by Jaime Lin Weinstein
Usually, debutante balls and derbies are our index for the meaning of “Southern charm” and its mild-mannered, white-gloved, coat-tailed connotations. But the cast members of Bravo’s reality show of the same name seem to be redefining any modern musings on the term. “It’s an idea really,” says Kathryn Calhoun Dennis, the 23-year-old redhead who will be reprising her role on Season 2. “I think the show shows that behind the closed doors and behind all the ideas of grandeur, life isn’t always as perfect as it seems.”
Thank God. We all know we’d much rather watch a group of people sip bourbon than sweet tea and swing punches instead of golf clubs — even if they’re doing so while donning colorful sundresses and seersucker suits. Yes, while their manors may indeed be columned and their galas white-tie, the general culture the “Southern Charm” cast depicts seems to be more racy than refined: Kathryn, for a perfect example, spent last season fighting accusations of sleeping with basically all of the main characters on the show after falling in love with Thomas (20 plus years her senior) and having his baby. Sounds like reality television at its finest, right?
We caught up with Kathryn to see what we can expect from Season 2, which premieres on Bravo tonight at 10/9c.
1. Everyone is different, but still exactly the same.
Kathryn had a baby, Cameran got married, Craig graduated law school, Shep opened a restaurant, Thomas is running for Senate and Whitney is helping him. So the crew is experiencing some new roles, but, “The people are all going to be, at the end of the day, the same,” according to Kathryn. Which means we can plan on seeing plenty of drunken debauchery and high-class hook-ups.
2. There’s a new girl in town.
“I don’t really know much about Landon,” Kathryn claims. “When I first met her I didn’t feel a genuine or authentic thing about her. She’s all of a sudden in Charleston, I’d never heard of her before. But she seems to know everyone, it was very odd.” I smell trouble. A college friend of Shep’s, Landon Clements has come back to town fresh off a California divorce, and hoping to restart her interior design career back in Charleston — and we’re hoping she stirs up some drama while she’s at it.
3. Jenna makes some cameos.
Clad in leathern and sporting a modern-day Mohawk, Jenna King certainly doesn’t look like your typical Southern Belle, but she seemed to get along with the rest of the crew just as well in Season 1. “She actually becomes one of my closest confidantes,” Kathryn shares of Season 2. “I didn’t expect to create such a friendship with her but I do feel like through Season 2 you’ll see we’ve become pretty close.” I’m not so sure if this will prove to be for better or worse — Jenna was shown to live a luxe life in Season 1 (full of Louboutins and private jets) that was apparently funded by an older, long-distance boyfriend…
4. Relationship drama resumes.
The tumultuous relationship between Kathryn and Thomas will continue. While they are not currently “quote unquote together or any of that,” according to Kathryn, the season will show them navigating their roles as parents and as a couple. And it’s bound to be entertaining. “I had reservations [signing on for Season 2] just given the fact that Thomas and I were in such a fragile period in our lives,” Kathryn explains. “It was a whirlwind romance. You know we met, we got pregnant and then the show aired. And all of a sudden we were gonna be doing it again and it was almost as if we never had a sense of normalcy per se to get to know each other and learn our family dynamic without any other pressures … But we decided to do it and I’m happy we decided to do it because it tested us in many ways. And no matter how it turns out I’m glad to know that we made it through and my daughter is still as happy as can be a year later.”