I am officially starting a change.org petition to change the name of Southern Charm to Awkward Lunch. I’m sorry. The title will actually be Bop Ba Doo-kward Lunch. That’s all these people do on this show. They meet up during the day, sometimes with food around but always with booze, and they have awkward and horrible interactions that make me want to make like a turtle that never wants to leave its shell. Don’t these people ever have dinner? Don’t they sometimes hang out in the evenings?
I guess we did get a boys’ night out and a girls’ night out, but those were just rote and bland. Shep takes his crew to Stars, a bar that looks like a flip-flop trying to mate with a pair of Juicy Couture velour sweats that someone left on the floor of a Marshall’s dressing room. He, Austen, Craig, Thomas, and Witless meet up with a bunch of girls who are there for a bachelorette party and they wave their meat sticks in their general vicinity and that is the entirety of a night out with this crew. Well, there might be a few more steps between waking up with their drool drying on the couch cushions and shoving a handful of Cap’N Crunch in their mouths, but you get the gist.
For the girls’ night out, Kathryn gets a hotel room where she, Danni, Naomie, and Chelsea have an old school slumber party. All they do is go out to dinner at a restaurant that is filled with old people, and then embarrass their twink waiter as they talk about sleeping with their exes and waterproof vibrators.
But we’re not here to talk about nights out. We’re here to talk about awkward lunches. What about the one where Kameran and her also-pregnant bestie Leva go out for lunch with Danni, a Mary Kay compact that turned into a real girl? Danni is the only one who can drink but she makes the pregnant ladies smell her wine and they drool over it like they just took a big fat whiff of Russell Crowe’s $7,000 leather jock strap. Then Danni just has to sit there and listen to them talk about how pregnant they are. At least she has that glass of wine to get through it.
Even worse than that awkward lunch is when Patricia’s butler Michael comes over to Kameran’s house for [blonde-lady-shrugging emoji]. That is real wealth, true opulence, when you can loan an actual human being to someone for the better part of the afternoon. Kameran thought about having Michael organize her house, but instead she just has him rub her feet like we’re watching some G-rated fetish video. It made me uncomfortable, sort of like how I feel watching a YouTube video where someone pops every black head on their nose all at once.
Meanwhile, Chelsea has a lunch with her dad on the beach, but all they really do is drink beers and take a few swigs of tequila from a bottle. They don’t really talk about much. All that I took away from this awkward lunch is that Chelsea’s dad was a total early-’80s snack and I want to gobble him down like he’s the last crab cake on earth. Even now, he’s still pretty fine. Why is no one introducing him to Patricia? I think she could use some loosening in her britches.
Now we need to talk about the real awkward lunches. The first one is with Kathryn and Ashley, Thomas’s new girlfriend who thinks it’s funny to call herself a gold digger or a trophy wife with a man she has barely met. Kathryn decided to invite her to lunch because she wanted to make sure this woman who was spending time around her children was sane. Kathryn proposing this lunch is sort of like when you’re at karaoke and your friend gets up onstage to sing “The Greatest Love of All.” You know it’s going to be a mess and you don’t want it to happen, but you also really want it to happen. Like you really, really, really want it to happen.
I’ve never co-parented a child, but this doesn’t seem like real-life behavior. This seems like reality-TV behavior. Wouldn’t it be normal for Kathryn to get to know Ashley in small doses when she drops off or picks up the kids, and maybe when they smile and awkwardly greet each other at family events? Why sit down and have a meal with this person?
It’s starts off really wrong with Ashley asking Kathryn, fresh out of rehab, if she’s going to have a cocktail. Um, that’s a big no. Then Ashley launches into this whole thing about how her parents didn’t want her to move in with Thomas and no one thought she should leave her life for a man. She’s rambling awkwardly and Kathryn is just staying quiet and calm, like a mink stole that someone left draped over the back of the chair while powdering her nose in the bathroom.
Finally, the big news slips: Ashley met Kathryn’s kids one week after she met Thomas, and it was Mother’s Day weekend. Oh man, that has got to sting. That is a sting like a paper cut on the taint. Kathryn, to her credit, takes it in stride and just stores that information away for later rather than blowing up in Ashley’s face and causing a ton of drama. “I used to get in a lot of fights,” she tells us. “All of those fights got me absolutely nowhere.” Wow, is Kathryn actually learning and growing? I’m not used to that flavor on my reality TV.
The most awkward lunch of them all is the last one, where Craig and Naomie decide to get together to see if they should, you know, get back together. The answer is no. How many times can we watch these two have the same fight? Craig wants Naomie to love and support him and doesn’t see how what he’s doing is wrong. Naomie thinks that Craig needs to get his life together and have a more traditional career path. Craig has no idea why they broke up in the first place and wants to get back together. Naomie is, well, she’s exasperated by that.
The thing is, this time around I’m actually on Craig’s side. Like he told Naomie, it’s not like he does nothing. He finished school, passed the bar, and bought a rental house, all goals he set for himself. He’s trying to better himself and conquer the things in his life he sees as problems. One of the things in his life that he does not see as a problem is having a life coach that is also his Uber driver. That’s sort of like asking a three-legged dog to be your personal trainer.
Poor Craig. He has no idea how sad he is, and he also has no idea that maybe he just isn’t cut out for the bourgeois life that Naomie wants him to have, that everyone wants him to have. If Craig wants to stay up late and wake up late, then he should do that. He should embrace that about himself and find a job that is going to let him keep that schedule and prosper. If Naomie can accept that, then maybe they should get back together. If she can’t, then they should stay broken up. But Craig’s problem is that everyone is telling him to do things that he can’t accomplish and that turns him into a self-loathing mess that is just more likely to keep making even more mistakes. Or maybe he should just stop going to all of these stupid lunches altogether. That seems like the biggest mistake of all.