Friends, I know we're only two episodes into this eighth season, but I'm going to go ahead and say it: [whispers] I. Don't. Miss. NeNe. Sorry! I don't! And it's not because I don't like her. I do. She wears ridiculous wigs and spits out scathing one-liners that would make Harriet Tubman clutch her bonnet. In short, NeNe is fantastic, but with her out of the picture, other interesting story lines can emerge. We have Phaedra and Kandi repairing their strained friendship, Porsha being a stage-five clinger with her 24-year-old football beau of two months, and Kim motherflippin' Fields finally makes an appearance! Why? I don't know. Is it because she's behind on her bills? Or is she jonesing to show off her array of Magic Eye–inspired caftans? Perhaps she just feels like life is too perfect, so she wants to be cussed out by one of the cast members who has half her talent and none of her common sense — [cough] Kenya [cough] — and that way she can feel like she's one of us. Well, you ain't! You're Tootie! You shouldn't be on this crazy-ass show, and I shouldn't be watching it, but you are, and I am.
In spite of how ridiculous The Real Housewives of Atlanta can be, I have to give it props. My longest relationship lasted four years, and this show has been on twice as long as that, sooooooooooo, clearly, RHOA is doing something right. And by "something right," I mean all the ladies greasing up their boobies the way I put an egg wash on a tray of hot cross buns so they'll glisten fresh out of the oven. Duly noted, ladies, duly noted. That boob presentation was the biggest lesson I learned tonight, but not the only one! So let's talk about everything that happened in last night's episode, "Duking It Out."
We start right we left off, which is smack in the middle of the Sheree/Kenya fight, which was mostly business as usual until Kenya called her a "bitch ass." Pretty much everyone decided the "bitch ass" comment was too far and stepped in to break up the fight. Kenya quickly apologizes the way I did when I was a kid and I told my brother I was sorry for ratting him out to my parents so I wouldn't get in trouble. How is she sorry when she still has a smirk on her face? She walks away, and Porsha is "shocked" and thinks that Sheree went from "0 to 1,000." Huh? Did she just not see how Kenya instigated the entire fight? Kenya is a shit-starter, which is basically what Phaedra implies when she goes up to Kenya and asks her why she did that. Naturally, Kenya denies her role in the situation and then heads home to her home … that's not ready yet. Is she sleeping in her car? Who the hell knows?
Meanwhile, Sheree is hanging with Porsha and Kandi, and lamenting how she's reformed from her former hothead days. Right. Because getting ready to Silkwood shower someone with a cocktail after they implied that you're broke is totally normal behavior. LOL. I love Sheree.
And, oh, Peter is still at the party, and updates Cynthia about the fight he had with Kenya about that video of him canoodling with another woman. He says to Cyn, "Yeah, I was out at 2:30 in the morning," (WUT?) "Yes, I was drunk," (UHH …) "Yes, I put my hand on her like this" (DA. FUQ.). I mean, is there an apology in there somewhere? No, because then he says that he wasn't checking for the way she walked down the stairs in her sexy outfit and storms off. Let me get this straight: He gets caught rubbing on another woman, but the real issue here is that Cynthia, a former model, looked sexy in public. Dude, you're an idiot. I really hope these two get a divorce because their toxic relationship is really harshing my vibe. Yes, wishing for someone to get a divorce is not the nicest thing in the world, but when we later on see Cynthia crying in front of her business partner, talking about the toll the marriage is taking on her, it breaks my heart. No one should be that unhappy in a relationship.
In lighter news, we finally see Kim Fields! Kenya visits her while she's in the middle of editing a TV pilot. They catch up about their careers briefly and Kenya says, "Hollywood has been good to us." Cut to Kim like:
I mean, seriously. Kim has starred in two highly known and well-received sitcoms, and Kenya has starred in a bunch of stuff that has gone straight to the $5 DVD bin at Target. Calm down. Anyway, Kenya is there on official biz, as she directed a pilot called Life Twirls On, but wants Kim to take a look at it and give notes. We all know this pilot is going to be terrible, right? Kim is a good friend, though, so she says she'll check it out.
We catch up with Porsha, who is meeting her team to discuss her Go Naked lingerie line, and she keeps talking about Duke. Okay, she talks about this damn man with the frequency that I talk about Nutella, so I'm assuming he's got that good stroke and the sex is amazing. Then we see Kandi and Sheree hanging out while Phaedra and Cynthia are bonding. Both Phaedra and Kandi are venting about their friendship to other people, but in non-typical Housewives fashion, neither Cyn nor Sheree is trying to stir the pot. They're just listening and being good friends. This level of civility is very cool, but also I'm confused about it the way I am after a friend gets a makeover, when she's not the frumpy one anymore. I'll get used to it, but I kind of miss the old days.
Kim is now at home, and her marriage seems good and her kids are cute. She's working on a maternity line, as well a home-accessories line that will probably be successful and this is … a little boring. Sorry, I'm not tuning into this show to see someone's bae in pleated slacks, putting up groceries while the "Real Housewife" does everything really well. There has to be some middle ground between Cynthia's terrible life and Kim mostly perfect life, and that middle is "the bacon that Johnnie, Kandi's assistant, is cooking." You didn't misread. The middle ground is not Kandi's life. Just the bacon that's in her life. Bacon makes everything great. I mean, it will probably kill us all, but it will be a delicious death. So why the bacon-making? Because she's having breakfast with Todd and her team, and Todd is still complaining because Phaedra owes him $5–8,000. Sure, it's not chump change, but why doesn't he just go to Phaedra instead of making sly comments all the time? It's starting to get old.
Now we come to the most ignorant part of the episode. Porsha is throwing Duke a surprise going-away party complete with a DJ, a full spread of food, cheerleaders, and her mom and grandma so he can officially meet them. Again, they've only been dating two months, but we're all under the assumption his stroke game = a jar of Nutella, so we'll allow it. Before the party starts, her little sister Lauren is vom'ing all up in the bathroom because she's PREGNANT! Porsha is, of course, happy, but she is also a little jealous, like when a best friend of mine changes her FB status to "In a Relationship" and all I have is two sleeves of Oreo thins to call my boo. Poor Porsha. She'll get the husband and the kids when she acts a little less …desperate? We'll get to why she's desp in a second.
So Duke arrives, and he is clearly touched by the surprise party. Aww. Then we hear some of Porsha's friends talking, and they're unimpressed by how smitten she is with her very young beau. Ouch. Porsha brags to her mom how it seems like he just dropped out of the sky for her. Aww, the sequel. Her friends gossip about how TMZ reported that he hangs out with porn stars and transgender strippers. Maaaaaaybe don't bring up his fraternizing with strippers and porn stars within earshot of Porsha's grandma. That's the kind of information that'll make her choke on a Werther's Original or something. Yikes. But then it's back to the "Aww" portion of the program, because Porsha states how great her relationship is to the other Housewives. Then she says that she and Duke are going to look at homes tomorrow:
You and I both know that this is her goofy-ass idea and not Duke's. What the hell?! It took me more than two months to watch every episode of The Wire, but she's ready to go half on a National Grid bill with this guy? This is two scoops of foolishness! The only things they should be splitting are all the appetizers they eat at the Olive Garden and the cost of Trojan condoms. Porsha is moving entirely too fast! And Duke agrees because he freaks out to his friend about how this whole night is too over-the-top and his friend HAS TO CONVINCE HIM NOT TO RUN OUT THE DOOR. So he stays and Porsha is like, "I have one more surprise." She grabs the microphone and gives a speech about how it's them against the world, and Duke is visibly sweating at this point. She says, "You are my trophy man, my MVP," presents him with a glass trophy, and then laughs creepily to the point where I want to tell him to get a caulking gun because he needs to fill in all the holes she most definitely poked in their Trojans. #Callback. But seriously! Jesus H., Porsha. Why are you making a grown-ass man a personalized glass trophy from ThingsRemembered.com? An HJ and a Velveeta cheese dip would have sufficed at this point in the relationship. If he doesn't break up with her as soon as he gets back to Buffalo, I will be surprised. Oy.
We end with the most emotional part of the episode: Phaedra and Kandi's talk. We've all been in the position where a strong friendship bond you have with someone becomes fractured. And to see these two ladies shed very real tears over the fact that they aren't close anymore made me tear up. I mean, they both have valid points. Phaedra felt like Kandi wasn't there for her through all the tumultuous times with Apollo. Kandi believes she was the only one putting in the effort to maintain the friendship. Both of them feel like the other was talking about them to other people. At the end of the day, I feel like this is something that can be resolved with time. So it was nice to see them stop crying, make up, and promise to work on their relationship in the future. Phaedra leaves, and unfortunately, my joy is short-lived because in walks DonJuan, Kandi's friend and co-worker, to stir the pot like he's making a batch of shrimp gumbo for the New Orleans Saints.
He basically clowns Phaedra for marrying a former criminal who didn't turning his life around and then is like, "Kandi, you been going through all this stuff with your mother-in-law passing away, your pregnancy issues, and other life things, and where was she?" Kandi says they weren't talking and he's like, "She wasn't there for you." Um, if neither of them were talking to each other, how the hell is Phaedra going to be privy to that kind of information? STFU, dude. First of all, you're a moron. Secondly, this isn't AOL Instant Messenger in 1997, so why the hell is there no space between the "Don" and the "Juan," in your name, DonJuan? Third, you just got told everything was resolved, so why are you going to rehash all the drama and plant the seeds of doubt that Phaedra isn't genuine? Why the eff is he even in this show this season? He really doesn't need to be there because we already have Peter. One male asshole is all the show needs. Someone, please tell the Bravo execs that there is no need for DonJuan. And then, hopefully, "The Ballad of Kandi & Phaedra's Awesome Friendship" can resume real soon.
All right, what did you think of last night's episode? Did you think that DonJuan was trying to sabotage Kandi and Phaedra? Do you think Porsha and Duke are going to break up?