Southern Charm is back. In this season opener, things are heating up in Charleston. So grab your sweet tea and church fan and let’s dive in! Our first scene flashes on the disgraced politician, Thomas Ravenel. The gin-soaked T-Rav never needs a reason to get drunk, but this time he’s celebrating his new home. At his dinner party, all the usual suspects sit around the table and wait to be fed, but Thomas decides to slur insults at them first.
He tells Shep Rose to quit nailing everything with a uterus. He calls Cameran Eubanks judgmental and sanctimonious. It’s not long before everyone shuffles out the door, disgruntled and hungry. But T-Rav isn’t done. He follows the crowd outside and screams obscenities as they make their getaway in a golf cart.
Old money. So classy!
But that Bravo is such a little tease. Because instead of showing us the entire dinner party, they rewind three months to catch us up with our snooty southern friends.
First, Cameran hires a small boat and takes Shep out for an afternoon of fishing. She wouldn’t do that for every lucrative client, mind you. Amidst their gossip sesh, Cameran slinks into the water to take a tinkle, then hauls herself back in the boat to resume shit-talking Thomas and his baby mama, Kathryn Dennis.
The pair reunited for a hot minute and now Kathryn is preggers again. Because one T-Rav spawn wasn’t enough to bring on Armageddon, we need another! Cameran called the whole situation “tawdry.” Shep suggested Thomas needs to use the tried and true pull-out method, favored by sixteen-year-old boys everywhere. The he discloses that he’s slept with around one hundred women and doesn’t care if they have a happy ending. If they’re faking it, he simply wants them to give a convincing performance. Good thing he has a trust fund, because he’d never make it as a gigolo.
Shep has barely spoken to Craig Conover since he went back home to Delaware after partying too much and losing his job with a prestigious law firm. Since leaving Charleston, Craig has been living with his parents and still hasn’t taken the bar exam. Shep and Craig share a big bro/little bro dynamic. Shep has more money, but last year Craig pulled more ladies. Insults were thrown. Feelings got hurt. Now Craig just wants his bestie back. Hey, maybe if Craig fakes an apology, Shep will forgive him. Just as long as Craig apologizes loudly, with long moans of remorse, Shep will never know the difference.
Craig claims he’s turned over a new leaf. Cameran refers to him as #NewCraig. Deciding to head back to Charleston to prove he’s changed—and to hook up with his rich girlfriend, Naomie—New Craig decides to leave the safety of his parents’ rent-free house. Upon arriving down south, he promptly moves in with Naomie. Her parents own property with marshland (is that supposed to be a good thing because in the Midwest, we call it a flood zone) which Cameran estimates to be worth at least a cool million. Lucky for Craig, it’s also rent-free.
Naomie states that she and Craig are living together like “real human adults.” Perhaps Naomie doesn’t realize that real adults live in their own homes and pay a real mortgage. No matter. These two decide to throw a party and get the whole gang back together!
And that includes the condescending Whitney Sudler-Smith. Taking a break from his Bel-Air manse, Whitney comes back to Charleston and stops by his mom’s house. We see Patricia swanning about in her marabou-trimmed robe before changing into a Kyle Richards-worthy caftan and sailing down the stairs to meet her only son. All the while she’s bemoaning that fact her butler is on vacay. She’s been martini-less for two whole days, people. Oh, the humanity!
Whitney finally cut his hair and his abnormally smooth face doesn’t move a muscle. His restaurant is still incomplete and over budget, but Whitney claims his give-a-damn is busted. He’s been too busy playing guitar to worry about such trivialities.
Together he and his mother shake their collective heads over T-Rav and the very fertile Kathryn. Whitney wonders what sex and ethnic persuasion the baby will be. Ethnic persuasion? Wha now?
And speaking of Patricia, her gay bestie, Cooper, has befriended the literally barefoot and pregnant Kathryn. He drives all the way out to country where she’s been living with her parents. It seems that even though Thomas promised Kathryn an open wallet, he’s been stingy with the coins. He can afford to restore a two hundred-year-old house, but doesn’t pay child support? Disgusting.
Thomas hasn’t written a check because he’s been far too busy getting into bar fights. In fact, he’s sporting a shiner from where an unruly patron head-butted him. He hasn’t spoken to Kathryn in months. They communicate through the nanny. According to South Carolina law, if a man has a baby out of wedlock, he has no rights over the child. Kathryn holds all the cards where her kids are concerned.
T-Rav isn’t lonely, though. Landon Clements, the nasal-toned woman who lived on a houseboat last season, is back. It seems she and T-Rav are neighbors and like to “hang out.” Naturally, Landon and Thomas talk about how crazy Kathryn has become. Meanwhile, Kathryn suspects that Landon is trying to get into Thomas’s Dockers. Ewwww.
On the night of Craig’s shindig, everyone comes together. Shep, Landon, and Whitney meet ahead of time to talk about what a big slut Kathryn is. Excuse me? Didn’t Shep admit that he’s slept with one hundred women? And why isn’t anyone calling the much older, yet no wiser, T-Rav a big ho? Because he has money and status? I smell a double standard.
Anyway, back to the party. As Shep walks into Naomie’s house, he talks about what a poser Craig is and how he laughs behind his back. Then he calls him Eurotrash to his face and makes fun of his pink gingham shirt. Nice, huh?
Cameran is glad Craig has gotten his shit together. And by that, she means he’s not falling down drunk. (Baby steps!) She also makes fun of Craig’s attire. But behind his back and with humor, as is befitting of a southern belle.
Whitney sidles up to Thomas and says hello. They’re no longer friends because Whitney thinks Thomas is crazy. Um, obviously. Why does that suddenly matter?
Cooper must have been redecorating a sorority house because he brings a pretty college student as his plus one. Thomas immediately starts hitting on her and bobbing his head like he’s Will Ferrell from A Night at the Roxbury.
Finally, Kathryn walks in. A few people speak to her, but everyone acts awkward and weird, like she’s the Queen of Slutville. Thomas, after a few pints of liquid courage, finally makes his way over to her and asks how she’s doing. After not asking her that question in months, Kathryn’s not impressed. Besides that, she’s busy giving Landon a side eye every thirty seconds. Thomas whines about how much the house restoration is costing him then rubs Kathryn’s stomach in a fairly creepy way.
And thus ends our first episode. Very juicy. I can’t wait to see how the season unfolds and what leads up to that insane dinner party.
So are you glad Southern Charm is back? How does T-Rav get so many women? It can’t be his looks or personality or sobriety. Has Craig really turned over a new leaf? And is Cooper spying on Kathryn or has he really taken the ginger under his wing? Most importantly, do you think Kathryn would jump at the chance to reunite with Thomas?
I’m a fiction writer by day and a reality TV addict by night.