I swore that I would not once again fall prey to the dark arts of Chief Bravo mage Andrew J. Cohen, Esq. and tune into Summer House. I knew that he was going to use that magic spell, the same one he used five years ago to smash together an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the premiere of Vanderpump Rules to trick us into watching. Now that Pump Rules is a hit, he’s dipping back into that same magic pouch with the premiere of Summer House, a new program that is essentially Jersey Shore if they all had real jobs, preferred rosé to Red Bull, and stood about six inches taller.
I said to myself, “Self, do not let Andy win. Do not fall into this black hole of moral corruption, clam bakes, and six-hour trips stuck in traffic on the LIE. Don’t do it. Also, finish your steamed broccoli because it is only January 9 and you still do not have New Year’s resolution abs.” So, yes, I was fortified when Stassi cavorted in the pool with Kyle, a blonde human carved out of a Nerf football. I was fortified when Karl took off his shirt showing what can only be described as a perfectly curated thatch of chest hair. I was fortified against the charms of Hortkis and Workis, two twin orchid plants that have been taking ballet classes since the first Bush administration. I was fortified when two women who look like lesser correspondents on Access Hollywood got into a fight at the high temple of the Hamptons, Kyle by Alene Too.
But I fell, ladies and gentlemen. I fell hard into Summer House. I have, essentially moved in and I will not be checking out until the fall. You will find me curled up underneath the frozen margarita machine subsisting off the crumbs of barbecue potato chips that Kyle didn’t shove into his gaping maw while half drunk and skulking around the indoor hot tub. Goddamn it. Now I have to add another show to my DVR about hot people doing despicable things to themselves and each other. What is next, Bravo? Are you finally going to force me to watch People’s Couch? Huh? Will it go that far? Ugh, probably.
Stassi’s whole birthday jaunt to the eastern tip of Long Island exists just to launch this show and, begrudgingly, I will admit that it does a very good job. However, I will attribute my willingness to watch Summer House on just how mean the editors of Pump were to Kyle, showing his drunken rampage, his “Ken Doll doing Tai Chi underwater” pointing, and his checking himself out in the mirror while eating a handful of chips from the bag.
His hot tub scene with Stassi is already an instant classic. Stassi is under all of this pressure from Katie to hook up with a guy and give him an OTPHJ, or an “over the pants hand job” which, to any human possessing a penis, sounds like something less comfortable than having to sit through a 22-hour coach flight to Antarctica wearing a girdle, a soiled diaper, and a pair of two-sizes-too-small Crocs. Stassi is basically all teed-up for this guy. He just has to hit it out of the park and yet he ruins it by making fun of her clothes, likening her to a dead tech genius, and then trying to high-five her because her nipples were showing.
This prompts Stassi to deliver a set of dating rules that really should be turned into their own manual. It will become a best seller at all fine establishments where small-format books are sold (i.e. Urban Outfitters). Here is her list:
1. Remember a girl’s name.
2. Listen to her.
3. Don’t tell her she looks like Steve Jobs.
4. Don’t comment on a girl’s nipple if you can’t remember her name.
I feel like if every man follows this very simple four-step process, he’ll be bedding down all the ladies faster than it’s going to take me to get my New Year’s resolution abs. (So, less than 19 years.)
Stassi’s ex Jax really should be the first person to buy this book. He treats his girlfriend, Brittany, a Sunni Gummi turned into a real girl, like an employee. As Ariana points out, just because Jax paid for her boob job doesn’t mean he can show it off to everyone at the pit row of a NASCAR race. (Fun fact: Pit Row is also the name of an original rock opera that Jax wrote when he was a teenager in Michigan featuring the hit 11 o’clock number “Save the Poop.”) Also, it’s completely absurd for Jax to expect that his girlfriend make him a sandwich when he gets home from work, do all of the household chores, and not mention how fat he’s gotten since he’s started eating two giant barbecue bowls at every car-racing event he goes to. That’s especially true because he hectors her the whole time she tries to clean up his suitcase anyway.
It makes sense, though, because Ariana literally has to teach Brittany what the word misogyny means. (Other words we learned this week during Vocab Lessons With Brittany include charcuterie, Chardonnay, and equipoise.) Jax says that one of his favorite things about Brittany is that she wasn’t “like these L.A. girls,” but now that she’s living with him, she’s starting to turn into one. I think what Jax means is that originally Brittany let him treat her like shit, but now that she sees that there are people in healthy relationships that are treated equally, she wants him to treat her better. All Brittany did was educate herself and walk out of Tennessee into the 21st century. Welcome, Brittany. We have all the Pringles and Cheetos you could ever possibly want.
Far, far away from the ball-sweat dungeon that the RV turned into after two days at a NASCAR race, Stassi, Katie, Kristen, and Scheana finally rolled away from Montauk to sit in traffic for four hours on the way to JFK where they waited another two hours for their plane before flying six hours back to Los Angeles — all this for a little bit more than two days of half sunshine on the East End. They left in their wake a disastrous mess at the summerhouse, the one that we would start checking into every week. At about 5 a.m., Kyle stumbled into Karl’s room and listened for a moment to his light snore and then peeled back the corner of the duvet and climbed in, trying not to disturb his friend. “Dude,” Karl muttered, not exactly sure what was going on, “You must be wasted. You’re in the wrong bed.”
Kyle inched his body a little bit closer to Karl, who was lying on his stomach, his head cocked in Kyle’s direction, but his eyes still closed. “I don’t think I am,” Kyle said, wrapping one of Karl’s taut arms across his chiseled chest. Karl let out a little noise that sounded like a combination between a grunt and a sigh as he ground his morning wood into the mattress and moved his hand down Kyle’s body and over his boxer briefs.
“Fine, stay,” Karl said. “But in this bed, we only sleep naked.” Kyle smiled as their bodies brushed together, chest hair against chest hair as Karl relieved him of his underwear and they braided themselves together with the comforter.