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Emmys 2017
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The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Fifty Shades of Twitter

Kenya and Nene break through new boundaries in their Tour of Terror, Kandi and Cynthia shakily address their tormentors and Phaedra whispers the Atlanta Rosary

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Wilford Harewood/Bravo

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Reality TV

Ah, yes, Andy Cohen, please tell me more about how Bravo doesn’t condone violence of any sort as its executives roll around in the millions that Teresa Giudice built like a bunch of smirky Scrooge McDucks. You’d think constantly having to wrestle bullhorns out of grown women’s hands and say things like, “Head Doctor and Dick Surgeon were trending on Twitter,” might give that Cohen fellow a little more self-awareness about the product he’s promoting here…but it does not. Or maybe he’s just sharing a medicine cabinet with Mama Joyce. Either way, with pretension in his voice and delusion on his note cards, Andy will tell us over and over again that “they” do not condone violence after Porsha’s physical outburst last episode that “they” cannot stop bringing up.

This would be like me telling you I don’t condone you watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta and then writing a bunch of words about it every week, tweeting out my recaps and crossing my fingers that you enjoy them. I’m aware that we’re not exactly unlocking the other 90% of our brains by watching this show, but I would never pretend we’re not dealing with some solid, morally compromising entertainment here. Watching these women is kind of like watching a foreign film that’s way over your head; spending an hour of your weekend watching something that is totally beyond your capacity to understand, but trying to make sense of it anyway is still definitely better than, like, spending an hour of your day gambling and buying commemorative A Mother’s Love plates on the Home Shopping Network.

I understand that, even for the sake of drama, they couldn’t technically keep the Porsha hair-drag for the third installment of the Reunion — Wait, what’s that you say? Maybe the Reunion should just be one episode? HOW VERY DARE YOU. It would have taken Kenya ripping off a mask to reveal she’s been Sheree this whole time to really match up to the events of last week, but Kandi still had to not stand up to her bonkers mom for a final time, and Cynthia and Nene had to talk about the end of their friendship that we didn’t really know was happening at some point. The thing that’s keeping me coming back to the Reunion for the soggy shade saga that was RHOA season 6 though is trying to figure out who’s quitting, who’s getting fired and who’s only coming back to season 7 because Bravo must have a  copy of their sex tape, or pictures of them not voting for Obama or something.

In a tone of voice that sounds like he’s trying not to spook a horse — I would have understood this more if Porsha was still there — Andy informs us that Porsha was not prepared for this Reunion (part one), so we’ll go on without here, merely talking about her actions for the entire episode. I personally wish he had asked more about Nene muzzling Porsha, multiple housewives telling her something along the lines of “we talked about this,” and the immediate calling for house shoes after the attack. But everything mostly revolves around if Kenya brandishing a Happy Meal scepter at Porsha was just as threatening as Porsha’s anger rage blackout.

This discussion mostly serves to prove one thing: two seasons into her RHOA tenure, Kenya is entirely, utterly, irrevocably unlikable. You can appreciate her for storyline purposes, you can maybe even get behind her calling people out every once in a while, but surely you can’t enjoy her. Nene is mean and so much bigger than her britches, she’s about to Hulk right out of them; Cynthia’s backbone is the consistency of oatmeal and she’s still married to Peter; and Phaedra will go on to say some truly awful things in this episode…but I can allow myself to make mental excuses for some of their actions in the name of entertainment in a way that I just can’t for Kenya.

And I’m not the only one: every woman’s eyes are on a permanent lazy-Susan-rotation while Kenya uses her most vulnerable cadence to say how she was just trying to have “a little bit of fun”  with her props before Porsha took her to the ground. Cynthia is the only woman who even mentions that Porsha was in the wrong for physically attacking Kenya. Everyone else says that Kenya is an instigator, and Nene is particularly insistent that Kenya’s use of props and pointed verbal attacks were just as much of a violation as anything else. There’s no reasoning this out because these are not moments normal humans like you and I might experience, so we must simply take them in and hope that they don’t eat us alive from the inside out, like a reality TV Alien.

NEXT: “Paging Dr. Head: We have a a Code CRAZY, I repeat, a Code CRAZY.”