HOT TAKE: Summer House, Protesting Growing Up

Last Monday we started Kyle’s big 35 celebraish – a revolutionary themed party where the summer house crew (mostly Kyle) is protesting growing up. It wasn’t so much Lauren, Stephen, Amanda, Lindsay or even Carl so much as it was Kyle who is doing the protesting. Kyle, who I actually thought was in his late 20’s, and who I adore, came up with the best theme I have seen for a birthday party in years. Frilly shirts, powdered wigs, even a 40 lb. bag of tea. What’s not to love here?! I was practically transported back to the time of the tyrant King George thanks to Kyle’s childish wonder.

The episode opens right where we left off. Lindsay is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her on-again off-again beaux, Everett. If you watched last season of Summer House, you know how bad this is going to get. We’ve been given a preview of how volatile their relationship is but nothing prepares us for their meet up this episode. It’s like Mountain Dew Fire and Ice meeting up. We see Everett emerge from the forest ala Westworld-style and instantly Lindsay doesn’t know what to do. She’s a ball of nerves. Most of her wants to approach Everett but another part of her shrinks away for a minute. Buckle up team. Here fucking we go. Everett, who came to the party because he is best friends with the birthday boy Kyle, demands a “can of America” – Budweiser – and rejoins his old crew as though Lindsay didn’t exist. Dude can’t even get a few sips down before Lindsay approaches him and asks to speak to him away from everyone else. Which way is this going to go? No one is too hammered at this point, so they can probably have a decent conversation about where things stand and sort out their issues and be a loving couple again right? WRONG.

They find a secluded spot in the forest behind the house and do we what most estranged couples with underlying issues do – they bone. Lindsay asks Everett point-blank “Can you fuck me? Just a little – just the tip?” Now look, Lindsay has had a hard summer. She tried to hook up with the personal trainer guy, but she came on way too hard, got too drunk and scared him away. I’m all for being transparent about your intentions but when it comes off as desperate you may want to rethink your tactics. Luckily Everett is the type of guy who doesn’t mind desperate – he might even prefer it. He gladly takes Lindsay into the wood and shags her with his best minuteman impression.

While those two sort out their issues via forest sex we get back to party and holy shit is everyone drunk at this point. I’ve never wanted to be at a party more in my life! The rose is flowing, empty twisted teas are littered everywhere, and people are playing slap the bag with something called Beatbox? It’s basically 4Loko in a bag delivered like in a Franzia-like vehicle. I don’t know what this says about me, but I want to be there. I want that Beatbox. I have to drive to fucking jersey to even try this drink but believe me when I say I am driving to jersey to get me some Beatbox. Things escalate even further when out of nowhere Kyle suddenly has a 40lb. bag of tea. Oh god he’s going to throw that tea into the pool, isn’t he? Please don’t throw that in the pool – your pool is going to be so very fucked. Yep, he’s going to throw it in the pool. It’s a forgone conclusion and I don’t know why I thought this would end differently. Drunk Kyle is pretty easy to telegraph. In the tea goes and Carl laments that their security deposit is now gone. Shrug.

Random house guests start to leave as we retreat to our core summer house crew + Everett. Post-coitus Lindsay should be all smiles but she ain’t. Everett is hanging out with the boys and wants to keep smashing beers and Lindsay just won’t have it. She wants Everett to pay attention to her, treat her like she’s the only person in the room, and “bow down to her fucking feet”. Everett is not that guy. In a fight that seems all too familiar Everett wants to hang out with the boys. Lindsay explodes. Everett is now the worst again and she wants him gone. As this argument comes to a head the genius editors at Bravo sneak in a shot of Kyle alone on his own journey upstairs carrying a bottle of twisted tea and just drops it, shattering the bottle. He giggles. Pan back to Lindsay and Everett fighting. Was that a metaphor for their relationship? Is it no more lasting than a half-empty, warm bottle of twisted tea in drunk Kyle’s hands? Carl slides in between Lindsay and Everett and breaks the whole thing up. This is what happens when you dump that much alcohol on people in their 30’s. There’s too much drama between the parties involved for things to end well. All it takes is one event to throw the entire party out of sync. In your 20’s when something like that happens you can laugh it off, drink a few more drinks, forget it happened and kick the party into overdrive. Not so in your 30’s. People like to talk shit in their 30’s. How do I know my life is not a complete mess? I judge you for yours. The shameovers hurt more than the hangovers.

Night falls upon our quiet little country home in Montauk. In a now recurring weekly occurrence we see Amanda struggling to put a hammered Kyle to bed. Just last week she told Kyle it would be the last time she helped him take his shoes off – but here she is again in a familiar place, helping Kyle to bed and making sure he doesn’t choke on his own vomit. Amanda is struggling to tuck Kyle into bed as Kyle, still drunk with visions of his own personal tea party, proclaims, “I had a much fun.”  We all had a much fun, Kyle. You’re a goddamn hero in my book. Sweet dreams my sweet prince.

As the sun rises it comes as no surprise that everyone is not feeling super good. If you party that hard it comes with a price. The cameras pan over the aftermath of the party – left out food, twisted tea and rose bottles, and the pool…the pool that is now one giant cup of earl gray tea. If I woke up from a party and faced a murder scene like that I’d seriously consider just offing myself. It would compound my hangover in ways that would make it physically impossible to look myself in the mirror – the shame of it all. Even though Kyle was stupid enough to toss a $1000 bag of tea into the pool he at least had enough common sense to call some pool technicians over to help clean up the whole mess. I don’t even know how you begin to clean something like this up with a without a General Sherman inspired scorched earth policy. Drain it, bleach it, pump the filters – just build a new goddman pool. This one is bad. Oh, this all happens on a Monday too, might I add. Each one of the cast members complains about all the things they have to do that afternoon – but here they are on Monday morning cleaning a superfund site with a 3-hour drive ahead of them. Don’t lie to me gang, we’re friends now. None of you have anything to do except retreat into a pillow fort, pop some xany bars, and sleep this all off before doing it again Monday night.

Mid-week our boy Stephen flies home to Alabama at the request of his conservative family. Stephen has been in Manhattan for the last 8 years so he’s basically a stranger back in the village of Prattville, AL. On the subject of time, Stephen is the oldest 27-year-old I have ever seen. If it wasn’t for his parents corroborating the story of dropping him off in the City at 19 then I wouldn’t believe he’s actually 27. Anyway, he’s been dreading the trip because while his parents know he is gay, they do not approve of him being gay. They view it is a choice per their religious beliefs. Part of the reason Stephen agreed to come home was to try and get his parents to accept his lifestyle, but I fear that he will leave Alabama the same as when he arrived. People with religious convictions against homosexuality are rarely able to accept homosexuality for what it is. It’s never a choice and I legitimately feel for Stephen. Despite the overall pleasantness of Stephen’s family, you can tell the experience is soul-sucking for him. The segment actually gave me a lot of anxiety regarding my trips home to Phoenix, AZ. I always feel like a fish out of water there and I’m not even gay.

Thankfully Bravo doesn’t make us “feel” too much before we shift back to NYC and another party. Turns out Lindsay’s shameover has lasted the entire week and in order to make up for her boorish behavior she has rented what has to be the nicest party bus I have ever seen to ferry the summer house gang back up to Montauk for the weekend. Cue my jealous. Lindsay, you were a real diva at Kyle’s birthday revolution but if you come to me with an apology like this – it’s all gravy. I am a big man and can look past your faults when given a party bus and bottomless rose. Carl, Kyle and Amit (LA summer transplant replacement roommate for Everett) crack open some cold beer-gar-itas (Budweiser branded flavored malt liquor, my current favorite is Peach) and we’re off! Things devolve rather quickly in the party wagon with the amount of wine and liquor they brought and suddenly my main man Kyle needs to use the facilities – but there are no facilities! Thankfully Kyle is an entrepreneur so is therefore resourceful and Apollo 13s an empty wine bottle into both a depository for urine and a timely joke – what wants Pinot Grigio! Have I mentioned how much I love Kyle? I love Kyle.

Upon arriving at the house Lindsay has another surprise waiting. She’s hired a private chef and bartender to handle the dinner and drink service for the evening – those poor bastards. Everyone is already 3-sheets to the wind by the time dinner is served and things just slide further downhill. Before getting into the van back in the city Kyle lets the audience know in a Shakespearean aside that Everett has arranged for flowers to be delivered to Lindsay, via Kyle, for her birthday with a special message. This seems like an all-around bad idea but drunk Kyle doesn’t know a good idea from a bad idea – he’s lost at sea allowing his decisions to be dictated by warm tropical currents. It should be noted that Kyle is also sporting a very symbolic Hunter S. Thompson look rocking a patterned shirt, yellow sunglasses and a cabana hat. Kyle excuses himself from their Cuban feast and retrieves the flowers/note from Everett. On his way back to the dinner table, flowers in hand, he drunkenly mumbles to himself about how good a job he is doing – only to fall flat on his face, full sail. This is Kyle is all his gloriousness. Amanda, looking at her crumpled boyfriend in anger/disbelief, is beginning to doubt that this man is capable of being a father – he exhibits horrible judgement and prioritizes fun above everything else. Personally, I don’t see the problem.

After Lindsay explodes over the flowers the only solution to smooth things over is more drink. Naturally. Kyle and Carl lift a glass to cheers and Kyle finishes the episode with a memorable line, “How are we are ever going to grow up?”

And scene.

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