The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Self-Centered Shine

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Episode Title
Friend or Faux
Editor’s Rating

Someone finally addressed the fact that the cast doesn’t hang out as a group anymore, but was Kandi really the right person to call this meeting to order? She can barely open her jaw wide enough to form a vowel.

Claudia was too busy conning Kenya into assembling some IKEA shelves in her new apartment to take part in the round table, but she’s already proven herself to be the voice of reason, so I doubt she’ll be invited to any of these public reckonings. Kenya’s reaction to Claudia’s cat wasn’t entirely normal; I understand that you may be a dog person, but standing 20 feet away and shrieking, “What is that?’ just serves to remind me how much Kenya vamps for the cameras. Cats should be banned from the Housewives franchises, anyway, as they only give cast members a chance to be faux-mosexual and say the word pussy. When Kenya mentioned the emotional workout session from last week, Claudia unwittingly gave me the perfect salutation for my holiday cards when she told Kenya, “You’re not a liar or a whore, but you are cray-cray and a little ashy.” Happy New Year, guys!

Meanwhile, across town, Kandi was in the process of discovering that her mother’s boyfriend positively demolished her old house, the one she gave to her mother when she moved into her two-mansion estate. It’s been over a year since she gave her mom that house, but she’s somehow just discovering that there were broken tiles, exposed electrical wiring everywhere, and that he absolutely gutted her bathrooms even though her mother never moved in. Can we just take a second to appreciate that Mama Joyce handed over the keys to a house she never intended on living in because her name wasn’t on the deed to an unqualified man she happened to be boning just to see what he would do? It feels strange to call someone’s grandmother a spoiled brat, so let’s just say Mama Joyce is cray-cray and a little ashy. Todd tried to be the voice of reason as per usual, asking Kandi if she would ever hold her mother accountable for anything now that she was looking at tens of thousands of dollars of repairs, and Kandi replied with her trademark “Todd is right, but I don’t want to hear it.” Mama Joyce is apparently taking care of the repairs, but I hope Kandi has the Property Brothers on speed dial. She has lunch with her aunts to blow off steam, but considering that these were the same women who watched their sister Joyce get up off a couch and attempt to beat up Kandi’s best friend, they aren’t really going to encourage her to take action.  

Cynthia is continuing her parade of personal empowerment by talking about NeNe nonstop to her visiting mom and sister. NeNe apparently gave an interview and mentioned Cynthia, which sparked the flame of hatred anew, but Cynthia mostly puts me to sleep, so I wasn’t really paying attention. Whenever she gets riled up, she sounds like a 6-year-old who insists she can carry her own luggage or make her own sandwich. “I’m STRONG! I can DO IT! I can hold the knife, Mommy, showed me how!” She might be fed up with the “self-centered shine of NeNe Leakes,” but you’d never be able to tell from the way she talks about during every waking hour. I think her mom made a cucumber salad with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, which bummed me out more than it should have.

Phaedra at least made guacamole when Kandi came to visit, and they chomped on it loudly while calling themselves the “queens of the green.” Phaedra looks so good with a bright lipstick, doesn’t she? I’m so over that pale shimmer she insists on wearing in the confessionals. They talked about how weird it was that Apollo is acting like he’s not about to go to prison, and Kandi hatched her plan to get the whole cast together for a civilized dinner. The strangest thing in the world to me is that Phaedra won’t admit that Apollo was lying to her for two years, and insists that Kenya is now lying about the apology. According to Phaedra, Kenya had so much bad behavior that the lies Apollo told about her were believable, which makes me officially worried for any client she ever takes on as an attorney. She’s bobbing and weaving to find ways to hate Kenya, and it’s a very ugly thing to witness.

Somewhere in a cone-filled parking lot, Gregg and NeNe are teaching Brentt how to drive, which does nothing but remind us that time is passing and NeNe probably makes Bravo include solo scenes in her contract now. She’s increasingly unlikable, and now talks in a way that makes me think she knows someone is going to turn her interstitials into GIFs.

Are you sick of watching housewives go to the gym? I sure am! Kenya and Claudia are there, though, working out with the ghost of Michel Foucault and going through Claudia’s history of biracial strife. I think Kenya requires a certain number of her scenes to be filmed in gyms to remind us that she made a workout DVD. She’s like the tortoise, slowly and subliminally working her way towards a win — she’ll outsell Phaedra one way or another! Apparently Claudia and her mother have never exchanged an “I love you,” which is weird and sad, but of course Kenya found a way to make it about herself, reminding us that she, too, is estranged from her mother. Kenya, you finally have someone on the show entirely on your side — take a chill pill.

Finally, people show up one by one to a restaurant where the server forgets to bring water. Phaedra told everyone the tambourine was her signature instrument, proving that no one at this table knows how to talk to each other, and Porsha showed up with bangs so low she looked like Buddy from the Hate comics. Kandi is surprised when no one has anything to say after her feeble introduction, but Kenya pipes up right away to try to clear the air with Phaedra, who agrees to a clean slate even if she still refuses to apologize. Everything is solved, but they still have open contempt for each other, so this Snowpiercer train of a friendship rolls on, fueled by hatred and Louboutin receipts. 

Cynthia and NeNe tried to talk about the demise of their friendship, but NeNe was in attack mode. Cynthia needs to learn how to fight with these women because they keep steamrolling her! There was a lot of, “Oh, YOU know what you did” with no explanation about what actually happened, but NeNe did say she was blindsided at the reunion when Cynthia called her out. The rift could have happened when NeNe called Peter a bitch, it might have been Cynthia’s pushback at the horrid way NeNe acted at Kenya’s charity event last year, or it could be something else entirely; all I know is that my new ringtone is NeNe saying, “I’m a good-ass friend, bitch!”

Next week looks awesome — Derek J might be a hair burglar, Todd and Kandi go to New York, and Cynthia models in a fashion show being put on by a man who wears sunglasses at night so he can more effectively stare directly at her tits. See you next week!