I cannot wait for Southern Charm to return. I feel like it's been way too long, and I got even more excited once I heard there would be a new cast member, Austen Kroll. Apparently Shep Rose is his link to the group, so I can't help wondering how Austen and Shep know each other. There is a wide age gap in the Southern Charm friend group, and it has always seemed like such a random gathering of people to me, but Austen and Shep actually sound like they make sense as buddies.
There aren't a lot of specifics out there about how the bromance between Shep and Austen began. All it says on the Bravo website is: "After relocating to Charleston, Austen and Shep became fast friends and found each other to be worthy competitors when it came to getting the attention of ladies." And that is more than enough for me.
Now that Craig Conover is coupled up with Naomi Olindo, I'm all for Shep having a partner as a single guy on the prowl next season. A quote from Austen's profile on the Bravo site describes Shep and Austen's relationship by saying, "The pair shares an affinity for golf, over imbibing and leisurely activities." So it seems like we have wingman-turned-rival situation on our hands, and I am all for it.
Austen sells beer for a regional craft brewery, which seems like an inherently social job in my opinion, so I feel like he is going to have a great personality. I'm not going to call anyone out, but there are some people on Southern Charm who I would describe as "filler" and I have a feeling that Austen will not fall into that category. He has an interesting job and is a friend/rival for Shep, so he's already infinitely more intriguing than some of the others. Plus, he and Shep look alike, which is a definite plus for viewers.
I cannot wait for Southern Charm to return so we can meet Austen and, hopefully, get a more official intro about his relationship with Shep. I cannot wait to see them arguing wearing pastel shorts and holding beers in their hands. It's going to be great.