Southern Charm star Leva Bonaparte was responding to comments on her new series Southern Hospitality.
The spin-off show follows the employees of Bonaparte’s Charleston, South Carolina restaurant empire, which includes Republic Garden & Lounge, Bourbon and Bubbles, as well as two other restaurants along Charleston’s famous King Street.
The season premiere titled “The Republic of Lev”, introduced Bonaparte’s young crew at Republic, including VIP manager Maddi Reese and VIP presenter Joe Bradley, as well as Reese’s rival Grace Lilly, the VIP concierges at Bourbon and Bubbles.
One episode later, Bravo fans already have some big opinions about Bonaparte’s new show.
Here’s what you need to know.
Fans Likened ‘Southern Hospitality’ to ‘Vanderpump Rules’
Some viewers immediately felt that Southern Hospitality was a copy of Vanderpump Rules. The OG Bravo series debuted in 2013 and followed the staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant SUR in West Hollywood. The series made stars of Jax Taylor, Stassi Schroeder, Scheana Shay and more, but a crew of new, younger staff members joined the show as some of the original stars had aged from their waiting jobs at SUR. A cast change in 2020 turned the show on its side, and the final season focused on the parenting and personal lives of the former SURvers.
Enter Southern Hospitality. Some fans on social media called it a “Wannabe Vanderpump” and “VPR Charleston”.
“It’s a southern version of Vanderpump’s restaurant and bar. Just a bunch of young adults who aren’t grown up yet. No thanks!” one commenter wrote on Instagram.
“Leva is not an LVP!! It was awful!!” Another wrote.
“You can never recreate Vanderpump rules,” another I Agree, noting that Vanderpump’s show consisted of an actual group of friends. “The first few seasons were as authentic as reality TV can get. This new show was definitely cast, not organic. The VPR staff also feared and respected Lisa because they really needed her jobs at SUR, unlike the Southern hospitality folks who live with their parents and don’t care.”
Others hoped for “Southern Hospitality” but still compared them to “Vanderpump Rules”.
“If I can’t have an old-school VPR on my TV anymore, then I’ll settle for a new crew of hot, star-seeking, bring the drama group of friends. I can’t wait to see when they outgrow their pants and go to their heads in their newfound fame,” said one fan wrote.
Leva Bonaparte concluded the comparisons of the “Vanderpump Rules”.
While fans can’t get over the similarities between the two restaurant reality shows, Bonaparte actually thinks Southern Hospitality is more like another Bravo reality show.
“I definitely think our business is a lot more ‘Below Deck’ than ‘Vanderpump’ in terms of adrenaline,” she said said E! news in a November 2022 interview. “I’ve never been to any of the restaurants that Vanderpump runs, but this nightclub business — not a lounge — but a nightclub business is a whole different beast.”
In a separate conversation with the dish of the dayBonaparte explained why their show is more like “Below Deck,” which follows the crew members of a superyacht.
“When you’re on the deck of the Republic, there’s no time for dawdling and all that,” Bonaparte explained. “It’s chaos. It’s hundreds of people [and] It’s high adhesion. It keeps people safe, it makes for a better experience.”
The employees of the “Southern Hospitality” are also very different from the SURvers. In the premiere of the “Vanderpump Rules” episode in 2013, the waiters haggled to match their tips. Shay didn’t like the idea because she tipped more than the others. But across the country, the Southern Hospitality kids could be making six figures on their own — and that’s before their Bravo paychecks.
“This is such a hospitality town and these kids make 100 grand, 150 grand bartenders and they have no responsibilities,” Bonaparte told E!
She also revealed that the kids on her show really do pursue careers in the hospitality industry, unlike the cast of “Vanderpump Rules,” who all aspired to be models and actors when they first started on the show.
“When you think of ‘Vanderpump,’ it’s LA and [the cast members] try somehow to achieve something while these kids [at Republic] are in what they want to be,” Bonaparte told The Daily Dish. “They want to be in hospitality, they want to open clubs. Hospitality is big business in the city we live in.”
CONTINUE READING: Big southern charm moments from BravoCon
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https://heavy.com/entertainment/bravo/leva-bonaparte-lisa-vanderpump-knockoff/ Leva Bonaparte defends her new show ‘Southern Hospitality’