The Real Housewives of Atlanta
How is it possible that NeNe knows what “tea-bagging” means but gets the vapors trying to conceptualize an orgy? Tea-bagging is not Sex Ed 101, but you can see orgies on MTV almost every single day. From the highest mountain to the deepest valley, I call bullshit on you, NeNe Leakes!
NeNe really has nothing else to do this week because she’s not really on the show yet. Do you think it’s an accident that she isn’t filming with the cast for the first two episodes? It’s just NeNe and Gregg in Las Vegas, sweating through their Depends and pretending that a tidal wave swallowed Atlanta. She’s nervous about her hosting gig, and she should be, because Zumanity artistic director Ria is watching her like a damn hawk. While everyone else is trying to coddle NeNe about how great she is, Ria walks in, lowers her glasses, and sternly tells her, “You just need to know your lines.” Bam! NeNe’s face froze into a smile, and just like that, her emphatic hand-motions and larger-than-life proclamations stopped. Ria for president! Ria for Skulking in the Background of Other Episodes for a Little While! That was priceless. And NeNe did fine — she terrified tourists and sexually harassed passersby just like she was hired to do, the end.
Phaedra is going the same route as Teresa Guidice this season, turning herself into a dedicated mother who is all about the family in light of her husband’s legal troubles. She’s always been good to her boys, but I hate his saccharine, amped-up, Mother Superior act; bring back my Phaedra who talks about stanky booties! The only time we see her this episode is when she takes Ayden to his first dentist appointment (with her mother, whom I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of this season) and throws stone-cold shade at Apollo when he comes in a few minutes later. He asked her a direct question, and she didn’t even look him in his beady little eyes! I like that she still considers completely icing him out “cordial” and in line with her Southern-belle-ness, but to the rest of us, it just looked like Apollo will spend his last few days as a free man sleeping in the backyard. Ayden remains adorable, but wasn’t it very uncomfortable and sad to hear him say, “Is that Daddy? Oh, boy, oh, boy” when Apollo walked in? It’s okay — he knows how to brush his teeth, and Phaedra is hell-bent on “not raising any Dustin Diamond,” whatever that means.
Kenya is still pretending to be agoraphobic in light of her attack, and I remain unimpressed by the way she talks about Her Attack the way the Irish talk about the Troubles or my granddad talked about the War. Brandon came over to be a life-size replica of her self-esteem and to remind her that she’s been in 101 sitcoms (31) and is a megaproducer (5 projects). He mentioned that he’s avoiding “beige-on-beige crime” by staying away from a party Apollo might attend, then he sat at the piano and they made up a song called “Really, Bitch,” just singing and clapping and laughing as if the entire world can’t see right through them. By the end of the episode, we’ll all owe Kenya a huge apology, though, so the joke’s on us.
Just when you thought, There’s no way she’s that delusional, Kandi decides to buy her mother, Mama Joyce, a new house one block away from her own lavish manse. It has seven bedrooms — one for each of Mama Joyce’s personalities — four bathrooms, a pool, and a basketball court. Can one of you please tell me what in the sweet hell Mama Joyce did to deserve all of this, or why one person needs a seven-bedroom house? This is on top of the fact that she refuses to move into the house that Kandi already gave her two years ago! Mama Joyce doesn’t need another house; she needs a team of on-call therapists and a wheelbarrow full of Abilify. Todd tried to reason with Kandi; he didn’t want to talk her out of it, but was just trying to understand why she would go so far out of her way for such a deranged, hateful person, and surprise! Kandi had no answer. She just Humpty Dumptied her way around the kitchen being willfully obtuse until her mom showed up, already bitching about “barely getting invited” over before she even rings the doorbell. THIS BITCH. It’s painful to watch Todd try to interact with her as if she were a normal person, and my heart breaks for him every single time he tries, but I did laugh when he said, “Oh, does she think I can’t kick her out of this house?”
It’s not a total loss; Kandi did stick up for Todd’s mother, Sharon, when she asked if Mama Joyce was going to apologize for calling her “a pimp and a prostitute.” Not only will Mama Joyce never apologize, but she wants an apology for being called a bitch after she acted like a massively huge bitch. Kandi said, “People only react to how you treat them,” with all the logic of a person who is not regularly enabling this crazy bag of bolts, and laughed when she said, “Todd couldn’t have found a nicer person than me,” but the real kicker was Mama Joyce thinking Todd had a vasectomy because she dreamed it was true. I’M BACK IN. For a second, I was back onboard with this hilarious bitch! But then she told Kandi that she was happy for this house because she “put her in the manner to which she has become accustomed,” and I kicked a hole through my TV.
It’s only the second episode of the season, and we’re already celebrating one of my favorite Housewives pastimes — throw a party for your minor accomplishments! Cynthia, a model, got hired to model in an Ebony magazine spread about looking great at any age, so Peter threw her a party to celebrate her being a model, even though she has been a model for two decades. She did all the classic poses — running away from your problems, broken-down puppet, examining your cooch on the bedroom floor, and topless with pantyhose — and looked great. More than anything, Cynthia still wants you to know that everything in her life is a million times better now that she and NeNe are no longer friends, including, somehow, her sex life with Peter. I don’t even want to know.
Cynthia was wearing a white suit with so many pinstripes down the side, she looked like the emergency broadcast system TV test pattern, and Kandi started talking shit right away, mostly about why Porsha and NeNe weren’t invited. I realized something in this scene: Kandi is Mama Joyce the Younger. She’s the No. 1 proprietor of starting something only to act innocent moments later when everyone is screaming and fighting. It’s not that surprising, since she is related to the woman, but I never realized just how much she loves to instigate.
Cynthia shrugged it off until Kenya arrived with her friend Claudia. Kenya was actually acting okay and insisted on keeping the conversation about Cynthia and away from Porsha when Kandi asked about the lawsuit. Kenya raises a good point — why does Kandi insist on bringing this up at a party? Then again, they only hang out with each other voluntarily on so few occasions, it makes sense that she would seize the opportunity. I like that Claudia stuck up for Kenya and said of course she should have pressed charges, even though Kandi disagreed. I love it when the new girl asserts her position by being contrary!
The real business happened when Apollo showed up. Is he contractually obligated to glad-hand everyone in town before he goes to prison? I’d be at home, binge-watching movies and eating sacks of doughnuts through nonstop tears if I were going to jail, but Apollo is out on the town in his best suit, showing up at parties and trying to get in everyone’s good graces. It’s very weird. Maybe he’s hoping someone will remember him in eight years and give him a job.
Kenya leaves right away, and Apollo stays behind to tell everyone how terrible his marriage is at the moment (“we’re spiraling downhill”) because he’s nice that way. But then he goes out to apologize to Kenya, starting with “I’m not going to degrade you,” and ending with calling her “rude and an ass” when she finally, FINALLY gets him to admit that he lied when he told Phaedra that she offered him fellatio. I don’t think he knows what degrade means. Cynthia can barely comprehend the gravity of the situation but is bugging out all the same, and when Apollo goes back inside to tell Kandi, Peter, and Todd with a shrug that, yeah, he made up that stuff about Kenya, they all collectively lose their minds.
Peter is the first to say “We owe that girl an apology,” and Kandi cannot believe they’ve been taking his side all these years. He ruined, positively thrashed Kenya’s reputation, and all Apollo has to say for himself is “I’m not perfect.” The infuriating thing is that there are so many legitimate reasons to dislike Kenya!
Kenya gets him to admit that he never saw her in L.A. when he goes back out to apologize for calling her an asshole the first time, and admits he started all of it — all of it! — because he was mad about the DVD debacle. What pisses me off more than his weak apology is the fact that he thinks he can walk in like Jesus and be absolved just because he’s going to jail, and that he never would have admitted any of his lies if he weren’t going to jail in the first place. I wonder how Phaedra is going to react, or if anyone will ever actually apologize to Kenya, since she absolutely deserves it.
Next week, everyone fights and Apollo uses Phaedra’s attorney to file for divorce, so that should work out well for him. See you then!