We need more dudes on this show. I know they have always been outnumbered by the women, but the dudes feel like an afterthought at this point. Kyle and Carl are stalwarts, but they seem more like the plus-ones of Amanda and Lindsay at this point. Chris is cute and all, but he’s too much of a doofus. He’s not giving us any more than Luke ever did, so why is he here and the maple-syrup salesman is roaming around Alexandria, Virginia, trying to remember where he parked his motorcycle when Ashley Darby last kicked him out of her house? Even their little initiation when all the girls went out felt sad and boring. We need some of that male energy to jazz up the joint (and give us something to look at rather than our faded memories of Andrea in his blue briefs).
I think this speaks a bit to the show’s current identity problem. (And this episode was so achingly boring that I thought I would talk about the series more on a macro level because, on the micro level, I’m about as excited about this as I am about the last Ant-Man movie.) There’s already the divide between the OGs — Lindsay, Danielle, Carl, and Kyle — and the Bedsore Sisters — Amanda, Paige, Ciara, and Mya. Then these newbies occupy the gulf between the much younger BSS and the much older OGs. And then there is the behavior they exhibit. The youngsters never liked to leave the beds, let alone the actual house, and the olds have always kept the party going, though they are slowing down a bit.
So is this show still about a group of hard-partying kids in the Hamptons? In this episode, they go to a club called Ultra, which looks more like Karma on Jersey Shore than something Lizzie Grubman ran over a bunch of commoners in front of. (Shout out to the Gawker 1.0 fans.) Thanks to the time stamps we always get on the show, we see that they leave the house at about 10:30, arrive at the club at 10:50, and are back home after another Uber ride at 12:30. That means they leave the club around midnight, which means they partied for only an hour. An hour. Who are these kids? Why are they not bringing dudes home? Why are they not having well-attended parties rather than Studio 50 Forrest bashes where only a dozen of their closest friends show up?
But, no, I don’t think this is a show about partying young people anymore. So is it about a group of friends? Not really. As we saw from their lunch, Lindsay and Amanda have been in that house together for seven years, date best friends, and have never had lunch together on their own. Ciara doesn’t seem like she’s getting to know Gabby or Sam, and Chris still seems to think of most of the people in the house as total strangers. And I hope these total strangers enjoyed the Tulum-inspired meal Danielle’s boyfriend, Robert, cooked for them because they have broken up and he’s never cooking for this haunted Hampton’s manse again.
So if the show isn’t about partying 20-somethings, and it isn’t about a group of friends, what is it about? Increasingly it’s about hating on Lindsay Hubbard. Personally, I love Lindsay. It doesn’t always come across that way because I also realize that she is a gaping maw of need that will never be filled or satisfied. That’s why she is amazing reality television. Whenever someone on a reality-TV show is like, “They hate me because they’re jealous,” I always say “No, they hate you because you’re a horrible person.” That is not true of Lindsay. The BSS hate her because Lindsay must drive them insane with the way she acts, but she’s always better television. She’ll always have her spot secured, and that must burn that Marni for Uniqlo right off their bodies.
If hating Lindsay is popular on the show but not in real life, then what even is the point of Summer House anymore? Usually, when a reality show is in trouble, it’s because of poor casting. But this here show has some excellent characters on it; it just can’t figure out what to do with them or what stage of life they should be in. Until it figures that out, the cast is just going to be floating in different directions and not even having conflicts or interesting dynamics because none of them wants to bother with one another.
Speaking of Lindsay, I did like her lunch with Amanda because, as Amanda said, they’ve never done this. They know each other only in a group context, and it is interesting to hear Lindsay tell Amanda she thought they were closer than Amanda thought they were. I guess for something like Lindsay, who is petrified of people abandoning her, just being next to Amanda for so long felt like friendship, even if it was different than the friendships Amanda has with the rest of the BSS. I think Amanda handled herself especially well, listening to Lindsay (which I think most of the other women don’t do or at least don’t take her seriously) and apologizing for making her feel bad about the things she said. I don’t think Amanda will be having Lindsay over for white Zinfandel and The Bachelor any time soon, but at least we get this tension out of the way.
Amanda shares some great news at the Tulum dinner. All of the singles ask the couples what moving in together is like and the challenges of their relationships. Amanda says that Kyle McGill Cooke’s dick is absolutely amazing and that she usually finishes before Kyle. Wait, that whole package and he’s a generous lover? If Kyle Cooke was already my imaginary husband, he is now my imaginary sex captive who is chained to the WWII-era bomb shelter in my basement and has to please me on command.
The next day, they go to another winery. How is it that they go to like seven wineries every year on Summer House and still haven’t been back to the same one? Are they driving into New Jersey at this point and not telling us? Are they secretly taking a PJ to Napa just so they won’t run out of filming locations on the East End? I love it when my little baby Kyle picks a grape off the vine and says, “One day, you’re going to grow up to be an alcohol.” Yeah, talk dirty to that grape, daddy.
After the vineyard, the girls go out to dinner together and the boys have their sad, three-man initiation at home. But before that, we see Chris trying to fetch a floaty out of the pool without falling in. He’s trying to reach it with his foot over and over, and eventually he succeeds. But when he pulls the floaty out of the pool, he puts it in the hot tub. But for what? Is he going to … float in the hot tub? I mean, the hot tub is made for sitting in, not lying on. Also the floaty takes up the whole thing? I need to see more of this footage. I need to see how this ends because I think it’s, um, not well.
The final dinner with the girls seems to take a step closer to Danielle and Lindsay’s friendship finally unraveling. They talk about how Lindsay always liked to go balls to the wall, but now that she’s with Carl, she likes to temper her drinking in front of him. They all bring up the week before when Lindsay seemed like she wanted to go to Montauk but Carl put the kibosh on it. Lindsay says that without Carl there is no reason for her to go. Danielle takes offense to that, as she should. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you need to do everything together. You need time with your own friends and to pursue your own interests; whether or not those revolve around drinking is up to you.
What I think Lindsay really doesn’t need is to go out with Carl. When they were at Ultra together, they seemed like they were just moping in a corner while everyone else partied, and then Carl pulled Lindsay in his lap to put the P in the PDA. (And you thought that Carl’s P was going to go somewhere else, didn’t you?) As the girls say, maybe she does need to let off some steam. It makes sense that Lindsay’s priorities would change, but her only priority right now is Carl. She isn’t making time for the girls, she’s not working anymore (and continuing to say she’s a publicist is a lie unless we’re talking past tense only), and all she seems to be doing is whatever Carl wants, which, I’m sorry, isn’t good for a relationship.
Finally, Lindsay gets upset that they’re talking about that. She says she just wants a normal girls’ night, and Paige says they’re just trying to have a normal conversation with her. I think this is where some of the women in the house get frustrated. They’re just trying to talk to Lindsay about normal things, ask her questions about her life, and get invested in her relationship (which might bring them closer and get the BSS to maybe actually like her), but she gets all defensive and shuts it down. It was the same with Danielle last week. It seems that might be her and Danielle’s undoing, but we need it to happen pronto because this season needs a kick in the ass.