We have spent 10 Monday nights getting to know the Real Housewives of Dallas on Bravo. Six women, their spouses (barely seen), cute children, and incontinent pets.
We have glimpsed artsy aerial shots of the distinctive city skyline during opening credits and enjoyed overhead views of tree-lined suburban streets, which may or not have been in or near Dallas. The producers and editors of RHOD were loose about the authenticity of images on this show. Look quick and you could see the Fort Worth Stockyards, party cruises on Lake Austin, and other non-Dallas locations passed off as local sites.
First episode to last, it was pretty clear that the team behind this show just wasn’t feelin’ it. Scene after scene had that “let’s use it anyway” attitude toward trivial footage and relationships that didn’t go anywhere. So many contrived luncheon apologies. Too many awkward confrontations about personal slights, the kind of behavior grown women rarely display in real life (especially if they were raised right in Texas).
This show made its women into overdressed mean girls. Interactions among them were edited down into snippets of rude tipsy talk at parties; shallow gossip over kitchen counters; and some of the ugliest, dumbest verbal blow-ups ever used on reality TV.
The best reality shows capture the real behavior, good and bad, of the participants. RHOD presented half a dozen women trying way too hard to act the way they thought they should to look good on TV. The crew behind the scenes got lazy and let them be fakey-fakey.
Shoot, they didn’t even bother to tell their cast that no woman outside of clown college would be caught in daylight wearing that much blusher.
LeeAnne Locken could have been the RHOD breakout star, the Bethenny Frankel of Dallas with her snappy wit and rustic vocabulary. She was introduced as the “carny kid” who became a model and who now works tirelessly for Dallas charities (perhaps to boost her social status). She lives in a modest home with her good-looking boyfriend Rich and does good work for good causes.
But LeeAnne’s anger became the issue the show use as a plot device and thus she came off as a wild-eyed loon seen punching a camera, kicking an Arts District trolley, and flying into rages at the mildest provocations. “Bow at me!” she shouted at plastic surgeon’s wife Cary Deuber over a brunch argument at Bread Winners. She didn’t mean curtsy.
With LeeAnne cast as villain, the comic relief became Brandi Redmond and her pal Stephanie Hollman. They actually are housewives and longtime friends, raising kids in mansions outside the Dallas city limits. (Stephanie’s abuts the Four Seasons golf course in Irving.) These two were the best at bringing the funny to the “confessionals,” the solo chats to camera in which they could freely comment about what was happening in each episode.
They cackled about their consumption of daytime “Jesus juice” (wine) and mocked their husbands’ flatulence and bedroom habits. In this week’s finale, Stephanie admitted she’d rather pick up dog poo from her backyard than have sex with overly controlling husband Travis.
Ah, poo. Each hour of RHOD was heavily fertilized with mentions of excrement, both human and animal. LeeAnne’s verbal attack on the nearly-wordless one, Marie Reyes, was retaliation for Marie spreading off-camera gossip about an unfortunate pants-soiling incident in LeeAnne’s past. Brandi got crossways with LeeAnne when she hot-glued fake No. 2 to a hat for a charity luncheon, a No. 1 no-no among LeeAnne’s personal etiquette rules.
This week featured a close-up of Stephanie’s dog taking a steaming dump. Dog poop, rabbit poop, people poop — they talked about it, fought about it, and stepped in it week after week.
So it’s not surprising that the season finale was a dull crapfest that didn’t set up any cliffhangers, a strong indication that there won’t be a second season. (Bravo hasn’t announced a renewal.) There weren’t many loose ends to tie up, just some catch-ups on what the ladies wanted to do in the future.
LeeAnne has decided to use her mouth to make money and was seen this week seeking the expertise of Dallas PR guy Jeff Crilley to see if she could take her “story” to the high-dollar speaking circuit. She also realized her anger management needs a tune-up.
“I feel like nobody loves me,” she says. She could’ve been talking about cable viewers. Ratings for this show fell off week after week.
The finale had Brandi and Stephanie swigging Patron among the swells at the Hollmans’ backyard soiree for 400 close friends during the AT&T Byron Nelson golf tournament. (Looked like a fun party except there were little kids in the pool, and no one seemed to be watching them.)
Cary and Mark Deuber were seen making plans for a summer in Switzerland. Cary is one of those mean girls who thinks she’s smarter than everyone in the room. Then she pronounces it “Sont More-RITZ” and gives herself away.
Tiffany and Aaron Hendra went house shopping. They didn’t buy the $675K house they looked at. Marie was at the Hollmans’ Byron Nelson party but, as usual, didn’t say or do anything interesting.
Brandi and husband Bryan took their little redheaded kiddos to Pinstack bowling in Plano. Has any other Real Housewives show ever resorted to sending a family bowling?
Next week brings all the gals onto facing couches with Bravo exec Andy Cohen for what had better be some lively chatter. (Here’s a short preview.) If this show’s gonna bow out for good, somebody needs to bow at somebody.
The reunion episode of Real Housewives of Dallas airs June 20 at 8 pm on Bravo. You can also watch episodes online.