Thoughts on Southern Charm

I rarely recap reunions mainly because it is just recapping chatter and often times, yelling.  However, not only did I not recap this season of Southern Charm, I have NEVER recapped an episode of Southern Charm and well, that is because I’m late to the party.

I have been a faithful Housewives viewer since the inception and as a personal oath to myself, I tried not to get sucked down the Bravo rabbit hole but with the onset of Hayu, I’m finding myself devouring all reality shows.  I jumped on the Southern Charm train at the beginning of Season 5.  It is interesting jumping into a series well into it. I didn’t understand the disdain for Kathryn, Naomi’s outrage nor the appeal of Thomas.  So when the season finished I decided to start the series from the very beginning.

Part of the Charm, if you will, of the show is that we are playing voyeurs on the lives of the established southern families.  As know, Whitley is an executive producer so a lot of the connections on the show are through him (hence his mother).  Shep’s family has a breed of dog named after them, Thomas is apparently political (at least his family has political ties) and Kathryn is related to a former vice president.  Cameron has been on the show since the inception because she is cute and was on the Real World. So she brings the reality experience much needed for this jumbled cast of the entitled and yes, they are entitled.

I was a bit skeptical to start from the beginning. Most reality shows start rather bumpy as they generally don’t have their groove, not everyone is a fit for TV (see Real Housewives of Dallas or Potomac.  Horrible starts & are now my favs).  However, Southern Charm hit the ground running and that may be their problem. There was a cast member not brought back for season 2 and then we had to deal with Landon ( I literally never despised a reality show person more) but the drama was fierce.  Kathryn wasn’t considered a full time member from the start but she wiggled her way into the show.  Upon reflection, she really does exhibit some shocking behaviour but there is no doubt she is a crux of the show and as there have been 6 seasons, I highly doubt there is much else she can do to support herself & family hence her refusal to leave despite what it may do to her personal life.

As the series is rather fresh in my head, I can say that this season lost its charm.  There was no jump the shark moment as the hottest drama has happened off season.  No, not Austen, I’m talking about Thomas, his assault charges and the ultimate reason he was not asked back to the show. Without him, the sheen has faded.

In the beginning of the series, our main characters included Thomas, Whitney, Shep and a sometimes JD.  Most of these men are reprehensible. However, they were the charm in the Southern Charm.  I love Craig and he would make a great sorority sister but watching an adderall addicted man come to terms with his life choices is something I watch the Jersey Shore for.

The rest of the cast are great supporting characters but they are weak main characters. I feel as the older members are weeded out, they made way for weak ass younger ones.

This show has morphed into the lives of the not so interesting.  Chelsea is a hair dresser who renovated her home in the off season, Naomie is only on as she is grand fathered in from her relationship with Craig and is being hindered from filming because of that.  Then we have Austen. The other peter pan who has since quit his job since starting on the show full time.  Oh, sorry, I forgot he is developing a Beer that will never get to market. Even these people’s parents wonder what they are doing with their lives.

I’m not sure if the answer is to watch a bunch of #MeToo Assaulters but production didn’t even let Patricia host her winter ball as in year’s past. The tradition of the South is fading along with Shep’s reputation.

Let’s talk about this season.

As far as these seasons go, nothing much happened.  Yes, we had the drama of Austen and Madison.  Yes, Madison outed Shep for being the disease ridden playboy we all feared him to be and yes, Whitney denied sleeping with Kathryn and Ashley poked out from the hole she climbed into.

All of that used to take up one episode not one season.

I think as a cast of characters on a reality show, we have gotten all we can out of them.  They are simply no longer interesting. Whitney refuses to be on camera any longer. We can only watch Patricia get take out so often, Kathryn literally can not say or do anything in fear it will turn up in Court.  Cameron has never let us into her life.  We finally caught a glimpse of Jason on the last season but I think it was a desperate grab at staying relevant on the show.

I love Chelsea and Naomie but I think unless one of them is planning on having their relationships on the show, they need to be demoted to friends of.  Chelsea filmed most of her scenes with her father & that was mainly him questioning her life choices.

Craig has found love & success amongst his pillows.  Eliza was only brought in as a vehicle for Ashley and well, Austen is in a word: useless.

That leaves Shep. He may be the only one worth watching.  I don’t say that lightly nor does it mean I like Shep but there are many dimensions to him and love him or hate him, Shep makes good TV.

There are many things that irritate me about Shep.  The biggest one is that he has so much potential to be a good person but he refuses to do the things necessary to function as an adult in the world.  Hold a real job is one. Have a relationship is another.  Be sober is the third and the list goes on.

The icing on the cake wasn’t the homeless video he played on twitter as that was little surprise to me about him but the way he is overly defensive any time anyone tries to talk to him.  During the reunion, his anger issues were questioned.  Out of all of his qualities, one of his not loved foibles is that he has a mean temper. Rather than accepting this criticism, he deflected and pointed out that he has many other good qualities. That may be so Shep but no one here is saying you are a bad person, we are saying you have a bad temper.   All it showed is what a deeply insecure person he is and is ultimately why he doesn’t have a real relationship or career as he fears rejection.

(I majored in armchair psychology by the time I finished my 2nd bottle of wine).

The reunion as a whole did not give us much.  Metul’s personality doesn’t translate onto TV, Chelsea proved to be a mute, Cameron barely held her contempt for Kathryn, Kathryn hates Austen, Shep hates himself and Craig was finally able to show to the world he is a productive person again (with our without adderall is the question).

I really hope this show can pull itself together. I doubt they will be able to find any more true deep south cast members for this show as it generally proves to be an embarrassment to film but I do hope they bring in some people that revive the drama that made this show so interesting in the first place.

Will see you next year Southern Charm!

 

p.s: I don’t think Danni deserved to be thrown under the bus. I do think Shep gave her Chlamydia.  I feel her pain for being outted but I do despise the fact she is the one getting the brunt of the shame where as Shep is able to shrug off the incident as just another trip to the pharmacy. After all he is the perpetrator which is why this rumour is so believable.

 

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