On Southern Charm, Kathryn Took A Drug Test, No One Died On The Water Slide, And Other Unbelievabilities
As we bouncy-castle into the fourth season.
Last season on Southern Charm, while Patricia wore caftans and made her staff inflate hundreds of flamingos, Landon told Shep she loved him, Cameran dragged us all to therapy so she could decide whether or she wants kids, yet another Ravenel sailed forth from Kathryn's loins, Shep jumped into Patricia's pool in a Speedo, Whitney wanted to beat the crap out of Craig and so did everyone else with a television, and JD rivaled Thomas in odiousness. Also, everyone thought Kathryn had a lot in common with this shark named Tidbit who impregnated herself.
And lo, this was the season that Thomas established, through the use of a cold open in which he shows up at Landon's house with an orange rose, that he would like to bone down with her. (Do you bone down with someone? On them? Oh my god, who cares.) This is the same strategy the producers used last season, when the opener to the premiere was everyone fleeing Thomas's house while he flailed drunkenly at them, and then we cut to a screen that read "three months earlier." So it's that same scenario, except no running, just Thomas and Landon sitting on a bench by a river evaluating one another's bone-ability while the sun sets and Charlotte the dog looks at the camera, contemplating putting herself up for adoption and/or swimming to freedom.
Also in the premiere: We meet Austen and evaluate his sex potential (verdict: would not do), Craig builds things, Shep talks shit, Cameran drives while doing her hair, Naomie rolls her eyes, Thomas thinks "parenting" is hard, Whitney is possibly trying to bring back the track suit, Patricia needlepoints a picture of a pug, Landon thinks she's been working all day, or something, and Kathryn appears at the end of the episode in order to get into her car, drive to a building, and go into it. (Intrigue? No.)
So here are the Charmers, ranked in their premiere behaviors, from best to worst.
In spite of the fact that Gizmo the cat (WE KNOW ABOUT YOU, GIZMO. SHOW YOURSELF) does not make an appearance in this week's episode, Naomie re-establishes herself as being the best of these whiskey swilling ne'er-do-wells by rolling her eyes spectacularly in every scene she's in and demonstrating true horror at the fact that Craig says words. While Naomie and Craig drive to pick up Landon for the Eliza Limehouse Pool Party Experience, a raspy-voiced Kathryn calls to declare that she's back from rehab and would like to hang with them. Craig is all, I have so much time! My girlfriend is getting her master's and is totally boring! I like wood now! Naomie side-eyes him hard and tells Kathryn she'll make time. After she hangs up, the two clarify that they're not going to say anything to Landon about Kathryn. Since you're good television-watching folk, you know that that means the first thing Craig tells Landon is that they talked to Kathryn.
I am into Naomie, and yet, I am not going to put all my eggs in her very expensive, probably Kate Spade basket. One reason is that she's still with Craig, and the other is that she is, perhaps ironically, perhaps not, perpetuating the idea that "romantical" is a word. The youth are malleable, Naomie. Think of the children.
Shep has brought us Austen, so he's automatically on thin ice, but he's also mad at Craig, which makes me into him again. He literally forgets the name of a girl he was hitting on less than ten minutes after meeting her, which also makes him the most consistent person on this show. While bathing-suit shopping with Cameran, he says Craig isn't like anyone in his family, who are a bunch of jocks, so he decided he'd be like people in Charleston, prompting a montage of Craig modeling, moving his hair around, smiling, and wearing pastels. And then Shep gifts us with the declaration that Craig "couldn't get pussy in a monkey whorehouse with a sack of bananas over his shoulder." Aside from the fact that I assume that pussy is being gotten by Craig (ew), this is basically the entire reason for Shep's ranking this week.
At Eliza's pool party, there's a giant water slide, because why not combine alcohol and the opportunity to move at high speeds while wet? Shep corrals Naomie into a corner and attempts to get her to shit-talk Craig, which she refuses to do, verifying that she is, in fact, new here. Shep interviews that he's angry that Craig lied to everyone about law school and basically everything else, and also because he can't just be vulnerable about his emotions like a human. Surprisingly, Shep is not a casualty of Eliza's Drunk Water Slide Of Death.
Look, Austen has done nothing to me except resemble the bros who used to sit out on the lawns in front of their frat houses holding up numbers that were supposed to reflect the hotness of the women who passed by. (On second thought, Austen, you have done something to me. And all women.) Depending on how you feel about his attractiveness, you may have been thrilled by the full-on butt shot Bravo gave us of Austen getting into the shower. (Are we doing butts now? Have we been doing butts?) Austen has a job, which we're supposed to be into, I guess, since Shep doesn't have one. Austen's job consists of wearing a baseball cap and showing bottles to bartenders and then making women toast to him. His parents are not into it. Austen would like us to not consider him Shep's protege, because he's better looking (no) and younger (fine, everybody gets one), but there's nothing remotely interesting about him, other than his ability to remind me not to walk past large groups of white dudes in flannel and baseball caps.
Last season, I went from being glad for Cameran's open struggle with whether or not to have kids, to being annoyed at her for constantly nagging Shep about getting married and talking about Kathryn as though she had set fire to a puppy's birthday party. Then I watched an Instagram video of her making avocado toast and I felt better. She's already on my nerves trying to reform Shep via some broad named Chelsea, but the most egregious of her sins this episode comes when she congratulates Thomas for "stepping up" to raise his own children. Absolutely the fuck not, dude. Does she also think that a dad hanging out with his kids while his wife works is "babysitting"? It's only 45 minutes into this season, and I already cannot invest in Cameran emotionally. Even if she understands the glory of fried food, it's too painful to watch her being oblivious to misogyny.
Apparently, Craig has finished law school for reals this time, and will be taking the bar in February, so meanwhile, he's been using the internet to learn about gardening and construction. I hate him in advance of everything he's going to do this season, but dude earns his ranking this week because of what he says about Kathryn, which is that when she's not in his life, things are easier. Cue montage that begins in Season 1, when he got mad at Shep for hooking up with Kathryn when he himself failed to get at it, and ends last season when he told everyone that Whitney said he could see himself marrying Kathryn. Everything about Craig already makes me wonder, again, if people on this show know they're on TV and we can see them.
You guys, Thomas would like us all to know that since we last saw him, his life "has taken on a transformative change." (Mmmkay.) We know this is a lie immediately because not only is he still wearing terrifyingly tight white pants, but he thinks that he rules at parenting. Kenzie eats grapes while contemplating her father's relationship to said pants at her hi-chair in the guest house, where Thomas is making her, her brother, and Dawn, the long suffering nanny, live, because children are messy and destructive. He thinks every day about his mortality and who will take care of his loinfruit should something happen to him, and then he plays polo with Eliza Limehouse, who is a friend's daughter, and young enough for him to stare at lecherously. Eliza says she's worried about Kathryn, and that she needs Jesus. Thomas looks faux-upset at this news.
At the pool party, he wears these green shorts and a tshirt that just make him look old as shit. (Eliza: "Get the dad-bod out!") Whitney describes Thomas as being "en fuego," re: the ladies, when he emerges from the pool with a newly minted twenty-four-year-old named Jordan. When Landon shows up to the party, Thomas hugs her and then we cut to an interview in which he says that one of the great pleasures in life is being in Landon's company, and that their relationship is platonic. He cannot in any way keep a straight face.
In a conversation during which he's flanked by Shelby, Kathryn's cousin, and JD, Thomas says Kathryn refused to take a drug test (at the end of the episode, she does take it), even though she's completed rehab, and continues to act like he's the only human who's ever had a responsibility, and that he hasn't treated Kathryn like his emotional trash can for the last three years. The only reason Thomas isn't first this week is because he didn't actively insult Kathryn, although it's possible that he did, and I just blacked out during that part.
Whilst paddleboarding, Landon forces us to relive the last year of her life, which she declares "shit." (See: The time she told Shep she loved him, fighting with Kathryn in public, that businessshahahahahah thing) She's dating someone now, maybe? She won't identify him as her boyfriend, but Bravo will! She says everyone has always told her what to do, and Drew (who is uncomfortably ripped) is 10 years younger than she is and hot, so she would like people to just let her have this one. (Don't make me be on your side, Landon. Ever.)
Landon thinks Kathryn went to rehab in Malibu to find a rich boyfriend, her "next victim." She also thinks it's shitty that she can't even hang around with Thomas anymore because everyone is talking about them. Also, she's been doing "work," which I assume we'll have to hear about this season. I'm already so tired of her shenanigans, and there have barely been any, short of the fact that she's still totally obsessed with Kathryn and the skirt she wears to the pool party looks like a rash.
This season: Balls! (Not that kind!) Rich people! Shooting! (Not each other! I don't think!) Cultural appropriation! Fighting! Polo! Ambulances!