Lone Star Lady: Nouveau Riche, Y’all!

Lone Star Lady Rochelle Carnes poses with her family on a bear skin rug.
Lone Star Lady (Photo: Karolina Wojtasik / A&E)

Imagine your family struck oil—what would you do? A&E’s new reality series Lone Star Lady attempts to answer this question in the most realistic (read: boring) way.

The “wacky family hijinks” reality show format is an easy sell. You have pre-existing relationships which, unless something tragic happens, will be permanent. Idiosyncrasies will probably arrive pre-loaded, all the action could take place in one location (the family home), and most people in the audience should be able to identify with the concept of family. However, if you want the “reality” portion of the show to work, there needs to be at least one genuine moment in an episode. Lone Star Lady does not pass that test.

Rochelle Carnes is the titular mom of a family who struck oil and is now filthy rich. The family hasn’t let their new-found wealth go to their heads1, but maybe life could be a little easier in their small Texas town. I suppose this could be a reality version of the Beverly Hillbillies, but that wouldn’t be fair to the 1960s sitcom. Every situation is contrived, the children know there are cameras following them around, and none of the conversations happening between the participants come across as genuine.

To say Lone Star Lady is a waste of your time is an understatement. It is shows like this that cause people to get all high and mighty, tsk tsking that “reality television is fake.” Unlike Leah Remini’s show, which operates within its genre, Lone Star Lady bumbles around causing the viewer to wonder “who the ef cares?” Rochelle is the only person on the show who has a personality, but she isn’t bringing much else to the table. Compare this to a show like Kim of Queens, which also features a big personality that gets applied to usable skills. THAT’S an interesting show. This is not.

  1. except for the wacky grandma who wanders around in a fur coat. Yeah, that happened.  

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About Mike McComb 931 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv