The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Some episodes just exist to set up a larger, bigger fight. Some episodes are just here to lay the foundation of the conflict to come. Some episodes are just fine and this was one of those episodes. One of the reasons it was okay was because it centered around Tanya. Listen, I’m not mad at Tanya. We all gotta have that one friend who is too perky and cheerful for her own good. If this were middle school, Tanya would get to school early on your birthday to decorate your locker. If this were high school, Tanya would mediate the “Secret Santa drama” that is tearing through the speech and debate team. Tanya brings light and joy and happiness.
BUT I DO NOT WANT THAT ON MY EPISODES OF REAL HOUSEWIVES.
I don’t need my Housewives to be all negative. I love a moment of grace and levity. I love Sonja Morgan going to the grocery store with a face mask on. I love Karen Huger eating a peach like it’s a butt. I love Porsha Williams cracking open walnuts with her thighs. Something fun, something weird, something Housewives. But it can’t all be whimsy and mirth. I need a Housewife with some grit, a little bite, and the tendency to blow everything out of proportion. Tanya is too sweet and too nice and honestly too Canadian to really bring what we need on a season of Real Housewives. Because, truly, we don’t need more people in the world who are capable of the cruelty and maniacal terror that is required to be a Housewife. The world needs more Tanyas. We have enough Yovannas.
Let’s get to it.
Everyone this episode is prepping for the journey to Toronto for Carnival, which according to the ladies is about “fun, dancing, getting drunk” and also maybe the emancipation of enslaved people. There’s a few things that have to get done before the trip. Porsha meets her sister to pick up some NARS. (Does anyone actually wear NARS Orgasm or is it just a marketing ploy?) Porsha had a good therapy session with Dennis and he’s ready to put her ring back on her finger. I bet he is, but Lauren is the voice of reason and tells Porsha that even if she gets back together with Dennis, they need to move the relationship along at a normal pace. Porsha says they’re not officially back together — she hasn’t made any decisions yet — but they’re in a better place.
Porsha is also upset about Eva talking shit about her and saying that Porsha’s C-section scar hasn’t healed yet, but she’s already in other people’s business. The fact that Eva tries to pretend that she didn’t say this incredibly specific thing is preposterous. Eva can be a shady bitch all she wants, but she needs to SIT IN THE SHADINESS.
After a short montage of everyone packing at home and getting a FaceTime call from a relative or friend, it’s time to head to the airport! There’s very little narrative thrust in this episode! It’s 6:45 a.m. and everyone has a full face of makeup. Marlo just had foot surgery so she can’t wear heels. Eva is trying to prevent a preterm birth. Tanya freaks out about Cynthia’s ring and we should all be freaking out. It’s gigantic. Eva arrives and Tanya says, “This baby bump is everything.” Ma’am. This is too cheerful and supportive for 6:45 in the morning.
The first topic of conversation at the airport is if NeNe is coming. NeNe hasn’t responded to anyone’s messages about going on the trip, so of course her arrival will be timed for maximum drama. When Yovanna arrives, Eva goes, “I’m sorry, why is she here?” Cynthia says, “I don’t have any real reason to distrust her, but I ain’t got any damn reason to trust her ass either.” Yovanna is wearing a jean jacket that says “BITCH” on the back. Yovanna is the anti-Tanya.
Once the plane lands in Toronto, Marlo leaves her passport at the kiosk and it gets immediately stolen, so she has bad luck when it comes to these trips. To put everyone in good spirits, Porsha pulls out a flask with a few drops of Hennessy. Kenya is VERY concerned with how she got the Hennessy on the plane.
Once they arrive at the hotel, Tanya says they’ll be staying for three days. THESE TRIPS ARE ONLY THREE DAYS?!?!? I could not deal with all this travel and production for just a three-day trip. A three-day trip? I’m bringing one pair of pants and one shoe. Not one pair. One shoe.
The ladies head up to their IDENTICAL ROOMS to decompress before the dance lesson Tanya organized. Cynthia, Kandi, and Kenya have some wine and chat about NeNe’s cheese-tray gift. Well, NeNe sent the note to a blogger and it’s being passed around online as a sign of NeNe’s emotional maturity. Then Kenya casually asks if they enjoyed their date night.
Oh. Oh, Kenya. You are delusional. Cynthia and Kandi have to figure out how to tactfully ask if Kenya’s husband is some sort of monster who lives under a bridge and never learned social etiquette or how to love. Kandi tries to relate and says that Todd likes to go out to clubs and Marc came with him this visit. So you’re telling me that Marc went out to a club with Todd and stayed out all night instead of spending time with his baby? Like whatever if he sees Kenya, but he doesn’t live in Atlanta and he chooses to spend his time in Atlanta with Todd? Who is this man? Cynthia asks from behind a riot shield, “Are you happy? Is this man bringing you peace?” and Kenya says that they’re in a low place right now and breaks out into tears. He is not bringing peace. That is not something Marc brings.
It’s time for an afternoon dance class where they’re learning to whine and jook. Eva spends the entire dance class on an exercise ball eating ice chips. I would like to cut this image into the background of Cats. Also, Kandi spends the entire class with a stank face and it’s adorable. I think I’d be Kandi in this dance class. The teacher tells them all that no one is allowed to twerk at Carnival and I just feel like that’s not true.
They all head upstairs after the dance class for a drink and some snacks. Marlo is wearing a rhinestone bustier and a blazer, and Porsha’s corset is clearly preventing her from slouching at all. Tanya is excited because she knows NeNe’s surprise arrival is looming. She tells everyone that NeNe is on her way and the news gets a montage of everyone rolling their eyes and sighing deeply.
In the meantime, Porsha decides to bring up what Eva said and try to figure out why Eva would support her in public and bash her in private. Eva says that she has absolutely no memory of talking shit about Porsha. She basically enters a blackout state when she starts throwing shade and doesn’t remember anything she’d said. Don’t worry: Bravo plays a montage of the exact thing Eva doesn’t remember saying. Eva apologizes and Porsha says she’s going to process that apology and accept it when it feels right.
Cynthia brings up that Kenya basically spoiled Mike’s proposal and Mike was upset. Instead of just saying that she was given the heads-up, Kenya says she’s a little bit psychic and felt the proposal coming. Kandi tries to explain that she told Kenya to not arrive late, but can’t keep her frustration off her face. Kenya starts crying and says that Cynthia is her ride-or-die and she would never do anything to hurt this woman’s happiness. Except she totally would because Kenya is in such pain about her own marriage that she can’t believe that someone else would be happy about their own relationship. So instead of being supportive, she tries to undermine her friend’s relationship success.
THEN! NeNe arrives! And is met with crickets. Thanks, Tanya.