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The Real Housewives of Dallas
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Real Housewives of Dallas, like most of the other installments of the Real Housewives franchise, contains lots of arguing, drinking, bleeped cursing, and flaunting of wealth including high-end labels (Chanel, Porsche). It also features some bathroom humor and crude sexual references. Substance abuse is occasionally referenced.
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What's the story?
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF DALLAS, another addition to the Real Housewives franchise, features six socialites living in the larger Dallas area during the city's charity season. It stars former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Brandi Redmond, her friend Stephanie Hollman, and Cary Deuber, a blogger and registered nurse's first assistant married to one of Dallas' renowned plastic surgeons. Also part of the group is LeeAnne Locken, a major charity organizer of more modest economic means, and her friends, former Hollywood starlet Tiffany Hendra and spa owner Marie Reyes. As they navigate the greater Dallas social scene, the women spend their time focusing on whom they know -- and how much they know about each other.
Is it any good?
This reality series relies on big egos, gossip, and mean exchanges as viewers watch a group of Dallas women challenge each other's social statuses in an elitist world. As expected, there are lots of booze-fueled events (where wine is sometimes referred to as "Jesus juice"), arguing, and other less-than-classy behavior. Despite attempts to dispel common stereotypes about Texan women (like having big hair and lacking style), it feeds into other cringeworthy stereotypes about women being ditzy, trophy wives, and, in some cases, completely dependent on their husbands.
While some of these women are clearly educated, it's very hard to take them seriously. Even though a few of them aren't millionaires (or particularly sophisticated), they are all presented as members of a privileged circle that lacks diversity and awareness -- let alone anything substantial to talk about. The charity events they raise money for also feel false and fail to tap into local social issues. Ultimately, none of these details add up to anything fresh or new, which results in a show that tries to do it bigger but doesn't manage to do it better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the success of The Real Housewives. Why is it so popular? Do the people featured on these shows act the same way in real life? What kinds of challenges do you think they face as a result of starring in an RH series (if any)? In their everyday lives?
Families can talk about friendship. How do you treat your friends? What do you think about how the Housewives treat theirs?