The Real Housewives of Atlanta
I lied. Last week, I said that I thought we were going to get to South Carolina this episode, but I forgot that Drew still barely knows any of the other housewives. So, before we get to Cynthia’s pseudo-bachelorette party sponsored by KenToya, Drew steps up and invites the ladies to what appears to be a house-cooling shindig to say goodbye to her old house, and hopefully those “Love” and “Faith” signs as well. It’s our first Drew-centric episode of the season and her first time hosting an event for the girls, which we all know is a right of passage in the Housewives Cinematic Universe. It’s taken seven episodes, but welcome to the show, Drew! Come on in, the water’s warm!
We open with Drew receiving another “I’m Sorry I Disappeared Without A Trace And Went To Tampa, The Stripper Capital Of The Continental United States, For Three Days” present from her husband Ralph. The gift is an electric scooter, which is actually quite useful for Drew considering she just had surgery on her achilles. Raise your hand if you remembered Drew started this season in a leg brace because she just got out of surgery? Anyone? Bueller…? Yeah, it didn’t register for me either. What absolutely did register was when Ralph said he got Drew the scooter because he saw that she was looking for it online. Ummmm doesn’t Ralph famously love using surveillance devices to track Drew’s whereabouts? Not gonna lie, it’s giving me stalker-lite vibes. Drew, I’d recommend that you start deleting your search history and start using an incognito browser, which multiple sources have told me can be used for things other than porn.
Speaking of porn, KenToya went out on a little lunch date together. Kenya got all dolled up for the occasion, serving Gertrude McFuzz realness in an aquamarine feathery blouse that truly is doing the most. LaToya arrives sans mask, wearing a fun blazer and doling out compliments to Miss Moore because that’s who she’s chosen to align herself with to stay on the show. There is a horrifying yet perversely hilarious moment where you see the full spectrum of COVID compliance, with LaToya maskless, Kenya wearing one of those pointless face shields, and the poor waitress appropriately masked up, just trying to do her job. The wishy-washy COVID precautions are always maddening on this show, but this spectrum was especially insane to behold. I sincerely hope that every waiter featured on the show (and also every waiter in general) receives hazard pay and a free year’s supply of Kenya Moore’s hair care for what they’ve had to put up with.
At lunch, Kenya reveals that she’s done putting up with Marc Daly and is (finally) ready to fully pull the plug on that dumpster fire of a relationship. We’re treated to a mini-flashback scene starring Ken(ya) on the phone with her lawyer, mad as hell about certain restrictions that Marc has put on where she can and cannot go with their daughter Brooklyn. “He’s unreasonable for no reason. So don’t tell me what I can do and what I cannot do with my child.” Bravo, why are we seeing a sepia-toned flashback of Ken(ya) yelling at her lawyer? I want that shit in technicolor. That should have absolutely been a full, regular scene, and don’t say we didn’t have room this episode because we spent a chunk of it looking at the floor plans of a rental property in South Carolina (more on that later). If I wanted to look at floor plans I’d waste more time scrolling on Street Easy at apartments I cannot afford, thank you very much. This is the Real Housewives and I want drama.
Anyway, Marc Daly — who has yet to spend a night alone with his child — refuses to let Kenya take Brooklyn out of the country or appear in any promotional work for her hair care products, which are equally tragic I think. He’s also asking for full custody it seems solely out of spite, and we know he’s petty like that because he just announced that he and Kenya split again on the weekend of her 50th birthday. But all that’s gonna have to wait because Kenya chartered a private jet for her, LaToya, Brooklyn, and her baby nurse to take them to Isle of Palms, South Carolina for the girls trip. The other girls will be traveling via “sprinter,” which I thought was a different type of plane (I’m very dumb) until I looked it up and realized it’s actually the type of long bus you take on class trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in high school where one kid would always inevitably get left behind. Sorry about that, Felix. During KenToya’s date, Drew calls and invites the couple to her dinner party and KenToya lets it slip that they are taking a private jet to South Carolina while Drew and the others will be taking a bus. This is Drew’s first kernel of gossip, ammunition to bring back to the girls, and what she chooses to do with it will speak volumes about her role on the show.
It’s time for Drew’s first dinner party! In a shrewd move considering LaToya’s rude comments about her previous wigs, Drew really brought it with the wig game tonight, opting for a very big, very campy, very Diana Ross ’70s glamour look that basically goes down to the floor. I’m not as obsessed with the black bustier and pantsuit combination or the purple eyeshadow, but that’s okay because I’m glad she’s turning a lewk. Atlanta could use a Dorit and she could fill that space. Cynthia rolls up to the event wearing a backpack and looking like she’d literally rather be anywhere else, which is very relatable to me. For some reason, Drew has bartenders who are dressed up in pirate valet costumes even though there are approximately four people invited to the event. This is not an Anna Shay Bling Empire party, we don’t need one waiter per person here. Cynthia sighs and says that her 250-person pandemic wedding will be all outside, while Kandi, Porsha, and Kenya arrive sans LaToya, giving us the first event with just our main 5 peach holders. Principal cast only, recurring guest stars (LaToya) and under-5s (Falynn) can stay home tonight.
Porsha wastes no time getting straight to business and telling Drew that LaToya was making fun of her wig. Every recap I say this, but every recap it must be said: Porsha Williams is one of the funniest housewives to ever housewife. Case in point: “I was expecting to walk in and see her edges chewed the fuck up. With glue on her eyelashes and everything. I am going to tell her everything I know. I’m going to sing like a goddaggon’ bird.” Porsha’s goddaggon’ right and has every right to sing like a canary. Drew, obviously, defends her wig by saying it’s quarantine and we’re all doing the best that we can, which is hard to argue with. She also throws some extra shade at LaToya by asking a producer what LaToya’s job is during a confessional. When the producer tells Drew that Latoya has a YouTube channel, Drew shadily asks “is that a job?” While I generally agree with Drew’s sentiment, I must say that YouTubing is most definitely a career and I’m still kicking myself for going to college instead of skipping it altogether and majoring in the art of “Like and Subscribing” at YouTube University because then I’d have a net worth of approximately $1492403 dollars by now.
After the cocktail hour, the ladies continue to get to know Drew at the dinner table, which is inexplicably indoors. At one point, Drew mentions that she can sing and is encouraged by the other ladies to break into her best 16 bars at the dinner table. Whenever anyone sings at a dinner table, I am instantly transported back to this incredibly painful YouTube video of Pia Mia singing “Hold On We’re Going Home” for Drake and Kanye at the Kardashians’ dinner table when she was Kylie Jenner’s vaguely ethnic friend of the moment (this was pre-Jordyn Woods). It truly haunts me to this day. Drew does a much better job than Pia Mia, choosing to sing “Amazing Grace” and Cynthia serves up full Kris “you’re doing amazing Sweetie” Jenner energy and films it on her cellphone at the dinner table despite the fact that the whole dinner is already being filmed by Bravo. We get a hilarious flashback of Porsha very earnestly singing “Amazing Grace” at a reunion, and while Drew is definitely a better singer than Porsha, Porsha does have a certain X factor that cannot be denied.
At dinner, Drew finally comes to play and asks Kenya how she’s getting to South Carolina, despite full-well knowing that she’s taking a private jet. Kenya pretends to feel somewhat embarrassed about it while Kandi says, “You so rich,” and Porsha downs a shot as her eyes roll into the back of her head. Kenya says she doesn’t care if people know she’s taking a private jet, but also clearly didn’t have any intention of telling the girls that she was taking a jet, so she’s definitely lying about something. Make it make sense, Kenya. Drew’s first event is ultimately a success and her pretending that she was gonna have sex with Ralph at the end for the cameras was cute.
We then get a classic packing montage, where we find out that it was actually Todd’s idea for the girls to get strippers in South Carolina for Cynthia’s bachelorette party, which we all know is the major source of the drama this season. I’m perfectly okay with blaming kept-man Todd for what transpires in South Carolina if we have to. Elsewhere, we get clips of Kenya and LaToya fumbling with their luggage on their way to their private jet, which I think is supposed to make them seem relatable and down to earth and distract us from how environmentally irresponsible and morally reprehensible it is to take a private jet, especially when you could literally just drive. It doesn’t work. Taking a private jet in the middle of a pandemic is not the serve you think it is KenToya! What is a serve is the hazmat jumpsuit Marlo wears for the sprinter. Fashion x Covid Safety realness. The rest of the ladies meet to take the bus, and when Kandi and Porsha hugged I couldn’t help but marvel at how far they’ve come since the whole sex dungeon fiasco, and then the producers read my mind and gave us a montage flashback of the ordeal. Someone should get a raise and also someone should BRING BACK PHAEDRA PARKS ESQUIRE ASAP.
On the bus, all the girls seem to be genuinely getting along despite the fact that there’s no air and it’s a million degrees. It’s amazing how much fun can be had when Kenya is taken out of the equation. Canadian Tanya says that she’s horned up (important to note for later in the season), Kandi reveals her and Todd make their threesome guests sign NDAs (very smart), and Porsha claims she didn’t have sex with Dennis even though he slept over at her house and dropped her off at the bus that morning (suspicious).
In South Carolina, Kenya takes it upon herself to assign all the rooms to people and she tries to make it shady even though it’s a normal beach house and all the rooms look perfectly nice. We end the episode with the brewing of a fight between Porsha and Kenya because Kenya brought Brooklyn and didn’t tell any of the other girls they could bring their babies. Sigh, we literally just did this on Real Housewives of Potomac with Ashley vs. Wendy and I didn’t find it particularly compelling the first time, so if we could breeze past this fight and get to the strippers, that would be great.