In real life you probably wouldn’t stand alone in a room, stare at your phone, and sigh like a tragic heroine. You most likely wouldn’t plan a sit-down with your best friend in a restaurant to berate her for supposed slights. Or loudly confront another sorta-friend with printed out texts that impugn your character.
In real life, you’d just cross people you’re mad at off the Christmas list, unfriend them on Facebook, and be done with it.
Real Housewives of Dallas — like other “housewives” in the ever-expanding Bravo series franchise — routinely do the unreal versions of de-friending, however. And they do it in heavy makeup. With a camera crew focused on every word and sigh.
Episode six of the 10-episode run of RHOD was chockablock with such amusing nonsense and a moment or two of awkwardly real reality. It’s not news that these shows are hell on marriages. Each incarnation of the popular series has seen couples call it quits. Among the Dallas housewives, it’s Brandi Redmond whose home life is in turmoil at this juncture.
This week Brandi took a break from chugging “Jesus juice” (wine) with giggly best bud Stephanie Hollman to try to reconnect with husband Bryan. He’s out of town on business a lot, leaving Brandi at home in their echo-y mansion with their two little nanny-free daughters.
Brandi, you’re a fine girl. What a good wife you would be if only you could make Bryan understand how lonely you are in your gilded cage. (They’ve been together since high school, so that’s about 20 years a deux.)
Quick with crude jokes and a bit too open with pal Steph about Bryan’s nasty personal habits (chewing his toenails and picking his nose), Brandi is outwardly bubbly but secretly sad. This week she put on a bright orange mini-dress for “date night” with Bryan at Texas de Brazil.
In a tight close-up shot, she nervously orders a martini and tries to tell him she feels neglected and wants more together-time. He sits stone-faced. “I feel like I give you all the attention,” he says.
“I don’t understand you,” Brandi says, so quietly there are subtitles on the screen.
“Okay, dude,” Bryan huffs, “I’ve had enough. I’m done.” Exit Bryan as “sad electronic music plays.” (That’s what the subtitles say.)
This is genuinely awful. We feel you, Brandi. Stay strong. (According to Bravo’s show blogs, the couple is still together.)
Meanwhile, back at other people’s mansions, charity stalwart LeeAnne Locken holds hands and prays aloud with her bestie Tiffany Hendra (rocking a side ponytail that would make Andy Cohen squeal) in the driveway of minor housewife Marie Reyes. They ask for divine guidance for the shouting match about to ensue. Something about nasty text messages Marie has sent to Tiffany about LeeAnne.
None of that is as interesting as Marie’s head ornament in this scene. It seems to be made of entwined twigs. Perhaps she bought it at a sample sale in Middle Earth.
Later in the hour Cary Deuber and plastic surgeon husband Mark shop for glittery dresses at Stanley Korshak, then he works the camera for a photo shoot wherein she doffs her top, revealing some top-grade bazooms, and flips into a handstand while wearing leather pants.
Cary says Mark’s hobbies are “cooking, photography, and sex.” In every shot, he’s on her tighter than Spanx on cellulite.
A teensy crack of discontent is revealed in the seemingly hunky-dory marriage of mega-mansion dwellers Stephanie and Travis Hollman. He wants to control her every move, including her decorating efforts. She says (not to him) that “I want him to trust me.”
Travis objects to the window treatments she’s picked out for their sons’ bedrooms. He says he doesn’t like curtains. So she throws him some shade: “He has the worst taste in the world.”
Exhibit B in her case is then introduced to the jury: huge statues of Samurai warriors guarding the front yard of their suburban palace. Travis bought them and planted them there. “I named them Gayle and Oprah,” Stephanie says.
Brandi and Stephanie are then seen dressing the scowling warriors up with shiny scarves, beads, and other frou-frou. It’s the happiest Brandi has looked in weeks.
Real Housewives of Dallas airs at 9 pm Mondays on Bravo. You can also watch episodes online.