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The Six REAL Rules of ‘Summer House’

If you were to ask any of the Summer House crew about the rules of Summer House, they’d predictably tell you something along the lines of “no relationships in the house.”

This is, incidentally, also the most frequently broken rules among the housemates.

Now that we’re three episodes deep in the show’s second season, patterns are emerging clearly enough to give form to a few rarely cited rules that are critical to the House’s operation. Read on for a countdown of a few of my personal favorites, all guaranteed to keep the drama rolling as the race through another summer in the Hamptons continues.

Rule #6: “The first step is, admitting that you want to get over Carl” – Danielle

On the surface, there’s not really a whole lot of depth to the Summer House premise. Shake a few twenty- and thirty-somethings loose from their demanding (or not), high-pressure (or not), New York City jobs (or lack thereof), bottle them up in a huge Hamptons house each weekend, and see where the alcohol takes them.

Of course, the premise gets a whole lot more interesting when you throw one proudly promiscuous man and two of his ex (or not – more on that later) flames into the mix. House newcomer Danielle has a history with Season 1 veteran Carl, who’s back in the house and joined by his Season 1 hook up buddy Lauren.  And while Danielle and Lauren had a sweet moment of anti-Carl solidarity in the opening of the season, their alliance sadly (or, purely for entertainment purposes, not) hasn’t lasted.

Rule #5: “You do not want to get in the way of a Wirkus because they get hot.” – Stephen

When you have to repeatedly remind everyone how easygoing you are, it’s a sure sign that you are anything but that. Lauren Wirkus spent the first half of the House’s fourth of July party doing just that, before randomly shoving a pie in Carl’s face. Multiple times.

Granted, she had her reasons.  The two had recently rekindled…something…after their Pride parade hookup evolved into regular bedroom romps.  Still, Carl took every chance he could get to remind her that he was single.  “He deserves a kick in the face,” was the closest Lauren would come to an apology.

And, crazy pants aside, I’m kind of with her on this one.

Rule #4: “Stop quoting rappers. Rappers wouldn’t want to hang out with you” – Kyle

Rappers are probably the first in a long line of people who would not want to hang out with the Summer House crew.  They scream at each other in bathrooms, they drag blowup doll versions of each other around at parties, and they do things on camera before promptly denying ever having done them. It’s a dream to watch unfold, but I can only imagine what that disaster is like in real life.

Rule #3: “Float on a rainbow and sip twisted tea” – Stephen

If your housemates decide to put on boxing gloves and start pummeling each other, you don’t have a lot of options. Stephen lounged on his swan while offering a steady supply of snarky comments. I wouldn’t want him any other way.

Rule #2: “When there’s a problem, and you point out something that’s a bigger problem, yours suddenly goes away.” – Stephen

Deflect, deflect, deflect! That’s pretty much the only strategy on any Bravo reality show, and Summer House is no exception. After all, the ability of the housemates to focus on more than one thing at a time is constrained.

Where Danielle’s nosiness about Lauren and Carl’s “relationship” rubbed Lauren the wrong way at first, it seems to have faded gracefully into that good night. Lauren instead seems dead focused on making Lindsay the target of her rage, for reasons that only vaguely make sense (namely: Lindsay spoke to Carl).

While these changing tides may have deprived Danielle of her first big storyline, the season is young. You never know which housemate she’ll manage to provoke a disproportionately dramatic reaction from next.  Which leads me to the final rule…

Rule #1: “If tensions in the house are high, the best way to relieve that strategy is to find an exit strategy. Text a guy.  Leave” – Danielle

Make no mistake, this is not the Bachelor mansion. Nobody’s sequestered, everyone has their phone, and pretty much every night is ‘fantasy suite’ night. The Summer House-mates are free to come and go as they please – and it’s their wreckage in the outside world, along with the inter-house wreckage along the way, that makes this delightful disaster of the show as uniquely wonderful as it is.

New episodes of Summer House air Mondays at 10pm ET on Bravo and are available the next day on-demand.