The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Can someone please explain to me why I just watched a group of women in their late 30s to early 50s play a kickball game in real time? I sat down in front of my television, grabbed my computer, a cup of tea, and 15 Girl Scout cookies (my usual writing supplies) and watched a group of women in Fashion Nova workout clothes play a full game of kickball. The last time I even thought about kickball was in 10th grade, when we begged our French-class teacher to let us play a game of kickball against the Spanish class next door if we all got 100 percent on our quizzes, but suddenly I’m watching an entire game of kickball on TV! Just when I thought the quiet hell was over, we had to watch MULTIPLE FRAMES OF BOWLING.
Real Housewives of Atlanta, what’s happening? Why are we being led astray? Do we really not have anything? We’ve got all the ingredients for an awesome episode — Kenya and Marc’s awful relationship, Eva refusing to stay on bedrest, NeNe showing up unannounced to a couples bowling night. But we managed to get, like, 15 full minutes of legit game play.
I’m not entirely sure what’s happening this season, but … do we not have the footage? Is there just nothing there? Is the complete refusal of NeNe Leakes to play along in any context just messing things up? Because if the choice is “No NeNe” and “15 full minutes of a kickball game,” I’m Team No NeNe. Maybe it’s time to throw in some new blood. Give Tanya and Marlo their peaches and toss in a new shit-stirrer. Didn’t Cardi B just buy a house in Atlanta? Throw her on the show. If not, I’m sure Cardi B knows someone who would happily rip out a Housewife’s tracks for some airtime. We can FIGURE THIS OUT.
Let’s get to it.
The only emotionally interesting and compelling portion of the episode is Cynthia finally reading Mike’s book, even though it looks like she’s just reading the synopsis and discovering just how incompetent he might be with relationships. Mike seems to think he was driven to cheat because he was with someone who wasn’t giving him everything he needed in a relationship. Oooooooooooooooooooh-okay. So this is what we’ve got to deal with? Cynthia says that she’s been cheated on, even when her partner didn’t have anything to ask for. She wants to know if the only thing that’s been reliable in his relationships is that he’s cheated, why does he think he’s going to be able to be faithful to Cynthia? He says that if he messes up, that’s entirely on him. YEAH, MIKE. WE KNOW. Cynthia is asking a completely different question than Mike is willing to answer.
Cynthia also says she’s not judging Mike; she’s just judging his actions and his reasons for his actions. Cynthia, I’m not sure what’s left of a person’s makeup after those two things. Mike tries to spin it by saying that Cynthia is 52, so obviously Cynthia has done some stuff too. OH NO, MICHAEL. Cynthia does not cheat. She will never cheat because she is what? SICKENING. Then Mike does the most annoying thing anyone can do in a relationship: “Oh, that’s right. You’re perfect.”
Cynthia correctly points out that they (read: Mike) don’t know how to argue, and they might benefit from some counseling. Her impression of Mike doing an argument is to walk out of the room, out of the door, and down the street; Cynthia committed to the bit so strongly I didn’t think she was going to come back. Mike seems to think calmly, saying that you’ve done something wrong is the same thing as working on that flaw and, therefore, there couldn’t be anything to work on in their relationship. He even says, “I want you to be happy, and if I’m not doing that, I’m not the man for you.”
How did they not sort any of this out before they got engaged? Woo, Cynthia definitely was thirsty if she didn’t deal with all of his past relationships ending because of his infidelity, or the fact that his way to deal with disagreement is to pout and take his ball away like a little kid. Cool cool cool. Great foundation for a marriage.
Meanwhile, NeNe is completely out of friends, and she’s forced to do a classic Housewives catch-up sesh with Gregg. Gregg simply does not care and just wants to go back to watching TV or whatever it is old men do. He’s going to nod along with whatever delusions NeNe is saying. It’s … sad? Yeah, it’s sad. The big drama is that Marc is hosting a charity event and they invited all the couples, but Kenya didn’t tag NeNe in the Instagram invite. Yup. That’s it. I know Housewives drama is predicated on the tiniest bit of drama, but we sure are grasping for it now. NeNe is mostly offended that Kenya came to her event (that she was two and a half hours late for) and only stayed for seven minutes.
It’s time for a full kickball game. This is like in Twilight when suddenly we’re supposed to watch a vampire baseball game. Kenya’s team, Team Twirl, ends up winning 10-3. I know that because we watched it in real time.
Everyone is pretty invigorated by the kickball game and thinks they should do it more often. When Kenya puts on her “everyone is having fun here” voice, it’s positively chilling. Kandi announces that this kickball game, in addition to being episode filler, is a test to see if everyone can get along because … THEY’RE GOING TO GREECE!
Now it’s time to live in the hellscape that is Kenya’s relationship. Kenya and Marc take baby Brooklyn to swim lessons, and Marc keeps joking that he’s going to “submerge” Kenya. Like a couple of times. Does he want to drown her? Does he think it’s funny … to drown her? Please free her from this man. Marc is holding a charity event and he’s decided he’s going to invite Gregg, and, therefore, NeNe. He did not get the memo that he has to hate everyone his wife hates.
THOSE ARE THE RULES. If you are in a relationship, you have to have the same enemies. You can’t be sitting down for a meal with someone your spouse has chosen to hate. Having an enemy is one of the greatest pleasures of being alive. Two nights ago, someone told me that someone I positively dislike wrote multiple embarrassing blog posts about their ex-boyfriend and changed their last name to sound “more diverse.” I’m still filled with delicious hateful energy. Trying to rob your spouse of their God-given right to hate another human being for little to no reason should be grounds for divorce. There are so many reasons why Kenya definitely should divorce Marc, but forcing her to hang out with NeNe is positively criminal.
At their bowling party, it becomes obvious to everyone else that Marc has decided that what he says goes in their relationship, and he just has to call Kenya “Ken” to make that happen. Also, Kenya and Marc are chatting that maybe they could have some sexy time since the baby is with the nanny. Marc jokes, “Oh, we’re calling it ‘sexy time’ now?,” and Kenya says, “I can’t say how you normally say it. ‘YOU. ME. MAKEY THE SEX. YOU BE QUIET. TURN AROUND.’” Marc says, “YOU TOO MUCH TOO HARD TOO MUCH ROUGH SEX.”
First of all, BLEAK. Second of all, who is Marc doing an impression of? Is he being himself, or is he being Kenya? Because if he’s being Kenya, FUCKING YIKES. What a fucking dark inside joke. Dennis and Porsha arrive, and Kenya wants to introduce Marc and Dennis because Dennis is from Detroit too. Dennis keeps repeating, “Detroit women are tough, man.” Does everyone fundamentally hate women?
The conversation of who is invited to the charity event comes up, and Marc wants all the men in the couples to talk to young black men. What is Dennis going to talk to those kids about? Marc has decided that Gregg will be invited, and if that means NeNe is invited, SO BE IT. Marc literally tells her at one point to “rein it in.” Marc is also annoyed that Kenya didn’t invite Tanya to bowling because her fiancé couldn’t come. Marc will not be held down by this petty bullshit, and Ken can get the fuck with the program.
Porsha takes advantage of Kenya’s newfound submissiveness to bring up the fact that Kenya ruined her relationship with Tanya, and Kenya says it was all just unfortunate. Porsha says, “Yeah, it was unfortunate that you called my friend a—.” Well, you know the rest.
Gregg and NeNe show up to bowling, and NeNe is over the top when it comes to greeting everyone and takes time to compliment Kenya’s titties. Gregg tells Marc he can’t go anywhere his wife doesn’t go, so they need to figure it out. Marc says, “I’m not on Instagram. That’s irrelevant to me.” He goes to Kenya to get her “agreement” on the topic. Kenya tells him later that he got what he wanted, and Marc says, “What we wanted. We’re a team.” CHILLING.