There is probably no Bravo series as horribly addictive as Southern Charm, with its trust funds and stupid family names and loving references to Henry Kissinger and embarrassing meetings with Vox Media’s Lockhart Steele. If you are, like me, trapped in a confusing relationship with these upsetting libertarians, you’re in luck: it’s been renewed for a fourth season, and meanwhile, Southern Charm Savannah, a spinoff with a new cast, will also premiere.
Southern Charm, which is based in and around Charleston, South Carolina, works for a few reasons. The first is Cameran Eubanks, who we first met when she starred on the Real World San Diego in 2004. Cameran has more charisma than seems fair for a single person to possess, and she dominates the show while (mostly) keeping a genteel distance from the drama, as long as that drama isn’t named Kathryn Dennis.
The second reason is a scene like this: Thomas Ravenel, a 50-something former State Treasurer who got kicked out of office on cocaine charges and recently spent at least a million dollars on a failed Senate campaign, brings a gigantic, expensive Diptyque candle as an offering to the mansion of Patricia Altschul, a 75-year-old martini-obsessed socialite and cast member. Ravenel is there to beg for the social inclusion of the aforementioned Miss Dennis, a highly emotional 23-year-old descendent of John C. Calhoun (this is never acknowledged as a negative), whom he has impregnated twice since the show began. Patricia demurs.
You’ll see, then, why I might be skeptical that a second cast would be able to match the crazy of this bourbon-drenched drama, though the press release for Savannah does reference a “hauntingly romantic”“antebellum” setting—yep, that should go over well—filled with “heirs and socialites who learned to operate boats before cars.”
As Cameran might say: “Dear lord.”