As we are frequently reminded during this episode, you can take the crazy, reality-TV nut job out of Atlanta, but it really doesn’t matter. Crazy travels surprisingly well, and even in a new habitat these women have no compunction about being swirling, sassy divas who show up to events whenever they want. It seems poor NeNe (yes, poor NeNe) has forgotten how classless her old hyena pack can be, and she’s in for an unhappy reminder. You know how you’re really excited about out-of-town guests until they’ve started leaving wet towels on the floor and eating all of your peanut butter without telling you? Yeah, it’s like that, but with screaming and really nice dishes.
Anyway, the girls — meaning Phaedra, Kandi, Cynthia, Porsha and Kenya — head to Los Angeles to see their old pal NeNe. It’s a long flight (not Atlant-to-Africa long or Atlanta-to-Anguilla long, but, you know, longer than a mani-pedi), so they are simply exhausted when they arrive. To make matters worse (#firstworldproblems), their stretch Hummer limo can’t navigate the sharp turns through the West Hollywood Hills! Mon dieu! This is TERRIBLE! Thankfully, NeNe arrives to rescue them from the hell of sitting in a limo and escorts them to their vacation pad.
The house is four stories and has its own elevator, which is so impressive to the women they hardly notice that this isn’t NeNe’s actual home. No, she’s sticking them in a separate house so she doesn’t have to deal with them and their stinky nail polish remover and their weird hair products all over her bathroom. She likes her privacy, but she has invited them to come over that evening for a nice dinner with a select group of her Hollywood friends who will be amused by the Atlanta hayseeds. At 9:00 p.m. That’s about midnight their time, and Kandi is already cranky as hell, but they don’t say no (though Cynthia tries before her toothpick of a spine bends to NeNe’s will).
So, they show up at NeNe’s house. At 11:40 p.m.
Okay, I can see both sides of the situation here. After you’ve been flying (even if it is just cross country), you usually just want to scrub off the airplane yuckiness, change clothes and eat something light, possibly scavenged from the minibar. You don’t really feel like getting dressed up and putting on your game face for a big Hollywood outing.
On the other hand, the guests of honor can’t get it together for two hours? For dinner? And they couldn’t call to make apologies? There’s some grumbling about how coming to Hollywood didn’t turn them into white ladies so they still operate on colored people time, but come on.
As they’re leaving their fabulous vacation pad at 11:13 p.m., Cynthia calls NeNe to let her know they’re on their way. NeNe tells her not to bother, then hangs up on her. Yes, NeNe is pissed, and she isn’t going to be shy and nicey-nice about it. For some crazy reason (because Kenya loves a chance to share the crazy), she suggests they just show up anyway. By the time they get there, NeNe will have forgotten all about it! Of course!
Of course, NeNe hasn’t forgotten jack. The caterers are wrapping up the food, and she’s not letting these bitches inside (even though the party in their honor is still clearly going on).
So Kandi asks for a to-go box. Then, she and Kenya start prowling around the house, staring at the people inside like pound puppies or insane trick-or-treaters, marveling at how fabulous the house looks and wondering if they can snake a chicken wing off anyone’s plate when they’re busy networking.
Yeah, that happened. I know, right? This is all kinds of crazy, and honestly, I never thought anyone would have the guts to cross NeNe this way. I mean, she may be on a nice network sitcom now, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t cut you.
Amazingly, Gregg grabs a tray of food for Kandi, possibly so she won’t accidentally set off the house alarm or pee on the landscaping, and Kenya prances around as if getting turned away is just the best adventure a young girl like her could hope for in Hollywood. “Can we give you a group hug at least?” she trills to NeNe.
NeNe snarls back, “No, bitch,” and even manages to look suitably cranky as said group hug happens anyway. Finally, the gals slink back to their limo and head to Fatburger, and I have to wonder what they’re putting in the air on American Airlines or whatever they flew on, because these women are acting hella crazy.
Kandi prattles on about how she’s not the nicest person when she’s hungry, but I’m still a little stunned that, once NeNe lowered the boom, the whole gang stuck around and argued about getting inside NeNe’s house, as if they just needed to slip the bouncer behind the velvet rope a twenty and all would be forgiven. Cynthia seems mortified, but she doesn’t do anything to corral Kenya and Kandi as they wander around the house (not that it’s her job, but she seemed to be the only one suitably embarrassed), and even Phaedra throws an attitude about being kicked out. I’m honestly surprised NeNe didn’t just call the police or maybe some big, angry extras from some Paramount action movie (or hey, a couple guys from “Vanderpump Rules” were probably just a phone call away) to take care of the problem. I would have wanted these lunatics off my lawn, too.
The next morning, Kenya gets up bright and early to cook a huge breakfast for the other ladies. This is part of the new Zen Kenya, who is caring and compassionate and doesn’t tell Porsha she’s a drooling idiot when she can’t make coffee. I do not trust this Zen Kenya, but I am curious to see how long Kenya can be bright and smiley before she comes completely undone and eats the face of some unsuspecting valet or takes a small part in a Uwe Boll movie.
Kenya manages to get the women fed and out the door on time to attend a private Groundlings improv class. She’s so happy, because she knows exactly what The Groundlings is! She is a damn EXPERT in The Groundlings! Too bad the guy teaching the class at The Groundlings isn’t as impressed with her. As she rattles off the name of every movie she’s had a teensy part in, you can actually see his eyes glaze over. But when Cynthia mentions she had some small roles on “The Cosby Show,” she might as well have said she won an Oscar for her work in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Kenya is NOT getting the adoration she wants! She’s Miss USA, dammit!
The class isn’t particularly interesting, except when the women have to hurl compliments at one another. As you might imagine, this isn’t so easy for some of them. Kenya yells that Phaedra has attractive bunions. Porsha yells that Kenya has an almost invisible belly button. Kenya screeches that Porsha has a big, bold voice. I’m surprised they didn’t just stare at each other and yelp, “Look at you! As far as I know, you aren’t a serial killer! Or kill small animals! I have no proof of that!”
Just as the class is ending, NeNe shows up — over an hour late. “Well, should we just lock her ass out and give her a plate of cheese then send her on her way? Nah, we would never do that,” Kandi sneers. Even NeNe admits that payback’s a bitch, but I can’t help but think she didn’t really want to do a stupid improv class anyway.
After a dull drive around Paramount (“There’s my trailer! And that’s a soundstage! And, uh, that’s an office! And… hey, that’s boring!) during which the women seem more interested in taking pictures of NeNe’s neon pink thong, they head out for a nice dinner at Crustacean in Beverly Hills. Oh, this should be perfectly civilized, right? The group is seated in a private area, probably so the screaming doesn’t upset the other diners.
But wait! Kenya is now Zen Kenya (don’t you wish she had a little cape or something?) and she will not fight. The topic of the dueling booty workout videos is brought up, and is almost immediately dismissed. Well-played, Zen Kenya.
Then, the topic of Walter is slapped onto the table like a cold salmon. NeNe wants to know if they should ignore Walter. Cynthia admits Peter may have already invited him to a party, but she really didn’t want him to. Kandi tells everyone that Walter came to a party at Porsha’s, and Porsha smiles. Kenya doesn’t care what they do with Walter, because she just doesn’t want to discuss it. So, everyone just discusses it more.
Finally, Kenya (not sure she’s still Zen Kenya, really) starts crying and leaves they table. “If I don’t get out of here, I’m really gonna go ham on somebody,” she says in the interview room, where I am so bedazzled by her eye make-up I don’t even fully register that Zen Kenya is slipping through her fingers like a warm Jell-O mold.
NeNe, pretending she’s irritated but really delighted to be the sane one in a “Real Housewives” meltdown, tries to comfort Kenya, who says in a very un-Zenlike way she’s gonna bleeping punch Phaedra in the face, though I can’t see why given that Phaedra didn’t have much to say on the whole Walter issue anyway. Goodbye, Zen Kenya. We hardly knew ye.
Do you think the girls were wrong to show up so late to NeNe’s party, or should NeNe have let them in anyway? Were you surprised to see Kandi crawling around NeNe’s house? And why do you think Kenya is still so upset about Walter?