Southern Charm (Bravo)

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Bravo debuted this show on March 3rd and because I watch nearly every show on Bravo, I decided to give this show a chance. At first I was completely indifferent about it. I watched two back-to-back episodes late one night because there was nothing else on television. Soon the show grew to annoy me and I could no longer tolerate it.

       The first problem I had with the show was that there seemed to be no actual purpose for the show. It seemed like the producers just wanted to display wealth in the southern United States. The show followed a group of individuals around Charleston, South Carolina as they went to polo events, dinner parties, and the beach. There was nothing distinctly interesting about most of these people. Then I noticed a second problem with the show.

       Some of the people on the show looked significantly older than others, so I decided to look up the cast members online. I found all of the cast bios on Bravo’s website and I was right. Some of the cast members were almost twice as old as other cast members. Thomas Ravenel, a former South Carolina politician was 48, and Craig Conover, a third year law student was 25. That led me to ask the question, in what universe would a 48-year-old and a 25-year-old have the same group of friends?

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Here is a link to the bios: 

http://www.bravotv.com/southern-charm/season-1

Then the show got really bizarre when Thomas and another cast member on the show, 34-year-old Shep, competed for the same girl. Which led me to ask the question, in what universe would a 48-year-old former politician and a 34-year-old eternal frat guy compete for the same girl? The show just began to look extremely phony.

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       None of cast members seemed to know each other very well, and as much as some of the cast members claimed to have ‘grown up’ with the others, I knew that it was not true. The age difference between the characters was too significant for them to have ever played in the sandbox together.

       The show also presented cast member Jenna King as the edgy new girl from Los Angeles who captures the attention of all the men on the show. However, in her bio it clearly states that the 28-year-old grew up in rural South Carolina and attended college in Charleston. While she may have lived in Los Angeles right before starring on the show, she is not the non-southerner that they are trying to portray her as. She is not clueless about the way things work around town.

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I realize that most reality television shows are fake, but it seems like Bravo isn’t even trying to cover up some of the phoniness. This show is clearly just an attempt to showcase wealthy individuals from South Carolina. I understand that they need to have some drama in order to make the show watchable, but then maybe they should get some interesting cast members. The only interesting character on the show is Thomas, the former politician who spent time in prison for cocaine distribution.

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The show seems more concerned with his wealth than with his criminal past. They talk about how he is a rich guy who “ruined the family name” with his arrest, but everything is presented with a ‘poor rich guy’ lens. I feel like he has bigger concerns than what is shown on the show, but Bravo appears to be keeping things light. They have him hitting on girls half his age. I wonder if he’s only doing that for the cameras.

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3 thoughts on “Southern Charm (Bravo)”

  1. I don’t think I have every followed a Bravo show all the way through a season so I don’t think I will start with this one. Your assessment of Bravo just wanting to showcase the rich South Carolina residents seems spot on and I feel like the 25 year old and 48 year old situation seems a little strange to me as well. Thanks for the warning!

  2. I think you touched on something really important… It’s not just Bravo being lazy with their phony reality shows, but most of the industry is! Sometimes when I watch a show like this or some of the newer sitcoms it feels like the network is just plugging different variables into the same old equation. I wish they would start stepping up their game!!

  3. Bravo and Andy Cohen are the worst! These reality shows and spin off shows have just gotten ridiculous. This new show somewhat reminds of Jersey Shore, just less crazy and drunk. One of my best friends from home goes to school in Charleston, and she constantly tells us it’s not like the show. I’ve seen previews, but I have never had the nerve to sit and watch and I love Bravo, this show is just unattractive.

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