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The Dansville Online
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  • Stay Tuned: Don't mess with 'Big Rich Texas'

  • “Big Rich Texas” is a reality show on the Style network that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of five wealthy Dallas women and their daughters. It's basically a re-worked version of “Dallas Divas & Daughters,” which was on the network two years ago. Only one mother and daughter made ...
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  • Big Rich Texas” is a reality show on the Style network that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of five wealthy Dallas women and their daughters. It's basically a re-worked version of “Dallas Divas & Daughters,” which was on the network two years ago. Only one mother and daughter made the cut to the new show - country club queen bee Pam and her daughter Hannah. Despite the mostly new cast, the series offers the same peek into society life that the previous version did. The difference is that the new show focuses on the women and their daughters as they navigate through one summer at a local country club.
    “Housewives” reality TV, of which “Big Rich Texas” is a derivative, has shown us the lives of wealthy women in cities from Atlanta to New York to Beverly Hills. By now, there are only so many ways to tell their story before it reaches the level of been there, seen that. So the women on these series have to rely on their personalities to entertain the audience. This leads to a high degree of role-playing as one member of the social circle takes on the role of rebel rule-breaker while another becomes the group's version of Miss Manners. There's the social climber and the drama queen. The key to booking a spot on future seasons seems to lie in how skillful a cast member is at playing their role convincingly while also generating love to hate them moments. It's these moments that keep most viewers coming back for more and it's what “Big Rich Texas” is lacking.
    The weakness of the series is that it's not outrageous, dramatic or funny. It's not escapism and it's not relatable. One of the women came close to relating to mothers everywhere when she expressed anger that her daughter was pressured by another cast member to lose weight to participate in a pageant. The women are fake nice to one another but that's merely a prerequisite. Sure, there's “Botox Bonnie,” as one woman is called behind her back, who promises her already well-endowed 23-year old daughter a breast augmentation in exchange for straight A's but she's not that convincing. She looks plastic but she has a PhD in biology. Bonnie and Pam dislike each other but Pam's biggest crime is that she's a snob. When her yoga class is moved to a later time to accommodate a Latin-based aerobics class, she smiles tightly and gives a version of “we'll just see about that.”
    Ultimately, the series feels like an acting class and not a very good one. Every time one of the women or their daughters respond during their personal interview segments, I feel like they're resisting the urge to ask the director if they said it with enough feeling. In Texas, they say everything is supposed to be bigger but this show makes a very small contribution. If you want to watch drama in the lone star state, skip this show and watch a rerun of “Dallas.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Melissa Crawley credits her love of all things small screen to her parents, who never used the line, "Or no TV!" as a punishment. Her book, “Mr. Sorkin Goes to Washington: Shaping the President on Television's 'The West Wing,’” was published in 2006. She has a PhD in media studies. To comment on Stay Tuned, email her at staytuned2011@hotmail.comor follow her on Twitter: @MelissaCrawley.
     

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