Whitney's Mom Is The Best Part of 'Southern Charm'

by Kristie Rohwedder

During the second episode of Southern Charm, Whitney Sudler-Smith pours mom Patricia Altschul a glass of wine from a $2,000 bottle of fermented grape juice, and tells her about his plans to open a restaurant in town. A pleased-as-patronizing-punch grin spreads across Patricia's face before she purrs, “I think that’s a little out of your realm.” ICE COLD. She continues to smile a smile I hope to one day master (it’s a cross between “oh, isn’t that just precious” and “I’m drinking a glass of $2,000 wine, never forget”) while Whitney discusses the idea with Brandi, his assistant. Patricia's smile fades as she listens.

In a confessional, Patricia says, “I do not like Brandi. I don’t like her, I don’t like her, I don’t like her.”

Ice freakin' cold. Be still my heart. Whitney and Patricia need a spinoff, and they need it now.

After watching the series premiere, I had a feeling Whitney and Patricia would be my favorite members of the cast. Patricia is undeniably entertaining, and Whitney (who is also very entertaining. I mean, the phrase "stabbin' cabin" is amazing) provides her with magical material. Whenever the two of them are on screen, I turn up the volume. I know I can expect greatness.

One insta-classic Patricia and Whitney moment from the first ep: Patricia, martini-in-hand, sifts through the abandoned belongings of one of Whitney’s hookups. She casts one blouse aside out of disgust the instant she learns it’s from Ann Taylor. Like it's made of bugs or something. Ice cold? Yep. Hilarious? You bet.

So who are Whitney and Patricia? A few facts:

  • Whitney lived in Los Angeles for a while, but he's kicking it in Charleston now. He lives with Patricia.
  • Whitney is an executive producer of the show. In fact, the show was his idea: a few years ago, Whitney and a pal wanted to make a documentary that both showed off SC (Charleston is very beautiful) and profiled a group of dramatic friends. He made a title reel, passed it along, and yadda yadda yadda, Bravo scooped it up.
  • Patricia was a Manhattan socialite, and is now a Charleston socialite.
  • Patricia married Wall Street mogul Arthur Altschul (her third husband) in 1996. He passed away in 2002.
  • In 2008, Patricia purchased the Mikell House for $4.8 million. It is a gorgeous, historic estate. What makes it a “historic estate”? I don’t know much about real estate, but I’m going to assume it being very big and very old has something to do with the label. Built in 1851, the 9,480 square foot mansion was used as a library between the years of 1936 and 1960. OOH! Does that mean it’s haunted by book ghosts? Oh, is there a Pagemaster thing going on? Spooky.
  • Whitney’s Bravo.com bio has a lot of good info, but one line really stuck out: “In his spare time, Sudler-Smith likes to read, play guitar, bend time, and play tennis.” Reading? Cool. Playing guitar? Awesome. Playing tennis? Nice. BENDING TIME?!?!?!??! Is this a Southern idiom? Is he being cheeky? ...Or can Whitney actually travel through time?!

Speaking of time travel, I could watch this for hours: