Now that we’ve finally reached the end of this long, winding, Sparkle Dog sprinkled road, I’m going to say something that may be a little controversial. Something that took me exactly 18 weeks to finally realize: none of the Dallas housewives are funny, apart from one exception (more on that later). Don’t get me wrong, the RHOD cast is solid, and they all bring it, and I’m a little sad because I feel certain Bravo will mix them up a bit next year. But if they do bring someone new in, I hope it’s someone with comedic timing.
Not that RHOD isn’t funny, but most of the humor is in the editing. On occasion, one of the women will pull out a zippy remark in a testimonial, and I’m sure there’s an audience for LeeAnne’s exhausted panty liner, but I realized last night that I’ve never laughed out loud the way that I sometimes do when I watch RHONY, or when I catch the occasional episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Bethenny Frankel terrifies me, but she’s quick witted as hell. If you don’t think Jax Taylor, uber villain though he may be, is funny, watch this. Or just listen to Rihanna’s (Rihanna’s!) genuine laughter during this clip of lovable Tom Schwartz attempting to recall a drunken night in Mexico. (Granted, that last example is also editing, but they had a whole lot to work with.)
What made Real Housewives of Dallas good this season was everyone’s willingness to open up, to alternate being a villain, and to project an entirely false, almost soap opera-style version of Dallas where society is all that matters. “It’s like Pine Valley. It’s amazing. I love it,” says Andy during the reunion. Sure, dramatics are important. Story arcs are important. RHOD gets all that, but there needs to be more humor.
This is why, after weeks of not knowing how to feel about this particular housewife (and honestly still not quite sure how to feel), I’ve decided that Kameron Westcott, with her Sparkle Dog, and her pink, and her art school days (she knows how to “wave her arms around and just get it and be cool”), is Dallas’ one true comedienne. When she defends herself against D’Andra’s insistence that marrying into a Legacy Family Name™ somehow makes her society struggles lesser than, she says, “What am I from the ghetto or something? I grew up in Montecito!” She definitely shouldn’t say “ghetto,” but the punchline and delivery was great. And the first and only time I genuinely laughed out loud during the entire season was during this random reunion moment.
— Caitlin Clark (@CaitlinClark) December 13, 2018
It would be easy to think that we’re laughing at Kam, but I firmly believe this impossibly blonde woman is in on it all, and I appreciate it so much more than I realized.
I guess we should talk a little about part two of this reunion. Andy efficiently barrels through most of the season’s conflicts. D’Andra is so over society and her role in it, but she’s also quick to remind people when they aren’t a part of it, which just about sums up D’Andra for the entire season. Also, “society” people have apparently shunned Stephanie since season one of the show, which is awful. Fortunately, nobody came out looking better on a housewives show — maybe ever — than Stephanie Hollman. So many aspiring housewives will try and fail to be a Stephanie. Also, I feel like D’Andra and Kam must be pretty envious of Steph, who is clearly super wealthy, yet doesn’t seem tied down by any of the same societal restraints, and can just throw keg-filled frat parties in the backyard of her massive home.
A lot of people accuse other people of being puppets. LeeAnne says something about her tiny thong full of secrets. (Oof.) Brandi assures us that throwing up fish after getting purposely wasted to prove you’re not an alcoholic isn’t fun. There is one interesting moment where Kam tries to expose D’Andra for milking the $200 in her bank account thing as “the golden ticket, because Americans can relate.” D’Andra’s response: “Like your golden hair, huh?” Man, that is such a bad comeback.
The most important work happens, of course, when a shaky offstage camera cues the arrival of Mama Dee. Andy had requested her presence “because she seems to be someone that [LeeAnne and D’Andra] both listen to.” It was the right move, and not just because Dee is such a scene stealer. LeeAnne and D’Andra’s demeanors shift entirely when Dee sits on the couch, and the rift in their years-long relationship finally becomes clear: they both just want to be the main player on this silly show, and they’ll throw each other under the bus over and over again as they slowly reach for that center star with their not-knife hands. That’s deeply, deeply sad.
“What all of you girls need to realize [look at me, Kameron] is that you can’t change the beginning,” says Dee. “But you can all start where you are today to change the ending.” Damn, Dee. That’s deep. Then she just forcefully strings together a bunch of random nouns and tells Andy to look her up if he ever comes to Dallas. He will, of course. He gives a rip! Dee is funny.
It may just be me, but I felt a little sad when those gross Fireball and tequila shots went around, signaling the end of the season. Maybe I’m sad that a reality show could tear apart two good friends, and feel somehow complicit in that friendship’s disintegration. Maybe I’ll genuinely miss these women. Even Brandi, a woman who once tweeted at me that I’m jealous of her and don’t know what the word “real” means. Honestly, it’s possible that word has lost all meaning for me after 18 weeks of caring far too deeply about this mess. And then, like a light in the darkness, Kameron struggles to get off the couch to make a Fireball/tequila toast. She’s teetering everywhere and holding on to LeeAnne for support as she tries to wake up one Dior-clad foot that’s fallen asleep. “I’m not being dramatic!” she says.
Ugh. I’ll miss Kameron Westcott most of all.