The first words spoken in Little Women: Dallas, Lifetime’s new reality show, say it all: “Everything’s bigger in Texas … except us.”
Yep, that’s pretty much the size of it.
The show, which chronicles the adventures of six larger-than-life little people in Big D, takes the cliché saying about the Lone Star State and, with two extra words, completely flips its meaning.
The stereotype-busting unscripted series premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
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The cast includes two women who already are familiar faces to fans of Lifetime’s popular and rapidly expanding “Little Women” franchise of shows.
Emily Fernandez and Bri Barlup are dancers who are so close they’re practically joined at the hip. They lived in North Texas for several years, first in Gainesville and then in Denton, before heading east and becoming fan favorites in Little Women: Atlanta.
Now they’re back in Texas and conveniently available to shake up things in the new show.
“If we had stayed in Atlanta, I think we would have stayed in the Atlanta cast,” Emily says. “But we agreed that for our family and for our futures, Dallas was the best opportunity for us.”
That change was initiated in part by tragedy.
Emily went from the excitement of pregnancy in Season 1 to dealing with the devastating death of the child. Little Women: Dallas opens with Emily still processing everything that has happened while Bri tries anything she can think of to help her friend deal with the pain.
“I went through a really hard time on national television,” Emily says. “It was difficult. It’s the only thing that ever made me question my decision to do the TV show and to be so open and not hide anything that was going on in my life.
“It’s still hard, though, when random strangers approach me and talk about my son’s passing.”
But Emily promises that this season of 13 episodes will show her bouncing back.
“I’m still not completely healed, obviously, but it’s definitely a different, more upbeat me,” she says. “I’m trying to find myself and break out of my shell.”
The series opens with one of the other cast members, Caylea Woodbury, celebrating her 21st birthday with a raucous party at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, another co-star, adrenaline-junkie Amanda Loy, decides she wants to ride one of the bucking bulls.
We’re not talking a mechanical bull, mind you. She intends to take on the real thing.
Emily, who grew up riding horses and competing as a barrel racer, says she couldn’t believe her ears when she first heard about Amanda’s crazy stunt. It wasn’t hard for her to imagine the worst-case scenario if the bull were to throw her.
“I love the rodeo scene and I’ve even been riding in that exact rodeo in the Stockyards,” Emily says. “However, I was on a horse at the time. I definitely would not have done what she did. I don’t think I have that much courage. It was very, very bold of her.”
Subsequent episodes promise to deliver other misadventures, some comedic, some dramatic. That includes a name-calling, drink-throwing, table-turning brawl.
In other words, Little Women: Dallas is a lot like all the friendship-driven reality shows on TV.
Meanwhile, neatly embedded in every episode is a message that little people are like everyone else.
“I think it’s good for people to see how confidently these women carry themselves, even though we are little people,” Emily says. “It’s been really rewarding for me to have people send messages saying how much of an inspiration we are.
“If we can help other young women who are little people be more confident and not be afraid of holding anything back, that makes me feel like I’ve done something really important.”
Little Women: Dallas
- 9 p.m. Wednesday