So, we’re now two-thirds of the way through “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” reunion, and I’m pretty sure all of these women are just damn tired. There’s not a lot of yelling at this point, and everyone seems more hungry than actually pissed off about things that happened months ago that they’ve mostly forgotten. Plus, it doesn’t help that the weight of their false eyelashes is starting to make their faces sag, poor dears.
While Kenya tries her level best to throw herself into arguments that have nothing to do with her, Cynthia says something forgettable and Porsha doesn’t make a peep, this episode really belongs to NeNe and, to a lesser extend, Phaedra. Oh, and I can’t forget Kim. You remember Kim, right? The one who stomped off the show a while back? Yeah, she returns for some reason, probably to subtly remind us her spin-off show debuts on Tuesday. And there is hugging, which really suggests these women might be fully delirious.
NeNe and Phaedra
At first, Andy wants to talk about the greatest urban myth since the one about alligators living in the sewer system — NeNe’s evolution into a sweet, wise woman who does God’s work by offering her guidance and wisdom to the newer, angrier Housewives. “I’m really good at being neutral,” she says, not even joking. How evolved is NeNe now? She says she even gave Phaedra a fair chance when she first came on the show, and Phaedra, well, she was just sensitive and that’s why they aren’t exactly friends. Not that NeNe holds grudges or anything. We will return to this big, fat lie later in the show, once NeNe’s warmed up enough to forget this Zen master crap.
NeNe and Gregg
Because this episode is All About NeNe, Andy wants to know why she and Gregg got divorced. Good question! Apparently, when she started becoming successful in her own right, Gregg couldn’t deal with it. The other contributing factor to their divorce was all these negative women on the show saying negative things. NeNe has to burn sage and meditate before showing up for work! Not really, but if she comes back next season I’m betting on a feng shui expert rearranging her furniture to improve her qi.
NeNe and Phaedra. Again.
Of course, the “negative women” comment isn’t going to just float by without further examination, so next NeNe explains exactly who is negative (Phaedra) and how said negative person is, well, negative. First, NeNe believe Phaedra courted Marlo (remember her? Took a minute, didn’t it? Points if your first thought was, “Marlo Thomas was on this show?”) to be on “RHoA” because she knew Marlo and NeNe dated the same guy and fireworks could ensue. Phaedra denies this and doesn’t understand why it’s a big deal anyway. Besides, Marlo’s not on the show anymore, so what does it matter? Oh, it matters. Phaedra. It matters.
Suddenly the argument becomes about Phaedra implying that NeNe flirted with Peter, Cynthia’s husband. How DARE Phaedra imply such a horrible thing! Andy, forced to bring some logic to the table, points out that it seemed to him that NeNe and Peter flirted in an above board, totally harmless kind of way. NeNe is incensed! She does not flirt! Or pull out people’s weaves or lose her temper or do anything other than float around on a cloud of perfume and happy thoughts! The nerve!
Kenya takes this as an opportunity to jump on the “Phaedra sucks!” train, and she and Phaedra snipe at one another until it’s time to watch a clip of Phaedra and Apollo sucking face. Really, I’m not sure which thing is more unsettling to watch. Probably the sucking face part, which Phaedra defends by saying that Apollo likes really slobbery, messy kissing in public. I think someone needs to hose Apollo down, honestly.
But wait! NeNe does not hold grudges, but she would like to make it clear that Phaedra came for her in her first season by inviting NeNe’s half sisters to Ayden’s birthday party with the intent of digging up dirt. The argument that follows is kind of like watching two exes who haven’t seen one another in twenty years dig up old hurts and fling them at one another like petrified cow pies. We don’t have all the details, but apparently NeNe’s half sisters have dirt on her, but she hasn’t spoken to them in eight years, but they’re blood and of course they’d tell her the truth, and oh my GOD this is just uncomfortable and weird. Phaedra tells NeNe she’s lying, and NeNe implies Phaedra’s lying about her age, and then Kenya jumps in because she doesn’t like all this focus on someone other than herself, and finally Phaedra just apologizes to be done with it. NeNe claims to accept the apology, but you can tell she doesn’t. So yeah, that Zen master thing, total crap.
Kim and everyone
But you know who else thinks she’s a Buddhist monk? Kim! Yes, Kim, who shows up in what I think must be a knock-off of that Stella McCartney dress we’ve all been seeing for the last year or so in less horrific colors than Crayola green. It does have a slimming effect if it fits. If it doesn’t, and you have major side boob and the sheer panel creates back fat. not so slimming. Anyway, she’s there to show everybody her real hair (I suspect only part of it is real and there’s some fake stuff in the back) and convince us she’s really a swell gal, even if she does make excuses and stomp off sets screaming at the camera guy.
So, how did the other women feel about Kim’s chronic flakiness? In short, not great. Cynthia is relieved she quit the show. Kandi didn’t like the fact everyone else had to show up and she didn’t. Phaedra never got a day off with her damn baby! Stupid Kim!
Andy tries to stir up some simmering resentment with mixed results. Given that Kandi just served Kim with legal papers prior to filming, it doesn’t take long to fing some sore spots — though for legal reasons no one can really discuss the biggest sore spot of all regarding the profits for that awful “Don’t Be Tardy to the Party” song. Kandi felt offended by the way Kim talked about her home when she came over for the first time. Kim backpedals rapidly. It was all Sweetie’s fault! She said it was a bad area, so Kim just asked innocent questions! Golly, she didn’t mean to say she lived in a bad area at all! Kandi drops it.
Kandi is still miffed that Kim stole her baby name. Kim’s husband Kroy actually lurches onto the set with DOCUMENTATION showing that Kash was Kash long before Kandi could have ever mentioned she liked the name for herself. Kandi backs down instantly, grumbling that it’s a weird coincidence and it’s fine and she’s over it and she doesn’t want to name her potential little boy Kash anymore anyway. So, there’s not really fighting per se. Clearly, Kandi doesn’t like conflict and Kim doesn’t want to irritate the woman suing her. So, this is all pretty much a non-starter.
In fact, Kandi and Kim both admit to not communicating well and being avoidant personalities. They just needed to communicate more! They really should hug it out at this point, but instead Andy asks Kim and NeNe if they could ever see themselves being friends again.
NeNe and Kim
The answer? Never say never. Which is an improvement over last year, when I think it was just never. Kim even goes so far as to say that NeNe is the person on the show who knows her best, and “RHoA” is something they’ll always share. It’s damn near poignant. Finally, Andy asks NeNe and Kim if they want to hug. And they DO. They actually HUG. I am about to keel over, but it’s an actual hug and there’s some laughing and damn if it isn’t a very grown up moment. Of course, NeNe has to be the bigger person (in keeping with her Zen master status) and Kim has to appear sympathetic to get us to watch her new show, so I’m not actually buying into this being a sincere moment, but go figure. The fact that it happened at all implies these girls may at least be able to act like grown-ups, and that’s half the battle.
Of course, next week the men join the stage and that opens the door to a whole new round of fighting and screaming, so don’t get too attached to this huggy-lovey stuff. This is “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” not “Dr. Phil.”
Do you believe NeNe and Kim’s hug? Do you think NeNe had a reasonable bone to pick with Phaedra? Do you think NeNe is as evolved as she claims to be?