The best way to sum up how Real Housewives of Atlanta reunions go is that when one woman accuses another of having her butt hanging out at the beach, that woman can come right back with a matching accusation about the other having her own butt hanging out at a charity event. Everyone is literally and figuratively showing their ass all the time on this show.
As these three-part reunions usually go, the first installment wasn’t particularly explosive, but after last year’s damaging blow up, that’s fine with me. It seems to be fine with Porsha, too, who is totally cool with physical attacks as long as they’re deserved. That’s Porsha who isn’t even a cast member on this show, and yet at least two of the other women’s story lines basically revolve around her. Claudia said at one point that she doesn’t know what Porsha’s talents are, but I’d wager that she’s excellent at staying relevant in the special circle of hell that is the Real Housewives franchise.
As it turns out, despite refraining from yanking each other’s hair this year, everyone hates each other about exactly as much as they did a year ago. Phaedra is still calling Kenya a whore, Kenya is still telling everyone they should apologize to her, Nene still thinks she’s above everyone, Cynthia is still arriving with prepared comebacks that Peter helped her think up last night, and so on. The only difference is there’s a new housewife this year and the awkward silence that comes with a live taping of seven women who don’t talk to each other and only a fleet of makeup artists as audience is somehow even more palpable in the even more cavernous room they’re using. Also, this year Bravo thought they’d be cute and make a little fake commercial for an RHOA Wig Collection, except it was very confusing because it’s frankly unbelievable that they haven’t been trying to squeeze more dimes out of this thing.
And that small moment of confusion was about as interesting as it got on the RHOA Reunion, Part One.
The Nene Treatment
Now that Nene has been on BROT-way, she’s seeming very demure. Since she’s probably not allowed to just walk out of the reunion (and still get paid)—her confrontation avoidance style of choice this season—she’s decided to just say, “You’re right; I’m wrong” every time one of the other women tries to talk to her. While I understand this tactic because everyone sitting on that stage is going to change her mind about anything no matter what anyone says to her, but I also find it incredibly annoying. Like, Nene screaming, “OKAY, I’M THE PROBLEM. OKAY, I’M THE PROBLEM” will be haunting my dreams tonight. She only really engages once to inquire when Kandi started hating her so much, and Kandi tells Nene that she doesn’t hate her, but she does hate her “superior stank ass attitude.” She’s right, Nene’s wrong.
NEXT: The Real Role Models of Atlanta…[pagebreak]
Apollo’s Kentucky Time
Of course, the season couldn’t be discussed without talking about the time Apollo went to prison for eight years. Andy brings up the pretty frightening garage encounter just before Apollo reported to the jail in Kentucky and asks if Apollo has ever been abusive, which Phaedra says they won’t be discussing. But she does discuss why she hasn’t taken Dylan and Ayden to see him. Apparently it sometimes gets cold in Kentucky and she might have to stand outside with Dylan or change his diaper, etc. I reserve judgment on whatever Phaedra decides is best for her sons in a tricky situation, but that is pretty clearly some thin reasoning. But the ice wall that fell down in the Philippines in regard to Phaedra being a little more open about her emotions has been firmly built back up again.
Phaedra also says she hasn’t filed for divorce yet. The only reason she gives is that one day her children will “have access to this footage” and she wants them to be able to be proud of her. But signing a contract with Bravo is basically just promising to be paid to never have pride again, so that ship has kind of sailed.
Porsha Pays a Visit
Since Nene has embraced how she’s wrong about anything, Phaedra is keeping tight-lipped, and the other four are all comfortably seated together on a love seat, Andy brings out non-cast-member, Porsha, for a nice, lengthy visit. I will give Porsha this: Nothing she says ever makes a bit of sense, but she says it loudly, and she says it long, and eventually I think that just wears people down. Porsha says that it was a complete lie when Claudia accused her of dating a married African man who buys all of her things for her. But Claudia sticks to her story and says she feels sorry for Porsha because she can’t figure out how to use her own talents to get the things she wants… which is a pretty solid burn because it forces Porsha to try to think of what her talents are. Hint: Thinking is not amongst them.
Forgive and Forget (or Just Scream)
Since Porsha is already screaming at a medium level—which is to say, around the pitch of when you accidently step on a dog and it yelps—Andy decides it’s a good time to pivot over to Kenya and talk about how they got in a physical altercation around this time last year. Porsha says she’ll never apologize to Kenya for physically attacking her because she doesn’t think she deserves an apology and at the time she felt threatened by Kenya’s scepter-wielding. I don’t think anyone is saying that Kenya was right in that situation either, and I’d have to consult Miss Manners on this, but I think when you pull someone down by their hair, it’s usually a solid move to just say sorry about it. Phaedra disagrees and somehow they end up talking about who is using their platform from the TV show most wisely, and whether Kenya or Phaedra is a better role model for black women.
Oh Andy… I know you’re proud of what you’ve built, but no one is looking to these shows as an example. We see them as what they are—a warning, and we are heeding it.
It looks like next week is when we’ll finally get an “I SCHAID WHAT I SCHAID” moment from Queen Nene, so there’s that to look forward to. Who do you think came out looking the best from the first part of this reunion? Are you feeling as much like it’s time to put this season out to pasture as I am? Keep your eye out for my petition to make season 9 just extended footage of Ayden FaceTime-ing with adults.