Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Confessions of a Southern Charm newbie: Ep 3

Better late than never

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 3:36 PM

click to enlarge We're back! - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • We're back!
Hey guys, welcome back. Guess what I learned this week? If you’re working late on Monday, and you can’t make it home by 9 p.m. to catch the latest episode of Southern Charm, don’t fret. Because the person who does the programming for the Bravo just uses one of those paper fortune-tellers that you make in elementary school to plan the network’s schedule.

They’ve got replays of Southern Charm at 11:31 p.m. and 1:32 a.m. Why 1:32 rather than simply 1:30? My guess is that those who are watching Southern Charm after midnight demand pinpoint accuracy in their reality programming.

Anyway, once I was finally able to catch the new episode, I was thrilled because last week ended on a bit of a cliffhanger — What is a flamingo party? Do the guests all stand on one leg and eat shrimp? If so, that seems like a very Charleston thing to do.

Much like previous episodes, this week we start with shot after shot of all the cast members waking up. No expense is spared in bringing us every detail of Craig’s morning ablutions. After he empties an entire bottle of hairspray on his head, Craig is ready to start the day at his new job. I watch this scene with the same bittersweet feeling that parents have on their kid’s first day of school. To know Craig is to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body. Treat him well, world. Treat him well.

click to enlarge Craig may be too good for this world - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Craig may be too good for this world

We then see Shep ­— the most popular name among men stuck in wells — Facetiming with his mother. He tells her that he wants to put an above-ground swimming pool on the roof of his home. At first, I think this is a terrible decision, but then I come to my senses. As much as the world has turned me into what my family calls a “grumpus,” you’re right, Shep. A pool on the roof would be super sweet. Also, Shep may start working with Cameran as a realtor. With his expert knowledge of roof pools, I’m sure he’ll be a natural.

Catching back up with Craig, I learn from the door to his office that J.D. (his new boss) runs some manner of hotel company. If you remember last week’s episode, Craig paid J.D. $15,000 to work for him. I’ve had my crack research team look into this, and I have discovered that this is in fact the opposite of how employment works. He should be paying you, Craig.

Regarding the mystery of what everyone on this show does for a living, J.D. deals in hotels, much like the game Monopoly, and Craig just does his best, and we love him for it.

Moving on, we then find that Kathryn has found a house, but she needs Thomas to co-sign for the house loan or escrow or something. I don’t really know how houses work. Fortunately, Thomas does, and he agrees to co-sign as long as Kathryn brings their daughter to his polo match. This seems like very little to ask in exchange for a house. I will bring everyone’s daughter to the polo match if it means I get a house out of the deal.

This episode seems to really focus on the complications that arise when personal relationships overlap with business. I begin to consider what this says about the characters of Southern Charm and people in general, but then we see Patricia struggling to assemble a plastic flamingo and I am undone. Allow me to share my notes from this moment:

“Oh shit — Patricia’s flamingo party is actually flamingos”

— Please attribute to Dustin Waters

Patricia explains to us that the inspiration for the party came from an inflatable pool toy that she has. Oddly enough, her pool is not located on the roof.

While ordering additional decorations for the party, Patricia admits that she accidentally bought 144 inflatable flamingos, and she is being featured in a book on “Southern entertaining.” She probably elaborates on this, but I’m too busy proposing to my television screen to hear.
click to enlarge A million times yes to this - SCREENSHOT
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  • A million times yes to this
From the revelation that is Patricia’s life, we move to Landon, who is golfing with her dad. During their heart to heart, she outlines her plans to open a “members-only bourbon bar” and launch a travel-art-wine magazine.

I remember when I had this same, exact conversation with my dad. He was heartbroken — now so is Landon’s.

She asks her dad for some “help with investments” — which I imagine will be to “invest” in some food and shelter — and he turns her down. Again, the personal and financial realms collide for our cast. I am impressed with how well this episode maintains focus. What life lesson will this week’s Southern Charm reveal? It is definitely not to use your money wisely, because we then see Craig spend $2,500 on a promise ring. Over the course of two episodes, I know that Craig has spent at least $17,500, which is likely also the amount that Shep has committed to Jägermeister and foam trucker hats.

After all that, we follow Thomas to Patricia’s house. He has purchased her a gigantic candle in hopes that he can negotiate an invite for Kathryn to the flamingo party. The fact that I can follow the logic of that last sentence is proof that the show is changing me, but none of this matters because Michael is back!

Yes, Michael answers the door like a rock star, telling Thomas that he hasn’t seen him in a “hen’s age.” Classic Michael! He even breaks out the jockey napkins in honor of Thomas’ visit. Michael continues to delight!
click to enlarge Michael (right) welcomes Thomas and his giant-ass candle into Patricia's home - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Michael (right) welcomes Thomas and his giant-ass candle into Patricia's home

Speaking of horse sport, I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen polo played. Going by this episode alone, it seems to be the most difficult game imaginable. How fun.

Kathryn shows up to Thomas’ polo match, quickly becomes upset, and leaves with their daughter. As this scene plays out, my eyes become glued to the clock. We are running out of time, and it appears that Southern Charm has broken Chekhov’s rule: If you’re going to show a flamingo in the first act, you better have a flamingo party in the third.

Please join me again for what has become the best part of my week. Thanks for reading.

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