Charleston Whine and Food Festival
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Photo: Well done
Before we get into the drama of this episode and there was about as much of it as there are edible goodies in a vegan bakery, can we talk about the fashion? Over the past couple of seasons, Kathryn has really stepped up her game and given us some really excellent and editorial looks. (Do you remember her great ski ensembles?) Now it just seems like she is trying too hard. She shows up to get a manicure with Danni, wearing tight, pink high-waisted pants, a ’60s-inspired pink and brown patterned top, and a pink “cheerleading ribbon” in what could only be a high pony described as the “cover of MILF magazine” hair. To top it off, she wears pink strappy heels with tiny white lace socks that seem to have stolen from her daughter.
This is not high fashion. It’s not couture. This is someone who dresses up and hopes they will look great. She also comes to Austen’s booth at the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, wearing a magenta dress that is too cold for a spring day. Maybe she could have peeled off some makeup on her face and made a scarf out of it and she would have been fine. Couldn’t Kathryn afford a Priv technician to do her makeup this season because it looks like a high school girl is going to prom and trying something new that she saw on a YouTube tutorial and that fails? It’s thicker than the crust of a Chicago pizza.
The guys don’t escape mention either, and something has to be done about all those denim jackets that are running around like some kind of fashion flu. When John Pringles comes to Patricia, he can’t stop himself from wearing a denim jacket. When he arrives, Patrick’s son Whitney is wearing an almost identical one. These aren’t cool biker denim jackets or the hip thing you see on a young actor in Hollywood. These are stiff Wrangler jackets that smell like middle-aged men donning the role to go to an Old 97s concert. It’s like the cover of the O brother, where are you not? Soundtrack.
If Pringle wears either the same or a similar denim jacket to Food Fest (if he has two of them, I’m a monkey nut sack), Madison tells him Austen would wear a denim jacket too, but she thought it was too girly. However, she says, Pringle doesn’t look girly at all in it. He looks exactly like Butch. That’s because he’s walking around in a hirsute cloud of claims. He was given the mantle of patriarchy at a young age and he wears it well. Neither of us can help falling for it because it fooled us into thinking that it was the most attractive thing in the world. Don’t be hypnotized, Madison. This man is a day trader. He’s basically a gamer with an MBA and a lip full of dip.
Speaking of clothes, we discover this episode with new roommates Craig and Austen diving each other in closets. Well, maybe that’s wrong. Craig steals Austen’s polos and wears them, but aside from the fact that they’re particularly baggy on Craig, there’s no way of telling who the clothes actually belong to, as they both wear the same neat uniform. As a member of a homosexual couple, I will say that one of the added joys granted to us is removing each other’s clothes. I also have the added benefit of sharing a shoe size with my partner, which is absolutely amazing when Poppa needs a new pair of shoes and absolutely terrible if my favorite pair of sneakers is lost. Craig seems to be taking advantage of this new roommate advantage.
There are other suspicious behaviors from Craig. He asks Austen when he will be home and cook all meals. He hates Madison, Austen’s girlfriend. It seems like Craig either stopped dating or put his romantic life on hold. Is he … in love with Austen? When they talk about their new life situation, Craig says, “I would make a friend the fuck.” Is that a desired role? Is that what Craig, a future pillow tycoon and (um) interior designer, wants in life? Whitney tells them to try a relationship. “We tried it,” says Austen. Is there more to this story than we know? Will the two settle into domestic bliss and discover that their true affection is not for the Floozies who chase them around, but for the deeply lasting male love of Walt Whitman and Lance Bass?
That was just a minor flaw in this episode, as was Leva, which we learn a little more about. She is married to a nice gentleman named Lamar and they own a number of bars all on the same street like a shopping mall full of debauchery. The only thing she really did other than give her adorable son a cake pop from Starbucks was come to Shep’s Dumb and Dumber Party to totally read Kathryn for lying and saying that Cameran’s husband Jason was having an affair. She closed that with a swiftness.
After Leva says that Cameran has a nice family and she doesn’t want Kathryn to ruin it, Kathryn says, “Well, I thought I had a nice family too” and says that Cameran gets what she came for, to mean to be with Kathryn for 5 years. Okay, here’s the difference: based on the clips we saw (and saw the show), Cameran always said that Kathryn was messy and she didn’t want any part of it. At the time, Kathryn was as chaotic as the Britney and Kevin reality show. Do you remember running down the street in her fur to chase Thomas? It’s one thing to say that Cameran didn’t want to be around her energy. It is a different matter to spread rumors about someone in order to get back to them. Kathryn has to learn the difference.
The other big drama at the party is that Shep invited both Austen and Madison, with whom he wants to make amends after last season’s argument, and his friends Peter and Liz. Apparently Peter had sex with Madison not long ago, and Liz is pissed off when Madison shows up. Shep claims he accidentally did it and in fact regrets the double booking very much, but it was still awkward for everyone involved, especially Austen, who didn’t know about the connection and then was confronted by Liz at the party and said he was should do “Make better decisions” in his personal life.
I think Madison did a great job of doing this, essentially saying, “This was a one-night stand that happened when I was single and it’s none of our business.” Amen, sister. Austen says he was only upset because he had to find out at the party and not from Madison. I understand, but why should she bring it up? Does she have to give up every mediocre D to ever get within three feet of her? The problem with the whole scenario is that after Shep was an idiot last season and the girl Austen cheated on Madison with, when his date was taken to a party to humiliate them both, she thinks Shep rebuilt it.
When Shep, Craig and Austen pump irons together like a bunch of race queens to jack up before a group trip to Mykonos, Shep apologizes to Austen saying he didn’t know this was going to cause an episode and he seems very sincere. Craig is shocked because he has never seen Shep apologize before.
Everyone finally meets at the Food Fest, where Austen shows up nice and early with a petite blonde in a pink hat who helps him to set everything up. I figured, Oh, Madison is so supportive. Then two minutes later Madison strolls to the booth in a sexy tank top and a killer blowout, and then I thought: Wait, who is the other chick? Does Austen only have her clones lined up to do all of his work for him?
But it seems like not a lot of work is being done at King’s Calling Brewing Company. Austen brags that it is available in several popular Charleston bars. Okay, that’s fine for a hobby, but what about national spread? What about ordering online? Loverboy has a larger market share than King’s Calling’s one Product. While with Patricia, she tries to match Pringle with Madison because she thinks Austen doesn’t deserve her. Whitney tries to show he’s busy with his beer label. “It’s in three stores in Charleston,” says Patricia venomously. “It’s not Budweiser. Madison deserves Budweiser. “
Shep finally shows up at the booth and he and Madison start talking about what happened at the party. Austen tries to tell them to do it another time. They keep fighting anyway. Austen asks them to put it in the back of the tent. No, they are still tough on each other.
“Seriously, stop it guys.”
“Wait a minute, we’re almost done for a minute.”
“Yes, this is the best time for this conversation.”
Austen sighs in exhaustion as he sells another Trop Hop hat.
The fight is really stupid. Madison is upset that Shep set her up again. Shep apologizes and says that he honestly didn’t mean to and that he didn’t know about Madison and Peter until that night. She’s crazy to be crazy and he’s sorry that he’s sorry and none of them are really making any headway. It’s going to be a long season, as Shep describes it, a cold war in which their missiles are aimed at each other but smile.
In a similar situation, Austen and Craig have pointed their missiles at each other in front of the booth and smile. As the fight rages behind them, Craig reaches out his hand for Austen so the crowd can’t see, and Craig wraps his pinky around Austen’s little finger, like two kittens settling down for a warm nap.
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