There were oh, so many questions heading into season three of Big Rich Texas, Style Network’s (sur)reality show (actually, they’re calling it a “docu-drama,” meaning “kind of scripted” or “fake”) about the wealthy ladies of the Woodhaven Country Club. For instance, would the show’s new director’s insistence on making the show more “Reality TV” dampen the campy drama? Would the mercurial Pam’s departure spoil the show’s volatile chemistry, or would the rumors that she and her daughter Hannah were pushed off the show surface? How will new cast members Cindy and Wendy fit in? And will Leslie look for the first opportunity to toss booze back in Melissa’s face after last season’s champagne-splattered finale?
Well, why wait to find out? Let’s dig in.
We open as Leslie touches down at Love Field in a private jet and announces she has a new man in her life (Rip), a “billionaire” who’s been taking her around the country. But now she’s back in Dallas, and we’re off to the Country Club in Fort Worth.
Connie and Deaynni are picking at each other’s party plannings around the pool when Deaynni steals the screen with a big over-the-summer reveal: she’s had arm surgery.
“Had the bat wings taken off. After I do the legs maybe a va-jay-jay reconstruct. That’s the new thing.”
“I love porn. Hardcore porn, I love it.”
Cue the requisite Fifty Shades of Grey comments, because we all know now that the only thing lonely middle-aged women talk about these days are whips and chains.
Anyway, back to the point. Next up: a botox party that new cast member Cindy is planning by way of introducing herself to the crew. But first, let’s clean up last season’s dirty laundry. Where did Pam go? She’s in Spain “vacationing.” Good riddance, is the consensus. And guess who’s back? Whitney! Cue the couches:
Bonnie: She’s back because she missed her mom’s comfort.
Whitney: I missed you bank account.
So what’s Whitney up to now that she’s Dallas-side? Bonnie barely get’s the word out: “esthetician” school. But what’s she really interested in? Some guy named Booger who she met “on the side of the highway.” No explanation on just how a girl like Whitney meets a guy like Booger on a highway, but hey, we all have imaginations. Still, chatting in Bonnie’s kitchen, Whitney and her mom begin to prove that they’re the best scriptwriters on the show. On Booger:
Whitney: We’re attached at the hip.
Bonnie: Boogers are sticky.
Whitney: That’s why we stick.
Anyway, I’m a little distracted by Mr. Bonnie, the floppy-haired Jason, who is hacking at something during the scene with the tip of a knife. He kind of looks like Mark Cuban-meets-The Osbournes-era Ozzy. A clear winner.
Cut to the botox party at Cindy’s, though her gesture may have gotten her off on the wrong foot with one of our stars. Bonnie is miffed Cindy is claiming to be Dr. A’s biggest customer. Oh well, if she’s really annoyed at the new girl, it doesn’t bubble to surface. That kind of petty animosity is reserved for Leslie and Melissa. The two nearly come to blows after Melissa confronts the jet-setting blond on just how she left the Fasionistas. We asked you to resign, Melissa insists. Read: you’re full of sh–. Leslie kicks into her only defense: She beings to cry tears of pure liquid botox.
It’s Cindy who has to stick up for Leslie. “It’s not the time or the place,” Cindy tells Melissa (but new girl, I thought every moment of Big Rich Texas was exactly the time and place for this sort of thing). Melissa storms out; the battle lines are drawn.
Melissa’s parting blow: “Watch your back with her.”
You bet, Mels. But I’m tired of the moms. How are the urchins doing? Well, montage of Dallas, then off to the Meringue Bakery where the D Recommends sticker in the window gets a little cameo. And look at this, irony of ironies, Lesley’s daughter Kalyn works behind the counter and she’s dealing cupcakes to Melissa’s daughter Maddie (and Deaynni’s daughter Shaye).
“Want a best friend discount?” Kalyn asks. Ah, the innocence of youth.
Actually, the scene is a non-starter. What we’re supposed to know is that Kalyn works at a bakery and she doesn’t like it. That’s going to set up the episode’s parental moment, but first we need the word-smiths Bons and Whitney to get back in the kitchen for more Pulitzer-worthy improve playwriting.
Cut to the Bonnie homestead and enter Booger, they guy whose picture comes up when you type “over-pierced loser-looking guy” into Google (two arms full of tattoos, black tank top revealing more ink on the chest; stud piercings on the face, large rings in his earlobes; a ball cap twisted sideways to the back, natch). Bonnie laments: “I wanted you to want a plastic surgeon, not a piercer.” Reality really is funnier than fiction.
Whitney wants a check to pay for her school, and Bonnie whips it out with the slightest peep of a protest. And as she scribbles down an amount, Whitey decides it is the perfect moment for a reveal: Up goes the shirt and – wham – the gal’s got a new tattoo, “Mayhem” in giant stylized letters across her stomach. Bonnie is agast, and Booger assures her he had nothing to do with the tattoo. But . . .
Bonnie: How many piercings have you done to her?
Booger: But those things aren’t permanent, they come out.
Bonnie: What happens if you get pregnant in 20 years?
Whitney: Well then, MAYHEM!
Tip to producers: shoot the entirety of episode two in Bonnie’s kitchen. The location keeps producing gold.
Moving on. More Dallas location montages just to be sure this show soils the name of our fair burg, and then into Katlyn’s room at the Verona where the young girl is watching some unnamed dude flash his abs on her iPhone. Mom (Leslie) walks in. Uh oh. Why isn’t Katlyn at work? She doesn’t like work. But, mom protests, she has quit everything else; she needs to follow-through. Katlyn snaps up the high ground: “Well ever since you met your little boy toy, you haven’t been doing anything either,” says daughter. Fair enough. “He’s not a boy toy,” Leslie objects, before storming out. But wait, just before she leaves.
Leslie: “You are forbidden to quit your job”
Dr. Sears has nothing on these folks.
Zip over to the tattoo parlor where our friend Booger is poking a young girl with new piercings. Whitney wants a new tattoo, but Booger says she should think about her mother. He wants to make a good impression on her and [yawn] — wait! What’s this. Booger produces a little square jewelry box from his pocket “Will you –“ Cut to commercials. Aargh!
Well, let down of let downs, Booger’s box contains no ring, only a key. “Will you move in with me,” is the question, and Whitney responds with a slap (very deserved) and a “yes.” Why? “He’s hot and he has lots of tattoos and he’s fun.” These kids certainly have their priorities straight.
Anyway, back to the country club where Connie and Deaynni are playing tennis to tone up the arms. (Have you heard Deaynni had surgery, because, you know, she didn’t mention it already, like 14,342 times.) Cut to the couches:
Deaynni: I’m trying to get definition.
Deyanni’s daughter Shaye: “The definition of you is you don’t exercise,”
Deaynni: “That’s why I have doctors.”
Shoot me now.
Off to Milk & Honey where Leslie and Cindy are bonding more with a little shopping alongside their daughters. Buy as much as you can, Cindy tells Leslie after her new bff tells her the billionaire Rip is footing the bill “Because you never know what’s going to happen,” Cindy says, furthering the cause of women with every turn of phrase.
So back at the botox party I had a little idle thought: Cindy’s daughter Alex actually seems kind of normal. No such luck. The 15-year-old chats up Kalyn about getting her dream car, a white Range Rover, when she turns 16. It’s all meant to set up the scene’s real conflict, when Leslie actually lays down some parental muscle on her daughter, refusing to buy her anything. Kalyn should know better: get a job, get a sugar daddy, or don’t get crap. Come on, this the real world, people.
Cindy, on the other hand, is a busy lady. When she’s not showering her own daughter with crap, she’s drinking with her friend Wendy’s daughter, Nikki. The mother crashes girls night at the lame-o bar where Nikki and Whitney are chatting about Booger’s non-proposal
“Men are good for one thing: money,” Cindy instructs the young women. “You can duplicate the other thing. You can’t duplicate money.”
This one’s a real modern day Susan B. Anthony. Down the shots.
Finally, with twelve minutes left, we’re off to casino night at the C-grade country club in north Forth Worth because this story’s done got some loose ends to tie-up. But first, some let downs:
Letdown 1: despite what Deaynni promised earlier, this looks nothing like Vegas.
Letdown 2: Conney. Girl’s got to find a personality.
Letdown 3: Tyler, Leslie’s 21-year-old douchey son who won’t stop chewing on some sort of meat on a toothpick while his mom’s friends flirt with him. As the ladies jaw at him and he gnaws away, we’re treated to a rather significant density of gross.
But whatevs, we’ve got real conflict to get to here: Kalyn quit her job; Whitney’s moving in with her boyfriend (and Bonnie doesn’t know yet); and scufflin’ Melissa and Leslie are in the same room – yikes!
Resolution 1: Leslie’s forcing Kalyn to get another job. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Resolution 2: Bonnie bumps into Cindy, who drops the bombshell: “So Whitney is moving in with her boyfriend.” Huzza-what? Bonnie tells Jason; Jason looks too stoned to care. Bonnie stomps over to Whitney at the bar. First task, order a drink. Second task, yell at her daughter. And yet the only reason Bonnie can come up with why her daughter shouldn’t move in with the Booger is that she wants to make sure she makes it to school every day (say it again, Bonnie “esthetician”). In other words, this is a battle lost before it’s fought, but nonetheless, Whitney brings in the sassy-bitch artillery. She lifts up her mother’s blond hair and yells into her ear: “I’m moving out.” Then she drops her gum in her mom’s drink. Nothing left to do than pick-up a Booger by his arm and head out.
Meanwhile, Melissa doubts the existence of Leslie’s billionaire boyfriend (Hey Melissa, get over it). As Bonnie bitches to Leslie about her insubordinate daughter, Melissa overhears her nemesis giving Bonnie advice. So what does M do? Yell “gold digger!” across the casino floor. Record scratch. Turned heads. Dropped jaws. Oh, now it’s on – like Donkey Kong.
Leslie moves in; Melissa stands her ground. And as if you had to guess what was going to happen, Leslie strikes first, flinging her drink in Melissa’s face. Melissa strikes back in an instant (so quickly, in fact, it looked, well, scripted). Cut to Leslie on the couch:
“With Pam gone, I thought the drama left club, but with Melissa, she’s even worse than Pam.”
So there you have it, folks, nice and spelled-out: meet the new Pam.
But that’s not all. It wasn’t just liquid flying around casino night. Leslie broke her glass at Melissa’s feet, which, Bonnie assures us, was not at all appropriate. (Thanks Bons!). Deannyi pointlessly chimes in to remind us they’ve now gone tit-for-tat (giggle). Leslie’s not happy Bonnie is on Melissa’s side. And Cindy seems to be lining up in Leslie’s trench. Suddenly it looks like season three is going to go through a lot of champagne.
But before you start to worry that this show is flat-lining into a succession of deliberately spilled drinks, the season teaser at the end of episode one dangles some intriguing carrots: Cindy’s going to move in on Jason? Jason going to show signs of a pulse? Deaynni’s going to completely loses it on her daughter? Whitney is going to go bat-sh— crazy and smash a table’s worth of glassware? Geez. Who needs Pam?