Last week, I was feeling pretty low on the Atlanta incarnation of the Real Housewives franchise… like, Gregg without access to linen pants or short-sleeve dress shirts kind of low. I’m clear on the fact that all of us indulging in the Bravo network have made an unspoken agreement that we’re fine with watching mostly fabricated stories played out by novice actors masquerading as Real people in the name of entertainment. RHOA is kind of like a student film, where everything is set in the students’ personal McMansions and they’re paid in eyelash extensions and contracts for their very own line of weaves. Modern Family or The Big Bang Theory just don’t offer the kind of texting-and-evite related drama I’m interested in, so I come here, to The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
Imagine my disappointment then, when the first four episodes of this seventh season of this show were basically a series of business meetings where coworkers talked smack about each other while drinking fruity cocktails and talking about how they’re “just really focusing on positive energy right now.” Relatable? Sure. Interesting? Not a bit.
But tonight. Tonight! Tonight, we saw some movement. A little breeze of fresh air in the stagnant, stank atmosphere that Apollo and scepters and “blogs” built. Tonight, we finally got around to the Group Dinner I’ve been dreading like Todd dreads a Mama Joyce visit, and unlike every Mama Joyce visit ever, it wasn’t actually that bad. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we might be preparing for a season where people will actually attempt to have a good time again, and not just Kandi nervously laughing all the time. I’ve seen the previews for next week, and by the grace of Andy Cohen, not a single person said “fellatio.”
Claudia gets her very first opening scene tonight, and she handles it by having Kenya over to her newly rented and not yet furnished apartment. They call the apartment sexy a lot, which is really unnerving, because the only thing in the apartment is what is clearly a purple rug from Limited Too. Claudia pours up some moscato in red Solo cups, I have a quick sophomore year flashback, dry heave, and when I tune back in, Claudia is laying on her bed with her cat saying, “You’re not afraid of a little pussy, are you?” Oh, this new silly new girl and her cat-related vagina humor! What fun we have. For real though, Kenya not liking cats is the first and last time I will ever relate to Kenya. This whole scene is mostly an excuse for Kenya to recap to Claudia that Kandi told her the other girls thought Apollo was lying about lying, as if we haven’t all been seeing Kenya weeping in a single stall bathroom in our nightmares for the past seven days.
Kandi and Todd go to visit her old house that they’ll be selling now that Kandi is buying her mother another house, and the inside kind of looks like a Hoarders house after all the dead squirrels and Gatorade bottles of urine have been taken out. Apparently, before Mama Joyce decided she couldn’t possibly live there, her boyfriend had been doing some renovations, which just means that he had taken everything in the house connected to a wire or a pipe, torn it six inches out of its original position, and then left it hanging there. Kandi is rightfully angry, and Todd asks when is enough going to be enough for her with her mother? She goes straight to her favorite I’m-never-going-to-cut-her-off line, as though saying, “Hey mom, when I buy you stuff, could you not shit all over it, and then give it back to me?” is the same as cutting her off completely.
But instead of doing that, she just goes to let off some steam with her two crazy aunts (“the old lady gang”). They are hilarious though, so I will take it. As the scene opens, one aunt is actively searching out the word “fried” on the menu, and I’ve never felt more spiritually connected to a person on a reality television program in my life. I swear, the restaurant is called a “tearoom,” but when Kandi arrives, her aunt informs her she’ll be ordering fried green tomatoes, creamed corn, and fried chicken… England must be so proud of us. The aunts tell her if Todd had done the things that Mama Joyce’s boyfriend did to that house, “his butt woulda been gone,” and they all laugh and laugh about their sister/mother being a hypocritical monster.
But Kandi’s real
contractually obligated mission for the week isn’t to have a good time with her aunts and make us feel like we’re actually watching something that could only happen in this place (Georgia) with these people (Old Lady Gang); it’s to bring together a bunch of women who can’t stand each other to have a meal together in a public place so that not only do they all have a terrible night, but countless Atlanta children go home asking their parents, “Mommy what’s a ‘whore,’ and why did that lady with the Lego hair keep yelling it at all those other ladies in the restaurant?”
NEXT: Is a lie really a lie, if it’s told by a lying liar?