It’s probably safe to say that Bravo has at least had a moment where they thought twice about their new show, the Southern Charm spin-off Relationshep with Shep Rose. When Southern Charm fans last saw Southern Charm lothario Shep, he was sitting on a sofa on the Southern Charm reunion getting grilled after a season where he was in the crosshairs after being lectured by a doctor for overindulgence. He was also getting called out for getting handsy with Southern Charm co-star Chelsea Meissner. In the age of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, the Relationshep commercials of Shep Rose surrounded by “Shep-ettes” looks a little uncomfortable.
But oddly enough, one of the people speaking out on behalf of Shep Rose and Relationshep is former Southern Charm cast member and part-time frenemy Landon Clements. Last season, Shep and Landon’s friendship took a serious dip when Shep called her a snob at a party for her blog, known at that time as Roam. On Shep’s new show Relationshep, Landon is now getting to make another Bravo appearance, explaining that she’s simply setting Shep up with a friend.
“I set him up with some girls here in L.A. I know some of his other friends did, as well. Then, he was going to Austin and Dallas and New York, so we’ve got girls sort of sprinkled all across the country for him!”
But she’s qualifying the show’s description by saying that it’s not as tawdry as it sounds. Shep won’t order up women like they are on a sushi conveyer belt.
“It’s not just Shep and random girls. He’s being set up by all of us with our friends… you know, they keep comparing it to The Bachelor, or whatever. This isn’t a cattle call of women. This is people, like, ‘I seriously think you might have some sparks with this girl.'”
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But it’s fair to say that the optics at this time are a bit different than they were when Relationshep was conceived by Bravo and the creators of Southern Charm. Shira Weiss of HuffPost pointed out the irony of Shep Rose coming off of his own sexual harassment incident with Chelsea Meissner on Southern Charm (yes, he did apologize, and no, his behavior is not in the same league as Weinstein, Spacey, Piven, or Ratner) and then being the only Southern Charm cast member to get a spin-off (and a dating show, no less). She called the Shep Rose article “Boys Will Be Boys.”
“In an era of Harvey Weinstein’s lewd and lascivious behavior exposed, #MeToo, and the varied responses issued by the accused, many have expressed that Relationshep‘s December 4th premiere is ironically-timed.”
Liz Farrell in the Island Packet jokes that she was imagining that Relationshep would be Celebrity Rehab meets The Bachelor with a dash of “Landon Clements’ double-ended vocal fry.” But she admits that she was surprised to see in new commercials that Bravo is suggesting something with a little more depth, as if Shep Rose was having an existential dilemma at the age of 37 and might hang up his Peter Pan tights and leave the Lost Boys back in Charleston.
In teasing the December 4 Relationshep launch date, Bravo shows Shep Rose waiting for his alleged intended with flowers looking vulnerable, calling out “Hey!” However, Farrell joked that Shep is likely not calling out to a woman who got the final rose, but rather to Southern Charm co-star Craig Conover and break-out star Gizmo, the cat waiting for him in a parking lot.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/AP Images]