TV Hot Take

Bravo cuts off Real Housewives of Dallas' 'Jesus juice' after 5 overserved seasons

Bravo cuts off Real Housewives of Dallas' Jesus juice after 5 seasons

Real Housewives of Dallas cast
A vintage photo from Season 1, way back in 2016. Photo courtesy of Bravo
Real Housewives of Dallas season 5
One of the many parties that did not end well in Season 5. Facebook/The Real Housewives of Dallas
Cynthia Smoot, LeeAnne Locken, Tiffany Hendra
They always had fun at Mad Hatter's Tea, one of the biggest events in Dallas "charity world." Photo by Bill Matlock
Real Housewives of Dallas Season 2 cast
A vintage photo from Season 2. Photo courtesy of Bravo Media
Stephanie Hollman and Brandi Redmond of the Real Housewives of Dallas
Stephanie and Brandi, BFFs and OGs of the show. Photo courtesy of Bravo
Real Housewives Stephanie, Brandi, Cary, and Kameron in Mexico
Stephanie, Brandi, Cary, and Kameron on one of the trips to Mexico. Cary Deuber/Instagram
LeeAnne Locken, D'Andra Simmons
LeeAnne Locken and D'Andra Simmons in 2017, pre-Housewives falling out. Photo by WJNPHOTO
LeeAnne Locken, Rich Emberlin, Real Housewives wedding
LeeAnne, Rich, and castmates at their 2019 wedding, which played out on the show. Photo by Thomas Garza
Real Housewives of Dallas cast
Real Housewives of Dallas season 5
Cynthia Smoot, LeeAnne Locken, Tiffany Hendra
Real Housewives of Dallas Season 2 cast
Stephanie Hollman and Brandi Redmond of the Real Housewives of Dallas
Real Housewives Stephanie, Brandi, Cary, and Kameron in Mexico
LeeAnne Locken, D'Andra Simmons
LeeAnne Locken, Rich Emberlin, Real Housewives wedding

The Real Housewives of Dallas are cordially uninvited back to the party. Bravo has switched off the show after five seasons.

"There are currently no plans to bring The Real Housewives of Dallas back next year, and beyond that, nothing official has been decided," Bravo said in a statement.

That leaves the door slightly cracked for a return, perhaps to stream on NBC's Peacock, as The Real Housewives of Miami is doing after being canceled in 2013.

But as Newsweek points out, even a return in the digitalsphere would likely take a fan campaign, which — with a paltry 337,000 viewers for the Season 5 premiere and 578,000 for the season finale in May, one-quarter of the show's New York and Atlanta franchise viewership — isn’t likely to happen. Especially not in Dallas, which pretty universally face-palmed the show, or flipped it the bird altogether.

CultureMap was all in when RHOD launched in spring 2016 as buzzy bubble-gum TV — turn off your brain, grab your favorite carbs and a bottle of wine, and spend an hour spotting DFW hot spots and laughing as the rich Dallas women dissed Plano. In the first few episodes, we learned the fun new terms “Jesus juice” (white wine) and “charity world” and raised a Botoxed eyebrow or two at the amount of childish “poop and pee” talk we were subjected to. (Pour more Jesus juice! We’re having a good time!)

Despite low ratings, RHOD got another season, then another and another. Cast members came and went. On screen, they fought like cats and accused each other’s husbands of cheating like dogs; threw parties and threw glasses; drank too much and refused to eat weird food; took trips to Austin and trips to Mexico.

Off screen, the Dallas “Bravo-lebrities” launched beauty products and jewelry lines, and even a brand of pink dog food.

There were some beautiful and meaningful moments, like LeeAnne Locken’s State Fair proposal and glittery but heartfelt wedding. Stephanie Hollman shared her gut-wrenching experiences with suicidal ideation. Brandi Redmond let viewers along on her infertility and adoption journeys.

But by the final season — filmed and aired amid the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, racial reckonings, and deeply divided political landscape — the show had gone off the rails in ways it couldn’t really recover from.

In a world experiencing so many harsh realities, this reality TV show didn’t provide the fun, carb-loaded, Jesus juiced-up distraction it could have. Instead it became a laborious exercise in who could out-"racism" and "non-racism" and "anti-racism" who, which carried over from the screen to social media

In a year when nonprofits in the Dallas “charity world” were desperate for funds and local businesses were desperate for shoppers, the show threw one long, indulgent birthday party for one cast member and had the women stupidly spanking each other with charcuterie boards on a shopping expedition to a local business.

And in an economy where so many workers lost jobs and struggled to care for their kids at all, viewers were expected to sympathize with a doctor-"housewife," who is married to a kajillionaire, about the guilt she felt for wanting to stay home more so she could take her kids to the family’s hotel for tea parties.

Viewers were practically screaming, "Look, lady. Stay home or don't stay home. Make up your mind. You have a choice, K? BRB, headed to the food bank for pickup."

And then: So. Much. Fighting.

Mother-daughter fighting, tequila-shot fighting, dim-sum fighting, who's-the-bigger-bully fighting, who's-the-better-Christian fighting, secret-crickets-on-pizza fighting, you-insulted-Bigfoot-hunter fighting ... fighting is as much a part of Real Housewives franchises as designer bags, but for the love of Birkin, there'd already been enough fighting on the nearby cable news stations every night since early 2020. During the pandemic-slash-election season, they could have zipped their unmasked lips and done something interesting.

It seemed, more and more, like this once-fun, fancy-Dallas-people "fantasy" was just fake drama being put forth as throwaway entertainment in a world — and a city — that had moved on to more valuable investments. By the last season, RHOD wasn't a feel-good escape; it was a cringey crash-and-burn.

So, raise a glass of Jesus juice to the fun that was the first few episodes, and hope the next Dallas-set show treats charcuterie boards with a bit more kindness.

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