional train of thought that the weekend she met the kids was…maybe, was it? Was it Mother’s Day weekend? Oh yes, it was. Kathryn blinks but she doesn’t strike. Instead, she becomes possessed by a robot who formulates the most responsible and levelheaded statements. Kathryn cannot control what Thomas does, but she is optimistic he’s in a place where he can have a meaningful relationship. She’s just here to co-parent and do what is best for her children. Kathryn goes as far as to say she hopes Ashley sticks around for the long haul so her children don’t have a revolving door of Ashleys parading in and out of their lives. Kathryn wants consistency. Ashley is nodding so enthusiastically I worry her head may fall off her scrawny neck. This lunch has been the highlight of Ashley’s week. The rest of Ashley’s week has been tracking her fertility and pretending to enjoy sex with T-Rav, so you know she’s probably telling the truth.

Danni Baird and Cameran are having dinner with their friend Leva. Both Cameran and Leva are weeks away from giving birth, and they take turns smelling Danni’s wine. They giggle about pumping and dumping and Danni is clueless about how the bloodstream works. Can alcohol get into breast milk? Cameran reflects on how far she’s come since embarking on this baby journey. Across town, Chelsea is fishing with  her father, and they trade jabs like a pair of fraternity brothers while shooting tequila. Their relationship is very close, and she opens up to him about her situation with Austen. She worries she’ll to hit forty and still not to be ready to settle down. Her dad reminds her that not everyone is supposed to follow the traditional route of marriage and children. Dear Chelsea’s dad, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that this week! Chelsea doesn’t want to disappoint her father by depriving him grandchildren, but he quips that she should leave that task for her siblings.

Southern Charm Recap:

The ladies are having a girls’ night out at the swanky Restoration where Bravo has treated them to a pricey suite. Kathryn is excited to have a solid group of girlfriends. She now recognizes that loyal friends are better than a crappy boyfriend any day of the week. As she and Danni construct a pillow fort perfect for gossip and makeovers, Ashley is at T-Rav’s house showing the wares she’s ordered for a friend’s bachelorette party. The mugshot necklaces seem a bit like something an early twenties bride would love, but I don’t judge. {cough, cough} Ashley has deemed herself “Trophy Wife” and given her beau has a few real mugshots of his own, it’s oddly appropriate. Perhaps she should be the “Gold Digger” or the “Baby Mama.” Speaking of, she enjoyed lunch with Kathryn. T-Rav coos that he’s all about cordiality but his sick grimace implies otherwise. Ashley is concerned about his night on the town with the guys, as women would be silly not to throw themselves at him…she should know! Ashley trusts Thomas implicitly, but it’s those money hungry shrews that concern her. I have never understood this line of thinking. If she trusts Thomas to do the right thing, what would it matter if a naked J-Law jumped out of a cake and tried to seduce him? The bottom line is–if you say you don’t trust complete strangers to behave appropriately around your significant other then you really just don’t trust your significant other. Amirite?

Chelsea breezes into the suite to find bananas adorning the giant hand sculpture that creeped out Danni and Kathryn. She wonders if the girls are going to be practicing condom application, and Kathryn jokes that she could certainly use a lesson. Damn you, Bravo. I’ve spent seasons despising this girl, and now, dare I say, she’s delightful? When Naomie arrives, the conversation turns to Liz. Has Naomie spoken to Liz since the baby shower? Naomie and Liz had a terse lunch where Liz curtly reminded Naomie that her relationship with J.D. was no one’s business. While Naomie agrees, Danni believes Liz should have texted with a head’s up to say she’d be coming to the shower on Boss Hogg’s arm.

Southern Charm Recap:

Not to be outdone by the female bonding, Austen, Craig, Thomas, Whitney Sudler-Smith, and Shep are heading out for a night on the town. Austen wants the evening to be Craig’s debut back into the single scene. The ladies head to the Watch, the rooftop restaurant at their hotel. Kathryn sticks to water as they ramp up the girl talk. She’s on Bumble, and she’s totally spied Austen while she’s swiping. Chelsea isn’t surprised as she’s accidentally ambushed him on more than one Bumble date. Danni is still doing the deed with her ex-fiance which shocks her friends, but hey, a girl has needs. Naomie has been chaste for over six months, so her friends decide she needs a vibrator stat. Their poor waiter is getting an earful. Meanwhile, Thomas is trying convince Craig to approach women with brash abandon, but Craig isn’t trying to get punched in the face. Naomie reveals that she and Craig still fight like cats and dogs, and he recently sent her a late night text wanting clarity over why they still aren’t together. As she suffers from PEG, or psycho ex-girlfriend syndrome, Naomie tells her friends that Craig is currently hanging out at Warehouse. While she may be psycho, she’d not psychic…she just waited until Craig fell asleep one night to use his phone to indefinitely share his whereabouts.

Southern Charm Recap:

Even though Craig doesn’t know his tracker is on, he’s still an exemplary ex to Naomie. He’d rather be home sewing pillows instead of trying to bed strangers. Regardless, Shep and crew are making the most of helping him out of his rut. As the guys relocate to the next hot spot, Shep decides to quiz Austen about his night with Peyton. Did they make out? Austen swears up and down that nothing happened, but he’s less than convincing. Craig bows out early because he has an early salon appointment with Chelsea. The following morning, in a roundabout way, he admits he’s not over the breakup, and the pair still texts all the time. After a pep talk from Chelsea, a freshly coiffed Craig goes to meet Naomie at Tavern and Table to discuss the state of their relationship. He’s honest with her and quickly says he wants to reconcile. Naomie questions his intentions when he says he’s ready to grow up, but duh, he’s got a life coach…or he rode in an Uber once. When Naomie spouts off her concerns, Craig gets extremely agitated. Why won’t she take him back on his promises alone? He accuses her of being angry and not supportive. She just wants to see him getting out of bed before noon…that would be a good start. Craig is defensive and refuses to shoulder any responsibility for the break-up while projecting on Naomie. I haven’t been her biggest fan this season, but I think she’s completely within reason when she tells him he’ll just never get it before leaving restaurant near tears.


[Photo Credit: Bravo]