Welcome back to New Orleans, or shall I say, Bravo’s interpretation of New Orleans. I know, I am just as shocked as you are to see another season of this show air, considering the cast didn’t even get a reunion special or a season 2 cast photoshoot. Yet, here we are, and the cast has worked hard to create some new storylines worthy(ish) of a second season.
Tamica has taken on the narrator role this season, and she also seems to have contracted the same overly dramatic accent that Justin had last season – an accent, that I might add, is only reserved for the high school drama teachers portrayed on TV sitcoms, the KFC Colonel and the alligator from The Princess and The Frog. I request that for the remainder of this recap, you read this to yourself in the voice of the high school drama teacher from Saved by the Bell doing a John Goodman impersonation, just to keep things consistent.
I am going to skip over the opening montage of racist statues, streetcars, and carriages, because you already know that those are the only things that exist in New Orleans. During the opening sequence, we see our charmers in all their boring morning routine glory sprinkled in between all the New Orleans stereotypes, further reminding everyone watching at home that D-list bravolebrities are just like us.
Let’s catch up with our favorite social climbers, shall we?
Tamica and Barry have moved from Metairie to Mandeville – basically a suburb of their previous suburb that is about 45 minutes across the lake from New Orleans, and arguably whiter than their last suburb. That last fact being particularly important, because Tamica’s season 1 storyline revolved around anxiety that her daughter wasn’t surrounded by enough diversity. Hopefully, more on that later, unless production has already forgotten about that. Along with the move came Tamica’s new role at the news station, where she switched from the morning traffic anchor to the host of the evening entertainment show, best known for inducing seizures with its overstimulating set and featuring such thrilling stories about nutria fur fashion. The new position helps the working mom dedicate more time to her family, and prompts Tamica to 2.0 herself.
Back at another suburban house that resembles the Olive Garden, Reagan and Jeff “Carrot Top” Charleston discuss the completion of their divorce. When we left off last season, the couple decided to separate after a pregnancy scare, so they naturally decided to make things final a year later just in time to film season 2. Other things that contributed: Reagan’s fear of Chucky.
At the meeting of the exes, Carrot Top seems awkwardly giddy for someone who did not want a divorce, and Reagan seems uncharacteristically emotional for someone who did want the divorce; although, pregnancy hormones will do that to a girl. While her pregnancy has yet to be announced on the show, basic math and obvious evidence points to another man’s bun in her oven at this time of filming.
Justin and Kelsey are finally moving back into their newly renovated house, which means that they lived at mom’s house for over a year during what must have been the biggest renovation in history. While I have yet to see any evidence of sponge painted walls – a huge step up from their friends’ houses – I am a little underwhelmed by the renovations that took an entire year. There is still no ring on Kelsey’s finger, but she did earn an Instagram blogger-worthy closet in their house, as well as a continued storyline for this season. While I think that living with her boyfriend’s parents for a full year definitely proves her commitment to the man, let’s not forget that they have only been dating for 2 years now. Slow your roll, girl friend.
Moving on to another couple, Jon and Jeff’s budding bromance is pretty noteworthy. Also noteworthy: the fact that J squared doesn’t know how table tennis works, as connoted by the fact that they are standing on the wrong side of the ping pong table during a game. This is surprisingly not as horrifying as said ping pong table being placed atop the dining room table, which needed to be covered anyway due to hideousness. Those flaws aside, the bromance is pretty adorable.
At Jeff’s guys night, where it was revealed that these adult men have never seen a ping pong table before, Jeff also made a cheese board depressing enough to get me off cheese for the rest of my life. They also discussed Jeff’s pending divorce, and he assures his friends that he’s happy with the divorce. I am not sure if anyone is buying it, so Jon a.k.a. New Orleans Kanye decides that he is going to give Carrot Top the makeover of the year to celebrate his newfound freedom. Of course, it included a makeover montage, but the only thing missing in editing was a Madonna or Aerosmith classic to soundtrack it. Missed opportunity, but budget restrictions.
Jeff’s glow-up reveal is coming up at an awkward pool party hosted by the Tamicas (I don’t know their actual last name). It’s a surprising improvement done by Jeff’s fairy godfather, considering New Orleans Kanye looks like a cross between Akeem from Coming to America and a prohibition-era pimp in his confessional look.
Meanwhile, frenemies Tamica and Reagan meet up for lunch, where Reagan declines to drink again and divulges to Tamica that she has started seeing someone (who has also knocked her up, but she casually omits this update to her alleged best friend/sister.) I find this suspicious, but whatever. There’s talk about Reagan’s imminent divorce, Tamica’s almost divorce 6 years ago, and I got bored so this was where I took a snack break.
It’s the day of the awkward pool party at the Tamicas. We learn that Tamica has a staff that consists of an assistant and a brand manager (whatever that means), who clearly need to be fired because they picked out some unfortunate outfits for Tamica and did very little work putting together a pool party that basically only required a pool and drinks. It’s also extremely ridiculous, Tamica.
Other things happen: Reagan declines another drink because she’s still pregnant, New Orleans Kanye/Jeff’s fairy godfather/Pimp Daddy Akeem/Jon arrives wearing neon yellow swim trunks and a fur coat (presumably made out of stuffed animal and nutria fur), and Tamica is triggered by Kelsey showing up in a bathing suit. Kelsey has some nerve showing up to a pool party wearing a bikini, which is why we are calling her That Bitch Kelsey (TBK) from now on. Then, Reagan further triggered Tamica by bringing up her almost divorce from 6 years ago (which, to be fair, was said in confidence and not a party full of friends and family), so Tamica has a good cry in the bathroom and then has an outfit change, as to not be outdone by TBK and her bathing suit, Kanye’s nutria fur, Reagan’s pregnancy under boob, and carrot Top’s glow up. All these triggers really make me wonder: who hurt you, Tamica?
Before the party ends, Jeff reveals his new single lewk, which transformed him from a Van Gogh self portrait to maybe a younger and tanned, pre-asylum Van Gogh. The gang thinks that there might be a chance for reconciliation between the exes until Reagan leaves the party early to head home to her new man, who is introduced via butt shot in the shower. We’ve seen this editing before, Southern Charm. Do better.