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The Real Housewives of Atlanta season premiere recap: 'Bye Bye and Bon Voyage'

Phaedra and Apollo deal with his prison sentencing and everyone else’s self-pity and self-congratulations kind of pale in comparison.

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta

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

Hello, my peaches. The Real Housewives of Atlanta is back, and even though I watched Derek J and Miss Lawrence’s car tour through the “shade”iest parts of Atlanta (it was only missing a trip to the actual neighborhood where The Bailey Agency for Models who Model Good formerly resided) in preparation, at the beginning of season 7, I still can’t quite remember who’s friends with whom, which marriages are on the rocks, and how many cycles of best friendship Kenya has been through.

Like most, I can only remember that reunion… THAT REUNION. The reunion that took it there, and made the entire Bravo-viewing audience—or according to Kenya, the world—question their previously steadfast moral standing on violence and megaphones. Luckily, as is it is with the majority of RHOA conflict, the answer to “Who was wrong in that situation?” is easy: everyone!

The theme of tonight’s season premiere seems to be that those naughty actions have consequences. Remember when Porsha thought the Underground Railroad came equipped with a conductor and a dining cart? Well, she’s lost her title card this season, as a result. Okay, that was probably more due to the time she physically assaulted Kenya, but that misconduct also came with a mugshot. And like Season 2 of RHOBH before it, and the current season of RHONJ, it seems like a dark cloud has passed over Atlanta‘s season 7, and that cloud is raining mail fraud, jail sentences, and really sad lingering shots of family photos.

But just because this season starts out on a pretty emotional note dealing with the Nida-Parks’ legal and familial issues, doesn’t mean we aren’t still treated to absurd new opening credit soundbites:

“Why be so nasty and so rude when I could be so fierce and so successful.” I feel like Nene is just setting herself up for “so” much failure here.

“I’m not about the drama—don’t start none, won’t be none.” From anyone else this would be utter fallacy, but from Kandi, it’s mostly true.

“Life is about choices, and I choose Cynthia.” Oh Cynthia… when have you ever chosen Cynthia?

“When it comes to my family, I’m the judge and the jury.” Phaedra, I… don’t know what this means.

“People get exhausted trying to figure me out, and I just let them.” THIS IS TRUE, KENYA, I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE.

Even though a man is sentenced to eight years in prison tonight, the drama is low in comparison to the subject matter; the human emotion, however, is high, and it’s mostly about checking in with what everyone has been up to since we last saw them (lying in a pile in front of Andy Cohen).

Over at the Real Performers of Las Vegas set, Nene is gearing up for her role as the emcee of Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity. It’s a pretty risqué show and she says she’s okay with the nudity, but she’s not really comfortable with talking about sex, which seems counterintuitive to the time last year when she made all of her friends go in a windowless room full of bean bag chairs and talk about sex. But she’s doing what she loves—performing—and what I love her doing most—wearing wigs that are two-parts Martha Washington, one part Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

Kandi is at home, living the newlywed life, getting ready for Todd’s 18-year-old daughter, Kayla, to move in with them. They’re realizing that having their two daughters under the same roof means they’re going to have to meet in the middle on their parenting style, and judging by the guest room with the dresser-that-used-to-be-grandma’s, versus Riley’s quarters that look like the room-version of a Pimp My Ride car, that is going to be a difficult task. But Kandi and Todd have a reasonable conversation about it, which is a nice little strike in the “pro” column for Real Housewives marriages, until…

We check in with Phaedra and Apollo, and I swear, a funeral organ starts playing. But then, comes the best sound and most welcome title card in RHOA existence: “Ayden, 4.” That little nugget is the best, and his severe cuteness, only makes the conflict between his parents more disheartening. Apparently, Apollo gets his own velvet direct-to-camera confessional chair now (I mean, how jealous do you think Peter is?), and as soon as you’re able to pull your eyes away from his statement beard, you’ll realize that he’s explaining his most recent criminal charges: pleading guilty to wire, bank, and mail fraud, and being three hours away from his court hearing where he’ll be charged to up to 30 years in prison for all three.

NEXT: Should she stay or should she go, now…