- Summer House -Goodbye, 'Summer House,' We'll Miss You So Much
Throughout the pandemic those of us stuck at home have taken pleasure in the little things. We've found joy in a new leaf on a house plant. Or you know, bread. Maybe you're finding happiness in living room yoga or something; good for you. For me, aside from bread, the joy of at-home joys arrived every Wednesday at 9 p.m. in the form of 20-something and 30-somethings partying their faces off on Summer House, the best show on Bravo.
Season 4 of the way under-appreciated show brought literal sunshine into our lives. It premiered in early February at a time when we could take new content and heavy-drinking-yet-remarkably-in-shape reality stars for granted, but as the world shut down around us and orders came in to stay away from friends and groups and good times, the Summer House crew was there every week, beamed to us from summer 2019 in Montauk, NY, to remind us of what once was and what could be again.
Since I couldn't hang out with my real friends, I hung out with my reality TV friends in 85 degree sunshine, chugging rosé in a neon bikini, and text my real friends about what our reality friends were up to. "They need to get off Hannah's junk!!" "Holy shit they're so mean to Jules." "Wow Carl wow." "They're selling Loverboy onlineeeeee."
If you're looking for something to replace the disappointment that has been Vanderpump Rules Season 8 and you have not seen Summer House Season 4, stop you're freaking yoga and house-plant gazing and turn on the goddamn TV. Where Vanderpump is going through an identity crisis (half the cast is wealthy now and lives in the Valley; the other half are wanna-be stars who pretend to work at Sur), the Summer House cast and its ethos are authentic, or at least, they do a good enough job of making us think they are.
That said, the same issue that plagues Vanderpump also plagues Summer House: The lack of diversity on the show is a real problem, and fans called out the fact that the cast tried to kick out Jules Daoud, the only woman of color on the show.
Summer House isn't perfect, but we'll miss being swallowed whole every week by its beautiful weather, beautiful amount of inner-house hook ups, and beautiful abdominal muscles courtesy of Luke Gulbranson and Amanda Batula (and like, pretty much everyone else's abs, too.) Here are some things I'll miss most from Summer House Season 4.
The Theme Song
Sure the Vanderpump song is good, but it's tired. "Oooh, but John Legend covered it ..." old news, you guys! Enter, "We Never Stop," by Memoir. Memoir is the same band who did "Raise Your Glass" for Vanderpump, so that's why the voice sounds familiar, but it's better! When you see those crazy kids hailing cabs in the city before heading out to their summer share house in the Hamptons set to this song, all of life's worries disappear faster than an espresso martini in Hannah Berner's hand. Speaking of...
Luke stuck to his Beertini most dinners, but the rest of the crew acted like your cooky aunt who grabs your arm a little too hard and demands that you start the night off like she used to in the '80s and orders a round of espresso martinis with a floater. The espresso martini is an upgrade from earlier seasons' BBCs, which was a banana, Bailey's, and cream frozen cocktail that Kyle Cooke described as a meal replacement. These kids (not sure why I keep calling them kids; Kyle is 37) are making what's old new again! Espresso martinis are all I can think about now.
Groups Of Ten Or More
The viewer's excitement for a Summer House theme party piques when the house mates arrive on Friday evenings to a billion Amazon packages stacked on the doorstep. We at home start to wonder, what could these crazy
kids solidly-adult humans be up to this weekend? Will it be a frat-themed toga party with goats and Craig Conover from Southern Charm?
Will it be a murder mystery 1920s theme party where Carl Radke gets blackout? Maybe it will be a wig that make's Lindsay Hubbard look like that aforementioned cooky aunt, or perhaps it's classic Fourth of July party gear. Or maybe it's a shit ton of neon fast-fashion waiting to be cut into rave outfits.
The Amazon packages are the gun on the mantle every week, and the parties are the explosion. Anton Checkhov should be so proud.
The Luke And Hannah Rollercoaster
Hannah and Luke's relationship was in a word: awesome. It kept me entertained all season long. Luke is a mess! Hannah is too good for this shit! Everyone cares so much about what they do and don't do! It was a summer fling that we all knew would only last as long as the crickets made noise and that come fall, the promises of a visit to Luke's home in Minnesota would be broken and stored in iMessages, should they need to be presented in Andy Cohen's courthouse.
Watching Luke and Hannah's relationship was like watching a Mr. Softee ice cream cone slowly melt in the waning evening, late-summer sun: it was satisfying but sad, predictable but poetic. Thank you, Luke and Hannah. Love your work.
It's Not Real Life! But It Also Kind Of Is!
The escapism of Summer House is so real. Newsday reports that their share house is for rent from Memorial Day to Labor Day for $165,000. In 2018, former cast member Stephen McGee told Kate Casey on her podcast Reality Life that the cast does not split the rent. "Even though the house is big and you see all of our rooms, there’s rooms that were used for storage, production, and cameras. We weren’t paying extra for those spaces to give them room to produce the show," he told her.
So in that way, it's not real life. I mean, it doesn't seem like this group of
kids professionals could drop $20,000 a summer on a beach house, but god bless them for signing up for a show and pretending they can! I'd much rather watch them in this gorgeous Montauk mansion than in some rundown Jersey shore house, only because, been there, done that. (Hat tip, Snooki.)
The lifestyle is faked for our viewing pleasure, and the perfectly ideal weekends are likely structured to do the same. Could you imagine being buzzed for 48 hours as you bounced around from vineyard to beach to house party with your best friends? A dream. And dreams are unrealistic. At the very least, in real life it rains, but it's always sunny at the summer house.
But... some of the real-life stuff creeps in, which keeps the show believable. Carl's drinking problem, Amanda and Kyle's relationship woes, Carl's job instability, Lindsay's relationship drama, Carl's inability to love himself and thus another, Paige's struggle to find balance between hanging out with her friends and her boyfriend, Carl's issues with commitment, Jules' insecurities, Carl's drinking prob— you get it.
At the end of the weekend, each real-life issue is all washed away with a Sunday morning glass of wine with breakfast, before the house mates pack up and head back to their real lives in New York City, which is for the most part, blissfully hidden from the viewer.
The future of Summer House is up in the air. Filming should ostensibly start in a matter of weeks, but New York's stay-at-home orders might prevent them from gathering to tape the show. Will we have to wait until summer, 2022 to see these friends again? Is there a world in which they film a Fall House with some apple picking and hard cider-fueled meltdowns?
As we wait for answers, let's chug straight from the Fireball bottle and salute one hell of a season. May the smell of cinnamon bourbon and coffee liqueur forever remind us of our reality friends that we never met, but know so well. Sometimes it's the little things that bring us the biggest joys, and sometimes it's the little lies we tell ourselves about what's real and what's not to help us get through it all.
Feature Image: Bravo Media