Reality Roundup: Oh Give Me a ‘Sweet Home’

If you missed the first part of the Sweet Home Oklahoma season: (1) I hope you have managed to find some other way of filling the empty, wind-swept void left by a lack of weekly reality comedy, and (2) even if you haven’t, there’s hope.  With new episodes returning on July 10th, there’s still time to catch up on demand by burning through the season’s prior episodes in one swoop (they’re only twenty-two minutes each – so believe me, it can easily be done) or to just dip in and sample some of the Sweet Home wares. Either way, there’s a genuinely silly treasure trove of Oklahoman antics lying in wait. And if you’re a true try-before-you-buy type, read on for highlights from the show’s initial episodes, now available for your on-demand viewing pleasure.

 “I’m not hip.  I’m not urban.  Nothing on here speaks to me.” – Pumps

The Sweet Home ladies don’t shy from much, but ‘pretense’ is probably the one thing that has yet to be featured on their show. Whether it’s Pumps carting her car-kept stash of iced tea into an upscale bar or Jennifer and Josh fondly recounting the time that Josh soiled the bed during a Mexican vacation and blamed their son, it’s clear that the cameras aren’t picking up anything other than the real deal. And even when the show takes a step back from the silly to pick up a more serious tone (for the most part, to address Josh’s past addiction issues), the cast remains just as open.  “We’re not hiding like we have this perfect picket fence life because everybody has their s***.  Everybody does,” explained Jennifer, reflecting the show’s refreshingly unvarnished honesty.

“This poor b*****d tree murdering son of a b**** is in for the ride of his life…I mean like a bad kind of ride, not the good kind of ride” – Josh

If you’ve got twenty minutes to burn this week, there’s no better way to do it than to watch Lee’s insatiable appetite for revenge play out on Shrub Hubbub, the show’s fifth episode.  Even I, who has no particular affinity to trees, shrubbery, or nature in general, could appreciate Lee’s single-minded focus as she took justice into her own hands, determined to give her neighbor everything he deserved for murdering and mutilating his way through the trees on her lawn (without.  You know.  Getting arrested).  The storyline is one of the many slightly silly jaunts that the show has taken so far this season – and you can bet there will be plenty more where that came from.

 “We need to feed about twenty dogs and piss off one person” – Jennifer

Any discussion of Sweet Home Oklahoma would be incomplete without extensive attention to the show’s breakout star: a young French bulldog aptly named ‘Tubbers’, whose internet-certified status as an emotional support animal is but one of his many stand-out talents.

Jennifer’s over-the-top love for little Tubbers is as understandable (for the rest of us – or, at the very least, for me) as it is infuriating for Pumps, who is consistently horrified at the attention that Jennifer lavishes on the young pup.  Tubbers’ birthday party, which pumped the show’s sixth episode (the aptly named Animal King-Dumb) full of costume party hijinks, a sentimental slide show and an elaborate doggy birthday cake, provided Jennifer with an opportunity both to celebrate her dog and to torture Pumps with the lengths of her dog-focused indulgence – both of which she milked for all they were worth.

“Jennifer is using the prank to do something that she really wants to do anyway.  Which is have a birthday party for her favorite child Tubby,” Lee helpfully observed, perfectly summarizing the festivities’ dual purpose.

“Can they turn down the music? We’re trying to eavesdrop” – Pumps

In a dramatic depiction of every dater’s (and – let’s be honest – every human being’s) worst nightmare, Pumps and Jennifer spend the show’s second episode (The Dating Shame) not-so-subtly stalking Lee’s Bumble date. “It never even crossed my mind that we wouldn’t be going,” explained Pumps (as if she even needed to).

The trajectory of the date is everything you might expect (and just as entertaining – for everyone but poor Lee and her date – as it sounds like it would be), but the best part is that Lee’s date is but one of many examples of the boundary-free lifestyle that only Sweet Home can deliver.  The cast’s willingness to barge in on, harass, prank and otherwise screw with each other is ultimately to our benefit – and you can watch their antics guilt-free, knowing that they’re all in on the joke.

“My desire to be handy is actually less than how handy I actually am” – Josh

It may be tempting to compare Jennifer’s ex-husband/ex-lawyer/ex-addict/current-boyfriend Josh to any of the many Housewife-franchise husbands who have clawed their way past their wives’ sparkly dresses and into the Bravo spotlight, forcing a fit that was never the intention of the show.  But in Josh’s case, the comparison would be anything but accurate.

In The Sippy Cup Saga (the show’s fourth episode), Lee’s pyro-fueled assist to Josh’s destruction of the ‘handy man’ task list is only one of the many ways that Josh slides right into the lives of the ladies on the cast.  While Josh’s less-than-glossy past gives the show an unexpected weight (particularly as the history is explored in between scenes of Pumps, Jennifer and Lee battling over sippy cups, or Pumps suiting her dog up with a wearable to inflate her own daily step stats), his goofy, full-hearted approach to each scene makes him an unexpected bonus to the otherwise all-female cast.

 “This guy goes…I’m Jimmie with an ‘i-e’.  And I go, well I’m Linda with an n-o” – Linda from Oklahoma

As if the misadventures of the show’s main cast weren’t enough, Sweet Home Oklahoma splices ‘man-on-the-street’ interviews with everyday Oklahomans throughout the show, just to give us a little taste of the truly ridiculous things that people are willing to say in front of a camera.  The interviews don’t move the plot, they don’t add to character development, and they’re far from an essential part of anyone’s storyline – but that’s far from the point.  They’re the perfect addition to have just…because.

“Jennifer’s heart is in the right place.  But I know that she’s going to torture me.  She just can’t help it” – Pumps

I cannot remember the last time a prank call made me laugh out loud (though honestly, the answer before now was probably…never).  Still, there was something about watching Jennifer hold back her own laughter by physically tying a napkin around her face as she watched her mother’s prank call to Pumps play out in Mama Drama (the show’s seventh episode) that was wholly irresistible.

The general prank theme permeates the show – from rubber snakes to face smudges, the ladies are always up to something.  The good-natured way in which they approach the show’s ‘gotcha’ moments are always goofy, never mean spirited and, all in all, perfectly light summer viewing fare.

The first season of Sweet Home Oklahoma returns with new episodes starting July 10, airing Mondays at 10pm Eastern on Bravo.  Catch up now with the first seven episodes of the season on demand.


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