In the grand history of Bravo television, there have been some real bummers. Remember 100 Days of Summer, a one-season wonder about six “professionals” living in Chicago (derogatory)? Or Miss Advised, a reality series following sex columnists including the one and only Julia Allison? And then of course there was The People’s Couch, a show about people watching Bravo shows. All of these made me sad, but no Bravo reality program has ever depressed me as much as Winter House, a series in which the stars of Summer House and Southern Charm collide with random Instagram models at an Airbnb in Vermont to drink themselves into oblivion. The second season premieres on October 13.
Winter House is a product of the pandemic; the first season was shot during the depths of winter 2021 and reflects the hopelessness and claustrophobia of that time. Everyone was so, so drunk. The kitchen table in the rental was never not covered in 47 solo cups, Cheeto dust, and half-eaten pasta salad. The one bright spot was the introduction of Andrea Denver, a handsome Italian model who was not connected to anyone in the house in any way but somehow ended up on the show. He wooed Paige Desorbo, a Summer House regular who should really consider Kelly Conaboy’s offer to ghostwriter her eventual book. But then it turned out he was texting other women, and Paige ended up with Southern Charm’s Craig Conover, a scary little man who makes pillows for a living.
This season, Paige and Craig are back, along with Craig’s frenemy Austen Kroll, who is one of the worst men on Bravo, period. They join Summer House’s resident depressing married couple Kyle Cooke and Amanda Batula, as well as new randoms including Craig’s fraternity brother Kory Keefer (okay) and a woman named Jessica Stocker who is described in Bravo promotional materials as “a beautiful Metaverse real estate agent, investor and entrepreneur from Los Angeles.” Help. (Incidentally, Jessica looks so much like Summer House’s Lindsay “HubbHouse” Hubbard that I thought she was Lindsay in the cast photo. This is going to be confusing.)
Also making an appearance this season are the Toms from Vanderpump Rules, for some reason. As we all know, Tom Schwartz is recently divorced and probably even sadder to watch than he normally is. In the trailer, he can be heard wondering whether or not he has alcohol poisoning.
I can understand why Bravo would bring this show back. It probably costs $3 to make, and it’s a good excuse to get a bunch of B-level Bravo personalities from different shows together with the potential reality stars of tomorrow (such as Ms. Metaverse real estate agent). Since the cast members almost never leave the Airbnb, cameras are on them 24/7, meaning producers can stretch ten days of filming into ten episodes or more.
But do we need to see 30-somethings quarantining together in below-freezing weather anymore? Certainly the rest of America has moved on from pandemic-related activities. What could the narrative of this season even be? I guess I’ll have to watch every episode to find out.