I want to root for Kathryn. I really do. But she just seems so angry and misguided that I want to intervene. Or, rather, I want Cameran to intervene. I want Southern Charm to transform into a show called “Derailing the Hot Mess Express with Cameran,” or maybe just “Fishing with Cameran.” This woman is smart, well adjusted, insightful. Plus she’s pretty and she fishes. Oh, and most importantly — she has a sense of humor.
In contrast, young Kathryn is insecure, irrational, suspicious, and utterly humorless. Craig nails it — she never smiles. It’s a good thing she has youth and beauty on her side, because she has zero personality and seemingly even less smarts. I actually liked her better before she became a cast member and got a spot in the confessional booth. At least then I could assume she was smart and sassy, and that was part of her appeal to the men. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as evidenced by her meeting with Jennifer.
Kathryn tries to have an adult conversation with Jennifer, the woman who crashed (but was invited to) T-Rav’s Senate announcement dinner party. But since Kathryn’s still playing at adulthood, this goes awkwardly down the wrong path. She should be having this conversation with her consort and not this stranger. It makes her look like she’s just trying to get dirt on T-Rav. She’s investigating him. “I’m making sure everything he’s telling me is 100 percent.” Kathryn you are indeed naive because you expected pregnancy and fatherhood to change a 52-year-old man into something he’s not. Babies are not magic. But Southern manners are, because Jennifer stays above the fray and somehow leaves this happy hour with one more friend.
Ultimately, Southern Charm is a show of contrasts. We contrast the misguided twenty-something noobs (Craig, Kathryn) with the thirty-something pros at life (Shep, Cameran). We contrast the relaxed charm and easygoing approach of Shep with the uptight judgment of Whitney and the desperate partying of Craig; the cynicism of Whitney with the narcissism of Thomas. The effortless beauty of Landon with the artifice of Kathryn.
Oh, and Landon. Don’t you just want to protect this one from the dangers of this show? She sorely needs a fishing trip with Cameran, the wise reality TV show veteran who can school Landon on the dangers of being too real, because Landon is sharing some very real shit. In a scene with her sister, they delve into some serious mommy issues. I can only imagine what that phone call was like today. If your mom is all about appearances, the type who would discourage divorce, even if it meant happiness, and mow the grass before vacuuming the house, then she must be livid at her daughters airing family issues on national television. Oof. That’s the trouble with the South. Families will betray their own kin in honor of keeping up appearances. Seeing sweet Landon tear up and say she doesn’t think her mother is necessarily ashamed of her but thinks she hasn’t lived up to her expectations made me all verklempt. I wanted to get all Stuart Smalley with her: you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. Cameran, please give this girl a hug for us.
Not only did this episode give us a clearer picture of Landon, it also gave us a beach party at Shep and Whitney’s summertime digs on Sullivan’s Island. Good times. Beautiful people. Strong margaritas. Plans for a fashion show with the fabulous Cooper Ray, followed by a pointed lesson in business from Whitney’s partner at the Generalissimo. (We will studiously ignore Whitney’s jam session in the living room.)
Apparently, Whitney has been cavorting in Europe with his gorgeous German-Austrian-model-actress girlfriend instead of getting his hands dirty renovating an old pawn shop into a high-end Mexican New York-lounge-y kind of place. The Planet Hollywood guy is pissed. Really pissed. Maybe he should have opened a hot dog stand with Shep. But Whitney doesn’t have any cousins or siblings, so he really doesn’t play well with others, as Shep astutely observes.
The episode ends with another humorless exchange between Kathryn and T-Rav. Kathryn is outraged — outraged I tell you — at the disrespect that T-Rav is showing her and the baby by putting out campaign commercials that play up his playboy image and don’t include his family. There’s no doubt this guy loves the baby and once thought Kathryn was hot and good breeding stock, but she’s still not marriage material. Will their relationship last longer than his jail sentence? We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe he’s waiting until after he gets to the U.S. Senate.
In the end, it all comes down to the queen. Patricia is Cameran on steroids. Her wisdom comes from a lifetime of husbands, butlers, gin martinis, and stupid amounts of money: “I don’t think Thomas has a chance to beat Lindsay Graham. Having a child out of wedlock. Being a convicted felon. Those are not great to have on the resume. But nobody’s perfect.” Cameran couldn’t have said it better herself.
Maybe the show we really need is “Perfect Martinis with Pat.”
What else you need to know:
Craig was bullied as a kid and now he’s popular and getting attention. That makes me feel so sad for him. As Cameran says, you understand your problem but you still sabotage yourself. What are you looking for Craig?
Shep is funny and smart (I’m not joking). The guy is an avid reader and every once in a while, he’ll whip out his wit with observations like this one on Whitney: “Whitney likes darkness and hanging upside in closets. Like Nosferatu.”
Shep also needs a show (Surfing with Shep?) where he teaches Whitney how to wear shorts and play nice with friends and share his toys. More Shep on Whitney: “Not only is Whitney an only child, he told me that his mom and dad are only children. That means he has zero cousins. He was like the Little Prince going through a cavernous house with 25 rooms. I think that’s pretty telling.”
Thomas spends each episode cringing in embarrassment. He’s successfully squired his baby-mama out to the plantation and spends his time traveling and doing other stuff besides hanging out at home, and he knows he should put a ring on it, but he just can’t bring himself to do it — and the reasons are so very very clear now that Kathryn has been let back into society.
Next week: Craig’s head explodes and Whitney gets lectured by the hillbilly strumpet.