Photo Courtesy of Tommy Garcia, Virginia Sherwood, Jonathan Zizzo & Bravo

Ah, The Real Housewives of Dallas, how we’ve missed you. Yes, it’s that time again, a time when you can get enough drama to last until your family’s Thanksgiving, all mixed with stunning panoramic shots of our city and neighborhood. Feels like Christmas, doesn’t it? And, with this first episode of the series, it became clear that this year, it looks like Santa is going to deliver (he could be delivering coal or giftsthat remains to be seen).

Before I begin my play-by-play of this episode, it must be noted that there’s a serious Preston Hollow-sized hole in the cast. That’s right, LeeAnne Locken departed the series, coming after a flurry of controversial and racist comments directed at fellow housewife, Kary Brittingham. Locken apologized on social media for her comments, and Brittingham and Locken have since reconciled.

That said, while Preston Hollow lost some representation in the cast, it gained some as well, as Dr. Tiffany Moon joins the housewives. I basically screamed during her moment in the title sequence when she uttered, “I can save your life, but not your reputation.” Alexa, play Taylor Swift, please. Look what you made me do, Dr. Moon.

Without further adieu, onto the episode.

The Real Housewives of Dallas Recap, Episode One: “Bursting the Quarantine Bubble”

The episode begins by showing how all of the housewives have adjusted to quarantine life. Kameron is picking up dog poop on her patio, D’Andra and her mother, Dee, are having a fashion show and Stephanie is getting ready to host a…pool party? In what is quite possibly the most relatable moment of the episode, Brandi struggles to unmute herself on Zoom and serves serious face while doing so. When she finally figures out how to work 2020s technological juggernaut, Stephanie invites all of the housewives, minus Tiffany, who hasn’t made her grand entrance, to her house that weekend for a pool party. She seals the deal with some jokes about COVID that would probably make the Bachelor producers wince (because, um, they basically locked the whole cast in a resort). All of the housewives promise to be bikini-clad and ready to party, and we know we’re in for a treat in the last act of the episode.

The show then shifts to Kameron, who recently mourned the death of her dog, Louis Vuitton. Kameron laments that she wasn’t able to even think about a new dog for quite some time, and she had to work through the loss with her therapist, as it was possible that her husband, Court, killed Louis after failing to give the dog his medication. Don’t worry, Kameron’s moved on and doesn’t blame Court, because it seems like it wasn’t his fault. The couple now prepare to welcome their new dog, Fanci, home from puppy training. When Fanci walks in and Kameron treats the tiny treasure like a five-year-old treats their teddy bear, the looks from trainer Brad make it clear that Kameron is in the midst of an intervention. Brad chastises Kameron’s babying of Fanci, and in quite possibly this professional spreadsheet maker’s favorite part of the episode, Brad comes with a giant poster that shows Fanci’s schedule. Thankfully, Fanci can do her treadmill routine as Kameron does her elliptical routine, and Kameron’s world is saved for just one more day.

Oh boy, and now, we get to the main drama in the episode, which, if you ask this recapper, goes past petty reality TV drama and has serious real world implications. Stephanie and Brandi decide to have a playdate for their kids. Stephanie assures us, the viewer, that it’s a COVID free zone. They’ve all been tested a million times, blah blah blah…and she adds, “Do not come for us on social media.” I won’t be coming for you anytime soon on social media Stephanie, but this recapper is still a little leery of the COVID protocols. While the playdate is happening, the scene cuts to Dee’s house, where her daughter, D’Andra joins her, bringing Bob’s Steak & Chop House to her (a good choice).

It’s then that Dr. Moon makes her first appearance in a beautiful, lilac dress. She joins the two women out on the patio, where D’Andra says that Tiffany is like another daughter to her mom, Dee. While Dee sits at the table sipping on some type of cocktail, D’Andra and Tiffany debrief on the other housewives, and when they get to Brandi, it becomes clear that Tiffany is cautious of the housewife. See, earlier in the year, a video where Brandi mocked Asian individuals surfaced. In this video, Brandi pulled the corners of her eyes to her temples and talked in a stereotypical, racist Asian accent. D’Andra tries to hit home that Brandi had no ill intent, but it’s clear that while this may be true, the impact of Brandi’s actions hurt Tiffany, who has had to deal with a significant amount of racism.

While this is happening, the show cuts to Stephanie and Brandi, who have stopped slipping on their homemade water slide and are having a chat with White Claws in hand. Brandi addresses the video and its impact on her. The outrage from the video caused Brandi’s mental health to spiral, spiraling to the point where she considered committing suicide. Even though she apologized many times publicly, Brandi mentions the effects of cancel culture, and she expresses her guilt for the harm she caused. Thus, the confrontation around the video is set-up, as the video continues to permeate through the remainder of the episode.

However, before it’s all fun in the sun and everyone’s rocking and rolling around the pool, Kameron is throwing a yard sale, which I don’t have much to say about. It’s pink, everything is expensive (for this reporter’s salary) and there’s a line wrapping the block. Masks aren’t incredibly present either, and I will take this moment to remind everyone that a face shield is not a mask. Anyway, at the yard sale, Tiffany rolls her eyes when Brandi is brought up, once again playing into the tension that is to come. Tiffany is invited to Stephanie’s pool party, along with Kameron’s friend Jennifer.

We’re then taken to Tiffany’s gorgeous Preston Hollow house where we meet her husband, Daniel, and two twin girls. Tiffany and her husband met in a club, and she’s a self-declared “tiger mom,” joking that one of her daughters will get her watch, whoever has the higher GPA. Then, the mac and cheese burns, and Tiffany jokes that she “can keep a trauma patient alive but can’t make mac and cheese.” I, personally, felt this deep in my soul (minus the whole trauma patient part).

Finally, we’re at the pool party, which, is a party that truly is the biggest small gathering that this Iowa-born boy has ever seen. Decked out with a Texas theme, it serves as the perfect homage to the start of the season. Hay bales serve as decor and gingham napkins adorn the table, and I’m left wondering, where was my invite? Alas, the housewives start drinking margaritas, Kameron reveals that she made $23,000 from her garage sale and Brandi and Jennifer go and compare their vaginas. Sounds like a normal gathering, right?

Kary then asks all of the girls, in true Thanksgiving fashion, to go around the table and say one positive and negative of quarantine. She talks about the quality time she got to spend with her kids but grieves her business, and D’Andra mentions her spiritual journey. Tiffany talks about how she liked being home with her twins more, but also gives us a glimpse into the life of a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic. She goes as far as to say that if she ever encountered someone who thought COVID was a hoax, she would say, “let’s not be friends right now.” All of the housewives nod along to this (while unmasked I must add). Tiffany then says that the existence of the virus isn’t even a question, it’s just a fact, and she mentions how many people she’s seen lose their lives to the virus.

Then we get to Brandi, who tells the housewives what she told Kameron before. She mentions the video and says that it was insensitive, saying, “I’m sorry. I live with a lot of shame. I’m carrying it with me. I went to a mental health facility that helped me through.” She then thanks all of her friends. 

The moment she’s finished, Tiffany asks for alcohol, alluding to what’s to come. In a confessional, Tiffany then says, “I’m just a little confused about how upset she is. It’s almost like a kid who hits another kid, but then starts crying.”

Tiffany and Brandi then leave the table. Tiffany goes outside, and Kary follows Brandi to another room. Kary comforts Brandi, and a producer, very pointedly, asks Kary in a confessional, “What LeeAnne did (mentioned above) and what Brandi did in this video. How are they different?” Kary states that, “So, the difference between what LeeAnne did and what Brandi did in the video, LeeAnne was doing it out of hate. Brandi’s video was very ignorant and stupid. But, she’s being so devastated about it that I think she will never do something like that again. Sadly, I never saw that from LeeAnne.”

However, it’s clear that for Tiffany, Brandi’s words have clearly impacted her, as Kary brings Brandi out to Tiffany where the two begin to chat. The rest of the housewives retreat indoors and begin to chow down on a feast made by a personal chef, showing sympathy for Brandi (hm…).

Outside, Tiffany says to Brandi, “This is my opportunity to stand up and say that what you did was wrong.” She then talks about her personal experiences, and about how she moved to the United States in fraught times without speaking any English. She then mentions that kids used to pull their eyes back to make fun of her, so Brandi’s actions directly impact her. They both start crying.

And, just like that, we cut to a “To Be Continued” title card, which, once again, makes this drama seem just like some petty reality TV drama. However, to this avid reality TV watcher, it’s so much more than that.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens tonight, as episode two airs on Bravo.

The Real Housewives of Dallas airs Tuesdays on Bravo at 8pm CST. 

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