Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Southern Charm S3 E6: Elevator pitches and bourbon-soaked dreams

Self-Esteem Shattering Career Moves

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 6:45 AM

Ah, the morning montage. I find this routine opening for Southern Charm rather amusing. Last week Whitney was warming up some hotdogs in the microwave, and this week he's putting some sort of table together. What else does this guy do in the morning? Does he go into a closet that looks like the Game of Thrones' Hall of Faces and slip on a creepy new set of skin?

Over at Craig and Naomie's, the two cuties are playing house and pretending that Craig has a job, even though he stroked a big fat check to JD on his first day of work. I'm starting to feel like he fell for a Nigerian phone scam with this Gentry Bourbon gig. And if you're wondering where Craig got money to pay for this scam and buy a ring (oh, yeah, he gives Naomie not-an-engagment ring), remember that he gets paid to appear on this show. That's right. Bravo pays people to lay out their lives for us to skewer, or else no one would dare submit to the sort of ridicule people like me dish out week after week. 

Hey, it's 1 p.m. and Shep's mom just gave him a bath and combed his wet hair into a cute little side part. Too bad she didn't stick around to make him breakfast, because he's late for his appointment with Cam at a house she's trying to list. He may be late, but when he arrives, they've got plenty of time to talk about Kathryn. Shep admonishes Cam for turning down Kathryn's friendly overture. He says Cam should've taken the high road and then makes a rapey joke in his confessional: "It's just easier to say yes than no. ... I keep telling girls that." Oh, Shep. 

I've noticed that the cast members are really trying to deliver the goods to the producers this season. Shep with his rapid fire jokes that get him in hot water. Landon, desperate for a storyline, is trying to find a career and a pick a fight with Kathryn all at the same time. Whitney, well, Whitney is doing his best to avoid looking like a douche, but that's pretty much impossible. 

Kathryn's storyline this week consists of a sympathetic reconciliation with JD's wife and Kensie's godmother Elizabeth. Essentially, Kathryn withdrew from everyone because there were no cameras around to perform for, but now that the show's back, she has to make nice so she can get some TV time. She and Elizabeth watch the identically dressed Madison boys (why do rich Southerners do that to their kids?!) play on the swings, and then they cry and hug and make up. Wonder how long that will last. 

Shep and Cameran pretend they are looking at a mansion in Charleston, but we know that's not the case. A 6,000 square foot, 5 bedroom, 4.5 bath pristine historic home would not be listed for mid-700s anywhere in Charleston or even Mt. Pleasant. A quick search proves my hunch right. This house is in Walterboro, about an hour away from town. Regardless, the place is gorge, and Shep is ready to close the listing and get back to his breakfast. 

Landon is preparing her elevator pitch and heading to New York City to meet with Lockhart Steele at Vox Media. This internet mogul is the founder of Eater and Curbed and a regular in Charleston, which perhaps explains his willingness to give Landon an audience. Unfortunately, her pitch goes about as well as a Miss Teen USA interview and she walks away googling the word "prototype." (Honestly, I couldn't watch this scene a second time and had to fast-forward through it. She reminds me of girls I went to school with who feigned stupidity so as not to make the dumb jocks feel bad about themselves. I truly don't want to believe she is that stupid.) 


Shep heads over to T-Rav's mansion for an awkward man-visit. Southern Charm is starting to feel very real estate porn-y. Let's hope they launch a Million Dollar Listing Charleston that stars Cam and Shep in their new partnership! I'd totally watch that.

Back to the fireside chat with T-Rav and Shep. Oh, right, we're supposed to care that Kathryn isn't getting invited to parties. T-Rav cares because it makes blood go to her brain and starves the baby of oxygen. You see, back in the olden days, pregnant women in the South were banished to their bedrooms and cautioned not to have bad maternal impressions because they could negatively impact the baby and cause mental retardation and lifelong problems.  

newcraig.png

Finally, we are at the meat of this week's episode. JD and Craig at the Gentry headquarters. JD, no fool, has taken the opportunity to "hire" Craig so he can be sure the television cameras spend plenty of time at his new businesses. He's renovating a hotel and launching a bourbon. Craig thinks he's going to be a mogul or at least in charge of the bourbon business, but JD knows that Craig just paid for the privilege of being a glorified assistant.    

JD's evil cackle should send a warning to Craig, who eagerly tries to spitball about the bourbon business. Just send out some invites to all your hot friends, says JD in not-so-many words. We can see where this is going. Poor Craig is going to get a rude awakening in about 3, 2, 1.... 

The bourbon tasting arrives and JD pisses all over his bourbon territory, crowding out Craig's puppy dog excitement at seeing all those bourbon barrels. "Craig's job is to help me out. It's not my job to keep him up to speed on what I'm doing. Last time I checked I'm the boss," says JD with another cackle.


Craig is 100 percent convinced that he can run a bourbon business. You've got to admire his self confidence, but Shep sees this as hubristic and irrational. By the end of the tasting, JD tells him he has no chance at running the business. Craig is so humiliated and teary-eyed, and still doesn't know the difference between a bourbon and a whiskey, that he comes around to acknowledging his naiveté. And Naomie is in tears too because her dream boyfriend is turning out to be a nightmare. 

We end the episode with a preview/flashback to T-Rav's awful dinner party, which kicked off the first episode of the season but has yet to actually happen. Can't wait for that one. 

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Confessions of a Southern Charm newbie: Ep 6

This workaday life

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Who even knows what anything is, really? - SCREENSHOT
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  • Who even knows what anything is, really?
Welcome back, everyone. We’ve made it to episode 6. They told us it wasn’t possible, but here we are — a little worse for wear, but all the better for it, I suppose.

After having consumed six hours of Southern Charm thus far, I’ve developed an appreciation for episodes that manage to stick to a certain theme. You see, much of Southern Charm follows the same formula — all the characters meet one on one for lunches and drinks to talk about what happened in the last episode, all leading up to a big party that spirals toward entropy. The center cannot hold. This episode was no different, but there was a clear connection in terms of subject matter between most of the exchanges. While most installments of Southern Charm read like William S. Burroughs cut-up poetry, this week we focused on what happens when lofty career aspirations clash with reality. My brain, starved for some sort of rhyme or reason, gripped this thematic thread like a child flying a kite in a hurricane. Hold on too tightly and you’ll get swept away in the squall. This is the dangerous game you play when you dabble in Southern Charm. On to the show!

For some reason the camera crew continues to be camped out in Craig and Naomie’s bedroom. I manage to disregard just how awkward watching the young couple wake up is because they are adorable. As Craig begins to ready himself for work, I realize that you could replace him with a meerkat in a bowtie and no one would be the wiser. Craig starts the day by surprising Naomie with the ring he bought her a few episodes back, and the world blisters and melts from just how much they seem to like one another. Craig says that he’s probably seen every romantic comedy, and he just wants to be that guy one day, the romantic comedy guy. After setting that impossible standard for himself to aspire to, Craig also announces that he thinks he’ll soon become the head of the bourbon division at work after maybe a month on the job. As a quick side note: “the bourbon division” is what I call my liver.
Shep has on his going-to-church hair. - SCREENSHOT
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  • Shep has on his going-to-church hair.
Even though it’s difficult to leave Craig and Naomie, we then catch up with Shep and Cameran for Shep’s first day in the real estate business. Cameran, who seems to always have her shit together, gives her new business partner a call to inquire of his whereabouts. She soon learns that Shep is making breakfast — at 1 p.m., when he should be at work. It turns out that this scene takes place the morning after Shep’s birthday. He says he feels fine. A little hungover, but he’s always a little hungover, says Shep, which is less of a name and more of a cry for help.

Anyway, the two eventually meet up at the most beautiful of Charleston homes that looks just like all the other beautiful Charleston homes to try to broker some sort of deal. Cameran knows the names of all the house parts. This is super impressive. All I know is door, window, and roof pool. She attempts to impart some of this wisdom on Shep, but he is certain that the real estate business hinges upon personality rather than knowing what the hell you’re talking about. Truthfully, I do not know enough about the housing market to discount this statement.

We then track down Kathryn, who continues to go through her Rolodex to reconnect with all the old friends she may have slighted in the past. She ends up visiting J.D.’s wife, Elizabeth, who is the godmother of her daughter. The two share a heart to heart, but I am distracted by the amount of nice furniture in Elizabeth’s yard. She has, like, really pretty rocking chairs and benches just positioned outside. In the South, there’s an odd distinction between what yard furniture counts as classy and what qualifies you as low-class. Apparently, Elizabeth can fill her lawn with decorative seating and it comes across as distinguished, but I drag a sofa I found at the dump into the alley and all of a sudden I’m white trash. It’s a terrible double standard.
Let's just keep all the nice things in the yard. - SCREENSHOT
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  • Let's just keep all the nice things in the yard.
Catching back up with Craig, we find our boy wonder in the office, sorting out the particulars with J.D., who has the most serious chair in the world. Seriously, it looks like it is about to consume him. J.D.’s office chair is hewn from lesser chairs and unbroken stallions that once danced across the plains. Craig and J.D. begin planning a bourbon tasting, but in the meantime, J.D.’s chair has been named a vice presidential candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised if the chair has a producer credit on the show.

Craig reveals his ambitious career goals, saying he wants his company’s bourbon to be the bourbon that non-bourbon drinkers drink. Poetry aside, this is an impossible statement. Again Craig has set himself up to fail.
Don't show any signs of weakness around the chair - SCREENSHOT
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  • Don't show any signs of weakness around the chair
Taking a brief respite from Charleston, Landon has traveled to New York City to pitch her travel-arts-wine magazine to a man named — and I kid you not — Lockhart Steele. Wow. That’s the same name that Tom Selleck gave his mustache once it became sentient. After arriving in the Big Apple, Landon gives Mr. Steele the pitch for her publication, which she says will include writing on travel, style, cutting-edge technology, the arts, snow polo matches (?), as well as safaris. Steele seems disinterested, but I would totally read anything that told me more about safaris and whatever the hell a snow polo match is. So, accounting for myself and Allan Quatermain, the magazine has at least two subscribers.

Really though, if I were in Landon’s position, I would have fared much worse. Allow me to give you my million-dollar pitch: Puppy Netflix.

You know how most people are afraid of commitment — right, ladies? Well, with Puppy Netflix, you can enjoy a newborn dog for as long as is convenient for you and then just ship that puppy back. No forming lasting relationships between man and beast built on trust and codependency. Just slide your used puppy into one of Puppy Netflix’s patented mailers and send it on its way.

So yeah, I know that’s a dynamite idea. I’m taking investors. All I need to do is figure out a cheap way to mail dogs. But I digress.
Lockhart Steele does not approve of your magazine - SCREENSHOT
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  • Lockhart Steele does not approve of your magazine
Fast-forwarding to the big bourbon tasting, we find Craig trying to insert himself more heavily into J.D.’s business affairs. Craig, thinking he is ready to lead the entire division, is hurt that he doesn’t know more about this side of the company. I wish J.D. was in the rum business, so I could write, “You’ve got to walk before you can rum, Craig,” but I can’t do that with bourbon. I wish I could, but I can’t.

Anyway, Shep refers to Craig’s hubris for trying to step up in the bourbon game, and I’m reminded that I really like Shep. I may make fun of his name from time to time or every chance I can get, but he seems like a relatively aware dude.

Craig even goes so far as to say that even though others in the room have much more experience in the manufacture and distribution of liquors, he is “smart as shit,” and this should cement him as the next in line to lead a bourbon empire. This is interesting because it highlights the dangers of considering your own intelligence, which is a purely human concept.

As Craig has so handsomely demonstrated, people are able to accept the fact that they understand a vast number of things, but assume that they probably know everything else by extension. This tickles me to no end because as a reporter I speak to so many people who know so much more than I could ever imagine. And waiting behind them is another horde of experts and know-it-alls. People may consider journalists as nosey and intrusive ­— and that’s probably accurate — but I like to think that the best of us are simply fascinated by how much knowledge is out there. I know or at the very least hope that there’s something to learn from everyone.

That’s why I’m willing to watch this show and listen to what the characters have to say. Everybody has a lesson to share, even if it’s just knowing when you’re ready for the bourbon business, launching a magazine that contains all human knowledge, or simply getting your puppy delivery service off the ground. 

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

PULP Gallery launches film series

Lights, camera, big screen

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Will Eiseman believes King Street is ready for his racy gallery - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Will Eiseman believes King Street is ready for his racy gallery
PULP Gallery owner Will Eiseman loves movies. He loves movies so much that he has created a film society, the Phantom Film Society, that shows flicks in PULP on an 18-foot-screen.

Eiseman intends to show older films, especially black-and-white ones. “There were movies before Indiana Jones,” he says. “There’s a history to film culture that most people don’t know.”

Sensing a need for more film screenings in Charleston, Eiseman created a viewing space in the back of his gallery with enough room for 48 seats. The Society has already screened movies like Cat People and Miracle Mile, and the series continues on alternating Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m.

Guests are asked to bring a $6 donation, along with any drinks or snacks they may want. Upcoming films include Kafka (May 15) and The Fury (May 29). Eiseman says that, when possible, he will present live question-and-answer periods with the writers or filmmakers of the films via Skype.

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker seeking a little bit of guidance, you may want to check out Eiseman’s sessions on writing comedy for film and TV along with one for writing animation, which he plans on holding this summer. “There’s no film school here,” says Eiseman. “But people are really into it. I want a place where people can show their films on a screen.” 


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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Southern Charm S3 E5: Landon and her big ideas

Hey, Let's All Dis Kathryn

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Remember the first season of Southern Charm, when it was all about the men of the group acting like fools and chasing skirt all over town?

Craig gives us a nauseating reminder of that season's shenanigans, breaking it all down for Naomie: "Shep slept with Kathryn too, and Shep doesn't give a shit. And we also know that Whitney and her (sic) had sex. When she went and slept with Whitney, Shep didn't care because he didn't have feelings for her. Whitney — after she chose Thomas — has hated her. ... Look, here's another thing. When Kathryn first came in the picture I was all about trophies and stuff so I was all like I'm going to hook up with her before anybody else, but as soon as Shep did, then I was like there's no trophy involved and so Kathryn and I could still be friends." 

Naomie would rather pack the dishes and avoid eye contact than be so viscerally reminded of Old Craig the Lothario. I can't say we blame her. Hearing your guy talk so callously about sleeping around because he was collecting trophies can't make you feel so great about him, even if he is indeed New Craig, with a jobby job and everything. 

Of course, the guys may have thought they were collecting trophies, but back then Kathryn was on her own hunt and now has two kids and a rich baby-daddy to show for her efforts. Oh, and she's the star of Southern Charm and all the rest of them are simply her supporting cast. Because of this shift in focus, all the women have ceased being humorous witnesses to the men's misbehavior and have become mean girls intent on judging and freezing out Kathryn — much to their dismay. Cameran may not give a shit, as she says while rollerskating away at Shep's very Un-Shepic birthday party, but the viewers do indeed care and they are getting pissed at the treatment of Kathryn. When it comes to Bravo TV, you can't misjudge the power of the audience — and a good drama.

Perhaps Cooper understands this dynamic and that's why he's chosen to switch sides and join Kathryn for lunch at 82 Queen. Screw Pat and her commands to avoid Kathryn. 

Of course Pat and Whitney think Cooper is just a drama queen who will now be banished from Pat's house forever and ever amen. 

Back at lunch, Cooper makes a move to push Jennifer out of Kathryn's orbit by reminding her that Jennifer lied about sleeping with Thomas and claiming that she's untrustworthy. Kathryn, probably the most astute people-reader in the group, decides that Cooper might be shadier for bringing up ancient history and trying to push a wedge between her and her only friend. 

But this episode is about Shep! It's his birthday and his friend Bailey, looking like the embodiment of '80s-era Madonna, is coming by to paint a picture of him riding a horse and carrying a surfboard all at the same time. Classic. Or should I say, Shepic.

On his confessional, Shep says that Bailey is great and they haven't had the DTR (define the relationship) talk but she's definitely DTF. Ha. Of course, Shep feels bad about this and issued an apology earlier today for sounding like a cad. Don't worry Shep. We get it. You're the funny one!

And when funny people have birthdays, they should have funny birthday parties and go rollerskating, which is never ever ever as much fun as you think it's going to be. Kids only go to the roller rink because they can't get in bars. This is an important thing to remember when planning an adult party for people who really enjoy their adult beverages. But Landon is dumb and cute, so everyone goes along with her stupid rollerskating plan.
This party is not funny! - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • This party is not funny!
But it's not quite party time yet. Shep plugs his since-burned-down Palace Hotel by making them open up early and feed him and Cam lunch while they discuss their pseudo real estate partnership before Cam launches into her marriage-shaming talk. For someone who's constantly being asked when she's going to have a baby, Cam should just let Shep live his awesome life and let him find the right girl on his own time. In case you missed it, men don't have a biological clock. He can easily wait until he's 45 or 50 to start a family. Just look at Thomas. 

Or maybe Thomas isn't the best example. Thomas and his baby mama are moving into their respective homes. It's kind of sad and even Thomas acknowledges it: "I'll be there. My children will be there. But their mother won't be there." 

And you know where else their mother won't be? Shep's rollerskating party. Landon is in charge of the invites and she — despite Shep's instructions — does not invite Kathryn, but pretends that she does. This is like strike 15 against Landon with the viewing public, which now has even more sympathy for Kathryn after Cam flat-out disses her. 

Kathryn, at Dani's encouragement, reaches out to Cameran to invite her to lunch or coffee and perhaps get past some ancient history. Unlike the wives of Bravo — who never turn down an opportunity to make their case to the viewing public — Cameran basically says, "Aw, hell no," and comes off looking like a total bitch. Check Twitter on that one if you don't believe me.

Before we can get to the rink, Landon meets with Thomas (who sympathetically lobbies for yet another Kathryn invite to Shep's party) and gives him the lamest pitch ever when he asks her what her idea is for investors since she's heading to New York to scare up some dough: "I want to do some sort of travel? Website? Just, I travel so much? And do so many cool things? That I want a way to write and tell people about them?  .. I think I'm still kind of working on my vision?" Not impressed with this elevator pitch, Thomas wishes her the best of luck. 

Ah, finally it's party time and Shep and the crew don their lamest ’70s disco outfits and head to The Alley (another Shep investment he's cleverly promoting on TV) to catch the party bus ... to Summerville? Egads. No one is excited about this party. Particularly the birthday boy himself. Ten people show up along with a clueless Landon, who has no idea that everyone hates her for making them do this. They get to the rink and the party sucks just like Shep knew it would. Pat can't write that book on how to throw parties fast enough. But the big news is that Landon didn't invite Kathryn, and Shep finds out and is really pretty super mad about it because he doesn't want to exclude anyone, and Landon shouldn't have made him roller skate anyway. But who cares if Kathryn doesn't show up? Landon certainly doesn't care if she never sees Kathryn again, but guess what? She's on Kathryn's show, so she can definitely count on that.

Next week: Landon heads to New York to meet with Lockhart Steele, the founder of Eater & Curbed, and he looks as impressed as Thomas with her pitch for a "Travel? Website?" I know! Maybe she should write a book about how to throw parties.

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Confessions of a Southern Charm newbie: Ep 5

The sweet promise of failure

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 12:34 PM

"I'm a nightmare!" - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • "I'm a nightmare!"
Welcome back, team. Thanks for joining me once again.

To give you all a little bit of insight into how this column comes together every week, apart from the Monday night ritual of watching each new episode, taking notes, and drinking to numb the pain, I do spend a pretty good amount of time thinking about other ways to approach writing about Southern Charm. This comes out in weird ways. Usually, I try to come up with a central thesis around which to examine each episode, but sometimes this translates into weird poetry I write while waiting in line at the grocery store.
What is it to write this column?
It is like tiptoeing into a garden of madness
Under the cover of dark
Plucking its most beautiful rose
And escaping unmarked
Now many might consider this a complete waste of time. There’s always that disdainful chorus of commenters who say Southern Charm, and reality TV in general, are a sign of the end times, but I guess my question is why? At what point will reality TV reach the point of acceptance that other genres enjoy?

Reality TV, as I consider it, has been around for about 50 years. In 1964, Seven Up! premiered in the U.K., which took a look at a bunch of seven-year-olds from different social classes and has followed up with them every seven years since that time. 56 and Up premiered in 2012. Think of it as Boyhood for those who are a little more patient.

Anyway, reality television has been going for a while — Cops, Real World, Survivor ­— a lot of people have specific memories attached to these shows. These are all big cultural touchstones, yet reality TV remains the Rodney Dangerfield of television genres — no respect and all that.

So far this season, I’ve talked a lot about how Southern Charm relates to Charleston and how everyone here relates to the show — be it good or bad — but we haven’t really focused on what the show says about existence in general. As we near the midpoint of this season of Southern Charm, I’ve begun to consider just that. This week I ask the bold question: What does Southern Charm say about modern life? And as I reach for that answer, all I can think is, “Heaven help us.”

Catching back up with the gang this week, we find Whitney receiving a call from a person named Larissa. This is apparently a woman who is romantically involved with Whitney and will be arriving in the coming weeks. That’s cool, I guess. The show does little to tell me how I should feel about this. Most programs would utilize music or editing to lead the viewer in how they should feel about certain things, but Southern Charm is above such tricks. Also, Whitney poses like he is all too aware that he is on a TV show.
Just hanging out, sittin' like a cool dude sits - SCREENSHOT
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  • Just hanging out, sittin' like a cool dude sits
Then we find Kathryn meeting with Cooper for lunch. I have long suspected that Cooper is Bill Mumy from the Twilight Zone, but that is most likely wrong. It is much more likely that he was cobbled together out of discarded apple cores and given life. Either way, their waiter offers them “fresh water,” which I don’t understand the concept of. What qualifies water as “fresh”? What am I misunderstanding about water?

The meeting of Lady Kathryn and Granddaddy Applehead is juxtaposed with Whitney stopping by Patricia’s to discuss the fallout from the flamingo party. Regarding Cooper, Patricia utters the words, “I hope he enjoyed the flamingo party because I will never have him in the house again.”

This is brutally powerful. This is something that a person would say on Game of Thrones before an underling is cleaved in twain. Patricia’s comments just serve to illustrate the power that we grant those in society with access to flamingos.
Bill Mumy, 1965/Cooper, 2016 - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/SCREENSHOT
  • Wikimedia Commons/Screenshot
  • Bill Mumy, 1965/Cooper, 2016
Next we find Shep, the name of the active ingredient removed from Four Loko, joined by a female suitor/painter who has brought an easel to his home. She begins to paint him — like one of her French girls — but the true meaning of this scene escapes me, so let’s skip ahead.

Whitney, who is now dressed like a B-boy, meets with Landon to buy clothes for Shep’s birthday part, which will be roller disco themed. That’s right. Another party. Every episode, another party. Parties all the way down for Southern Charm, but at least Landon has rented a bus. Also Whitney looks like a back-up dancer. The mind reels.
Then we find Shep celebrating his neighborhood on his walk to work. What? Work? Yes! The mystery is finally revealed that Shep owns a business called the Palace Hotel, which is like a bar/eatery. This is a whole new side of Shep, whose name is also the medical term for a skin tag.

Cameran soon arrives to discuss the realtor business with Shep, but then we see some realness begin to shine through the old Southern Charm cover. Cameran has learned that Shep eventually wants to have kids and a family, despite his playboy lifestyle. Cameran has a difficult time accepting all this, but you’ll remember she has dealt with the pressures of starting a family in the past. The show may gloss over this, but I think the relationship between Cameran and Shep illustrates something important about how men and women are expected to behave in modern society. In previous episodes, Cameran has made it clear that she doesn’t want kids, yet she feels compelled to host dinner parties to prove she is ready for the domestic life. Meanwhile, Shep has been out tom-cating every night, and he can casually assert that he wants a wife and kids when he’s done having a good time. This doesn’t make Shep a bad person any more than it makes Cameran a martyr, but it does tell you something about how society pressures men and women differently — and it all happened on Southern Charm.

Anyway, Thomas and Kathryn are both moving into their respective homes. This is all very boring except for the fact that Kathryn has the ugliest piece of art I have ever seen. It is a gold glitter framed thing that contains three nonsense words. She is worried that she knows nothing about interior decorating. I believe the first step is to throw away that picture and spend the rest of your natural life cleaning specks of glitter from your home. Glitter is the herpes of decor — once it arrives, there is no getting rid of it.

In my favorite moment of the evening, Craig and Naomie have donned their sweats and are ready for a night in. Craig says he just wants to do “couch stuff” all evening, which is what I’ve been waiting to hear all my life. Naomie asks Craig if he wants to watch a “rom-com.” Of course he does. He’s great. Also, if your significant other asks you to watch a movie with them and you don’t have anything else going on, why would you say no? If you are turning offers like this down on the regular for no real reason, it may not be the movies you don’t like. We can’t all be Craig and Naomie, but we can ask them to adopt us, which is what I have my lawyers working on now.
Couch stuff, forever - SCREENSHOT
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  • Couch stuff, forever
Moving away from domestic bliss, we find Kathryn launching a cross-town tour of all the individuals she has deemed as “genuine.” How Kathryn became the arbiter of realness, I’ll never know. Anyway, this leads her to Danni’s door, and I must admit, I know Danni has appeared on this show before, but I have no idea who she is. This also mirrors real life, as sometimes you just can’t recall who the hell everyone is supposed to be. Also, Southern Charm is like Charleston’s version of Our Town. Everybody in the damn city makes an appearance, and I just can’t keep them all straight. Thanks for hanging around, Danni.

As Kathryn traces her swath across Charleston, Landon continues traveling door to door to tell everyone about the roller derby party she has planned for Shep. While visiting Thomas Ravenel to inform him of the celebration, Landon reveals that she will soon be meeting with some gentlemen from New York to discuss her travel-art-wine magazine/website. I cannot wait for this. Thomas tells her that once you have a vision, nothing can stop you, which is incorrect. Literally, anything can stop you. In fact, gravity does its best to stop us all the time. This is just one of the many invisible forces that fight us every day as we attempt to launch our own independent lifestyle publications.
Hello darkness, my old friend - SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
  • Hello darkness, my old friend
Skipping ahead to the big roller disco party in celebration of Shep’s birthday, Shep explains how he was a skateboarder who used to kick the shit out of roller skaters. Faced with the prospect of a booze-less party at a skating rink, Shep says he has become what he despised. This is a fantastic moment. While Shep grapples with his own identity, Craig zips around the rink like joy incarnate. There may be no alcohol at this party, but we are all drunk off of Craig’s smile.

The episode ends with a big fight over Kathryn not being invited to the party and Landon’s deception regarding this matter. It’s difficult to take any of this seriously because the entire cast is dressed like Disco Stu. I keep waiting for the Harlem Globetrotters to arrive so that everyone can solve a mystery, but this never occurs. Instead, we are given a glimpse of next week’s episode which follows Landon to the Big Apple to pitch her wine-art-travel magazine to the people who fund such enterprises. I guess the true lesson of this week’s episode is that while we may be coerced into dressing like fools and not getting trashed at skating rinks, there is also the promise of hope in another person’s failure. And this is Landon’s true gift to us all.

See you next week.

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