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.  

click to enlarge 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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