It's taken five seasons and a yearlong pandemic to get me here but…I am a Summer House stan.
As a longtime Vanderpump Rules fan, I remember trying to give Summer House a chance when Bravo served up a backdoor pilot in 2017. The premise? A group of (mostly white) NYC residents trekked to the Hamptons on the weekend to be the embodiment of the "work hard, play hard" mantra—all while sharing, wait for it, a summer house.
A recipe for brilliant reality TV? Yes. So, why am I just getting on board with Summer House now?
Well, for starters, there's just too much television out there to catch it all. Not to mention, the early seasons of the show seemed a bit underwhelming, messy and basic. So, it didn't take long for me to abandon the VPR spin-off several years ago.
Fast forward to February 2021, the pandemic was still happening, there was no new season of VPR to consume and I had watched almost everything else on Bravo. Yet, Summer House was still unwatched on my app.
Thus, I thought "now or never" as I turned on the season five premiere and, boy, I'm glad I did.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the housemates—including Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula, Lindsay Hubbard, Carl Radke, Hannah Berner, Paige DeSorbo, Luke Gulbranson, Danielle Olivera and newbie Ciara Miller—were all in quarantine together while filming. This means viewers get a 24/7 look into the housemates' lives (aka plenty of drama and partying.)
"Five seasons in I think it's kind of nice for us to have a little bit of change of pace. It was dramatically different," Kyle told E! News back in February. "First of all, it's the perfect pressure cooker scenario. We basically all arrived at the house and never left. There was no longer the Friday and Sunday commute [back to NYC]. I've been doing this long before the show, that was a nice little gift. Sunday scaries are a lot more manageable if you're not dealing with four hours of traffic headed back to the city."
This may be a perfect description of season five. We're only a handful of episodes into the latest season and we've already witnessed Kyle uninviting Hannah from his wedding, Hannah crying to Luke for bringing Ciara into the house, Lindsay screaming at (now ex) boyfriend Stephen over a sandwich request and more. And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention Paige, whose confessionals, style and one-liners continue to give us life.
We also want to applaud the growth we've witnessed on the show. Case in point: Former party boy Carl has showcased his sobriety journey this season and opened up about the loss of his brother. There's also model and traveling ICU nurse Ciara, who has brought some much-needed perspective into the house.
Having worked the frontlines of the pandemic, Ciara has refused to let any household drama shake her and, in result, has become an incredible sounding board in the house.
Unlike in the early seasons, the friendships seem sincere, the drama feels real and every episode has been captivating. Thankfully, there's more of season five to enjoy as new episodes air Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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