Flipping Out “When the Water Breaks” by BB
If business at Jeff Lewis Designs is any indication, then the economy must be getting better. Seems Jeff has all the work he can handle at the moment. Clients are asking for whole house redesigns rather than having a room done here and there. His client list includes CSI actor George Eads and his wife Monika, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (of Saved by the Bell fame) and his wife Catriona, and more work from his regular client Chaz Dean, owner of Chaz Dean Studio and Wen hair care products. Jeff and partner Gage are finally settled into the house at Gramercy. I love what Jeff has done to the house. (Note: I’ve heard Jeff has sold Gramercy. If anyone has reliable/solid info on this, please share.) The current design staff consists of Jeff, Gage, Jenni, Andrew, Katrina and Vanina. Jenni is seven months pregnant and will soon be going on maternity leave. (Note: I’ve heard Jenni may be pregnant with her second child. If anyone has reliable/solid info on this, please share). Add Zoila to the mix, sit back and enjoy the ride with Jeff and company.
Highlights of this episode:
Jenni tells Jeff she heard if you plan on breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to rough up your nipples with a washcloth ahead of time to toughen them up for the pain. Jeff loves this type of conversation because he’s naturally a curious person. He can’t wait to tell people, like his new clients George and Monika.
Jeff is still up to playing practical jokes on the staff. Gage seems to be joining in on the fun a little more. Jeff plants a fake snake underneath a cushion to scare Andrew.
Jeff Lewis Designs will be totally gutting George and Monika’s house. It needs it. Gil will be the contractor for this job. Gil is used to working with clients directly, not designers. Monika and George move out during the demo/redesign. Gil is good at his job, but Jeff doesn’t like it that he scares the clients and tries to upsell everything. Gil directly contacted the Eads’ business manager and Jeff is not comfortable with that because he’s the main guy, not Gil. Gil needs to be micro-managed. Jeff tells the business manager only he and Gage should be talking to him. Gil was only hired for the demo portion of the project. He wants to make sure he gets the bid for next phase of the project, but he has pissed Jeff off at this point.
Chaz Dean has bought the adjoining property (La Mirada) to his Salon and Jeff will be making executive offices for Chaz. Chaz’s Business Manager Nuria is there to check both Jeff and Chaz’s tendency to get too creative and go way over budget.
Jeff and Jenni go furniture shopping with Cat Gosselaar who is very pregnant. Cat is so organized and so ready for her baby. Jenni doesn’t seem that worried. Her mom put her in a drawer with a blanket. That’s all you really need – a blanket and a drawer. I love Jenni.
Jeff has a paint line called Jeff Lewis Color. He is preparing for an upcoming design show where he can showcase his paint. He is going to have Andrew dressed in a paint can costume, but he also wants someone to wear a smaller sample can costume, so he’s decided to hire a little person. He wants to do something gimmicky to get people to come to the booth at the convention center. Andrew is responsible for the costume design and hiring the little person.
Jenni is giving Jeff her placenta so he can put it in his yard to make his trees grow. Jenni asks Zoila if women poop when they have a baby. Zoila tells her yes, who cares? Gage and Jeff talk about what will happen if Jenni goes into labor while out on a job.
Andrew goes to Hollywood Blvd. to try to find some little people. He doesn’t want to fail. He finds a little “Mr. T,” who has alcohol on his breath. Andrew doesn’t think he’ll be very reliable. Jeff gets a call from Gage. The company’s number two guy, Nick Hess, found out about Andrew’s scouting and talking about it in the store, and is not happy about it. Now Andrew is back on Gage’s shit list. Andrew didn’t know he had done anything wrong, but apologizes to Gage about talking about it at the paint store. Jeff is nervous about the call with Nick. He’s hoping his paint contract with the company is renewed. Jeff explains what’s going on and Nick just tells Jeff that Andy needs to follow protocol.
Jeff’s staff joins Monika and George Eads for some roller skating. Andrew shows up in a skating costume of little shorts and a tank top. You can tell Gage knows his roller skating skills. Andrew falls about a dozen times. Not a pretty sight.
Jeff thinks Jenni dresses better as a pregnant girl than a non-pregnant girl. Jenni has gained about 30 pounds. Jeff is worried that a big baby will ruin Jenni’s vagina. My question is why Jeff would be concerned about Jenni’s vagina. Jenni plans on getting the husband stitch whether she tears or not.
Deb is back! Jenni calls Monika posing as Deb, the rough and tumble girl from the office. Deb asks Monika if she’s single and Monika says she’s not. Jeff says Monika is strictly dickly.
Jeff decides to hold a casting session for the little person who will dress in his sample paint can. They are looking for a high energy person who will bring people to the booth. They will be wearing the costume for 8 hours. They chose Eric for the job. Andrew is no longer fearful of little people.
Jeff is meeting with David, a potential framer for the Eads house, whose bid is higher than the other bids received, but is much more detailed. Jeff ran into some problems with Gil and having to make change orders along the way. He doesn’t want that to happen with David. David assures Jeff he has the crews and the time to get the job done. Jeff decides to go with him. He’s trusting his instinct. If this framing phase doesn’t work out, David won’t be doing any further phases on the project.
Eric shows up to Gramercy so he and Andrew can try on the paint can costumes. Jeff loves the costumes. Zoila starts singing so they can demonstrate dancing around. Andrew gets praised on the costume design. The costumes will be hot so they need to stay hydrated. Eric and Andrew joke about Jenni’s size and she jokingly has to chastise them as the head of Human Resources.
Gage and Jeff get a kick out of watching Jenni’s baby kick and move around. Nobody knows the sex of the baby. Zoila says the baby is looking for the exit. They are all in the kitchen and Jenni says, “Oh my God, my water broke.” There is water on the floor. It’s a big joke, but for a minute Jeff was worried. He tells Jenni the next day she is not to ever wear heels again until she has the baby. He tells Jenni she’s not taking care of herself. She’s not eating well and she’s not getting enough rest. Jeff is worried about Jenni and would tie her to a bed until she had the baby if he could.
Here we go! Bravo’s look into “real” Southern life. I expect to be frustrated and/or enraged within the first five minutes. The intro has Thomas Ravenel telling us that Charlestonians have their ways of being genteel. He isn’t what I would call genteel. Whitney Sudler-Smith points out that there is a small ruling class of old families. He’s from one of them. Craig Conover says that Charleston is a playground for men who never want to grow up. That could be said about many cities, but he’s leading us into today’s theme – the man-child. Cameran & Jenna say that a southern gentleman should not curse, should know how to dress, & be chivalrous. However, the typical Charleston guy doesn’t necessarily display these characteristics. We’re treated to a montage of the men behaving badly. Oh boy, this is going to be long season, we’re only 2 minutes in.
First up is Thomas Ravenel. He lives in the wealthiest section of Charleston & wants us to know that. Whitney tells us that Ravenel is known for hitting on women by using his family history. One thing I’ve learned about old-money in the south is that most don’t brag about what their family has accomplished. Those that do haven’t accomplished much on their own. Now we get to the scandal! Ravenel had a bright political career, but was indicted on drug charges. He’s pretty open about his conviction for cocaine distribution & 6 months of prison time. We get to see pictures of Ravenel (wearing two pairs of sunglasses) relaxing in the prison yard with a fellow inmate. See? He’s a man of the people! Now he’s back in Charleston, winning over women by talking about playing intramural sports in prison. Ravenel seems to think that he’s done his time & that’s that. I’ll be honest here, I’m from Louisiana so a politician in jail doesn’t seem all that odd to me. But Ravenel doesn’t really seem remorseful at all. He’s on this show to resurrect his political career. If Edwin Edwards can do it, I bet Ravenel can!
Next we meet Shep Rose. He comes from the Boykin family & the state dog was named for them. He compares himself to a hyper & annoying Boykin spaniel. Cough, cough. I’m certainly annoyed. We see him wake up late & go surfing. Must be nice. He has a business degree, but he’s more into leisure than work. He meets Cameran for lunch. Her family has been in S.C. for 10 generations. She likes to consider herself modern. She’s getting her real estate license, so she can begin a new career. At least she’s trying to work & support herself. She wants to know about Shep’s relationship with a new girl, M.J. Cameran asks if he’s made out with her or touched her boobs. Such a classy Southern girl! We learn that Shep’s M.O. is to ask girls over to “watch a movie.” So high school! M.J. declined his invitation. Smart woman! Cameran thinks he’ll be married in 2 years – at age 35, which Shep says is way too young. She’s trying to groom him into an eligible bachelor. Shep thinks that he’s going to be like George Clooney – 50 & sleeping w/25 year olds.
Whitney Sudler-Smith has lived all over the world, but has returned to Charleston. He wanted to take a break from the madness of Hollywood & maybe open a restaurant. He lives with Patricia, his mother. We first see her walking around with the house with a martini in hand. She is appalled to find Ann Taylor clothes on Whitney’s floor. She says that it’s disrespectful of women to leave clothes in her house. I like her! It may be a stereotype, but I do know women like her. Whitney is contemplating getting a place of his own, but she guilt-trips him into staying.
We meet Ravenel’s political consultant, Will. He’s also a libertarian – fiscally conservative & socially liberal. Ravenel’s house used to be a bachelor pad, but he’s mellowed now. He’d like to redeem himself, but there are only 3 offices that he can run for as a felon. He’s informed that his social life will be a detriment. His advisor tells him to settle down with Kathryn Dennis, who is from a very well-known political family. Ravenel later says that his advisor’s attitude toward picking a wife is blasé.
Craig Conover is a law student. We seem him at work, in a very small, cubical-like office. Oh, the life of a young associate. He meets with his supervisor, who tells him that he needs to be at work on time. During my first year as an associate, there was no tolerance for lateness – that was reserved for those who paid their dues. Craig seems to think that his socialite status will excuse his tardiness. The people he hangs out with don’t work. His supervisor gives him some wise words – we are judged by the people we hang out with.
Whitney is hosting a party since Southerners like to drink. I’m not even going to try to dispute that – we do love a good party! I’m not sure what the party is for, but he’s insulted when Shep goes on a beer run. Cameran tells us that guys have their pick of women b/c the ratio of men to women is so skewed. Shep’s ex & her friend reveal some more of his childish behavior. He seems to think it’s cute to act like a frat-boy at his age. He wonders what is wrong with just floating through life. Grow up! Craig finally arrives! He’s been in court, but says that it’s more boring than it seems on TV. Shep doesn’t want to hear about anyone’s job. What a great friend. We also meet Kathryn, aka Senate Barbie. Ravenel seems more impressed with her pedigree than with her personality.
It’s morning at Ravenel’s house & he’s bringing Kathryn coffee in bed. What a gentleman! He doesn’t normally like red-heads, but thinks Kathryn is hot. I’m sure she loved hearing that. Ravenel has lunch with his best friend, J.D., who has a wife & kids. J.D. tells us that cocktails happen at any time in Charleston. That’s pretty much true of the South. We enjoy a cocktail with lunch, or brunch! Ravenel talks to J.D. about choosing a wife. J.D. advises him to choose well, as the woman will be his life partner. Ravenel thinks that Kathryn is beautiful & from a good family, but she’s kind of young.
Jenna arrives in Charleston. She tells us that she rebelled against the typical path for Southern women – marriage & children. She is friends with Whitney from LA. They both travel a lot. The two go shopping. Jenna isn’t typical Charleston – she doesn’t have blond hair or wear floral dresses. Whitney feels that she’s a kindred spirit. They go to a rooftop bar to catch up with friends. Cameran & Jenna knew each other in high school. Jenna was alternative even then. Cameran has passed her real estate exam! She’s able to start showing houses now, but she needs a client. She wants to find a house for Whitney. Cameran doesn’t have a trust fund & wants to be able to support herself. She doesn’t want to depend on a man. Good for her! The group is trying to find a respectable girl for Ravenel. They decide he needs to look outside of Charleston.
Ravenel is hosting a polo match & party at his plantation. He has built a polo field there, for almost $1 million. He wants to spend his money while he can & have fun while he’s here. Cameran describes polo for us – horses & Argentian men. The girls have to find hats for the match. She finds it ostentatious to dress up for a polo match, but does it anyway. Shep arrives, wearing his bright blue sunglasses again. They look like something he got at Toys R Us. Whitney is fascinated by the idea that polo team owners actually play on the team.
Jenna enters the party & all of the guys immediately begin scoping her out like fresh meat. Craig says that whoever she shows interest in first will get the first opportunity with her. The other men will step back. I’m hoping that she doesn’t show interest in any of these guys. She & Shep bond over their sunglasses. Ugh! The match ends & it’s time for dinner. Everyone troops over to the house. Ravenel hires a catering company so that he can enjoy sitting down to dinner with his friends. First, he has to go outside & ring the dinner bell. Craig tries to ask about Ravenel’s horses, but Shep takes the opportunity to steer the conversation to sex. He’s really getting on my nerves. Cameran wants to know who Ravenel would be better suited with – a Scarlett or a Melanie? The group agrees that he needs a Scarlett. He asks the girls if they prefer a Rhett or an Ashley? The guys find Ashley to be a wimp, but the girls say that he’s stable, which is attractive. Ravenel sees himself as a Rhett. Shep continues flirting with Jenna, but she tells him that he’ll never have her. She says that what he isn’t getting is that she isn’t interested in him.
The conversation turns to Ravenel’s scandal. Cameran asks if he thinks public opinion of him is negative. He makes a joke about liking cocaine. As Whitney points out, not a good move if he wants to continue in politics. People want to see you remorseful, not joking about your actions. After dinner, the group goes skinny-dipping in the lake. Well, swimming wearing clothes which isn’t really skinny-dipping. Back in the house, Whitney sits down with Ravenel to give him some unwanted advice. Ravenel doesn’t want to hear that his persona needs to be more humble. Ravenel says that it would be hypocritical to try to be something he isn’t. I agree with Whitney, Ravenel needs to change his image. Ravenel says that he wasn’t reckless, the laws were.