Remember when Brooke protested about MTV reality shows? That time has ended, as I distinctly remember Floribama Shore being her idea, not mine. (She might deny it, but it’s true.) But I digress. The first season of Floribama Shore is over, it’s definitely coming back, so we’re here to recap.
Start us off, Brooke. Were your first impressions of our 8 new Southern friends correct? Did you expect to see so much bar fighting from this group of ladies and gentlemen? And of course, who is your favorite?
B: I won’t deny it. And I didn’t just suggest this show, I said we HAD to watch it — not least because you have access to MTV and I don’t. Anyway, let’s talk about this insanity. At length. Because we love it. And we can’t wait for more.
Most of my first impressions about these youths were correct, but there are two of them who surprised me: Gus and Kortni. The first couple episodes of this series had Gus pegged as the guy who aspired to be a player, but as it turns out, he has a bit of a habit of catching feelings. Probably because he has the biggest heart of anyone in the house. Gus is a true-blue nice guy and I found myself completely charmed by him when all was said and done. Similarly, Kortni got set up as the relentless party girl, but while she had fun — she may be the only person who didn’t beef with any of her roommates in a real way — she actually reigned it in after those first days and became our slow-burn MVP.
To be fair, I could never have dreamed we would have so many bar fights, much less that they’d be so satisfying. We’ll have to cover them in detail later, but I do want to take this moment to check in on my predictions.
- Aimee is going to be a constant source of one-liners. I’m going to give myself partial credit on this one. Aimee didn’t have a ton of one-liners, but the house’s Princess-Goddess-Mermaid did deliver a lot of hilarious moments. From swooping into fights to calling a corsage a “croissant” to schooling Kortni at the pool bull ride thing, Aimee brought the laughs.
- Candace is going to have enough of this. Again, I’m going to take partial credit here. I predicted that Candace was going to lose it on her roommates. In reality, she lost it on a redneck and started a huge fight to defend Gus’ honor and human decency in general. More on that later. For now, just know that Candace is a #shero.
- Codi is going to go on a path of self-discovery. Unfortunately, I was pretty off-base with this one. Codi turned out to be a bit of a drama junkie. He stirred the pot constantly and created a lot of havoc in the house. BUT, a major family event near the end of the series may find him primed for a bit of self-discovery in season two.
- Gus is not going to get as much action as he thinks. NAILED IT. As far as I can recall, Gus had a lot of dances and a couple of dates, but mostly his plans got derailed by Codi snoring or Codi vomiting, or the girl leaving town. Again, Gus is a sweetheart, he just didn’t find a summer romance the way he’d hoped.
- Jeremiah is going to be the worst. Yeah, going to take at least 75% credit here. A case could be made that Codi cause more problems, but though he had a few moments of not being the worst, Jeremiah found many opportunities to be a bummer. He has a habit of lecturing his roommates or taking a moral high ground and preparing to die on it when it doesn’t help anyone. It’s not that he’s a monster, he’s just not the saint he thinks he is either.
- Kirk is going to be the breakout favorite. Kind of? Kirk stayed fairly under-the-radar for most of the season, but he made an impact during the brawls. And when he got ultra drunk and made amusing faces. The downside of that was that he also got into quite a mood and dragged Aimee over the emotional edge along with him.
- Kortni will continue to be a hot mess. Yeah, but no. Kortni continued to have a great time throughout the season. But she didn’t pee on anything else. And she really didn’t have any drama. She just rocked onesies and drank beers and failed to operate simple pool toys.
- Nilsa will take way too long to move on from Jeremiah. Yup! The twist I didn’t see coming was that she also went on to take way too long to get over Jeremiah’s brother, Josh, the “barrel-chested freedom fighter” who was also a pretty big jerk. I will say this for Nilsa, after some tough love from Aimee — “I will keep her here if I have to yank her back by her bra straps!” — she seemed to start to overcome her fear of rejection. Let’s hope that trend continues.
I would give myself a 5 out of 8, maybe a bit less pending how you view Kirk. Let me know your thoughts.
Honestly, it’s much more difficult to pick a favorite than I thought it would be. Gus Gus is my favorite of the boys, for all the aforementioned reasons. But I have a difficult time deciding betwixt Candace and Aimee. I love how wise and fearless and certain of what she wants Candace is. And as for dear sweet Aimee, I cheer for her so much. This show could truly change her life. She’s experiencing the world, and may finally have a way out of the town that seems not to have done right by her. I hope so. I really do. I’m going to make the argument that they are two sides of a coin and I don’t have to pick.
Okay, AM. Let’s hear your thoughts on my predictions. Then tell us about your favorites. And though it will be difficult, give us a top five moments, if you please.
A: I feel like I can give you at least 5, but I kind of can’t with Kirk, you know? It’s mostly because he wasn’t given enough screentime (allllllll of the time went to Nilsa), but aside from him bonding with Gus over their childhood traumas, and his general jovial nature (when not provoked), I don’t have enough here to make him my favorite.
I have to agree that Gus is the dude fave. Rewatching the season premiere where he and Nilsa go on a fancy $150 date, you can see that he’s nervous and trying too hard. I thought that meant he’d be the unrepentant ladies man, but you’re right. He catches feelings, as the kids say. And he genuinely is concerned that the girls think he’s a misogynist after Jeremiah does the “Shut up, honey” move during a fight with mostly Nilsa, but also with Aimee.
I have go with Candace as my main girl fave, not because I didn’t also delight in Aimee seeing the world, but I do object to Aimee’s time spent lazing on the beach not working. Come on, we need to see some kind of work ethic out of you. Or not. This show could be the perfect entree into a life as a trophy wife, which doesn’t sound half bad most days. Candace’s parents showing up, expressing concern over her short shorts in only a way that parents can (Dad: “Those are too short.” Mom: “They’re cute!”), and proceeding into Dad learning how to shotgun beers while Mom hung onto an inexplicably shirtless Jeremiah (we get it, you have an amazing body, but also that’s super obnoxious, dude) was absolutely adorable and priceless.
Top five moments, you say? I think I can do that:
- Drunk Kirk Dancing — We’ve all been there. We think we’re hot shit, dancing, having a great time. But in reality, we are staring into the distance and no, we don’t look cool at all. His grin says it all.
- The Brawl — Nilsa’s trying to get a cab home from Dollar Draft Beer Night at Donovan’s (I remember this because Kortni got a shirt), and is approached by a drunk woman who wants her to take her pretty face and get out. This isn’t the first or last time Nilsa has been ragged on by someone for her appearance, and she takes it like we all would: not well. Kirk gets wind of this situation, Gus holds the drunk woman back, Aimee and Kortni come out SWINGING, Kirk informs the assembled group that he’s “from Atlanta” (why?) and all of a sudden, the entire bar is on the street. The drunk woman and her man friend both get tackled IN THE STREET by the bouncers, and I’ve never seen a bigger fight on TV. It’s worth a second or third watch just to witness Kortni get air-lifted out, still swinging, on Gus and Codi’s shoulders. They should have known, after all. Aimee told us: “I took a look around and this wasn’t a cute hole-in-the-wall bar. This was a REDNECK bar.” And Codi: “We had to get away from those people. You know, the Dollar Draft Beer People.”
- Candace Accurately Describing Jeremiah — After perhaps the third fight of their stay in PCB (that’s Panama City Beach if we haven’t said), Candace informs us that “Jeremiah is homeschooled. He’s never seen any of this hood shit.” Yup.
- Nilsa and Her Friends Literally Spiral In Front of Us — Nilsa’s got some hot friends. They know it, and you can be certain that Gus, Jeremiah, and Kirk know it. There’s a little friendly banter between the guys as to who will “win” the heart (actually, the sexy time for one night only, let’s be real) of Nilsa’s friend Katrina. Codi, who doesn’t understand what guy talk vs girl talk is, clearly, conveys to Nilsa that the guys have an actual bet going to determine who will get to sleep with Katrina. And with the aid of copious alcohol, Nilsa and Katrina get themselves so worked up and so frazzled that their heads almost explode. If you’ve ever wondered what “spiraling out” looks like, this is the clip to reference.
- Parent Time — I mentioned Candace’s parents discovering shotgunning and abs, respectively, but the entire parental BBQ is delightful. Gus’ estranged mom and Gus have a nice heart-to-heart, Aimee and her mom also have some quality moments, and we all get to be proud of our drunken mess of a group.
Brooke, any top moments that I didn’t cover? Any outright disagreements? Also, who overreacted more, Josh or Nilsa?
B: I think you made some wise selections here, but there are some moments that I think we must also recognize.
And key among them: The second fight when Candace flips that dude-bro’s hat off and declares, “I FLIPPED THAT HAT OFF! And you ain’t gonna do shit about it. So sit down!” For obvious reasons, that’s amazing. Then we cut to the rest of the crew (well most of them anyway) backing Candace up from the couch. Then the fight explodes and the bouncers swoop in — these bouncers are much better at their jobs than the bouncers at Donovan’s, by the way — and it seems all is settled. But out of nowhere comes Aimee. Utterly without context, but ready to throw down. She windmills her way into the scene and lands some punches on the offending redneck before the bouncers ever see her coming. The crew gets ousted from the bar, and then we finally see Nilsa. She must have been off hunting barrel-chested freedom fighters, because she can be heard asking, “What the hell even happened?”
I also love Aimee and Kortni versus the blow-up bull and Candace teaching Gus how to use a fork. Oh, and Kortni’s mom showing everyone photographic evidence that she was potty-trained.
Ahhh, Josh and Nilsa. Two people who need to learn how to emote properly. While Nilsa is the person to overreact the most in every single other situation, I think this whole thing is absolutely on Josh. He wasn’t worried about Nilsa’s readiness for a “serious relationship” when he was sexing her the entire first weekend they met. And bruising her arm with bite marks, BTW.
But this girl, who is admittedly coming to terms with the end of a serious relationship opens up to him, puts herself out there as really liking him and he calls the whole thing off because she drunkenly called her ex once before she ever even met him. C’mon man. Can you raise your eyebrow and say, “tell me a little more about that.” Or, “Are you sure you’re ready for a this?” Or LITERALLY ANYTHING other than, “I don’t think I want to go on this date anymore” and address your concern without needlessly hurting someone you claim to be interested in?
He says he wants a serious relationship but he drops the girl he was entertaining the notion of said relationship with over something she called a mistake. Something she was saying she felt like wouldn’t happen anymore because she was interested in him. Sure, Nilsa probably isn’t quite ready for a serious relationship yet — and why should she be, she just got divorced — but that reads as an excuse to avoid making any effort at all. So here comes some blanket advice for all the roomies: STOP PLANNING YOUR WEDDING TO PEOPLE YOU JUST MET. BE LIKE CANDACE AND MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION AFTER A LOW-STAKES “GET TO KNOW YOU” HANG.
Okay, I think we’ve done pretty well here. AM, before we scurry off, is there anything else we absolutely must discuss? And what are your hopes for the super-sized second season?
A: I, for one, am hoping to see a lot more of Kirk, and for that matter, Codi, but I hope he stops stirring the pot just a bit. I mean, please stir the pot a bit, because that’s what we’re here for, but I want him to understand the boundaries of “girl talk” and “guy talk” juuuuuuust a tad. I’m also in particular rooting for Gus to have some more fun and have fewer strikeouts, because the guy is cute and he’s sweet. #TeamGus
I can’t wait to see, most of all, how fame will change the tenor of the show, just like it did on Jersey Shore. We’ll ABSOLUTELY see more fights in bars, but I wonder if our new Southern pals will have more or less luck in the hookup / love department because of said newfound fame. I’m not about to actually look up how the viewership of Floribama compares to Jersey, but I’m willing to bet the nationally televised audience is enough to boost their profiles a ton.
Until this summer… chi chis up! And we’re ready to go. (Dang, Nilsa’s catchphrase stuck with me.)
B: Never speak those words again.
Next time we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled Required Viewing programming. We’re getting back to our filmic roots and we’re going all the way back to 1990.