Her godmother, Leslie, reminds viewers about the arrangement, “I brought Kalyn here to be a part of my family but that’s not the only reason, it’s to compete in pageants and to really step it up to the next competitive level and part of that is diet and exercise.”
But Kalyn forgets she was only a step away from bunkin’ it on a west coast curb and doesn’t really care why she’s in Texas, who brought her here, or what it‘ll take to stay. Leslie is slicing up a watermelon and offers some to the ungrateful little punk. Kalyn declines and makes a brazen move to the pantry where she whips out some contraband in plain view- a bag of chips.
Leslie goes into crisis mode and begins a multi-level intervention to save her reputation as a pageant coach Kalyn from the bag of chips.
Level 1- Don’t eat those. FAIL!
Level 2- OK, why don’t you eat a few bites and then go to the gym with me? FAIL!
Apparently Kalyn thinks she’s Paris Hilton and interrupts Leslie’s efforts with an attitude that voids levels 3 through 9 in one swipe, “If I want to eat chips, I’m going to eat them.”
Level 10- Well maybe you can eat them on stage and that could be your talent.
Kalyn feels like she deserves more respect, “I understand that Leslie wants to take my pageant career to the next level but lately she’s being rude about it.”
Rude? Are you freaking…oh, I see what you mean. Leslie, is still goin‘ at it, “Or you could be in the Miss Teen Plus Plus Plus Pageant.” I’m not sure if we should report you or high-five you, Les.
While we decide, let’s drop in on Pam. She’s working from home with her daughter, Hannah, who is slaving to payoff a bill incurred from an unauthorized party. Hannah tells Pam she’ll need time off for the salsa dance classes she’s taking with Whitney.
Pamela tells us, “I’m kind of worried that Whitney is a bad influence on Hannah because she’s Bonnie’s daughter.” Honestly Pam, me too, ’cause I’m also working from home today and my 13 year old daughter and her BFF just came in to tell me that they’re Team Whitney. Thankfully, I think their middle school has a no c-word tattoo rule.
Next up, Connie. And let me just admit, with all the super-frank smack-talking I do, it’s only fair that I say I think Connie is so stinkin‘ cute. She’s bubbly and her smile just makes me happy.
We’re at Innovative Cheer where Connie is chatting with Grace’s coach. She offers up the country club for the fundraiser. Grace isn’t happy, “I really don’t want the carwash at the club, the people there are just so snooty and old.”
Grace, sweetheart, we’re talking about Woodhaven, they’re not snooty, they’ve just never seen you before. And they’re old because they’ve lived in that part of town since before it got really scary.
Next, Leslie is taking Melissa who wears a 6 and is roughly 5’9/150 pounds, to Clark the photographer to have her plus-size modeling portfolio made. While she’s getting her makeup done, Clark asks Leslie to stand in for a light test. I think the tester job was meant to be a stand there for a sec kind of thing. But Leslie busts into a full-on Vogue shoot with hair blowin’ in the fan.
Arms in the air. CLICK. Hands under chin. CLICK. Looking back over the shoulder. CLICK. Lean in to the camera. CLICK.
Melissa watches for a minute and makes sure she’s not being billed by the hour for Leslie’s light testing gig. When it’s Melissa’s turn, Leslie makes herself useful and stands just out of camera range prompting her with various poses like a stage mom on steroids.
Fade to Style Network’s latest geographical switcharoo. They flash several shots of major high-end boutiques in Highland Park Village with a few close-ups of fancy hood ornaments. Then WAM-BAM just like the camera shifted to the joint next door, we’re at a place called Dancemasters in a strip center near NW Hwy at Plano Road.
That’s where Hannah meets up with Whitney for their class. Hannah didn’t realize Whit was bringing her mom and mentioned that if she’d known, maybe she would have brought Pamela.
Cut to the couch where Whitney’s coif proves she couldn’t decide whether to go Elvis or Lady Gaga so she chose both. The interview went down like this.
Whitney: Hannah’s mom sucks. My mom rules.
Bonnie: I agree.
And that’s a wrap.
Back to Leslie’s house where I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a corporate rental. During episodes 1-4 I cut her some slack for having just moved in but we’re on week 5 and there’s still no wall-hangings or knick-knacks.
Kalyn walks into Leslie’s room and demands the car keys to Leslie’s Vette. Leslie suggests that Kalyn take this opp to walk the chips off or buy her own car. Tempers flare and doors are slammed on a hall with no décor to absorb the echo. Les, I know you’re new to town and if you want me to show you where some rug stores are, I’m happy to help. And while we’re out, we can swing by the airport and drop Kalyn off with a one-way ticket to Lost Chances, USA.
Next, Melissa joins Leslie at Woodhaven to show her photos from the session with Clark. Melissa, you’re stunning. Really. But Melissa only sees “a belly roll” and “cellulite-y arms.” Leslie doesn’t agree and insists she looks like a super-model. I’m starting to not care either way, I just don’t want this whole body-image thing to monopolize the rest of the episode.
Cut to Melissa’s daughter, Maddie, on the couch telling us that she thinks her mom looks great. Maddie, we adore you. You’re running against Grace for our fave daughter. Don’t screw it up.
Back to the picture presentation. Melissa tells Leslie, “I look like an older lady trying to be a model.”
And…you were expecting…?
Melissa is still going on, “I’m at a good place in my life now and I don’t want to go back to where I was 15 years ago.” Then don’t, Mel. But make up your mind and let’s move on. We said you’re gorgeous but when you get all indecisive and annoying, you get less pretty. Just sayin’.
Leslie has only raised boys and asks Melissa for some advice on the challenges of parenting Kalyn. Melissa suggests that Leslie set boundaries and insist on respect but she’ s curious, “Have you considered calling her mother?”
Her mother? The one who gave Kalyn to Leslie and said “see ya” as she disappeared into the reality TV sunset moving half way across the country? And say what? Do you have some odds and ends to make my Rent-a-Center collection a little more homey for your kid?
Better yet, go ahead and call her mom. Tell her to talk some freaking sense into Kalyn who is pulling up to Yumilicious in the Vette with Maddie for a fattening treat where they discuss Leslie. Kalyn tells Maddie in a 2011 valley-girl accent, “She’s helped me win tuns of paj-unts but stillll, get out of. My. Fayce.”
Maddie innocently opens the flood gates to Hell, “How does your mom feel about having Leslie, like, come take over her spot?”
Kalyn begins, “It’s not something I like to talk about with people.” Then don’t, it’s OK, we have an idea of what you’ll say. Good God it’s too late, “I don’t want to have to sit down and tell every one of my friends that my mom is like a psycho-lunatic.”
Wow, Kalyn, you poor thing, she must be a serial killer or something. What did she do?
Kalyn defines psycho-lunatic for us, “She was living through me for pageants ‘cause she didn’t do them when she was younger and after she found out they had a pageant system for older ladies, she dropped me and stopped paying for my pageants and just focused on her. I can’t stand her to be honest and I just don’t want to be near her.”
Oh, ok then, maybe we should characterize her as “detached” or “self-centered” but psycho-lunatic?
And I hate to change the subject but did you just say your mom didn’t do pageants growing up? That’s so weird because in episode 1, Leslie told us she grew up doing pageants with your mom, she showed us a photo and everything. So, which is it?
But Kalyn is digging deep in her heart for the courage to salvage what is left of her relationship with her mother, “I don’t trust my mom. My relationship with my mom is beyond repair, it’s always going to be this way.”
Well, now it is. ‘Cause remember, they have TV in California and even if she doesn’t get Style Network, there’s always Hulu. Either way, I think you just solidified the whole orphan thing.
That’s so depressing. In fact, it makes Whitney want to drink vodka at 2:00 in the afternoon. Or maybe she’s just trying to make Pam’s statue-filled suburban oasis a little easier to look at. She’s laying in the sun with Hannah when Pam arrives home and heads to the backyard where she tells them, “This isn’t the Four Seasons.”
Yeah, we can see that, Pam, and we’re quite relieved to hear that you’re also aware. I mean pheeewwww, we thought you were serious about the goddesses and…oh wait, you’re talking about the girls being lazy. Nevermind. But really quickly, you have super-huge gargoyles somewhere back there too don’t you?
Pam tosses the vodka in the pool and without any sort of sobriety test, sends Whitney on her way.
Leslie is feeling bad about how things have been going with Kalyn so she decides to take her on a little shopping trip to Epic in West Village. This is where we know Leslie must be popping Xanax, otherwise she would have backhanded the godchild by now.
Kalyn throws down a pile of things she plans to take home and continues to add to the stack without a second thought. She tells us, “I’m new to Dallas and everyone here dresses really nice, they wear really upscale clothing so I just want to fit in.”
Leslie tells Kay-devil, “I was thinking we’d buy just a couple of things.”
And the rest goes down like this.
Kay-dev: I like all of these.
Leslie: I’m thinking you should pick your favorite 2.
Kay-dev: You said you would take care of me.
Leslie: I did and I am.
Kay-dev: But in order to do that you kind of need to buy me clothes.
Leslie: And I have been.
Kay-dev: Really, because you said you were going to take care of me and you haven’t been doing it. So just buy me the clothes, OK.
Kalyn, did you fall and hit your head or something? You aren’t Suri Cruz. And if Leslie weren’t picking up the bills, you’d be wearing a Kentucky Fried Chicken uniform so just shut up.
This scene has us needing a fashion break. So thankfully, we switch to Pam who appears to have drawn inspiration for today’s wardrobe choice from Martha Washington.
Martha Pam is getting the cold shoulder from Hannah so she suggests they go have some fun. Hannah tells Pam, “You’re not fun.”
Duarte can’t believe what she’s hearing, “WHAT? I laugh, I tell jokes. I’m definitely fun.”
Back to the tennis courts where a lesson is underway and Leslie tells us, “I love me some Bonnie.” We love us some Bonnie too, Les.
Since their kids are dating, Bonnie suggests that the families get together for a brunch. Leslie agrees. Ladies, you don’t have the benefit of having seen the previews for that scene like we have; I’d advise against the brunch.
Melissa approaches and Leslie lets her know that she has a “go-see” for her. That’s a chance for Melissa to meet a client and possibly get selected for a modeling for job.
Back to Woodhaven Country Club where Grace is having her cheer squad carwash. I don’t want to minimize the credibility of this show but the name of the team, for whatever reason, is noticeably absent from the cheerleader uniforms and football jerseys. Not one tiny reference to “Go Scots” or “Support Highland Park High School.” Nothing. Just generic blue and gold. And call me crazy but I think this girl is an “extra.”
Melissa arrives at the go-see and is sent to a waiting room where she can’t help but check out the competition. The rather large girl wearing the blue strapless in the pic gets called in and Melissa leaves humiliated. Melissa, you should have stayed. Maybe this is a “before and after” thing and you’re going to get called back for the “after” part of the job. You never know. But, yeah, leaving is probably OK too.
Leslie heads to Kalyn‘s room hoping to talk about what happened while they were shopping. Kay-devil is leaning against her sleigh-style headboard with a MacBook in her lap. Leslie stands in the doorway and explains she was embarrassed by the temper tantrum in the store.
Leslie: Is this how you behave at home?
Kay-devil: Does it really matter what I do at home?
Leslie: Yeah, it does. I know that you don’t treat your mom that way.
Cut to another of Kalyn’s venting sessions on the couch, “Leslie has no idea all the stuff I went through back at home. I’ve told her bits and pieces but I don’t think she totally comprehends everything that’s happened to me.”
Well, if it’ll make a difference, I’d start spillin’ it because Leslie just told viewers, “If things don’t start to change, Kalyn’s going to have to go home.”
Melissa wants out of the plus-size category so she heads to Dr. Spurlock’s office to shed pounds under medical supervision. Is it just me or when the doc entered the exam room, was the image of Dr. Leo Spaceman stuck in your brain like an annoying song you can’t get rid of?
Anyway, for some inexplicable reason Mel brought Maddie along, I guess to encourage an eating disorder. Maddie admits it’s odd that her mom lectures about diets not being healthy then turns to a weight-loss plan that probably killed 8 out of 10 lab rats.
Spurlock gets Mel’s history, “Have you tried dieting before?” Melissa tells him, “The only time I tried dieting was when I was younger, I lived on Diet Dr. Peppers and apples for a week at a time.” Having exhausted all other reasonable measures, including the apple method, she seems to fit the criteria for the most radical of programs.
Spurlock explains, “We use HCG diets. I’m going to put you on a starvation diet but let me talk you through this. You’re going to get a cream and the hormone in that cream won’t let you go into the starvation mode.”
For real? What does she do, I bet she has to exercise like mad too, right?
It’s like this, “In the first phase, you do 3 days of the cream and you eat whatever you want. They call it gorging. The next phase is the diet phase and you go on the 500 calorie a day diet.”
Maddie is thinking what the rest of us are thinking, “The 500 calories a day doesn’t seem healthy at all, I mean, I probably consumed that on the car ride over here.”
Well, whatev. Spurlock is the doc, “I’m going to write you a prescription for the cream and if you need anymore just let me know but that should easily get that weight off of you.”
Wow. Something about that made me feel really icky. We definitely need a change of scenery. How about the Bonnie and Leslie family brunch? It wasn’t looking good from the start. Whitney came to the table straight from the bar, Kay-devil was rolling her eyes and poor Zakk was afraid to make eye contact with anyone so he just focused very intensely on his soup. Frankly, I feel his strategy was best.
Leslie suggests fish and steamed vegetables for Kalyn, so she orders the NY Strip. Whitney tells her, “That has a lot of sodium, girl.”
Whitney is hanging all over Tyler at the table and Kalyn suggests, “Can you guys get a room, seriously?”
So, in front of God, the other restaurant patrons and her parents, Whitney says, “Uh, no we can do it right here, right in front of you.”
Then I felt like I was at a table with my 8 year old.
Whitney: Someone needs to mind their own business and stop looking over here.
Kay-devil: It’s kind of hard to miss, Sweet Pea.
Whitney: ‘Cause you’re jealous, Sweetie.
Whitney ignores Bonnie’s request to shut her mouth.
Kay-devil: You’re only making yourself look more trashy.
Whitney: How am I trashy? (Can I answer that?)
Kay-devil: Because of the way you represent yourself, you’re trashy.
Cut to the Crescent Spa where Pam is surprising Hannah with a special day because, “Hannah told me that I wasn’t any fun when I know I’m tons of fun. It’s really been an experience for her to call me out on my non-fun-ness.”
Non-fun-ness? Pam. Uh. La. You are SO fun. Just in the first 4 episodes of Big Rich Texas we can see you’re a total blast. Really. I mean, you rattle off country club rules by code number, try to get people kicked out of the club, you wear chiffon to galas, tell people they look like hookers and disco balls, you tattle to Mr. Scoma, bale on your commitment to be in a fashion show, attempt to block a zumba class, pack mace to use on scary Spaniards, trash the validity of a fellow-cast member’s PhD, ruin a murder mystery party, call people idiots and use the word “wingding.” Who says you’re not fun?
Speaking of fun, how’s the brunch going? Well, Kalyn finished her steak and decides to order dessert. Leslie tells her she’s not going to do that.
Kay-devil responds, “That’s funny because I’m pretty sure I am.”
Leslie expresses disbelief and Kalyn draws her sword, “You’re ordering me around like a freaking Nazi.”
Whitney butts in and sticks up for Leslie, “She supports you.”
Kay-dev wants Whit to stay out of it so Whitney mumbles something at her that is bleeped but we can make out the “fat a**” part.
Kalyn has had it from the girl she declared to have given cun-try club a whole new meaning, “You are just straight up trash.”
From that point it’s hard to follow exactly what is coming from which rep of Dallas’ elite but the words illiterate, dumb, and bit** are thrown around. Just before Kay-devil works another big word in, Whitney pulls a stunt second only to the Real Housewives of New Jersey season one table-flip scene. She tosses her glass of water into Kalyn’s lap, right smack in the middle of Eddie V’s dining room.
You can practically hear the cheers of viewers across America chanting, Whit. Ney. Whit. Ney.
Leslie chases Kalyn outside and tells her she might have to return her to the ghetto but Kalyn pleads with her and in a truly sad moment, promises to be respectful, “If you’ll treat me like your own child.” That broke Leslie’s heart and she vowed to work things out.
Then, as part of the classiest move ever televised on Style Network, Kay-devil returns to the table long enough to apologize to everyone, specifically Whitney. Then 23 year old Whitney, after prompting from her parents, apologizes for Watergate and “for being mean.”
Big hug. Peace to the world.
Until episode 6 when, according to previews, Pam shows us that all this time she’s just been warming up.