By Barb Oates
Move over, New Jersey — Texas is making a run for the reality-series spotlight. Of course, Texans would be aghast at any comparison to Jersey’s reality ruckus. After all, they’re far more genteel than those spray-tanned nitwits, right? Well, maybe the moms, but not necessarily the daughters. Viewers will meet a group of Dallas socialites in Style Network’s new Big Rich Texas, debuting Sunday, July 17.
Fans of any of the Real Housewives variations will enjoy this insider’s look at the richest of the rich and their offspring in this hourlong docu-soap that follows a group of mothers and their daughters who are all members of the affluent Woodhaven Country Club located in Fort Worth. These women have taught their daughters what they need to know — from putting together head-turning outfits to attracting the right man to edging out the competition.
Although cast members are not as closely connected as some of the Housewives are, the Big Rich ladies were aware of each other.
“We weren’t all best friends because each lady has their own group of buddies they run around with, but we knew of each other,” says Pamela Martin, one of the cast members. “We all have very different dynamics, parenting styles, clothing styles, just the way we operate out there in the business world. Everybody has a different professional background but we are all extremely different.
“The interesting part is the different dynamics between the mothers and the daughters – the show is about mothers and their lifestyles but it also goes back to the mothers and their relationships with their daughters,” Martin says. “There are very different parenting styles, different philosophies on relationships one would have with their children. I think that’s what is going to be very interesting. Most women with daughters and children are going to be able to identify with that.”
As we’ve learned from other shows that combine lots of hormones, wealth and ego, drama comes along with that package.
“There’s one daughter on the show where the mother apparently has allowed her to tattoo the C-word on the top of her foot,” Martin shares. “I’ve personally had an issue with that because I think it’s the must vulgar, insulting word that any woman could hear or say. … So I’ve asked the mother to take her to the laser surgeon to have this taken off, or make her wear a sock or do something about it. The mother’s basically, ‘Oh well, you know, let’s have another cocktail and talk about it.’ That’s not my style or parenting philosophy, so I kind of have a problem with that.”
As for Martin’s college-sophomore daughter, Hannah, she tries to stay clear of the drama. “There’s definitely drama between the girls. I’m so anti-drama it’s not even funny,” Hannah says. “I kind of try to stay out of it, but if someone personally attacks me or is rude to me, I’m not going to lie down and cry. I stand up for myself.”
Wherever that drama takes us this season, Martin promises, “We won’t go New Jersey Housewives on people — that whole table-throwing thing and physical violence. And, Hannah’s resolved to not go Jersey Shore.”
What the show does focus a lot on is the life at the country club. Martin also shares that cameras go outside the club walls too, including when “Hannah hosted a party at our house for our friends, while I was in Spain, we had my birthday party at the mansion at Turtle Creek a few weeks back so they’ve been out and about town filming some nice events we’ve all been involved with. Lot of great views of Dallas.”
So what inspires women of wealth and prestige to open their lives up for the whole world to critique?
“Everybody judges you whether your life is on TV or whether it’s your neighbor across the street. I think the whole world lives vicariously through Gladys Kravitz, if you know what I mean. They’ve all got a little bit of that in them and everybody wants to see the Charlie Sheen in everyone, here and there. For us, were just kind of like whatever. I work in marketing [for a U.K. company], I do sports marketing. I have a fiction novel [Hard Whispers] that’s [now released], were kind of out there anyway in the public eye. When you live well and have a lot of really good things people want to know who you are and what you’re doing. You don’t have to be on a TV show for people to pry. There’s always going to be haters and people judging so why not have fun with it.”
And that we will!