The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season-Premiere Recap: Who Is Baby?

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

50 Shades of Cynthia
Season 10 Episode 1
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo

She’s back.

She’s back.

The woman who launched a thousand GIFs used in Facebook comment threads by white girls who can’t name where those GIFs came from. NeNe Leakes is back and she’s morphed into a GIF herself. She’s a goddamn catchphrase machine and her face seems to have been implanted with some sort of “incredulous expression motor.” She’s making up for lost time and she’s working so hard, her lace front almost comes off during a confessional.

Speaking of questionable confessional looks, WHAT IS UP WITH SHEREÉ’S ATOMIC BLONDE WIG? What drag-in-a-bag Halloween costume did she steal that wig from? Cold War Bisexual Revenge Girl? Also, is it just me or did Kandi look more awake than usual? I’m glad to see her so uplifted.

Just as we here on this mortal plane are being forced to relitigate the 2016 election, these peaches are being forced to constantly relitigate Phaedra-gate. NeNe wasn’t even present for the drama, but she’s got something to say about it and her recent appearance on Watch What Happens Live is the reason for her tension with Porsha. And I swear to God, if Donna Brazile strolls in during some charity fundraiser or trip to the Carribbean, I’m going to flip my shit.

Let’s get into it.

Apparently Kandi’s story line this season is going to be that she’s not achieving proper work-life balance because she’s on two reality shows, whereas most working mothers are only on one. Things are going great at OLG and Mama Joyce is relishing taking pictures with her adoring fans.

At Lake Bailey, Cynthia is prepping for her 50th birthday party. She turned 50 at the end of last season, but she’s ready for an entire calendar year of birthday parties because these are exactly those type of women. While Cynthia stares out looking over Lake Bailey contemplating her own beauty, NeNe arrives. Cynthia’s birthday-party theme is going to be “50 Shades of Cynthia” and everyone has to dress as different versions of Cynthia. I’m in.

The hottest (and most improbable) news is that KENYA. IS. MARRIED. But no one knows who the guy is and Kenya announced it on Instagram and the timelines don’t add up. I’m surprised NeNe and Cynthia didn’t pull out a corkboard and some yarn and start piecing it together. Right on schedule, Kenya arrives to show off her ring and say that we’re only supposed to call her husband “Baby.” Bitch, what? I’m not calling someone else’s husband “Baby.” NeNe wants to know where this alleged “Baby” is because they’re not living together yet. They’re looking for a house together. Kenya just bought a house, but it doesn’t have windows because of her last hired boyfriend. So I guess we’re gonna be dealing with this mess all season.

The other revelation this episode is that Porsha has a … podcast? With her sister and cousin? Is this for real? Is this available on the iTunes store? They aren’t even holding their microphones right. They are just waving the mics around and reading emails from their “listeners” and giving advice. How is Porsha qualified to give anyone advice on anything? Porsha hasn’t talked to Kandi since the blowup during the reunion and Phaedra has been trying to text her to patch up their relationship. Phaedra’s text also mentions that Porsha looks sexy in her bikini. I’m not saying that female friends can’t say they look sexy, but Phaedra seems to be continuing her weird fascination with other women’s bodies.

NeNe is visiting her boutique in Atlanta called Swagg and they have clothes for both kinds of women: the ones who eat and the ones who don’t. Shereé stops by and NeNe says she’s seen what Phaedra is capable of and she doesn’t think Porsha is so innocent. She also says that Porsha has been running around talking about her and they play a clip of Da Brat and Porsha talking about NeNe. All the cutaways in this episode are perfection. NeNe thinks she gave Porsha some advice she didn’t like two years ago and that’s the actual source of the whole drama.

Kenya is driving around Atlanta and she calls her dad and has a positively uncomfortable conversation about eloping. She tells her dad that he has a tendency to run his mouth and Kenya didn’t want anything to upset her future husband on their wedding day.

That just … doesn’t add up for me. I can understand saying that you don’t want things to be uncomfortable on your wedding day or you don’t want to be upset on your wedding day. Kenya frames the whole thing like someone was going to say something to her future husband, he would get upset, and he would leave her at the altar. Kenya’s dad says he just wants her to be cautious. This whole marriage is already on shaky ground.

Meanwhile, Porsha and Shereé head to what I can only assume is one of Atlanta’s many wig shops to pick out their Cynthia Bailey looks. They talk about NeNe and Porsha says that she’s offended about what NeNe said on WWHL. She says that NeNe could have talked to her privately.

It’s time for the party! Cynthia arrives and is getting ready with Noelle when she decides to call Peter to ask if he’s coming. He can’t make it and she starts feeling sorry for herself because this is her first birthday without him. You were born without him, Cynthia, and you’ll be fine without him.

NeNe arrives and didn’t dress up as a Cynthia. This bitch.

Of course, Kenya’s husband doesn’t make it, but NeNe finds out that “Baby” is actually named Marc Daly. We’ll see if he actually exists or not.

Kandi has dressed as Coke Can Curlers Cynthia, and Shereé is Cynthia in a Casual Moment. Kandi is awarded Best Cynthia Bailey and I aspire to this level of extra. Kandi gets annoyed at having to be nice around Porsha and just excuses herself to a different area of the party. Shereé thinks that NeNe and Porsha need to have a conversation. She tries to lead them into a conversation and they talk in strange vague terms about what real friends should do. After a little back and forth, NeNe decides to walk over to Porsha, fold her arms, and stare at her. She also asks, “What is your problem?” like Porsha is a pouting child. NeNe claims she never used the word “fired,” so anything she said on TV is fine. She also says if they’re going to talk about their relationship, they need to go all the way back to the start and deal with all of it. Porsha wants to talk about the last three weeks and the last three weeks only.

NeNe walks her behind out of the party because Porsha won’t have a real conversation while Kandi is singing “Happy Birthday” to Cynthia. Always leave a party at its height while wearing an all-white jumpsuit and matching headscarf because you aren’t dressed on theme. It’s a bad-bitch move.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta Premiere Recap: Who Is Baby?