[image-3] 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.
[image-6]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.
[image-5]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.
[image-7]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.
[image-4]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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