The premiere episode of the show we’ve all been waiting to hate was titled “Everything’s Bigger in Dallas.” It featured talk of farting and childbirth and charity work. It was fueled by “Jesus juice.” Once more into the breach, dear friends. Shall we recap?
We open in Brandi’s kitchen, where her redheaded children, looking like extras from a production of Lord of the Flies, clamber on granite countertops while she confesses to the Bravo camera that she imagines the impending death of her husband. Brandi says she started dating Bryan in the eighth grade because she wanted to make another boy jealous. “He wants to be this accomplished multimillionaire by the age of 40,” she tells the camera. “He’ll probably wind up dying on a golf course one day, once he reaches all his dreams. I guess we’ll bury him in a hole or something.” She says this with an enormous 100-watt smile that I imagine she wears to mask the pain that comes from not having been able to afford the kind of granite that she really wanted.
Smash cut to hard-driving guitar and a series of Dallas street shots. Look, there’s Traveling Man!
Next we meet LeeAnne. She is going shopping with her best friend, Tiffany. But LeeAnne can’t negotiate the door at a boutique. She pulls when she should have pushed. Or pushes when pulling was called for. Tiffany says: “You drank too much last night.” LeeAnne responds, “Shut up! I don’t read!” We’ve all been there.
Dallas has had several slogans in recent years that I can recall. “Dallas: the city that works.” I’m not sure that was ever true, but it sounded nice. Then came “Dallas: big things happen here,” which I kind of like because it’s open-ended and allows for big bad things to happen. We all know what I’m talking about. LeeAnne’s first words to the Bravo camera could be our next slogan. She pares it back, goes minimal: “Dallas is happening.” Can’t you see that at the bottom of official city stationery? LeeAnne then explains what she means: “As you can see, our hair doesn’t touch the sky. [Ed: she pronounces that last word as ‘ska.’] And I don’t have cowboy boots on. There’s no cows in my backyard. We are far from a hick town, and I am far from a Southern belle.” She says all this while wearing what looks to me like a bicycle chain around her neck. Dangling from the bicycle chain is a mysterious turquoise pouch that contains her dignity. Go ahead. Try to take it.
LeeAnne says she needs clothes because there are hundreds of charity events in the spring and you can’t be caught dead in the same dress. She explains that she doesn’t donate money to charities. She makes phone calls.
“Everyone knows LeeAnne Locken,” says her friend Tiffany. “She’s like the mayor of Dallas.” To which LeeAnne adds, “They call me the Mouth of the South. And I’m okay with that. Because I use that voice to connect charities to people with money.”
With all due respect to LeeAnne Locken, I bet City Manager A.C. Gonzalez doesn’t know who she is. Also, the Mouth of the South is pro wrestler Jimmy Hart’s nickname. I guess we all tell ourselves a certain number of lies to get through the day. But stealing other people’s nicknames isn’t cool.
The shopping trip ends. Smash cut to Pegasus.
Now here’s Cary, who is helping her plastic surgeon husband, Mark Deuber, perform a breast enlargement. I guess my wife and I have a different relationship than the Deubers have. I’m an editor. I’d have a hard time working with my wife just to craft a grammatically sound sentence. I can’t imagine working with her to enlarge breasts. The Deubers should serve as an inspiration to us all.
Anyway, Cary tells the Bravo camera, “If you’re a woman in Dallas, the essentials are you need a great handbag, a great pair of shoes, and you need a great pair of boobs.” She says this while wearing a leopard print dress and with eyes so big that she is clearly Xing. To all the ladies in Dallas who are reading this, I wonder what you might add to Cary’s list of essentials. A great eyebrow wax? Affordable transportation to work?
Before we leave Dr. Deuber’s office, we watch Cary struggle with the drawstring on her scrubs pants for what feels like 10 or 15 minutes.
Cut to a house on the third hole at the Four Seasons. I can’t tell you if it’s the third hole of Cottonwood Valley or the TPC course. But this is where Stephanie lives. Her best friend Brandi drops by, and she opens a bottle of chard. Brandi tells the camera: “Life is always a little bit more fun with Jesus juice. Seriously, Jesus turned water into wine. And so that’s why I call it Jesus juice. Communion is taken with Jesus juice. You can take communion every day.” This is just me talking, but if you are going to use the blood of Christ to day drink, chardonnay is the wrong choice. A pinot would be much more appropriate.
Properly fortified, the two women set to accomplishing the list of chores that Stephanie’s husband, Travis, has left for her. The first one: programming a new garage door opener. They giggle. One of them — it is either Stephanie or Brandi — climbs a ladder, which makes me nervous. Brandi narrates: “We’ll have a little bit too much to drink and we’ll pee in bushes. She will fart on command, and I will dance in her farts.”
Now, this raises all sorts of questions in my mind. First, what is the difference between farting on command and farting on request? Second, does that mean Stephanie always has one in the chamber, as it were, ready to fire? What a way to go through life, constantly suppressing a fart, hoping someone will come along and command you to release it.
As for the dancing in the foul wind, we’ll leave that for another time. Because, thankfully, a commercial provides us relief.
We return from commercial break to the kitchen of Stephanie and Travis. She explains that they spent their courtship getting “hammered” and “making out.” Their two small boys will one day be proud when they watch this show. Then Stephanie admits that she begs for the Rapture so she can escape her marriage. I suppose it’s possible that she’s kidding, but it’s hard to tell.
We go back to Cary, who is preparing for a trunk show at her house. LeeAnne shows up with Tiffany. And then, suddenly, there are so many white women drinking champagne that I can’t keep track of them all. They are in the kitchen. They are in the living room. Brandi or Stephanie or someone else whose name ends in “ee” says something about defecating when she gave birth. LeeAnne looks on disapprovingly and delivers a line that is pretty amazing. She says this: “It’s a little Plano in here.”
That, my friends, is a burn. No one else in the country will get it. But it’s pretty awesome. Unless you live in Plano. How else might we use this construct of LeeAnne’s? Next time I’m at a trunk show where ladies have overserved themselves and are acting boorish, I’m going to say, “It’s a little Sachse in here.” I don’t even know what that means. But I like it.
Commercial relief comes to us.
Then Tiffany and her husband, Aaron Hendra, eat at a restaurant. She’s wearing a Hulk Hogan head scarf. He’s wearing a haircut that says, “I’m Australian, and I have a band called The Aaron Hendra Project.” They go guitar shopping, I guess as a way to prove that Aaron is a musician. He picks up an acoustic guitar and sings a song about something. They kiss. Tiffany says, “It makes me so emotional. Wow.” Uh-huh.
Cut to a shot of Reunion Tower, from which I will surely jump so that I won’t have to recap episode two of this show.
We return to LeeAnne’s house. It’s a ranch style house. I know there are certain people who will say, “A ranch style? For a main character in the Real Housewives franchise? In Dallas? I am deeply disappointed. And hurt.” But I am not one of those people.
LeeAnne eats dinner with her boyfriend Rich, who is a cop. I get the impression that Rich would like to jump with me.
Cut to Brandi’s house. She drinks Jesus juice and talks about the “Charity World.” She doesn’t like LeeAnne because of the way she operates in the Charity World. A showdown is coming. One can only hope it involves dancing in farts.
After some other stuff involving dog poop and a swimming pool (don’t ask), we find ourselves at a woman named Marie’s house for a fundraiser. It was at about this point that my friend Eric Celeste texted me last night. “These are suburban moms, not socialites,” he wrote. “Say what you want about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but those women had a trunk show recently and it had $10 million diamonds and security. This one had store bought cheese on a dinner plate. Those were not charity events. Those were dinner parties. Crappy ones. I’ve been to better ones in Frisco.” My friend Eric is mean. I apologize on his behalf to Frisco.
Anyway, Brandi does an impression of LeeAnne, which is apparently not cool in the Charity World. So Tiffany and LeeAnne confront her at this fundraiser, asking to see said impression. Awkwardness ensues. Bravo takes about 20 seconds of video and extends it into five minutes. Brandi and LeeAnne repair to a couch for a serious talk about the way the Charity World works and to see who is wearing more eyeshadow. It’s hard for me to tell who is the bad person in this scenario. LeeAnne is clearly forcing a confrontation. But on the other hand, Brandi has admitted to dancing in farts.
The episode ends with Brandi telling LeeAnne that she needs help because she uses the Charity World to put herself at the center of attention. LeeAnne says that she doesn’t judge anyone because that’s God’s job. But you know what? I don’t think she’s being truthful. I think she does judge Brandi. Call it a hunch.
When they find my lifeless corpse at the base of Reunion Tower, tell them what happened. Pray for me. And pray for Brandi and Tiffany and Cary and Stephanie and LeeAnne. Oh, my. I have already memorized their names. This won’t end well.