I'll be the judge of that.

Ain’t Nothing Like It: CMT’s Party Down South

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For those of you who haven’t had the extreme pleasure of watching Party Down South, Season 1, let me begin by saying this is NOT your average reality show.  At first glance, PDS is nothing more than an exact replica of “Jersey Shore” relocated in Murrels Inlet, a quiet community within Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The formula may be the same, except PDS is exponentially better than Jersey Shore, due in large part to impeccable casting and clever, high- quality editing. There’s something that feels fresh about these goofy, lovable, Southern 20- something’s, especially after years of watching Guidos lift weights and fist pump in the club. And the drinking! Oh my god, the drinking. These guys put the Jersey Shore kids to shame. Much to the chagrin of Murrels Inlet, they spent 90% of Season 1 completely obliterated, wreaking havoc on the community, rolling around in mud and praying to Jesus intermittently. Now they’re back for Season 2 in Athens, Georgia and I still can’t get enough.

Incase you’re unfamiliar, here is a brief bio of the cast mates:

Walt – A true Kentucky redneck and the manliest man I’ve ever seen, Walt is arguably the smartest one of the roommates. His talents include, blowing stuff up, destroying four wheelers, sleeping each night fully clothed on the couch, bringing home “Marlins” (Daddy’s nickname for a hot girl) and avoiding drama. He may be slightly cross- eyed, but he still has my vote for most attractive guy in the house.

Murray– Murray is a 300 lb. teddy bear from the flatlands of Mississippi. He is extremely lovable and goofy, and is almost always wearing an American flag shirt. You’d think his display of overt patriotism would make him a marlin magnet, but unfortunately Murray’s hand is his main sexual partner. I’m hoping this season we finally get to see Murray with a lady!

Lyle– The two most important things to know about Wild Lyle are that he is from Louisiana and his last name is Boudreaux. What is his last name? Boudreaux. Where is he from? Louisiana. Where? Louisiana! Got it. Lyle is by far the dumbest roommate, which does him no favors when he’s out at the bar desperately trying to bring ladies home. He is offensively stupid, but he deeply loves his roommates and hates when there’s conflict in the house.

Tiffany – Tiff is a loud and proud Country girl from small town, Louisiana with a THICK accent to prove it. She’s a spitfire, who is brutally honest with her roommates and always telling it like it is. She’s seemingly the most responsible roommate, constantly taking care of others and the general upkeep of their house. Also, if you are big, strong Southern gentleman who happens to own a big truck Tiff is way DTF.

Ryan, a.k.a “Daddy” – When the other roommates first met Ryan, they were bemused and even offended by his insistence in calling himself and EVERYONE else Daddy. It took only a day for the roommates to realize how lovable he is, and quickly embraced all things Daddy. This bronzed beauty loves working at the marina, going out fishing for marlins, and above all his deeply cherished funnel. Fueled by broken dreams of soccer stardom, Daddy funnels an average of 80 beers a day, as well as multiple shots of liquor, all while somehow maintaining an incredibly fit physique.

Lauren – Another Louisiana native, Lauren is the youngest one in the house and the least remarkable. Her talents include, crying multiple times an episode, feeling bad for herself, not cooking her roommates a dinner she had promised them and just generally being a waste of space.

Taylor a.k.a “Lil’ Bit” – LB is an adorable little lady who is deeply proud of her North Carolina roots. She’s a tiny human being with an incredibly big heart, which mostly belongs to one man in particular…and he isn’t even Southern. Lil’ Bit is truly, madly, deeply in love with Jesus Christ – so much so, she sleeps in bed with her bible every night. Some of my favorite moments of Season 1 involve LB alone away from the other roommates wasted and praying to Jesus. She is incredibly sweet, and kind, but also strong and capable of standing her ground. Despite the fact that she’s sucking all the fun out of season 2 with drama that she’s caused, it’s still very hard not to love her.

Mattie a.k.a Martha – Mattie is a tall glass of Southern water. She is another proud Louisianimal, who loves to party hard and deeply hates staying in on Saturday nights. She is also one of those special individuals who upon heavy alcohol consumption, flips a switch and turns into a completely different person; a person the other roommates have named Martha. Martha is googly- eyed and aggressively enthusiastic about drinking, but also angry, violent and a general monster towards the other roommates. Martha is wildly entertaining to watch, but unfortunately, Mattie has been doing too good of a job keeping Martha at bay this season. There is no room for self- improvement on this show!

So, here we are a few episodes into Season 2. I am elated to have all my friends back, but I am a bit disappointed by the drama that has been monopolizing each episode. While Season 1 was generally light-hearted and carefree, this season has a remarkably different feel. Firstly, they moved these kids inland into the college town of Athens, Georgia, in a secluded house in the woods. The house has a dreary feel, but that’s nothing compared to the nonsense happening in the house amongst the roommates.

We all know that hooking up with a roommate on a reality show (or in reality) is a really terrible idea. You know what’s an even worse idea? Secretly hooking up with one of your roommates who happens to be in love with you, while simultaneously starting a new relationship with someone else. You know what’s even worse than that? Expecting your roommate to keep it a secret on camera. Unfortunately, Lil’ Bit didn’t get the memo.

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Baby girl and Daddy spent the season hiatus hanging out, texting constantly and exchanging frequent “I love you’s.” At some point during all of this, LB moved to Nashville, met a Country music singer and fell for him hard. In the first episode of season 2, we see LB saying goodbye to Grant as her voiceover explains that she is crazy about him. We are unaware that she has kept up this secret relationship with Daddy, and Daddy is sadly unaware that there is another man in her life who’s stolen her heart when he wasn’t looking. Farther along in the episode, Tiff in passing mentions that LB has a boyfriend and Daddy loses his shit. I mean, really loses his shit and continues to do so over the course of the next few episodes. LB desperately tries to save face with her boyfriend and tells Daddy over and over on camera that she thought they were a “friends with benefit thing”, without any feelings involved.

As Daddy keeps revealing more and more intimate details about his relationship with LB to the other roommates, it is crystal clear that LB is still lying through her teeth. Even though LB has apologized profusely to Daddy, he is incapable of letting it go, repeatedly taking out his aggression on the house in a drunken stupor.

I’m pretty tired of the drama, and with each new episode I’m hoping I get to spend more time with the other roommates. It’s definitely time to blow something up in the middle of an empty field or watch Walt drive donuts in a Ford F-150. Here’s hoping this season gets back to the basics, and stops focusing so much on the Daddy and Lil’ Bit drama.

Party Down South airs every Thursday night on the CMT channel at 10pm EST.

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