Mayra Farret said before joining “Texicanas” she had never watched reality TV programming. It may have served her well to have watched a reality show or two in order to get an idea of what she was signing up for.
The new Bravo program follows six women living in San Antonio, navigating through careers, family and friendships. Often times, shows similar to “Texicanas” revolve around the drama between the cast members.
The problem for Farret, she says, is that she was heavily involved in the conflict. She said filming — and now watching the show — has taken an emotional toll on her. Other than the platform to promote charitable causes she is involved in, she said she regrets the decision to join the show.
“All the drama is around me — every single episode,” Farret said. “You haven’t seen the worst. The worst is yet to come.
“I am trying to portray on the show what we, the Latinos, do for this country. That is what I was aiming to do, which [eventually] caused emotional damage. I did lose a friendship along the way because all of the stress.”
There are three episodes remaining. The show airs at 9 p.m. local time Tuesdays.
If you watch the first 10 minutes of the debut episode, you find out that many of the cast members have ties to the Rio Grande Valley.
Farret’s husband Fernando Peralta is originally from McAllen. Fellow cast mates Penny Ayarzagoitia, of Weslaco, and Karla Ramirez, of Brownsville, were both raised in the Valley. Lorena Martinez, another cast member, was born in McAllen but grew up in Reynosa and used to cross into the U.S. daily to attend high school.
They did not know each other before becoming fast friends in San Antonio, Ayarzagoitia said. Their social circle eventually became the premise for the all-Hispanic main cast, a first for Bravo, which produces similar shows, such as the “The Real Housewives” franchise.
Since Episode 1, these friends have feuded over the use of the word “anal” to describe Farret, who in later episodes reveals she has struggled for years with the stress of being a “perfectionist.”
To say the least, Farret did not like being called anal.
“For me it was bullying,” she said. “I think it was really petty.”
Farret was also unhappy with the producers of the show, adding that “there is a lot of production stuff you don’t see.
“There are a lot producers going behind your back,” said Farret, referring to last week’s episode in which she walked out of a party to be alone for a few minutes. Farret claims the producers asked Ramirez to follow her outside of the party in hopes of eliciting a reaction.
Ayarzagoitia said that filming can be draining and can sometimes lead the “women to snap in some cases,” but stopped short of blaming the producers.
“I don’t think (the producers) wanted to create drama,” she said. “What you say and how they edit is not changed a lot. What you did, you did.”
For her part, Ayarzagoitia, a 1999 Weslaco High graduate, said she is happy with the way she has been portrayed on the show. She has a stripper pole in her living room and her relationship with her husband is not traditional in the sense that she is not a stay-at-home mom while her husband works. Ayarzagoitia is a successful real estate agent.
“Everyone has the right to their opinion,” Ayarzagoitia said. “You don’t stop being human just because you’re in the public eye. Of course, some of the (social media) comments were hurtful, but I have gotten a lot of positive feedback for being who I am.”
Being a native of the Valley, a place she says “can be hard to escape,” is part of who she is.
“Coming from the Valley and being able to have this platform, I hope people would know that I’m not trying to represent anybody,” Ayarzagoitia said. “I’m my own person. At the same time, I am proud of where I came from and I am proud of my roots.”
There is still no word from Bravo on a second season. Ayarzagoitia said she would jump at the opportunity for a second season if there is one. Farret is not so sure.
“We’ll see what happens,” she said.
This story was updated to correct the headline