THE SHOW “Summer House”
WHEN | WHERE Premieres Monday at 10:01 p.m. on Bravo
WHAT IT’S ABOUT Nine pals are spending weekends in a house in Montauk — although if you’ve been paying attention to the flap, you know it’s actually next door in Napeague. They’re here to have fun, get drunk and do whatever else nine young, attractive, mostly unattached people do when they’re stuck in a nice house together.
You know — the usual stuff, which is why Montauk fought hard to keep this TV interloper out last summer. In fact, the Town of East Hampton said only five people could sleep in the house overnight; typically the limit is four in a rented house, but two cast members are related. House leader Kyle Cooke has promised that everyone is here to partayyyy . . . and do whatever else may come naturally.
MY SAY The best way to approach any Bravo unscripted newcomer is to adjust expectations. Keep them low enough, and you can only go up from there. Sometimes the actual show even dips below those low expectations (“Princesses: Long Island”), but that’s rare. “Top Chef,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “The Real Housewives” franchise, “Million Dollar Listing” and on and on: The Bravo assembly line may not be glitch-free but usually knows exactly what the market wants, and viewers, too.
Then came word of “Summer House.” How low would this go and could expectations be adjusted to go even lower? Booze, hookups, threesomes, maybe more-somes. The early warning signs were ominous. “House” sounded ghastly, and Montauk sounded the alarm. Some local businesses stiff-armed production crews, and the Town of East Hampton refused to allow them to film on any public property, citing safety concerns. Controversy can be a blessing for a TV newcomer. This was an obvious exception.
And so, with that drumroll, what can viewers expect? Nothing, yawwwnnn, that would scandalize their grandmothers. “Summer House” isn’t even “Jersey Shore”-lite, but closer to “Jersey Shore”-Zero. No calories, no nutrition, no shockers. “Summer House” is a breezy snore.
Like “Shore,” cameras are set up in individual bedrooms to boost the intimacy quotient — or voyeurism one. It’s a cheesy technique that lost the power to shock more than a decade ago, or at least since the fifth season of “Big Brother,” now going on 19 seasons. The house members are wise to the cameras anyway. They signed up to have a good time, not to become fodder for Pornhub. They are mostly discreet, or at least “House” is.
Alcohol does flow in the pilot, but the effects are minimized. Most of the drinking is done around the pool, and no one is obviously intoxicated or climbs behind the wheel of a car. So maybe check that concern — probably the biggest one — off the list. (Again, we’re talking the pilot. The summer is just starting.)
Finally, the housemates: They seem nice. Kyle’s the house cutup. Everett and Lindsay are boyfriend/girlfriend, also the Bickersons who squabble endlessly. Carl’s a bit conceited, Stephen a bit bemused. Cristina is the peacekeeper, while Jacklyn is still recovering from a bad relationship. Lauren is looking for a husband; her sister Ashley is already married to Brad, who’s back home in San Diego.
And what of Montauk? At least in the pilot, it’s virtually invisible. Congratulations.
BOTTOM LINE Mostly innocuous, mostly good-natured, and mostly empty-headed. Montauk escapes unscathed and mostly unseen.