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'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: NeNe and Co. are back!

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Real-Atlanta-Nene_l

Real-Atlanta-Nene_lBravo learned fast in season 1 that the real star of Atlanta was NeNe. So season 2 appropriately opened in her new house — so much for those off-season foreclosure rumors. Her best friend Dwight, a man straight out of the dearly departed E. Lynn Harris oeuvre, dropped by to help fabulous up her new digs. NeNe has a cute new haircut (pictured), but Dwight had fake eyelashes and a fur coat. He won that fight! Dwight did not approve of NeNe’s clam-digger drapes or silk plants or karaoke machine room. Dwight made love to a champagne bottle and crawled across NeNe’s media room. Careful NeNe — that kitty cat is a scene stealer. Alliances shifted during  the off season. NeNe and Sheree now dig eachother. The bigger surprise is that I dig Sheree. Her bum ex-husband stopped paying her house payments so Sheree and her two kids were kicked to the curb. They were forced to move to a more modest mansion (think Dina’s rather than Teresa’s) and eat regular people dinner together. It was actually kind of cute. And when Sheree tucked the kids in, they didn’t even look frightened of her. Hallelujah, it’s time for an independence party. Sheree was picturing a helicopter and a Cleopatra entrance with lots of shiny met holding her chariot. Sweeeeeet Six! Teen! Turned out that her party planner Anthony was insane.

I admire Sheree’s decision to switch back and forth between cool and Cleveland. I’d like to know who this Pakookie character is. Anthony needs to go nigh nigh. Sheree won that fight!

Kim, who now that I think about it sort of resembles one of NeNe’s silk plants, was back with Rose the psychic. Big Poppa is out of the picture. He was indiscreet! (Baby, you went on a hometown reality show.) Kim decides it’s time to support herself, what with her being a modern single woman. So she spent an hour at beauty school, looking for the on button of a curling iron. (The curling iron won!) Her dream is to bring wigs to the white folks. Actually, her dream is to hire some people to do it for her. In the meantime, I’d need nothing more from Season 2 if Bravo would just coax her to let us see her once without her wig. I’m picturing Diane Keaton in Marvin’s Room.

Lisa and Ed were back. I’m starting to think that Ed is a cooler, beefier version of New York’s Simon. The man likes to hang around. I appreciate how goo goo he is for his wife. Ed is hot for another baby. And I do think there should be another child as cute as EJ in this world. But the couple is boring, even when they have their hands all over one another. I like to look at Lisa’s hair and her cute little outfits, but that’s about all I ever expect to get from her.

Her friend Kandi, the new Housewife, intrigued me. [Bad Housewives faux conversation: “I got a million things going on,” said Kandi, while picking from a board of cheese. “Mmmmm, like me,” said Lisa.] She’s a former member of Xscape (???) and Grammy-winning songwriter for groups like Destiny’s Child and TLC. (Quick break to do “Chasing Waterfalls” dance—alas Kandi didn’t write it.) There was a moving scene where Kandi described coming from a long line of single mothers and how she’s sad to pass that legacy onto her 6-year-old daughter Riley. (Riley rules by the way.) I’m nervous about Kandi’s fiance, who comes to the table with six kids. Kandi’s mom is nervous too. Meanwhile, Kandi convinced Lisa to join her onstage for something called the Pocketbook Monologues. Pocketbook here being a cute nickname for the vagina. To really sell one of these monologues, you have to go dirty. “You don’t want to be the goody two shoes vagina because then you have no story,” explained Kandi. Sorry DeShawn! Hope the decision was mutual not to return for Season 2.

Scenes for the upcoming season promised lots of drama. Let’s all buffer ourselves with a quick zen moment, and keep our fingers crossed that Kim never gets it in her lacquered little head to put a country spin on this.

What did you Housewives fans think? Is Kandi a good addition to the mix? Have you too come around to Sheree’s side? Why is Kim so gross?

More on Real Housewives of Atlanta from Essence.com:

Live blog of the season premiere

Exclusive Q&As with the cast and more

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/Bravo