Back in March, who could have predicted that basically nothing would change by the end of 2020? Okay, a few things have changed, but assuming you’re not one of the lucky few who have already gotten their hands on the vaccine, your ass is still glued to the couch, and you’re still f*cking bored. Luckily, the TV gods understand our need for constant stimulation, so there’s plenty of good stuff coming to a device near you in the next few weeks. Here are the most important new shows and seasons coming soon that you won’t want to miss.
‘Bridgerton’ – Netflix, 12/25
Back in 2017, Shonda Rhimes made history with a record-breaking deal to set up shop at Netflix. It’s taken a few years, but we’re finally getting our first Shondaland Netflix show, and Bridgerton looks like the exact kind of thing I want to binge in 1-2 sittings. Based on a series of novels set in 19th century England, this soapy drama centers on two young nobles who pretend to be in love, each with their own motives. With a diverse cast, gorgeous visuals, and Julie Andrews as the narrator, this is the event of the TV season.
‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ – Netflix, 12/31
If you’re still watching Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, congratulations, you’ve made it to the end. The fourth and final part drops on New Year’s Eve, and as always, it looks creepy and thrilling. But the most exciting part, by far, is the news that the OG Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda from Sabrina The Teenage Witch will be making an appearance. Idk how this factors into the plot, but my sense of nostalgia is happy.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ – VH1, 1/1
The last time I was indoors at a bar was a viewing party for RuPaul’s Drag Race season 12, so the fact that we’re already getting a new season puts into perspective how long this year has felt. Season 13 features 13 new queens, and whether you’re a Drag Race super fan or have yet to watch an episode, trust me, you’ll love it. From the runway looks to the hilarious challenges to the SHAAAAADE that the queens throw at each other, Drag Race is the perfect competition show.
‘The Bachelor’ – ABC, 1/4
I don’t think The Bachelor needs much introduction around here, but I keep forgetting that Matt’s season premieres just two weeks after The Bachelorette wraps up. Filmed in a quarantine bubble in Pennsylvania, this season is sure to be (say it with me) the most dramatic season ever, and judging from the contestant bios, we might have more than one woman trying to secure the villain spot.
‘The Real Housewives of Dallas’ – Bravo, 1/5
I couldn’t talk about The Bachelor without also including a Bravo show, and the Dallas housewives are back in January for their fifth season. This season was filmed during the pandemic, so we’ll see how the ladies incorporate face masks and shields into their glam routines. Mainly, I’m curious to see how the cast fares in the aftermath of LeeAnne Locken’s problematic behavior and subsequent firing, because that sh*t was messy. Judging from the trailer, newcomer Dr. Tiffany Moon seems like a promising addition, and the ladies of Dallas are often underrated.
‘Dickinson’ – Apple TV+, 1/8
With so many streaming services available, a lot of people sleep on Apple TV+, but Dickinson, one of their breakout original shows, is already coming back for a second season. Hailee Steinfeld plays a young Emily Dickinson who’s struggling with the confines of her 1800s New England life. With modern music and dialogue, this show is super fun, and I found myself laughing out loud regularly during the first season.
‘Everyone Is Doing Great’ – Hulu, 1/13
James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti (aka Nathan and Chase from One Tree Hill) teamed up to create and star in this comedy about two actors who are trying to figure out wtf to do years after starring in a hit TV show about vampires. So One Tree Hill wasn’t about vampires, but I’m pretty sure this is low-key autobiographical. Also, yes, this is the same Stephen Colletti from Laguna Beach, which is reason enough to watch.
‘Search Party’ – HBO Max, 1/14
After moving to HBO Max last spring for its third season, Search Party is already back for season four. Going forward, I would appreciate if all of my favorite shows could start putting out new seasons every eight months or so. Dory, Drew, and the gang are still dealing with the aftermath of Keith’s death, and if you know anything about this show, things probably won’t go according to plan. Can’t wait!
‘WandaVision’ – Disney+, 1/15
When Disney+ launched, one of the main draws of the streaming service was the promise of new shows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It took a while, but the first one is finally here, and WandaVision looks like it’s going to be a f*cking trip. Wanda and Vision, two of the more under-used characters from the MCU movies, are the perfect TV couple in this supernatural sitcom through the ages. Tbh, I have very little idea what this is actually about, but it’s going to be a big deal.
‘Servant’ – Apple TV+, 1/15
Along with Dickinson, Apple TV’s Servant is also returning for a second season next month. This psychological horror show is produced by horror icon M. Night Shyamalan, and it follows a family who hire a nanny for their child… who is actually a doll. Sh*t gets weird, obviously. Season one got solid reviews, and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is in this, which is reason enough to watch.
Images: Liam Daniel/Netflix; Netflix, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bachelor Nation on ABC, Bravo, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, Marvel / YouTube
Southern Charm is one of my favorite Bravo shows, and I was really excited for season 6 after a spectacular season 5, where all the women seemingly banded together to take down the “good ole boys” club that pervades Charleston and the mindsets of the men there. It was an exciting time to be watching—the #MeToo movement was igniting, and for a brief moment it felt like there would finally be a reckoning for some of the more toxic men on the show. To some extent, there has been, with Thomas’ arrest and removal from the cast, but you wouldn’t know it by watching this season. The camaraderie between the women is not quite the same as it was last season, and the only woman bold enough to call out the men’s more problematic behavior is being portrayed as a pseudo-villainess. How did we get here, and are there any good men on Southern Charm?
Although Thomas is no longer a cast member, his presence still lingers with the aftermath of his arrest for sexual assault and battery, and Kathryn’s struggle to maintain custody of their two children together. The two met when Kathryn was 21 and still in college, and Thomas was 51. I have no problem with an age gap, but a middle-aged man pursuing a relationship with a woman barely old enough to drink feels predatory and manipulative. And by Kathryn’s account, their relationship was emotionally abusive—she told People that when they started dating, “I just did what he said and took on his opinions and feelings as my own.” She also said that when their relationship started to deteriorate, she and her daughter were forced to live in the basement of Thomas’ plantation, where she felt “sad, scary, lonely, confused, quarantined and isolated.”
When Kathryn and Thomas were on the outs in seasons 2 and 3, she was a veritable pariah and excluded from just about every social function by everyone except Craig. Instead of trying to understand her perspective, she was written off by the others as gold-digging, crazy drug addict (after testing positive for marijuana, of all things) and completely disregarded in favor of a cocaine-using felon and disgraced politician whose attempts at speaking French would make the Seine run dry. Only after the sexual assault allegations against Thomas came out did cast members like Cameran and Patricia turn their backs on him and warm to Kathryn. And to that I say:
This has been a revealing season for Shep. Up until now, Shep has largely gotten away with his more problematic behavior. His attempt to grab and kiss Chelsea in season 4 was largely glossed over by the rest of the cast and referred to as an “incident” by Bravo instead of the assault that it was. The rest of the cast seems to regard his clear problem with alcohol and inability to commit to a woman or a vocation as the amusing quirks of a goofy man-child rather than glaring red flags. Interestingly, the arrival of Madison this season has exposed a lot of Shep’s more toxic tendencies. He refers to Madison as a “white trash hairstylist” despite Shep never having worked a day in his life. He shames her for sleeping with someone in retaliation after catching Austen in the middle of a threesome. Where was this outrage when he heard that Austen cheated with two other women?
After balking at Madison’s admittedly inappropriate revelation about him and Danni, Shep responds by DOING THE EXACT SAME THING and telling Cameran that Austen is a “sexual deviant” because he and Madison have done “butt stuff” together. It’s unclear what exactly he is referring to, but either party being on the receiving end of said “butt stuff” is hardly sexual deviance in this day and age. You know what is sexually deviant? Sleeping with someone you call a friend and definitely allegedly giving her chlamydia. Say what you want about Madison, but I can’t help but respect her for going toe-to-toe with the resident bully of the franchise. Shep has continued his one-man white privilege parade off-camera by recently posting a story to his Instagram where he openly mocked a visibly embarrassed homeless woman collecting cans. It’s revolting enough that he found this woman’s situation humorous. But to taunt and expose her to his hundreds of thousands of followers is appallingly callous, not to mention willfully ignorant. Gosh, I can’t imagine how he is still single!
Ummmm It might just be me but I really don’t think “BUTT STUFF”equals sexual deviancy and Is Shep not drinking because he is still on anabiotic’s from the chlamydia I’m confused
— Brandi Glanville (@BrandiGlanville) August 8, 2019
Whitney first pinged my creep radar in season 1 when he slept with Kathryn and told her to keep it a secret, only to reveal it later to Thomas without consulting her. Since then, Whitney and Kathryn’s relationship has been rocky, and Whitney has gone out of his way to sabotage her relationship with Thomas and malign her character. During season 2, Whitney convinces Thomas to film campaign videos with Kathryn’s sorority sisters that could easily have passed for Cialis commercials, and Kathryn reveals during the group’s trip to Jekyll Island that Whitney took Thomas to a strip club when she was 9 months pregnant with their child. Whitney’s obsessive insertion of himself into Thomas and Kathryn’s relationship looks a lot like Shep’s current involvement in Austen and Madison’s relationship. Is Shep so focused on what’s going on between Madison and Austen because he, like Whitney, is actually the one feeling butthurt? When we find out this season that Kathryn and Whitney have recently slept together, Whitney bizarrely denies it and attempts to gaslight her by saying, “We have a different interpretation of events.” I’m not sure how Kathryn can misinterpret your middle-aged penis struggling to find its way into her vagina, but okay, Whit.
We can now proceed to the f*ckboy portion of this article. Austen was first introduced to us in season 4 as a younger and marginally more attractive version of Shep. His behavior following the cooling off of his “relationship” with Chelsea and subsequent relationship with Madison support the comparison. He proceeded to suggest to all of his Instagram followers that Chelsea has no sex drive as well as talk badly about her to Madison, as all classy men do. When his girlfriend catches him in the aftermath of a threesome (I’m convinced hell is a persistent loop of him screaming “MAAADISEHHHN!”), he proceeds to call her “a crazy person” and threatens to physically remove her from his home. After all, it’s easier to deflect and question a woman’s sanity than to take ownership for the misdeeds that are making her so “crazy” in the first place. #JusticeForVictoria Even when he isn’t the target of criticism, Austen is reluctant to side with women. When Naomie and Chelsea rightfully called out human hemorrhoid J.D. for his philandering and grifting last season, Austen claimed he needed more proof than the claims of his friends, one of whom got her information from J.D.’s wife.
Oh, Craigy. Our favorite pillow artisan is by far the least toxic of the bunch, and he should be commended for his fierce defense of Kathryn for many seasons, but he is not completely innocent either. He lied to the entire group about graduating from law school and passing the bar, and when Naomie directly questioned him about his desire to be a lawyer, he responded by telling her she was acting dumb. I agree that at times her approach was a bit mean, but Naomie’s concerns about Craig’s ambition and general life direction were not unfounded. Two seasons later we are still watching him struggle to get his fledgling pillow business off the ground and wake up before noon, yet Naomie was deemed a bitch for having the audacity to challenge her poor, innocent boyfriend. Even after she has clearly moved on, Craig continues to disrespect her by telling anyone who will listen that she still has feelings for him despite Naomie seeming genuinely happy in her new relationship (however we may feel about Metul).
It’d be a cop-out and a vast oversimplification to attribute the toxic behavior of the men on Southern Charm solely to Southern culture. Though that’s certainly a factor, it’s a symptom of a larger and more insidious disease in our society. When we allow boys to be boys unchecked and without any accountability, we breed a sense of entitlement where, given enough time, money or even fame, a Craig or an Austen might become a Shep or a Thomas. Until we do, men like these Southerners will keep passing for gentlemen.
Images: Bravo; Giphy (2); BrandiGlanville / Twitter
There are a lot of shocking things in this world. The fact that an angry reality TV star troll is president of the United States is a big one. Rachel picking creepo Bryan over beautiful human work of art Peter is a smaller scale surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. One thing that’s not shocking, however, is that the casts of Southern Charm and Vanderpump Rules are friends. I mean, they’re practically the same. They’re all shitty people. They all drink too much for their age. They’re all on a Bravo show that’s not Real Housewives. And we write recaps of their shows. See? Twinsies. We’ve known for a while now that Stassi is friends with Craig, Naomie, and Danni. But what about Kathryn? She’s young and kind of a BSCB. Perf for my VPR peeps. Well never fear, kiddos. They hung out last week.
Do I see a crossover in our future?
While out in Cali, Kathryn hung out with Stassi, Kristen and their non-Pump Rules star friend Rachael and they all seemed to be besties. Or as much of besties as three people who got lunch together one time can be. We all know that means absolutely nothing in Bravo-land but still worth mentioning.
Kristen even dubbed Kathryn her “southern belle/supermodel spirit animal” which is actually a pretty accurate description since they’re both fucking nuts. The supermodel part might be a bit of a stretch, but I digress.
No word on if this will air on the upcoming season of VPR, but with all the shit that’s been going on, Bravo producers better be fucking living with our fave LA assholes bartenders at this point. Guess we’ll all find out in November or whenever tf VPR comes back.