Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday Musings: "Southern Charm" Is "Reality" TV?

Welcome to a new week!! Are you feeling the JOY yet? I am feeling better about what I am seeing (and not seeing) on social media. I think a lot of you have had enough of the negativity and want to see (and make) a change. Good for you!!

Recently, I have found a lot of joy in Mondays...for a rather odd (and very silly) reason. Reality TV.

Ok...I have watched some here and there. (And I must I confess. I love Chrisley Knows Best. They are a hoot!!) But most of this programming is what Miss Betty would call "pretty trashy." For instance, I saw the Real Housewives of New York not too long ago and the conversation between the three women at the table (Sonja, Ramona and LuAnn) in the scene I came across (about being over a dating dry spell) was simply terrible. "Vulgar!" as Miss Betty would say. (These women may tell people they are high class...but it's the Emperor's New Clothes 2016. They can believe it all they want, but the world sees something else.) I used to watch RHNY because I just adore New York City and was always interested in seeing new restaurants, boutiques, etc. Now there is very little of that...just a lot of yelling and screaming. And drinking and plastic surgery. And more yelling and screaming. Sad.

The Mikell House from Google images
My Mondays are joyful because they take me to one of my favorite cities: Charleston, SC. Having so many family members from SC (including Charleston), it's a fun virtual journey to familiar places and explorations to unchartered territory. There's a lot of drinking (of course) and inappropriate relationships (de rigeur for this medium I suppose), but I don't pay much attention to that. I just want to know if they are eating at 82 Queen or going to a party at the Hibernian Hall or meeting out of town guests at The Mills House. You know....the good stuff! And the houses!!! That's for me...Don't get me started on the houses...I could write for days....
I was so happy when I read (ages ago) that Patricia Altschul had bought the Mikell House. I knew it had been entrusted into good hands. Same thing when I met Carolyne Roehm at an event here in Richmond a few years ago. She'd just bought the Chisholm House, and everyone knew it would be spectacular. When I met Carolyne, I was in the process of going through Miss Betty's huge library of books on antiques and decorative arts. The collection included some old books on Charleston, which featured the Chisholm House. I asked her if she'd like them, and off to a wonderful new home they went. (If you have a historic house, look for those books and magazine articles. They are priceless.)

(The picture of the Chisholm House to the right is from I highly suggest bookmarking and visiting her website often! It's inspirational!! I also suggest bookmarking and following Patricia Altschul's fabulous new site, I love Patricia...what a wonderful sense of style combined with a great sense of humor. We are very proud of this Richmond girl!)

Southern Charm follows the lives of its cast members in and about Charleston and spends a good amount of time in their particular houses. They seem to "keep it real" with most everyone, except for one person...and it is the most bizarre thing in the world. I guess their Continuity staffer isn't paying good attention, because Cameran's house keeps changing. At least the exterior color, shape and size. Why are they lying to their viewers about this particular house? I'm sure she lives somewhere nice, but it's not one of the historic Charleston houses that tourists are usually dying to see. And if she's worried about unwelcome visitors, what about the people that live in these "faux" houses?

In Season Two, the house is sort of green, but the interior is the same as in the house we see in Season Three, which has a yellow exterior and completely different architecture. What makes it even more peculiar is that when Patricia (and the amazing Michael, martini bag in hand) come for dinner...the house is obviously white AND the front door is angled from the stairs.

A few seconds on Google showed that Cameran and her husband have their address publicly listed and that the house at that address still has it's "for sale" pics up on Zillow. It is a LOVELY much prettier than the substitute houses that Bravo is using to mislead the audience. Well done, Cameran and Jason!! Note to a tight shot on the house, so it's not easily identifiable is you are worried about tourists. Problem solved. Integrity maintained.

Season 2
Season 3 
Zillow pic of the actual house... It's gorgeous!!
Season 2
Season 3
Zillow pic with previous owner's interior
So...mystery solved. But that still brings up the question of why it's so common these days to have the media lie to us? It can be something as simple as a decoy house or something as grave as misleading us in an election. It doesn't build trust...and it doesn't bring JOY. I'll still probably catch Southern Charm, to get my Charleston fix...but I think I will take it with an even bigger grain of salt than I already do!

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