Southern Charm Recap: Forcing It

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Shepard Rose, Landon Clements. Photo: Brianna Stello/Bravo
Southern Charm

Southern Charm

Roamin’ Holiday Season 4 Episode 2
Editor's Rating 2 stars

I know that I’m new to Southern Charm, but so far everything in the fourth season seems a little, well, forced. There was not one interaction this entire episode that seemed natural or organic. Connoisseurs of reality television should be used to that by now, but even the “story lines” these people are pursuing seem like they should have run out of steam a long time ago. Why are they still holding onto the dream?

The biggest and saddest disaster of the night is Landon’s “soft launch” for her travel website, Roam, which, even now, doesn’t seem entirely up for business. If you follow this link for the site that was provided by Bravo last year, all you get is an error message. So, yes, this thing isn’t even for real. And thank God. This is one of those ideas that pretty young rich girls have that they think they can pull off because they don’t know any better. There are plenty of travel sites in the world; the fact that Landon thinks that people will care about her “curated” recommendations from her trips around the country is just completely asinine.

Sure, there are plenty of influencers out there with large social-media presences whose site people would visit for odd recommendations (GOOP immediately comes to mind) but why would anyone want Landon to tell them where to find the best hamburger in Austin? And what, exactly, is there about this site to differentiate it from the countless other places that already do it? I’d rather get Wallpaper to download their recommendations right to my phone. And, still, it’s not like Roam actually exists.

Anyway, Landon has a party for all of her friends where she can huddle them around a laptop and show them the site design that she has mapped out. At least this went a little bit better than her disastrous pitch meeting with Vox media executive Lockhart Steele, but still this reeks of a reality-TV-show party that is just a party for the sake of a party and everyone has to pretend like it’s an actual real thing that they’re at.

At the party, Shep pulls Landon aside to talk to her about the conversation she had with the guys who run Yacht Me, which is some sort of app that I couldn’t even manage to find after more than a couple of Google searches. Anyway, Shep is all bent out of shape because Landon criticized them and said some ridiculous things like, “I don’t hang out with millionaires, I hang out with billionaires.” Yes, all of that is obnoxious, but it’s not like she tanked another meeting with a tech industry insider. It’s not like she had a sit-down with Jeff Bezos and told him she wasn’t wearing underwear or something.

Shep is mad because she bungled a possible opportunity with some weird app that no one has ever even heard of, maybe because he is thinking about investing because they have 10,000 followers. There are gay porn stars with bad bodies that have more than that many followers on Instagram. It’s not like that is some kind of awesome accomplishment. Sure, she shouldn’t have behaved like this, but this is all the smallest of potatoes. These potatoes are so small that you can’t even see them with the naked eye.

The fact that Landon is pretending that she runs a website that doesn’t even exist should be a major source of consideration for the people on the show considering they’re still hounding Craig about not graduating from law school or wanting to take the bar exam. Landon and Craig are accomplishing about the same amount, but Landon is actually trying. For me, that makes her worse than Craig. At least Craig isn’t getting anywhere because he just pulls his cat around the yard in a wheelbarrow and goes to the batting cages in the middle of the day. Landon has just as little to show, but has wasted way more of her father’s money.

I know it’s hard to be sympathetic to Craig after he spent so much time lying about graduating from law school, but I actually feel for the guy. Shep once again corners him about lying about law school and Craig basically says, “Why is it your business? Leave me alone.” And he’s not wrong. These people can choose whether or not to be his friend — and considering he’s been kicked off the text chain, they already have — or they can just accept whatever the hell he wants to do about his life as long as he stops lying about it.

Cameran, who said that they kicked Craig off the text chain only so they can make fun of his Instagram, is the most forced of all. I mean, what does she actually do? What even is her purpose? She seems fun and pretty in a very conventional bubbly way, but we need to give Cameran something to do. Mostly she is there to talk to other people about what they’re doing. Do Shep and Courtney want to talk about their attraction or need a chaperone for their “date”? Call Cameran. Does Jennifer want to talk about her baby that was born with his brain on the outside of his skull? Call Cameran. Does Craig want to wear a shirt with the ugliest two-tone spread color that has ever been stitched and talk about how no one is friends with him anymore? Call Cameran.

She does absolutely nothing except talk about how she doesn’t think that she wants to have a baby. That is not a story line. That is especially not a story line when she goes to see Jennifer whose baby was born with his brain outside of his skull. That is a real, actual horrible thing that happened to another person (who has purchased far too many baby clothes). I want to hear all about that and how hard that is for Jennifer, what she did to get through it, and the implications it’s going to have on her baby’s health. I don’t want Cameran to come by and ask whether or not she’s heard from Kathryn. Cameran, this woman’s baby had brain surgery the day it was born. She don’t care about no Kathryn right now!

Yes, Kathryn went to her friend Danni’s house to talk about going to rehab and failing a drug test and how humiliating that was, but it seemed like they were just doing it for the cameras. They were sitting there in the opening credits of Dawson’s Creek, while the wind whipped the reeds and the warm glow kissed their attractive and timeless faces, and they talked and nothing at all was revealed. I’d rather see Joshua Jackson using the dogface filter on Snapchat than watch these two.

But I guess the reason we watch this show is for the small moments of revelation, like Thomas speaking Flintstones French to the mirror about how handsome and awesome he is. Or what about later in the episode when Cameran wants to introduce him to Drew (Landon’s ab-tastic boy toy who looks like Shep minus ten years, 7 million pints of beer, and 52,000 orders of tater tots) and Thomas says, “I don’t want to meet any men.” Oh, or what about even later when Thomas makes a really lame joke to Whitney about Landon’s “oral skills” and they both titter and chuckle like the grossest rotting alligator corpse in the entire bayou.

Maybe it is those moments that keep us coming back, but forced is not a good look on this show. Just ask Whitney’s date to the Roam party. He describes Daisy as his “escort,” and she is the biggest show of forced I have ever seen in my entire life. She is wearing elbow-length gloves to a weeknight event in a casual restaurant. She looks like she’s showing up for a roaring ’20s party and then starts to make fun of everyone’s accents and swivel her head as she projects cackles from every orifice, like a shellfish that survives, but sucking the air out of the room and thriving off attention as her only source of nourishment. So, yeah, if this show is going to do forced, it’s going to need some forced to be reckoned with, and not this nonsense.

Southern Charm Recap: Forcing It