Thursday, July 18, 2013

Southern Charm lacking charm?

Shutdown SOB

Posted by Melissa Tunstall on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 10:22 AM

click to enlarge Church Street, South of Broad - FLICKR.COM/KENLUND
  • flickr.com/kenlund
  • Church Street, South of Broad

For a show that hasn’t even aired an episode yet, Southern Charm sure is getting a lot of attention, and it’s fairly contentious. What’s it this time? The shooting times and locations have some local neighborhoods none to pleased.

South of Broaders complained about the Bravo reality show’s presence in the ’hood, so much so that the Charlestowne Neighborhood Association is calling for new guidelines. These updated rules include notifications of filming to residents, parking and safety regulations, and time limitations for filming. Those seem reasonable enough, but there’s one more that seems a little bold. The association would like production companies to pay a suggested fee of $1,000 per day to “preserve the beauty and integrity of the neighborhood.” Looking past the sheer audacity of the request, it does lead one to wonder how the money would be used.

In an email, Charlestowne Neighborhood Association president Stephen Gates confirmed these new suggested guidelines. He went on to say, "Our objective is to strike a reasonable balance between legitimate needs to use unique locations and backdrops in our neighborhood for filming and peaceful enjoyment of our members' homes."

It also appears that the crew has taken these requests to heart and was courteous and conscientious of noise while filming in Harleston Village, leaving well before the wrap time of 1 a.m.

In a Post and Courier article, Gates said that it would be a different scenario if it was for a documentary funded by PBS, but the association takes issue with the use of their borough for a for-profit production.

But really, it’s the nature of the show, not the nature of the company funding it, that’s getting people all hot and bothered. No one wants to see Charleston in the same light as the table flipping New Jerseyans or wig pulling Atlantans. And that seems to be exactly what people are fearing. Some of the cast members may not have the best history — yes, T. Rav that was directed at you — and others may just want to feed into the idea of celebrity to the extent that they’ll do anything for their 15 minutes. In other words, the celebrealities may be more willing to promote themselves than portraying Charleston well. Plus, there's the beast of the cutting room floor. After the reel heads to the editing room, who knows how it will come out.

Filming has picked up over the past couple of weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Southern Charmers manage to irk more residents in the process.

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