There is obviously one thing we need to discuss immediately after watching the premiere of what appears to be an explosive season of our favorite show about himbos and the fashion influencers who love them. No, it is not the Mayan temple of cardboard boxes that were inevitably sitting outside of the front door when everyone piled in on the Fourth of July weekend. No, it’s not even the unorthodox sleeping arrangements (but we’ll get to those). It is something that we’ve all been struggling with for some time and must now address: Kyle McGill Cooke’s mullet.
I am extremely on record as not only a Kyle Cooke apologist, but as married to Kyle in my own mind. I think he is the perfect man. I don’t care what he says; his abs still look amazing, even as he approaches 40. I love someone who always wants to party on the weekend, who is trying to make sure everyone is on the same fun bus he is, who stands talking to himself in the kitchen in the middle of the night and lets his towel drop and isn’t even worried about the exposure, who sings the “Have you seen my penis?” song with his wife. I mean, did you clock that song? It has a call-and-response. I want to sing jingles about Kyle’s Cock. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)
The mullet is the one thing I can not, will not, and should not defend. Amanda gives it an Airwrap in their bedroom, but not even a Dyson can save this thing. I see what Kyle is doing. He is trying to bring back the party by growing it out in the back. Sadly, it is not working. But, and this is a butt as big as Kyle’s when he drops his towel, that does not mean Kyle is not perfect. No, he is just in a transition phase, and I appreciate everyone respecting my privacy during this difficult time.
This year, the mullet isn’t the only thing new in the Hamptons house. First, we have three brand-new members. First up is Gabby, who is a friend of Paige’s. The screen chyrons tell us that Gabby is a “fashion editor.” I am highly skeptical of this as a title, as it also lists Paige as a “fashion contributor.” Yes, Paige contributes to fashion in the same way that everyone who wears clothes and posts about them online contributes to fashion. If this is how fashion is contributed, then I’m not sure exactly how Gabby edits it. But from first blush, Gabby seems like a very good time, and I’m glad to have her around.
(Just a quick kudos to Summer House for having three Black women and one Latina in the cast. There is not a show on Bravo that has been as easily, quickly, or as successfully integrated as this one — a show about trying to survive a summer in an all-white enclave, like it’s Get Out 2.)
The other female newbie is Sam, a.k.a. Samantha, who is only 25 and a friend of Amanda’s somehow. It doesn’t say that Amanda was her babysitter in New Jersey growing up, but I am getting that vibe. We don’t know much about Sam other than that she looks like someone took Southern Charm’s Kathryn Dennis, shrunk her about a foot, and put her in a time machine to take her back two decades. What? She’s only six years younger than Kathryn. Oh …
Finally, there is Chris, a friend of Kyle’s who is a former Marine. Chris is hot and seems like a good time, but I have several issues. While he is hot, he is not Andrea Denver hot. He is not Luke Gulbranson hot. He’s not even That Ripped Dude From Last Summer That We All Forgot hot. He’s just hot, like a hot dude you see out at a bar. Do better, Bravo. He brings his hot friend Jaerez to a party, so if he is our gateway to greater hotness, I can let it slide. But where are all the dudes? As Carl says, it’s like these three and about a million women in the house. I love all of the girls, but we watch this show for both drama and abs — right now, we’re only getting one of them.
The biggest revelation in the first episode, though, is about where everyone will sleep. Apparently, the house is only zoned for five bedrooms but had been operating with nine of them. Now downstairs, they turned one into a “gym” with one sad weight bench. The other is a sitting room with two chairs and a coffee table. Bravo must be pissed.
The whole thing seems crazy. This is their third summer in this house. It took two years for someone to watch this show, figure out where the house was, and call the fire department on them? Or maybe Bravo concocted this whole thing so that every week there will be at least one fight about the rooms. They put Mya, Paige, Gabby, and Ciara in the primary suite with two king beds. Even with the biggest room, do you know how filthy Paige and Ciara will make it by the 15th of July? I would call it a Superfund Site, but then my lover Kyle would just think that the bedroom was super-fun and would want to get back into it.
With all of this newness, the additions that have the most consequence are Carl and Lindsay. Gabby, who just met them a day before, says she could feel the whole house tense up when they arrived. I can see why! It seems like Carl and Lindsay don’t want to be around other people; more essentially, they don’t want to be there. Carl and Lindsay want to be sober. They want to go to Barry’s Bootcamp at 8 a.m. because, what, they don’t offer classes later in the afternoon? They want to be in their little love bubble on their own show, and they want to be Nick and Jessica, and Carl won’t know what the Chicken of the Sea is, and we’ll all laugh.
Sorry, kiddos, but that is not happening. Instead, they’re in a house with a bunch of people who don’t seem to like them very much. Summer House has always been a bit about alliances. You have Kyle, Carl, Lindsay, and Amanda, the old-school tribe, and they always seem a bit at odds with Paige, Ciara, Mya, and whoever else shows up. Now Amanda is off with the fashion contributors where she always wanted to be, Carl and Lindsay are off on their own, and Kyle is doddering around the house naked, mumbling to himself how boring it is like he has mullet-induced memory loss.
The main issues aren’t with Lindsay, shockingly, but with Carl. Kyle is upset because Carl was always his bro, and now he’s off in Lindsayland learning the recipes for every sandwich she could possibly desire. Kyle also tells Mya at a pool party that Carl hasn’t been pulling his weight at Loverboy, so things are tense on multiple fronts. Yes, you read that right. They were at a party! With people! In the Hamptons! And it wasn’t illegal! Thank the Catholic Jesus that COVID (RIP) is over (hahaha, not really), and our kids are back to alcohol-lubricated social events. This is going to be a delightful summer for everyone.
The biggest story, though, is what is going on between Mya, Lindsay, and Carl. Apparently, the crew was on Family Feud. Somehow I missed this, and as the president and founder of both the Real Housewives Institute and the Kyle McGill Cooke Rescue League, that is really on me. After the taping, Mya and Lindsay were in the back of a van, and Mya texted Carl that they were going to hang out and smoke pot. Carl explains that, much like DJ James Kennedy and yours truly, he is Cali sober, meaning he doesn’t drink alcohol but still smokes weed. Lindsay got upset about this and told Mya that she wasn’t supposed to be friends with Carl because she wanted him sexually, and Lindsay wouldn’t stand for that.
Lindsay explains it in her confessional that Carl was struggling with sobriety at that point and shouldn’t have been smoking weed, and she didn’t appreciate Mya trying to chill with him and get stoned. (P.S.: Mya, I am always available for J smoking where legal and when my husband and Lindsay aren’t around cause they both hate it.) Lindsay could have just said, “Hey, Mya, I’m glad you and Carl are friends, but he’s struggling right now, so if you want to hang out, maybe not smoke with him.” As a friend of Carl’s, I’m sure Mya would have been totally supportive and maybe even helped Carl by talking to him about his struggles. I think Carl was more important to Mya than the ganja.
Instead, Lindsay got activated, freaked out, screamed at Mya, and now there is a big sinkhole in the middle of the Hamptons house. Wait, maybe the four bedrooms fell into that sinkhole? Lindsay is selling it as trying to set boundaries in her relationship and says she shouldn’t feel bad about it. That’s not what she did. She told a friend of Carl’s not to hang out with him and, while for a valid reason, probably did it in the most destructive way possible.
When Mya brings this up to Carl, he doesn’t know anything about it and probably thinks that Mya was just ghosting him because she didn’t like Lindsay or something. Who knows what Carl thinks? When he and Mya have a chat, Carl says that Lindsay is his priority. That’s as it should be. But it seems like they are prioritizing each other at the exclusion of everyone else. Carl is holding onto Lindsay as his last chance at a happy sober life. Lindsay is holding onto Carl as her last chance at getting a husband and a family. They’re holding so tight there is no room for anyone else and, like a bunch of Barry’s-toned boa constrictors, they’re definitely going to end up suffocating their friendships and will probably end up stifling each other.