Picking a favorite character on TLC‘s newest reality show Welcome to Myrtle Manor is like watching Mean Girls without laughing or eating just one Lay’s potato chip — impossible. From the moment I first heard about the show’s seemingly never-ending list of eccentrics, I was already struggling to decide which of them I would most want to watch.
Now that I’ve watched the series premiere, I defy anyone to choose just one favorite resident of Myrtle Manor Trailer Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Go ahead and try!
Because of this, I think it’s best to just examine each one of these oddballs one by one. Since the list of characters is as long as the list of acclaimed British actors employed by the Harry Potter franchise, I won’t be able to give them all my attention this time around, but based on the “This season on Welcome to Myrtle Manor” teaser, there’ll be plenty of time to appreciate each and every one of them.
First there’s Jeana, the narrator, whose silky Southern twang pulled me in from the get-go and never let go. Unfortunately, since she’s busy being an omniscient trailer park angel, she doesn’t get much screen time in the first episode. But her narration gave a semblance of sanity to the hot mess that ensues in the first episode, so she started out the show as my favorite.
Becky, Jeana’s niece and the new landlady of Myrtle Manor, gave her a run for her money by vowing to turn the trailer park into a five-star resort. The mink stole she wore over her T-shirt to go talk to a tenant in a roach-infested trailer is a good start, I guess.
Becky decides, out of the goodness of her heart, to allow a drifter named Jared to stay in Myrtle Manor. Jared is “just a big kid,” which you can confirm as a viewer by looking at the rainbow propeller beanie he’s wearing when he says that. Jared’s idea of fun is smashing a television and setting it on fire on his front lawn (which is less of a lawn and more of a sandy miniature golf course). Jared at this point lost the race to become my favorite character, because the horror and depression I felt upon watching that television get destroyed is comparable to what I feel when I can’t find the remote and am forced to watch one of those Sarah McLachlan animal cruelty commercials.
One person in Myrtle Manor who agrees that killing a TV was just plain wrong is Marvin, the trailer park security guard, who calls Jared and Taylor (more on him in a minute) “jackass jerks” for doing it. I said “Right on, Marvin!” and then I remembered that maybe he should have done something about it since he’s the security guard and stuff. He also probably should have done more about that suspicious stain he found under that cardboard besides saying that it looks like “somebody trying to hide blood or something” and walking away. That’s all I’m saying. I love your white knee socks, Marvin, and I agree with you that Jared is probably a vampire.
Now let’s talk about Taylor, Jared’s TV-smashing partner in crime. Taylor’s the Scott Disick of Myrtle Manor, meaning he’s a club promoter. (That’s what Scott does, right? I’m always at a loss for what anyone on his show does.) Taylor won me over a little by professing his undying love for his adorable bulldog Gus, who currently holds the lead for becoming my favorite character. But that whole TV murder is simply unforgivable.
Taylor’s kind-of-girlfriend/grocery store buddy is Jessica, who seems to be very interested in vampire Jared. Get in line behind everybody else in the trailer park! You gotta get past Chelsey the Wiener Girl with her Mary-Kate Olsen headband, Taylor’s mom Anne, and Roy, the gay salon employee who would literally do anything Jared wanted him to and will eat any wiener but the Wiener Girls’ wieners (his words, I swear).
There’s also Miss Peggy, the park’s oldest resident, whose subtitles are in need of their own sub-subtitles and who tells the kids to keep their clothes zipped up but strips down to take a dip in the new above-ground pool. As Chelsey brilliantly points out, that’s what we’re all gonna look like one day. Amen.
And now I’ve come to quite possibly the most eccentric of Myrtle Manor’s eccentrics — Bandit/Roger (the new Justin/Bobby?!). He writes music in his bubble bath but can’t quite recite the famous jingle he claims to have written. It sounded like a lot of humming and random unrelated words, but maybe I just need a translator. He’s also here to to teach us that “mold and mildew can kill a cat in a heartbeat” (Bandit kind of sounds like a cat name; is he secretly a cat?) and you can kill roaches with simple soap and water — according to what he read on Google. I was just relieved to hear that Google exists in this TV universe. It’s likely going to be my Inception totem as I navigate this crazy TLC world.
Whether this whole show is staged (which has been suggested by some Myrtle Beach residents) or genuine doesn’t really matter to me. I just want to tune in every week to see these quirky turkeys battle it out to become my favorite. I also really want to see how Marvin’s “urination investigation” pans out, as was teased in the preview.