Doesn’t it feel like a billion years ago since we last looked? Southern charm, a pre-war sorority mixer at a plantation house? It’s been so long I couldn’t even remember John Pringle, a sexy actor whose IMDb you have to pull up to remember who he starred on Ozark† It seems like not much has changed in the south, and things certainly haven’t changed with our cast of sweet dummies… and Kathryn, who’s just a dummy.
First we have to reacquaint ourselves with the whole crew. Austen and Shep are still in the same bar, still drinking Trop Hop and completely oblivious that they are both too old not to have careers, partners and children between them. If idle hands are the devil’s toys, then Shep and Austen are Satan’s anal beads. In the meantime, summer house star Craig Conover has turned himself into a pillow tycoon, dressed as the squad manager at Best Buy. He’s actually doing well. He has removed all the asbestos from his house and laid half of his living room floor. In the past, he would have taken out half of the asbestos and placed it completely on the floor.
We only get a brief check-in with Patricia and Whitney, who uses vodka to disinfect the floor after picking up all the dog poop. The sad news is that Michael, Patricia’s old and charming butler, has suffered a massive stroke and is now paralyzed. Whitney is Patricia’s current servant and he’s about as good at it as Taylor Swift at not writing about her exes.
The Cruella de Ville of this show, Madison LeCroy is only a brief appearance and we don’t get much from her. The same goes for Pringle, but now that he’s popped, he can’t stop. Newbies Leva and Venita roam around (and Venita drives a Land Rover whose headlights flicker like the floor of Dance Dance Revolution even in the middle of the day) but don’t do much but serve silly. They also hang out with Craig’s ex Naomie, who is back after a 10-day move to New York where she found out her fiancé was cheating on her and she rushed back to South Carolina.
Much of the story has to do with Craig and Naomie, who apparently hooked up a few times after breaking up with her ex and while Craig was dating a co-worker. summer house star Paige DeSorbo, but before they were exclusive. Is this why he was so slack about his boyfriend/girlfriend with Paige in the in-all-ways-superior other Bravo show they star in?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much drama between Craigy and Naom-Naom, as no one calls them. For the first time, Craig seems to be completely over Naomie, and if she’s still pining for Craig now that he’s got his life back on track, she doesn’t really show it. But what’s going on with them is definitely causing a rift between Craig and the other guys. Craig says he hasn’t returned Shep’s calls because Shep is busy with his girlfriend Taylor and Shep always treats him like shit. Yes, this is the price of success. Before Craig just had to accept all of Shep’s hateful insults for staying on the show. Now he has a shop, a girlfriend and… another show. He’s washed that condescension out of his hair and it’s on its way. (I would like to Pacific Ocean references and Southern charm go together like my lips and that spot right behind Tom Holland’s earlobe.)
Craig has also pulled out of Austen for a very good reason. He says he hung out with Paige and Austen and Austen started bickering with him. Then Austen blurts out, “Well, are you going to tell Paige you slept with Naomie?” Apparently Paige said, “I already know, and you’re a friend.” Sick burn!
The only problem with this story is that when the three guys sit down at Kathryn’s party, Austen says he didn’t know they were in a relationship and Craig says he kept it a secret from him because he would tell everyone. Okay, so Austen knew about Naomie and said something in front of Paige, or was Craig hiding the truth from him? Both things cannot be true. While Craig’s story of calling out Austen is not factually true, I also believe it is spiritually true. As if that’s something Austen would absolutely do, and to be honest Craig is better without the two walking beer bellies holding him back.
While this is the fight between the guys, another fight is brewing between the girls and it’s all centered around Kathryn, who is becoming more and more like a Kommunity Kollege Kardashian every year. She still lives with her boyfriend Chelb (pronounced “Caleb”), who we all thought she was only dating so she wouldn’t look racist. Well, she lasted at least an entire season. (But not anymore, because they broke up after filming.)
Kathryn throws herself a Roaring ’20s themed 30th birthday party, which sucks for at least two reasons. The first is that this theme has been done more times than “Stay” was played on my CD player in 1998 when the first boy I ever kissed moved to school across town. The other reason is that she’s entering her 30s with the 20s. It makes no sense, but about as logical as calling it a Great Katsby party, leaving me wanting to gag a hairball big enough to open its own cat cafe.
She decides to invite everyone to the party, including Venita, who hasn’t spoken to Kathryn since she expressed her racially insensitive behavior last season, and Naomie, who hasn’t spoken to her since Kathryn spread a rumor about Cameran’s husband killing her. cheated, that was so bad that Cameran stopped the show. She says she wants to start this new decade with a clean slate for herself and everyone else.
The problem is, Kathryn still has the maturity of Violet Beauregarde before she ate the Everlasting Gobstopper. When Naomie arrives at the party, she warmly greets Kathryn and continues on her way. Kathryn, however, expected her to say, “Thank you for inviting me. I’m so sorry for what happened. Let’s go talk.” That Kathryn is expecting an apology for maliciously spreading rumors about a castmate is all you really need to know about Kathryn. And why would Naomie do that? This party isn’t the place for them to talk. Kathryn should busy with her other guests (although this party seems oddly empty).
But Kathryn is getting drunker and her Retinol is making her chin redder. She persuades Chleb to complain that Venita and Naomie haven’t had eye contact with her since they arrived. Of course they don’t. She should be busy celebrating her birthday and they should be busy socializing. Yes it is hair birthday party, but it’s still a party.
Kathryn then starts whining about how she wants to go home, probably because she’s not getting enough attention in a room full of people she’s alienated from by acting like a jerk for the past eight seasons. Well, that’s not quite true. She spent several seasons being tortured by Thomas, then a few seasons to gain our sympathy when we realized she was the victim of his emotional abuse, and then a few seasons off Thomas and just plain awful. Still you get what I’m saying.
On the way out, Kathryn stops at Naomie’s table to say that Naomie should be ashamed of the way she treated Kathryn. Naomie says, “But you tried to ruin someone’s family.” Yes she did. Kathryn should at least be ashamed of herself. She uses this as an excuse to say that Naomie is no better than her, when objectively I think that’s a lie. Naomie tells her she doesn’t like the way she fights. When Kathryn asks which way that is, Naomie says, “Dirty.” Discovered no lies, and we got the polygraph expert who asked Lisa Vanderpump if she had anything to do with Puppygate.
Kathryn responds by calling Naomie a “little bitch” and saying she’s “fake”. As for fake, I think Naomie kept it pretty straight in front of Kathryn’s face and wouldn’t let her get away with her past actions. As for a little bitch, Kathryn is the one who’s mad that Naomie didn’t pay her enough attention at her party, so she attacked her. She’s projecting more than anything that powers the holograms at that new ABBA concert in London. Naomie does the smart thing and walks away as Kathryn shakes herself in an elevator while yelling at her friends on the way down. Oh it’s been way too long since we last watched Southern charmBut I also don’t think it lasted long enough.