Thursday, March 13, 2014

Southern Charm: school boy lessons

Bro Code 101

Posted by Stephanie Barna on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Well, T-Rav really showed his ass in the last episode of Southern Charm, didn't he? Between the steamy shower scene and the kiss he attempted to plant on Danni, T-Rav looked a tad bit awkward. As did all the other bros, save for JD, who seems to have his shit together with a pair of Irish twins and a big old house with a pool table and a bottle of 21-year Willett single malt. 

The second episode of this Charleston-based reality television series continued on the theme of emotionally stunted men and the women who love (and reject) them. 

Unfortunately for us, the women, er, lady castmates were kept on the wings, serving as bit players in this drama of who can be the biggest tool.  

Apparently, Cameran is a lady who lunches, because we've mainly seen her eating with the different guys and offering her words of wisdom. We can only hope some of those words sink in and this show plots the redemption of these guys, because so far it's been painful to watch these shenanigans. 

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First up, T-Rav, the 50-year-old Peter Pan, who serves as the ultimate example of where the younger guys will end up if they don't get their shit together. Desperate to mate, he's on a diabolical hunt for a lady ready to procreate. As for Kathryn, the youngster his buddy Will Folks wants him to mate with? Too immature for him. But, of course, he means too young because surely this 22-year-old is his match when it comes to maturity (and she must be, because they are together in real life — if real life is your Facebook relationship status). 

As he makes a date to teach polo to the gorgeous Danni, he tells us that women want a guy who's daring, courageous, and athletic. Perhaps. But what about thoughtful, kind, and loving? Too much to ask for? Danni has got it going on. She knows her wine, she's a cunning linguist (awkward T-Rav joke), and she knows what guys like T-Rav are after.

Keeping her dignity, she hightails it back to town, but not before accepting an invitation to accompany T-Rav to his pal JD's house for an afternoon family luncheon. Perhaps she can bring out the big man in him. Fast forward to JD's, and T-Rav is all charm and smarm, kissing babies and proclaiming his desire to procreate. "Find me the right woman, and I'm ready to impregnate her right now!" Might not be the right thing to say when trying to ensnare a woman. Oblivious to Danni's cues, T-Rav walks her to the car, grabs her from behind, and tries to lay a kiss on her. She protests. He says, "I thought we had a moment." She says, "Oh God," and then drives away. T-Rav is left deflated, muttering "I blew it," and wondering how he misread that whole situation. 

Soon, we are enlightened when T-Rav has lunch with his dad, the 87-year-old Arthur Ravenel, an old coot if there ever was one. As son tells dad about the woman he recently took on a date, Cousin Arthur admonishes him for using that word, saying in effect, "We don't know any women, we only know ladies." And then offers some fatherly advice for landing a wife: knock her up! And if it's a boy-child, dad will give you $10,000. Misogyny runs deep in these woods. And so does hatred for Lincoln. Sigh. Charleston's dirty laundry — skid marks and all — gets aired for all the world to see.

Our next bachelor, Whitney, represents the 40-something mama's boy. Emasculated by her disapproval and desperate for acceptance, he just wants to make his mark, and maybe opening a restaurant with Shep is the way to do it. Of course, mom hates this idea along with his dumb blonde assistant. At this point in Whitney's life, she'd be happy for him to mate with a homo sapien, forget someone listed in the Social Register. Ouch. No wonder he passive aggressively pops that $2,000 bottle of wine. Take that, mama.

Shep. Shep. Shep. In the first episode, he seemed so smooth with the ladies. What a difference a week makes. This time around, 30-something Shep — who boasts that he's been around the block way more than Craig — meets girlfriend material, which is apparently a woman with a career and brains enough to see him for the player that he is. Her curt texts only fuel his desire for her. "If she's playing a game, it's pretty hot," he tells Craig, the littlest bro. Then he meets her at the beach for a surf session and proceeds to paint himself in the worst light possible, throwing out things like, "I'm needy and I need attention all the time." Double sigh. Then somehow Kathryn appears for her own surf lesson and she heads out into the waves with Shep. Later that night, she appears at the bar, and she and Shep hook up, which I'm not clear if that means make out or fuck.

I guess it's all the same to Craig, who is left to stomp his feet and cry about Shep hooking up with his kindergarten crush. Sorry dude, if you call it a kindergarten crush, nobody is going to honor that. Not Shep. Not T-Rav. Not even the woman, er, lady you have a crush on, because that says you're afraid and might just pull her hair to get her attention. But we don't blame Craig for pulling out the Bro Code 101 playbook and calling foul. He's young, fresh out of diapers, and being teased by the increasingly sinister Shep, who says, "Sorry, not sorry," about the whole thing.

Other observations:

• So far, we've followed our castmembers to Collective Coffee, Husk, Tabulli, Taco Boy, Republic, and Bowens Island. Where else will they land?

• Our own local supermodel Becca Dupree gives Whitney a sympathetic ear at Tabulli, asking him if he's single and then heading to Republic to introduce him to Michaela.

• The restaurant that Shep and Whitney want to open together could be a semi-sophisticated rock 'n' roll bar, a good Mexican joint, or maybe this gourmet hotdog palace on the Eastside that Eater wrote about a few weeks back? Chef Eva Keilty described The Palace Hotel as, "'Alice in Wonderland flipped on its head.' The walls are covered in damask, pinstripes, and graffiti. It's upscale, Hollywood Regency, neighborhood eatery, and dive bar all rolled into one."  Sounds like Whitney to us. 

Next week on Southern Charm: how does Jenna pay for that big ol' mansion? 

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