The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Talk to me about NeNe’s wig. Before we get to the disastrous therapy experience that made me want to gather all of my friends in a circle and hug them, talk to me about NeNe’s Bride of Frankenstein, Fright Night, gravity-defying wig. Who is paying her to hawk these goods? Everything in my heart tells me she’s going to try to sell these on the Home Shopping Network, and my frown is so deep, the corners of my mouth are hitting the floor.
Porsha has a new wig, too, and she’s paired it with a gold choker-necklace that Phaedra lovingly pokes and calls her 12 Years a Slave jewelry. After she shakily totters down the hall in heels so high, only a wall can steady her, to show off a meal she barely cooked, it occurs to me not only that the extremely wealthy need to hear about rubber-soled slippers, but also that Porsha is holding onto her Housewife status for dear life. What use is she? Anyone can fry sausage chunks in butter and call it dinner. The Housewives franchise loves a dummy, but not a uselessly mean dummy. How much longer can we entertain the idea that this woman is worth the wear and tear on our eyeballs? I refuse to get cataracts for you, Porsha! But I will send you the bill if I do.
Phaedra mostly came over to complain about her meeting with Cynthia and throw around some delightfully bitchy barbs about her, like, “My mom orders from the plus-size magazine she models for.” Phaedra, with a body that currently looks like eight tree trunks stuffed inside nine tree trunks, has the nerve to comment on Cynthia’s Atlanta-size ass? Good-bye, girl. They also took a moment to do that highly annoying thing of insinuating that Peter is having an affair that Cynthia knows about, so they’re just dropping that for our benefit. I did laugh when Phaedra said, “No one’s gonna put out rumors about fibroids and a dry vagina,” though, but mostly because after all these years I still cannot believe how vicious she gets when backed into a corner. She’s not going to that meeting NeNe set up with Dr. Jeff because she’s “too fragile for these hyenas,” so she and Porsha just called Kenya and Cynthia Satan’s minions and prayed over some Hamburger Helper.
Seeing Kandi and Todd’s relationship take this sharp turn to sadness bums me out. I also can’t believe she constantly brings up business and money whenever she talks about their relationship. We know you’re rich! That’s totally not the problem! When your loungewear includes a snakeskin-shoulder T-shirt, you’re already advertising your Scrooge McDuckiness. Todd doesn’t think Dr. Sherry, their thurrrr-upist, is helping, but they’ve also only been to one session. Anyone who has ever been to therapy knows that the doctor asks one question (“So, tell me what brought you in to see me today”), you sob for 45 minutes while trying to sum up your miserable life, and then they’re handing you an appointment card and shooing you out the door. Just like learning Excel and losing your virginity, nothing gets done the first time! They had a depressingly difficult time coming up with their pros-and-cons list (even though Todd fucking with his phone the entire time is a MAJOR CON), and then Todd left. The only good thing about this scene is that we got to see their dog, Georgia, and her big, slobbery face jump up and try to help out by being adorable.
Claudia has a co-host named Gary With Da Tea, and she thought he’d be a great person to give her advice about her burgeoning stand-up career. She brought over a lasagna like some ’80s-sitcom neighbor, and after he gave a rundown of the Atlanta dating scene (“daddy’s girls, sissies, punks” — you know, the usual) and grimaced at the idea of her being a power bottom, he positively ruined her dreams by telling her only Ricky is allowed to be funny on their radio show, but that she should feel free to take her “little comedy” hobby somewhere else. I am here for Claudia’s feminist argument that radio hosts always make women their prim and proper sidekicks in light of Gary With Da Tea’s reductive statement, but we all know that this is one instance where homegirl should stay in her lane, right? She’s the only one I even like on this show anymore, and I can’t bear to see her traipse off into becoming a multi-hyphenate who’s spread so thin, she’s not good at anything anymore. She consulted professional comedian Luenell, whose many-ringed, different-gel-design-on-every-nail hands made her look like the victor in a prolonged war with every fortune teller that ever existed. Even Luenell told her it would be easier to jump off a cliff than attempt a stand-up career, and she was so in the bag, she couldn’t tell that the straw in her vodka tonic still had the wrapper on it. Thankfully Claudia’s practice set is abysmal, and not even Demetria, the solitary audience member, could feign interest in it.
NeNe went over to Phaedra’s with the worst wig ever created to drink and collect her accolades for being a good friend, and Phaedra is so impressed by NeNe’s friendship that she doesn’t even stop to think that NeNe literally has no other friends to spend time with. Phaedra cried about what a bad friend Kandi has been in comparison, which isn’t really true, but it’s enough to get NeNe’s mouth going. Maybe she is a good friend, though — she didn’t comment even once about that baby-phoenix wing Phaedra was trying to pass off as an earring while it crawled into her hairline. When Kandi shows up at Phaedra’s office, she’s upset that Phaedra told NeNe about their problems without coming to her first, and I’m upset about the fact that Phaedra was wearing a sheer white shirt over a black bra like that was something you’d want your lawyer to wear to court. The really awesome point Kandi made about the fact that Phaedra hasn’t called her either goes completely unanswered, because Phaedra is too busy living in her own play where she’s the only one who’s been hurt. Had you ever heard about a Mad Day before Kandi explained it? Apparently it’s when you have a close friend you confide in, and if you ever fall out, they blast all of your business to the world. According to those rules, every motherfucker on this show is having a Mad Century! Phaedra and Kandi are cool, but Phaedra still isn’t going to Dr. J’s, preferring instead to sit at her desk and call Cynthia “Satan’s child” like a normal, well-adjusted adult.
You already guessed that things at Dr. Jeff’s office were not going to go down well, no matter how many bowls of candy he set out. I cried laughing when Kandi made a big show of not eating candy and instead opting for fruit, remembering how in past seasons she was constantly mixing up huge vats of sweet tea with ham garnishes, but people can change! I had a glass of water today, totally unprompted, and didn’t even ask for a medal. Cynthia, Kenya, and Claudia sauntered in looking like a gang, and NeNe got everything started on a terribly uncomfortable foot when she told Dr. Jeff that he was not repping for her because “I don’t know you like that,” after he pointed out that she was talking at, but not to, Kenya. Um, you WERE the one who called this meeting because you’ve worked with him before, right? NeNe did nothing but pull her pants down and show her ass the entire time she was there — first she fought with Kenya, then Claudia, then Cynthia, then Kandi, all the while steamrolling over Dr. Jeff by not letting him get a word in edgewise. The points they were making about her were so valid! Kandi pointed out that when you have drama with everyone, you’re usually the drama, Claudia said that NeNe’s need to be the HBIC is making her crazy, Cynthia pointed out that it was hard to move on in their friendship after she called Peter a bitch and refused to apologize, and Kandi simply mumbled that NeNe is always marking her territory and throwing away good friendships. Do you think NeNe could handle hearing any of this? Hell naw! She was up like a shot, packing up her two purses and running to the elevator while Dr. Jeff tried to catch up to her. I mean, what’s dramatic about that? She said she didn’t want to sit there as if she were the sole cause of all of these friendships being the way they are, but guess what? She totally is the reason. This is why I’ve turned away from NeNe so violently — she’ll happily stir a pot of shit with a giant oar, but as soon as a drop splashes back to her, she’s running for the hills. I did laugh when the entire camera crew tried to squeeze onto the elevator with them, though — gotta get that shot!
Next week, NeNe threatens Dr. Jeff’s license like a totally normal person, and Phaedra might be filing for divorce to get her sanity back. See you then!