Sorry for the slight delay on this one; our shipment of L22 was sadly pushed back by the manufacturer. Below, we consider, among other things, the primordial entity known as Dee. Join us, won’t you?
Taylor: Welcome everyone to the second ever Bitchy Witches Round-Cauldron! (That’s Witch for ’roundtable.’) We’ve gotten together to cover the hits and misses of the already legendary second season of the Real Housewives of Dallas! Ger, Tracey, I trust you’re both well.
Gerard: I’m pleasantly tipsy and have a spare glass to chuck across the room if necessary.
Tracey: I would tell you how I’m doing Not Well Bitch but that’s not the franchise of discussion.
Taylor: I’m having a glass of wine and some weed and background old episodes of Let’s Make a Deal. Someone just won some swatches of carpet that were both hideous AND shockingly expensive!
Gerard: Now that’s definitely relevant to this franchise.
Taylor: Yup, the best segues find you.
Taylor: Before we dive into the specifics, you both caught up on Dallas as the season aired, so season one is fresh in your minds. What did you think of S2 by comparison to S1?
Gerard: I mean, way better, duh. Brandi, Cary, and Stephanie evolved from mean girl irritants to actual plot movers, the newbies delivered far more than poor dear Tiffany, and LeeAnne…continued to LeeAnne.
Tracey: While season 1 was good in its own right, season 2 was a tour de force classic Housewives season. I wasn’t sad to leave the churrity world behind. Charity is usually an element of any Housewives franchise and I definitely support its involvement, but I was definitely one of the people who found it overbearing season 1 (though not enough to discourage watching it).
Gerard: I like it as an element of the show, but not that much, yes.
Tracey: Also, season 1 must be watched for some of the worst makeup on television.
Gerard: Oh man, the looks. It’s most obvious on LeeAnne (HELLO BLUSH) but Brandi looks even more gremliny than usual.
Taylor: Yeah, season 1 is one long middle school dance from 2002.
Gerard: Season 2 just felt more thoughtful and urgent? Like they all figured out what show they’re on. I also appreciated the motif of LeeAnne’s therapy as a sort of frame story.
Tracey: Can LeeAnne be rehabbed, the season asks. Can she overcome the anger? (Please God I hope not.)
Taylor: She’s misunderstood! Rehab the world and preserve LeeAnne as she is!
Tracey: Bottling things up is bad; let it all out, LeeLee.
Gerard: It’s kinda true for all of them really. Can Brandi actually be loyal? Can Cary be honest?
Tracey: Can Stephanie swim in her living room?
Taylor: I feel like the answer to all of these is ‘no.’
Gerard: And, because of human nature, the answer is no.
Tracey: People never change, is what I have to say about the world, about society.
Taylor: On the subject of people never changing, may I propose, as our first subject of discussion, the world’s oldest and most immutable relationship: D’Andra and Dee.
Gerard: What I fucking loved about this storyline was D’Andra being completely aware of all the traps she was falling into, and still being powerless not to fall into them…like, screaming at her stepson and suddenly clicking into “Oh my God I’m Dee” and yet…
Tracey: I am always amazed watching these 40-50 year old women still just absolutely at the mercy of their mothers (okay yes I’m thinking of Kandi).
Gerard: Yeah, it’s a scary vision of the future.
Taylor: It’s sort of the moment in Mommie Dearest where Joan Crawford challenges Christina to a swimming race and smokes the shit out of her because she’s like six, and then at the end Joan lectures Christina about how she’ll ALWAYS be bigger and stronger than her. Dee is Joan.
Tracey: D’Andra and Dee might not be as toxic as Kandi and her mom, but that manipulation is still there.
Taylor: Oh it’s a harmless kind of ruination. Yes, D’Andra’s ambition will be forever unrealized, but like…she’s fiiiine.
Tracey: Yeah she’s richer than rich, she doesn’t need it.
Taylor: She wouldn’t know what to do without Dee leading the way anyhow. Just stay in your lane D’Andra; vice president isn’t bad.
Gerard: I think she also kind of likes it? I think she realizes Dee is more natural a businesswoman than she is on some level.
Taylor: Right? D’Andra seems more like, I don’t know, a Secretary of Energy. She should pursue that. Oh what, oops.
Tracey: Look at what happened with the L22. She needed Dee there.
Taylor: Oh man, the L22 (which, as we all know, restores your lipid levels to when you were 22).
Tracey: That missing L22 thing was like some James Bond movie where they are trying to build a chemical weapon but need their last and most important ingredient.
Gerard: Theory: that was Dee sabotage. She made some calls.
Taylor: Oh, totally. There is no L22, even. The L22 is a Dee scam from top to bottom. The season should have ended with a falling teacup with L22 on the bottom like The Usual Suspects, and D’Andra figures the whole thing out but Dee is already in Rio.
Gerard: I agree that comparing Dee to movie supervillains is not at all an exaggeration.
Taylor: Dee is, for my money, the best new side character of 2017.
Tracey: It’s a Mama Elsa/Marysol thing with a much better Marysol.
Gerard: Yeah, I like D’Andra a lot but Dee was the real find.
Tracey: That eye makeup.
Taylor: Oh, man, she looks exactly like what she is. If you showed me a picture of Dee and I had no idea who she was, I’d be like, ‘Man, this elderly Texas businesswoman should pass on the reins of her cosmetics empire to her daughter but she’d never give up that power.’
Taylor: Not to diminish D’Andra. I thought she had a great debut year.
Gerard: Oh for sure. I compared her to Carole before: an effortless, likable audience surrogate, liked the right people but called them out nonetheless if they were wrong, and her solo footage was stellar.
Tracey: I’ll never be able to dislike a LeeAnne ally.
Taylor: Me neither. I even liked Tiffany.
Gerard: Kameron and D’Andra were very important to have around saying “Oh you don’t REALLY think she’ll kill you, come on.”
Tracey: Even though D’Andra was never involved in the drama I always found her likable and interesting on screen.
Gerard: The Honest Tea is a good example: she organized it and was a hilarious presence, and didn’t get involved with the drama but was still enjoyable.
Taylor: Oh man, the Honest Tea. Yeah. that’s a nice way for a diplomat Housewife to earn her paycheque; just set up events that let them aggress each other. (She also paired Brandi and Kameron for sports day in Mexico; same principle.)
Gerard: Yeah, she’s a good no-drama Housewife because she’s happy for OTHERS to have drama, and to commentate and spectate.
Tracey: That Honest Tea was brilliant. I loved how it wasn’t even anonymous.
Taylor: Right? Why write them down if they’re not anonymous? Why not just say them? But I’m not the one with the gavel.
Gerard: I think the ritual of it was freeing—a fig leaf to let them be assholes to each other.
Taylor: Yeah, true. People love a pretext.
Gerard: But yeah, give D’Andra a medal for organizing that, and dressing that way, and having the fucking gavel AND bell. Like, she clearly gets it.
Tracey: …and getting them drunk.
Gerard: Oh man, everyone PREGAMING the MIDDAY honest tea was beautiful. I don’t think Brandi sat up straight for the duration. She just sort of leaned back lobbing nasty insinuations.
Taylor: Oh, pregame every party on Housewives. If you’re not blind drunk for 75% of your screentime you’re doing it wrong.
Tracey: Yeah Ger, like you said about Carole, D’Andra clearly knows what show she’s on, and while she won’t just invent a crazy new personality or drama, she will participate in a TV-ready fashion with a big wink like Carole used to.
Coming up in Part 2, the most important topic mankind has ever discussed: pink dog food. Plus, excerpts from the new Off-Broadway one-act, Brandi and Leeanne.