A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Southern Charm contains all the over-the-top behaviors one comes to expect from Bravo reality shows, including lots of drinking (wine, champagne, cocktails, beer), arguing, strong sexual references, and salty language (with stronger curses bleeped). It also contains some disturbing messages about women, drug use, and the consequences -- or lack thereof -- of irresponsible behavior. Older teens may be drawn to the show, but it's really not meant for kids.
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What's the story?
SOUTHERN CHARM is a reality series featuring some of Charleston's single social elite. It stars former South Carolina state treasurer Thomas Ravenel, who resigned from office and served prison time for cocaine distribution; his friend Whitney Sudler Smith, a filmmaker-turned-restaurateur who lives with his mother; and surfing playboy Shepard "Shep" Rose. Also in the group is Cameron Eubanks, a former Real World cast member hoping to build a real estate career, the rather irresponsible law student Craig Conover, and Jenna King, an aspiring fashion designer who marches to the beat of her own drummer. Amid parties, polo matches, and pick-up lines, the group members show how they live it up within the constraints of the city's tight-knit, posh community.
Is it any good?
Southern Charm offers a unique look into the world of a handful of Charleston's elite, many of whom are descendants of old and aristocratic Southern families. But much of the show centers on the female cast members' struggle with the men's ungentlemanly behavior, thanks to their endless drinking, womanizing, and refusal to settle down. Meanwhile, some of their efforts to build (or rebuild) their careers are overshadowed by their constant conversations about women as exchangeable goods and, in some cases, not-so-subtle reminders of their independent wealth thanks to old family money.
Some viewers may enjoy this sort of voyeurism. However, the behavior exhibited here goes beyond that of charming cads and scoundrels and instead presents a group of people who put cash, status, and self-indulgence ahead of anything else. Worse are statements made by Thomas Ravenel, who claims to want to continue his political career while openly dismissing concerns about his over-the-top behavior. In the end, it's a show that may be entertaining to some, but the messages are rather disheartening.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why people choose to appear on reality shows. Is it for the attention? Money? What are some of the negative consequences of starring on them?
Do you think the way people appear on camera truly reflects who they are or how they behave when the cameras are off?