It hit me during episode 4 of Style Network’s Big Rich Texas that this isn’t a TV show, it’s an infomercial. This week viewers were introduced to one of Bonnie’s businesses, My Mystery Party, a refreshing change from Used Couture By Connie and Leslie’s Pageant Boot Camp. But even though it seems each cast member will have plenty of time to peddle products, it’s so unfair that Pamela’s Evil Consulting Agency gets way more airtime than the others.
Here is Bon’s big moment to sell us on her party biz, “The way a murder mystery party works is that someone gets killed and then you figure out who done it.” And since she wasted her chance with that weak pitch, Style gave her a whole episode to show us how it works.
She plans a 1920s themed mystery party at the country club and everyone is getting super excited. Leslie, Bonnie, and their kids are in a local costume shop picking out flapper dresses and gangster hats, totally getting in the murder spirit.
Then there’s an abrupt cut to buzz-kill-Melissa. She’s beautiful, but always looks way depressed. Oh wait! I bet this episode’s co-sponsor is Prozac or something. But Melissa joins Leslie for lunch at Komali and announces she’d like to get back into modeling. She tells Leslie, “It’s now or never because I’m not getting a day younger.”
Melissa, you’re not getting any happier either. What will it take for you to crack a smile? Leslie agrees to set Melissa up with her agent.
But enough about her, Leslie has a little announcement of her own. She’s going to be a cougar. Officially. She pulls on our heart strings, “With the recent passing of my husband, I’m just starting to date and it is brand new to me.”
So, Leslie, for the sake of clarity, is this the same spouse you mentioned in episode 1 when you said, “I played the dead husband card?” And, not to dwell on details but how new could the dating scene possibly be? You were set up on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker what, over a year ago?
Anyway, Leslie has a lead on getting this cougar thing started and he’s 10 years (give or take a decade) her junior.
Next, Pam and Connie are on the golf course and Pam is talking about recent local news. She tells America, “We’ve had quite a few unfortunate incidents at country clubs in our area.” She tells Connie she’s heard about two murders. Connie tells Pam it’s so ironic because Bonnie is having a murder mystery party at the club soon. Pam didn’t know anything about the party so she demos her mad villain skills and gets another mini-mercial in for her evil agency, “I don’t think Bonnie has a clue about the real-life murders that have been happening around our community. That would require her to watch the news.”
Pam, she has a freaking PhD, do you? Answer the question. Do you have a doctorate? That’s what I thought. So hold off on the dumb-Bonnie comments until you have a “Dr.” before your name, K?
But she’s still yappin’ it up, “That’s beyond poor taste, that’s negative poor taste. We’re not doing that.” Well, Pam, in all fairness, you don’t have to because you weren’t invited. Oh! I forgot- you’re concocting a custom diabolical plan, the kind viewers can purchase by calling toll-free, 1-800-EVIL-PAM. You know, I’m not sure what your business model looks like, but this one could be sold as a template for people who have been left off a guest list and want to get even.
Next we’re at Amore in Snider Plaza. Grace and Maddie are eating outside on one of the two bistro tables always sitting awkwardly on the narrow sidewalk. They probably didn’t have a reservation. But I bet Grace is so sick of driving to a Fort Worth country club that she doesn’t care if they have to sit on the roof so long as this thing is filmed in University Park for a day.
Maddie tells Grace she’s interested in Bonnie’s son Zakk but that her mom won’t let her date yet. Maybe Maddie doesn’t see the bigger picture so Grace points out, “Isn’t he shorter than you?” Maddie admits this is a problem but she has a solution in place, “I’ll put on my slouching skills.”
Grace approves the plan and offers to have Maddie and Zakk over to her house for their date so that Maddie’s mom won’t find out.
Meanwhile Pamela Martin Duarte is still flappin’ her lips about Bon’s party, “I think it’s in really poor taste for Bonnie to even consider having a murder mystery party at our country club so I’m going to talk to Louis.”
Pam marches right over to see Louis Scoma, the owner of the club, and he tells her, “When I see you, there’s always something we’re going to have to work on.” Pam thinks that’s a compliment so she flips her hair and giggles a little.
She reminds Lou about the murders in the news and tells him she’s heard about the mystery party. He pretends to see where she’s going with this, “It is alarming.” Then Pam gets to the point of her visit, “Is there something we can do about making this not happen here? I think most of our clear-minded members would feel the same way.” Pam, the clear-minded members could care less. They’re just trying to play golf without getting mugged.
But Pam must have something on Scoma because he agrees to stop the party.
Then Pam tells viewers, “It’s really a no-brainer. Like Bonnie.” Pam, she’s a scientist for cryin’ out loud. Minimize that all you want but I think you’re getting “mean” and “smart” mixed up. I’ll admit you win the mean contest but take this advice- let the smart thing go.
Cut to the Woodhaven Country Club lawn where tables with fine linens and fresh flowers are set up strategically as to keep the chain-link security fence out of the camera’s shot. Leslie is telling Bonnie and Whitney that she is going on a date with a much younger man, an NFL player. Tony Dorsett’s son.
Before more deets are revealed, Mr. Scoma waddles up and asks to speak privately with Bonnie. He tells her, “Because of the murders nearby, we won’t be going through with this party.”
Lou, seriously. Do you know anything about the murders Pam is referencing? It’s not like there’s a serial killer running around town targeting country clubs. These tragic events in the news are very isolated and unrelated incidents. If Bonnie were having a domestic violence murder party or a crazy guy shoots a dog and then his owner murder party, I would agree- very poor taste.
But for some inexplicable reason, Scoma is backing Pam on this one. It makes you wonder if he’s a silent partner in the agency of evil.
Now Bonnie has to find a new venue for her party and she’s not happy. On the couch she vents to viewers, “Thanks, Pam, the wicked witch of Dallas.” I think she meant Plano and Whitney found another inaccuracy in the statement, “You mean wicked bit** of Dallas.” Yeah, that too.
Next, Melissa pays a visit to Connie’s shop. We knew there was a reason she’d drop by to browse through the wardrobes of dead women. She’s checkin’ up on the invitation Maddie received to hang out at Grace’s house, “I wanted to talk about the get together.”
Connie, along with the rest of the planet, is a little confused by the fuss and explains that Grace is just having a few friends over. Melissa, you’re acting like this is Maddie’s first play date or something, she’s fif-freaking-teen.
We certainly needed a break from Melissa’s manic control binge. Even if it is a visit to Bonnie’s plastic surgeon. Bonnie is stressed over finding a new location for her murder party. She tells us, “Whenever I need a pick me up, I go to the plastic surgeon.” Bonnie, you realize this isn’t normal, right? Get a Slurpee, buy a dress. But getting Botox every time you feel a little down doesn’t seem right.
Then, like an episode of Nip Tuck, we saw way too much of the needle entering Bonnie’s forehead. And it left me questioning how this could lift anyone’s spirits. But there’s a divine reason for everything as evidenced by Bonnie’s mention of needing a place to hold her party and the doctor offering his home. Yeah, my OB/GYN is always asking if I want to host parties in his home. That’s how medical professionals in Texas do things.
Bonnie isn’t sure she can impose like that, “Are you sure you wouldn’t mind, all my friends killin’ someone in your living room?” But after she thinks about the generous offer she tells us, “Technically I’ve probably paid the mortgage anyway.” And with that, the party is on.
At Grace’s house, the get-together is underway. While Grace demonstrates her martial arts skills and lays a few guests flat on the floor, Zakk asks Maddie if she has a boyfriend. Zakk, this is the first time she’s been away from her mother, no she doesn’t have a boyfriend. The question is made a bit more awkward by the struggle happening at their feet as Grace pins another friend to the ground.
Grace, this is awesome. And we’re all wondering if you can throw some of those moves on Pamela next time you see her.
Back to the club and those fancy tables. Pamela is eating lunch with Hannah, her daughter, and harpin’ on her about sleeping too late. Hannah is supposed to be working for her mom all summer and she needs a more reliable assistant to help with publicity. Pam, I’m not an expert in this area, but something tells me if you didn’t spend so much time plotting the demise of other people on national television, Hannah could sleep til noon and still get the PR job done.
Pamela reminds Hannah, “You need to follow-up on the hosting offers.” Hosting what? The Release Your Inner Mojo-Jojo Conference in Townsville?
Bonnie zooms up on a golf cart and for a moment we wonder if she’s going to plow right through Duarte’s meal. You know Bonnie thought about it. But she has way more self-control than Pam and she’s feeling really confident from her recent round of Botox. So she stops the cart just short of disaster and extends an invitation for Duarte to attend her murder mystery party.
She tells Pam that the original invite was returned in the mail. But Bonnie reveals to us that she lied and she’s really setting Pam up to be the murder victim at the party, giving everyone a chance to see Pam rendered helpless, even if only for moment.
Pam tells us she plans to attend for ethical reasons, “Quite frankly if the party is really bad and I’m going to talk about it later, I need to have first-hand information.” Very responsible trash-talk prep, Pam. Kudos to you for setting such high gossiping standards.
So as soon as Bonnie was out of ear-shot, Pam did what all good mothers do, she turned to her daughter and ripped Bon apart piece by piece assuring that her recipe for evil will be passed down to future generations.
Next we’re at Tootsies in Preston Center where Grace and Maddie are shopping. Hey Grace, no snark intended here but aren’t you supposed to wear pre-owned clothing? I just don’t want you to blow your allowance on an outfit only to find that it’s brand spankin’ new.
Maddie mentions that she and Zakk have been texting a lot so Grace offers her house up for another secret meet-up.
Cut to the cougar in a super honest couch interview. Leslie admits her date is a ton younger but has high hopes, “Maybe he’ll pay for dinner.” Kalyn assures her, “Well, yeah, of course, he’s ordering off the children’s menu so it shouldn’t be that expensive.”
The price of dinner seems less important than finding a way to flee this date because suddenly we’re in restaurant where Dorsett Jr. is asking Leslie if she’s ever been to a strip club. She hasn’t been to one and he tells her, “Honestly you gotta check it out sometime, we’ll go to a strip club.”
Dorsett, she’s a cougar, not a lesbian. Where are you going with this? Oh, you’re a foodie, “Some of the strip clubs in Dallas have the best buffets in the area.”
Leslie tries to contribute to the conversation, “Well I went on a date with a guy once and I really liked him and the next day he came over to my house and he had a tattoo of me on his chest. Naked.” This is so painful.
But there’s no break in sight because next we’re in Grace’s living room where she’s setting the scene for Maddie’s unauthorized rendezvous. Maddie arrives but considers bolting when she sees the overly staged ambiance- lit candles and wine glasses filled with grape juice. Grace, this is sweet but it’s a date, not a tea party.
Back to Leslie’s date where she’s telling Dorsett she was married for 20 years but her husband drowned. He responds, “That’s not what I was expecting to hear.”
Not what we were expecting either, Dorsett. Tragic drowning stories are usually reserved for second dates. But since she’s spilled her sad story you kind of have to offer your shoulder. Instead, he reminds her how much better off she is, “You’re out with a younger man right now.”
You majored in psychology, didn’t you, Jr.?
I was expecting Leslie to swear off younger men forever but she’s a glass half-full kind of cougar, “I was surprised about how much we had in common. We really had a terrific time.”
He must have already forgotten about her not being a super big strip club junkie because he asked her out on a second date.
Back at Grace’s house, Connie arrives home and finds Maddie and Zakk alone in her living room drinking from stemmed glasses. She takes one and gives it a sniff test before warning against “any funny business.”
Zakk clearly missed the first 3 episodes because he declares, “This is by far the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.” Sweet boy, it has only just begun.
No wonder Melissa is oblivious to the shenanigans going on over at Connie’s house, she’s too busy re-launching her modeling career. She arrives at Blue Plate for lunch with the agent, an odd venue for discussing a profession dominated by anorexics since it’s known for home-cookin’ with a mod spin. Right off the bat, the agent tells Melissa she’s beautiful but wonders about her size.
Melissa tells her that she wears a size 4 to 6 and the agent responds, “I can see you doing plus-size work.” Come again? She said four to six, not forty-six.
But Agent Totally Freaking Insane assured Melissa, “Plus size is 4 and up.” So, let us get this straight. Designers make the runway samples in size 3T only?
Then the waiter arrives with lunch and puts the steak and eggs down in front of Melissa. The agent reminds her, “If you want to go into a different category, you need to choose a better option than steak and eggs, like salad and fish.” Is this going to be on Punked? I kept thinking Ashton Kutcher would jump out from behind a plant.
It is infuriating but Melissa, OH PLEASE STOP. Too late. She’s crying. Melissa, now you look like a plus-sized cry baby.
Cut to the Woodhaven Country Club pool where Leslie, is lounging in the sun with Melissa while Pam hovers over the dialogue from the edge of her seat. Melissa tells Leslie about the conversation with the agent. Leslie must have thought Melissa didn’t get enough encouragement at Blue Plate because she offers this, “It’s a harsh world in a lot of ways and if she thinks you need to lose weight then you simply need to lose weight.” All better now, Melissa?
Oh, you’re not? Maybe this will help. Leslie continues, “Well they do tell you the truth and sometimes the truth hurts.” OK, so Leslie, for the love of God, just shut up.
I never thought I’d be so happy to hear Bon take another stab at explaining this murder mystery party, “Everyone is assigned a character, you give them clue cards and someone dies.”
It’s the big night and the guests are arriving in full costume, eager to solve the mystery. Though Pam seems less focused on the theme, “Ignacio, why don’t we go back to the car and get the champagne because I’m not drinking their [several bleeps followed by villainous cackle].”
Bonnie is in character when she welcomes everyone to the party but not when she tells the bartender, “I’m killin’ that bit**.” And not when she accidentally spilled the beans about Maddie and Zakk’s date to Melissa.
Melissa takes off across the party to discuss the date with Connie. Connie tunes Melissa out and tells us, “Melissa needs to chill out, they were having pizza and grape juice.” Connie tells Melissa she needs to trust her daughter and provides testimony that there was no “hanky-panky.”
Bonnie’s plastic surgeon is chatting with Leslie and Connie. Bonnie pops in on the conversation and asks the doc to analyze what improvements can be made on Connie’s face. You know sweet Bonnie, always thinking of her friends.
Bonnie asks something about Connie’s lips. Connie wants to make sure she understands, “So you’re suggesting I need to get some work done on my face?”
Bonnie defends her advice: Well yeah, we all do.
Connie: No, we all don’t.
Bonnie: Well you’ve had your boobs done so I just figured, it’s time for you face.
The only thing that could come close to more entertaining than this exchange is Pamela squirming in front of a lot of people. Bonnie lets us know we’re on the verge of something big, “And now, it’s time to kill Pam.”
Pamela is pulled aside and told the fun news, that she’s the victim. It’s a mystery party, play along Duarte. But she can’t go down without a fight, “WHAT, why am I the victim?”
The party rep tells Pamela she has two options. She can either use white face paint to show she is now a ghost or she can wear a t-shirt that reveals she is the victim. Pam tells the woman, “This beautiful face, you think I’m going to put that white crap all over my face.” So, I guess you choose the t-shirt, Pam? Why are we not surprised that Pam refuses both, claiming Bonnie is trying to make a fool out of her.
Pam, in defense of Bon, I don’t think she’s responsible for the fool thing. And something tells me Hannah is going to have to get up way early to handle the PR crisis that’s about to unfold.
Pamela walks back out to the crowded party and yells, “News flash, I’m the victim.”
Bonnie sees that the party is in jeopardy, “Are you just here to sabotage me?” Pamela cackles again, “If I wanted to sabotage you, I wouldn’t do it at this stupid party.”
Bonnie seems disappointed that we won’t get a true picture of how fun these parties can be. She asks Pamela, “Why aren’t you wearing the shirt?”
Pamela has an answer for that, “I’m not wearin’ that dumb shirt.”
Bonnie has had enough, “You ruined it at the country club.” Pamela interrupts, “It was in poor taste.”
And Pamela doesn’t stop there. With a room full of onlookers, Pamela tells Bonnie, “You sabotaged yourself, OK, by being ridiculous in life.” The plastic surgeon tries to intervene, “Come on this is a party.” And being the grown up that she is, Pam replies, “Whatever, I don’t have time for your stupid [network issued bleep, bleep].” So classy.
Pam is leaving and Melissa follows after she tells us, “Pam is a good friend of mine and I don’t appreciate Bonnie trying to make her the laughing stock of her party.”
Um, Melissa, maybe it’s just me but I think the t-shirt would have made a much smaller fool footprint than the crazy bleep-filled verbal assault Pam launched at Bonnie as guests watched with jaws hanging open. You know?
Oh wow, seriously, Pam you’re not done yet? Nope. She has one final sentiment to holler at Bon, “You really are an idiot.”
Idiot? Stupid party? And to think we ever questioned your social standing, Pam.
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