The Real Housewives of Atlanta
If this were one recap episode instead of the three they are going to inflict upon us, last night would have been the twenty-minute lull in the middle. Instead, we had a full hour of quiet rage, soon to be bookended by two hours of screaming accusations.
Well, Kim came back last night. It was supposed to be a highlight, but it just sort of fizzled. We all know that she was just there to promote her own yawn-worthy show by reminding us she exists. But before Kim cautiously waddled out onstage like a toddler trying on a pair of heels for dress-up, the other ladies had things to get off their chests. Kenya and Porsha were mostly quiet; it’s like they knew our ears were still bleeding from last week’s encounter.
Andy Cohen (who, despite framing honest questions in low tones, still reminds me of a wind-up monkey playing cymbals and provoking arguments) started in with NeNe, saying she seemed to enjoy the conflict this season. This seems like a no-brainer — when you are both living in another state and starting to see your Q rating on the rise, your world becomes bigger, and petty “he said, she said” arguments tend to take the backseat. NeNe chalked it up to maturity, saying she doesn’t like the way she looks when she fights with these women, wishing someone had “shook her” instead of “pushing her” in the early years. I guess NeNe is going for the maturity role now that she’s a cast elder, but she will quickly dismantle her newfound above-it-all-ness when she screams in Phaedra’s face T-minus ten seconds later. There’s some discussion of how NeNe welcomed some people onto the show (Kenya and Porsha) but not others (Phaedra and Kandi), which in the end amounted to more alpha-dog behavior on display, which NeNe wrote off as “some people being too sensitive.” They all seemed happy that she and Gregg are back together, but NeNe turned even a happy utterance into a dismal one by calling all of the cast members liars who were out to get her and rip her family apart! Only Cynthia got a pass, since she was hurt by the comments that NeNe and Peter were flirting, too. Cynthia, your husband admitted to spending most of his free time drunk at strip clubs — a harmless flirtation with your friend is the least of your worries. When Phaedra tried to add her two bits, Kenya called her the “queen of the low-down and dirty,” to which Phaedra replied, “You don’t know me from Adam’s house cat,” a phrase I cannot even begin to break down but, knowing Phaedra, I’m sure it has roots in some sort of religious absurdity. Kenya flipped her fan, which is the new interpretive conversational masterpiece for “shut your hole.”
Phaedra was in the hot seat next, as flashbacks reminded us of her butt dialing, curse-laden disses, and the slug-in-a-beer-can way Apollo has of dropping his tongue into her mouth. When asked why she lied to Cynthia’s face about a phone call where she was caught saying she did not give an eff about Cynthia coming to Aiden’s party, her reason is that she was frustrated. Cynthia stretched her neck and pursed her lips in response, which is supermodel speak for “Fuck you very much.” Phaedra defended her right to curse every once in a while and declared herself a “wordsmith” — I will bet you $5 she is going to open a chain of bookstores called Flip the Page with Phaedra within the year — and only uses that word when pushed, like the way Kenya pushed her in Anguilla. She also said she made “Keyoncè” relevant and that Kenya can only get an interview if she’s talking about Phaedra. Kenya responded by flipping her fan like a hummingbird wing, floating to the airspace over Phaedra’s couch and dropping a turd as delicate as a robin’s egg on Phaedra’s lap. Do not put it past her! Kenya would absolutely revenge-shit on a pregnant woman.
When she was called on her behind-the-back shade-throwing, Phaedra tried to play innocent, but Kenya almost burst into flames trying to remind everyone that Phaedra has been throwing her shade like she’s in spring training for the Atlanta Braves, which Phaedra brushed off as Kenya’s “obsession” with her. NeNe brought her up short by reminding her of the “dirty stuff” she has done, going all the way back to Phaedra’s first season on the show, when she apparently tried to dig up dirt on NeNe by contacting NeNe’s half-sisters. NeNe was heated, saying she didn’t have to like Phaedra but would never bring up her past in an attempt to hurt her. There is a moral high ground for reality shows, didn’t you know? They went back and forth over Phaedra’s alleged calls to NeNe’s family, with Phaedra saying she’s known the whole family for a long time and NeNe saying, “You’re not smart trying to talk shit about me with my own family.” Phaedra was hurt that NeNe acted like she didn’t know her when she first started on the show, but NeNe said they had only met at a Christmas party once, prompting a discussion of how the word know was being defined. I swear I almost changed the channel, but the only other thing on TV were those terrible MTV Awards and House Hunters, which I cannot watch without going into a fit. You can change the wall colors, people; it is just paint. How did you qualify for a mortgage without knowing that? I stayed strong, Phaedra apologized but promised not to “lick any booty,” NeNe told Phaedra that she can “never win when she’s dirty,” and Andy uttered words I am sure will never come out of his face again: “We’ve beaten this to death.”
Next, Kim tiptoes in wearing a dress with no side panels, complimenting herself for not wearing a wig, excited to “clear things up.” I thought it was pretty clear that she was a garbage person who spews forth racist remarks that are quickly covered up by the “but my assistant is black, therefore I cannot be racist!” defense of seasons past, but apparently we have more ground to cover — namely her short cervix and her “trail of excuses.” Kim insists that she never confirmed the Anguilla dates, but Andy reminded her that production said she did, and NeNe backed it up by revealing a meeting the cast held before they started shooting to agree on dates that worked with Kim’s schedule. Kim responded with all of the gusto of a tranquilized sloth, barely eking out a “nuh-uh.” Her doctor would never allow it, not with “air pressure” threatening her miniscule cervix at every moment! Besides, she would “never deliver her son anywhere but the U.S.,” so why would they even think she would go on such a trip simply because she SAID she would? Nonsense. Lady Zolciak and Prince Kash Kade II need to sow their oats in Atlanta soil so that Kandi can more readily sue them for the rest of their natural lives for being song-and-name bandits.
When they started talking about the infamous brunch, the one where Kim stormed out and Kroy threatened a camera person, NeNe admitted that she wanted Kim to stay and answer questions about all of her excuses. The bottom line is that the entire cast had grown weary of Kim’s ability to take time away from shooting even though they all had to be present for every miserable minute. Andy pointed out that Kim seemed to want nothing to do with the cast this season, while Cynthia and Phaedra gave her the one-two punch of “you never respected our time” and “I gave birth on air, so tell me again about commitment to family?” Kim also insisted that Kroy wasn’t waiting for her because she had planned a getaway, but that he always “drove her when he could.” There is very little that could get me to sit in a car in always-hot Atlanta while the sun was shining high in the sky, so I’m just going to call bullshit on that. She planned to leave. Kandi pointed out that everyone was being nice in the moment but that they all thought Kim was full of it for constantly bailing out. Kim tried to bring up the doomed Las Vegas bus trip as an example of Kandi getting upset with other cast members, but Kandi shut it right down.
There was an interstitial where Andy complimented Kim on looking younger before tugging her hair to prove its realness (“I’ve always wanted to pull it”), not unlike my waitressing days when I would compliment a guest before dropping the bill in an attempt to get a bigger tip. I’M ON TO YOU, COHEN.
After watching a video of the ladies laughing and having a grand old time after Kim left the brunch, Cynthia confirmed that Kim’s absence was “a relief,” and they were “happy to see her go because she didn’t want to be there anymore.” Kim did her best to roll with it, knowing that any one of these ladies would cut her up like a Walking Dead zombie for a nickel. Even though it seems that she’s reunited with NeNe recently, there is no love lost for her, and she knows it. There’s a quick dissection of her shitty, racist remarks at and about Kandi’s new home, which Kim defended by saying she “stays north of Atlanta” and was told Kandi’s neighborhood was dangerous. Then she pulls the stunning feat of explaining that her racist comments were misunderstood while she made a racist comment, saying that “if I say one thing wrong it’s magnified because I’m on a show with all African-American women.” When in doubt, blame the black women! I’m not insensitive; it just looks that way because my white privilege can’t protect me in black company. Prattle on, doofus, prattle on.
But Kandi isn’t done! She wants Kim to know that she stole her baby name, even if Kim won’t admit it. Kim says oh NO you didn’t, I have documents! And then Troy appeared like a People’s Court bailiff from offstage to hand over documents saying that Kim had registered the name “Kash Kade” as an LLC in April of some year! She has an e-mail from March of some year where she referenced the name! Let’s just all agree that it is a terrible name, like something you would hear on your local news program during the reporting of a meth lab explosion, and call it a day.
Kim admits that she wishes she had communicated more during her time on the show and that she has a tendency to “not deal with things.” She believes that she would have a glass of wine with NeNe in the future and that theirs was a true friendship. They hugged on Andy’s urging, complimented each other’s perfume, and then Kim tottered off into the sunset like a horse on broken legs.
Next week, Porsha breaks down yelling about Kordell, NeNe yells about Kordell not being a supportive husband, Kenya yells about Walter being a groupie, and Kenya and Apollo yell about one of them sexting. Grease up your vocal chords — the season is coming to a close!