How The Reality Show ‘Southern Charm’ Became One Of The Most Feminist Shows On TV

Southern Charm
Rodolfo Martinez / Bravo

Reality shows continue to get more and more viewers, and with Southern Charm it is no different. The Bravo reality show originally premiered in 2013 and was called Southern Gentlemen. It focused on the lives of socialites of Charleston, South Carolina, with a main focus on the gentlemen.

“Obviously, we’re a very female-oriented network and our main characters are female and Southern Charm turned that on its head by bringing men to the forefront, ” Leslie Farrell, Bravo’s vice president, explained to E! News. “They’re not there because the main characters are their wives or girlfriends, they are actually main characters themselves.”

Now, by Season 5, the ladies have finally taken over. The socialite men of Charleston were taken over by the Lost girls, made up of Kathryn Dennis, Naomie Olindo, Chelsea Meissner, and longtime recurring star Danni Baird.

Season 5 started with the women all single but supporting each other and not about the men who wronged them. The premiere ended with the girls at a barbecue about to run into their exes. They all clinked wine glasses as Naomie said, “At the end of the day. We’re all we’ve got. We’re not going to screw each other over. We’re not going to do all this stuff that guys are going to do over and over again and be cool with it.”

A far cry from the days of hair-pulling and spitting-in-the-face moments that made reality television years ago, this show shows that you can have fun and still be nice to your girlfriends — even when Naomie’s ex, Craig Conover, said at the reunion, “There was no need for girl power. They were all dating really good guys and then they turned into a**holes.”

It wasn’t Naomie but Kathryn who shut him down with “You can interpret it however you want, but girl power is just standing up for your self-worth, knowing it and acting accordingly.”

Sure there is still some drama on the show because you can’t have a reality television show without that, but there’s also just some genuine good girlfriend time. The show has come a long way, especially for one of the main stars, Kathryn Dennis.

We’ve seen 26-year-old Kathryn, mother of two with a man almost 30 years her senior, lose custody of those kids and go through a tumultuous drug addiction. She did not have any help from her fellow cast members until recently, until she got clean herself. She’s now sober two years and has joint custody of her children. Her ex, Thomas Ravenel, was not present at the reunion because he has recently been accused by two women of sexually assaulting them.

Kathryn was fortunately not a victim to Ravenel and she considers herself a new woman from her past, “That chapter is finally firmly in the past…I became a shell of the person that I was. But I’m not there anymore. I’m a different person, but a better person,” she explained on the reunion.

Part 2 of the reunion airs tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Hopefully the rise in girl power continues on the hit reality show.