There’s a new gal in town on Southern Charm, and, although Season 5 has mostly been all about girl power, she might change the tides. The newest Southern Charm star is Peyton, Shep’s ex-girlfriend. She also went on a date with Austen, and she might like Craig. Confused? Let’s back up a bit.
Shep Rose will go down in history as the only member of Southern Charm to get his own spinoff, probably because he’s the only one bearable enough to watch (besides Cameran) for one more season of television a year. His show, RelationSHEP, chronicled his inability to find a partner and his search — on TV, of course — to meet the woman of his dreams.
Peyton, living in Los Angeles at the time, was one of those women. The bubbly, vivacious, and very tall former model (for brands like Forever 21, as you can see on her Instagram) was in Shep’s Final 2, along with Priscilla. Then, Shep dumped both of them and went to New York City to find Bella, a contestant who had left the show in the weeks prior, to try and start a relationship with her. Spoiler alert — it didn’t work with Bella, and Shep started Season 5 of Southern Charm a single man (as usual.) But, as Shep says on the April 26 episode of Southern Charm, unless an ex hurts his family, he stays pals with them. Can you say synergy? Peyton is back on the East Coast, and she’s hanging with Shep’s friends.
So far, according to what Peyton says on Southern Charm, she is new to Charleston, has a job at a dog rescue (she is obsessed with animals, and her Instagram is full of pics of her with adorable puppies), and is trying to make some friends in a new city. It's hard!
Shep is surprised (but not really that surprised) to hear that Austen has already swooped in and taken Peyton on a date. Hey, the girl needs friends, and she needs activities, so who cares? Plus, she and Austen went to the same college, so they already have something in common.
Shep likes to say that he sets up women and Austen is the one who knocks in the runs, to use Shep’s misogynist baseball speak, but Austen can take out who he wants. If Peyton is going to be around a while, Shep should cut it off with that nonsense, because she’ll probably date another one of his friends, and he’ll just have to get over it. Green isn’t a great color on Shep Rose.
Speaking of Shep’s friends, in previews for the next episode of Southern Charm, we see Naomie, who still has feelings for Craig despite the fact he is focusing on a fledgling pillow-making business now, finding out that Peyton may have spent some time with Craig. Cut to a Halloween party where Naomie is calling Peyton names and telling her she can’t have Craig. Oh, girl. Fighting over a man is poor form but fighting over a man in costume is just sad.
And that brings me to my next point — I know that Naomie is deeply, deeply hurting, because breakups are the worst. They’re even worse when you’re on a television show and you’re forced to film with your ex. They suck, especially when you still love each other when you know it’s not working. But it’s not an excuse to call another woman names. At this point, it looks like Peyton is only looking for more pals, and if Naomie’s heart wasn’t broken, she and the other women would probably welcome Peyton into their circle. Naomie is reacting emotionally to something that she doesn’t even know is true. Peyton can ask for Craig’s phone number for romantic or platonic reasons, and it doesn’t really matter. Craig and Naomie are broken up, and Naomie did not need to go all in on Peyton, especially when she’s so new to town.
As Kathryn says earlier in the episode, she hasn’t had a group of friends in a long time, and she’d rather hang with all the girls than one boy. It’s been so fun to watch this group drink wine and cackle and talk about vibrators. The women of Southern Charm are such a solid bunch right now — they’re not going to stand to be disrespected by the “good old boys” of Charleston, aka their ex-boyfriends. Peyton is looking for friends, and it’s wrong for the sisterhood — and Naomie — to cast her out so quickly when it seems like all she wants is connection.