A few refreshing hints of realness, and not just cable TV’s glossy version of reality, emerged on Real Housewives of Dallas this week. Look past the perma- surprised eyebrows and sculpted cheekbones, and the five ladies of the Dallas cast of the Bravo stalwart present some intriguing contrasts to the too-perfect “housewives” on other incarnations of the show.
Those haughty babes from Beverly Hills or, heaven forbid, London’s Chelsea never would, but the Dallas ladies aren’t afraid to be on camera in denim shorts and tie-dyed cotton patio togs, shiny hair messy-twisted up in a scrunchy. That plastic electric fan standing next to the bed in Brandi Redmond’s bedroom? It’s Texas, y’all. And day drinking leads to night sweating if you don’t have a whole bunch of cool air blowing on you.
Cocktails and conflict drive all Housewives shows. Both are poured out lavishly as Brandi stays on the nuh-uh list of the show’s alpha, LeeAnne Locken. In the second episode, Brandi wore a homemade hat to a fancy luncheon at the Dallas Arboretum. She’d hot-glued fake dog poo on it, which didn’t endear her to society-worshipping LeeAnne.
There are hints of a showdown coming up between these two in episode four. This week, however, LeeAnne offers her lecture on how to behave among the local swellegants only to Brandi’s bestie, helium-voiced Stephanie Hollman, and to Cary Deuber, wife and op-room nurse to a local plastic surgeon.
That big speech happens on the outdoor patio at Bread Winners on McKinney, where LeeAnne issues a stern warning to Cary “not to bow at me or I will bow back at you.” She rhymes “bow” with “know” and not “cow.” (I don’t know what she means by this, but she scares me. I wouldn’t bow or bow anywhere around her.)
LeeAnne is also seen afternoon-boozing with pal Tiffany Hendra (the Dallas newbie married to guitar plucker Aaron) out behind her modest brick ranchette.
“LeeAnne takes day drinking to an art form,” Tiff says.
When LeeAnne muses that she “doesn’t like drama,” Tiffany waits for the solo “confessional” to camera to say, “LeeAnne saying she doesn’t like drama is like Charlie Sheen saying he doesn’t like hookers.” Snap, whistle, and pop, girl. Good line.
Meanwhile, over at Chez Redmond, Brandi’s weepy because her husband is away on biz again. Brandi’s mom helps watch the ginger-haired kiddos. And bartend.
Mom stirs up Bloody Mary mix using half a gallon of voddy with a splash of red stuff. Mom and daught dray-dink, er, day-drink and talk about family tensions. Brandi misses date night with hubster, so she takes Stephanie out instead, accompanied by Cary, who shows up in a graphic black and white bandage dress and silver earrings shaped like spiky teardrops.
Champagne-high, or as Brandi puts it, “white-girl wasted,” the ladies hie over to LaBare, the for-ladies-only strip joint out on Northwest Highway.
Former Cowboys cheerleader Brandi hops onstage with the line of muscle-y dudes in tear-away Levis, flips her hair, and drops it like it’s hot. “If you stay onstage any longer,” says the stripper-man she’s grinding on, “we’re gonna give you a job.”
Observes Cary: “I feel like this is the start of a really bad chick flick.” (Cary is on fire with the quips.)
Cut to Tiffany taping a segment for her YouTube fashion blog inside Cary’s closet. It’s nice but only shabby chic compared to the Carrie Bradshaw-like shoe-and-bag museum RHONY star Bethenny Frankel has in her Manhattan condo.
And back to palatial Chez Redmond, where many tiny white dogs sit silently as Brandi’s hubby gives her mean looks about going to the strip bar. She wants to talk it out but he ghosts away for a conference call. “We kind of live separate lives now,” says Brandi. There is trouble in this marriage. Spiky teardrops will be shed.
Real Housewives of Dallas airs at 9 pm Mondays on Bravo.