Before we get to You Know What, let me just tell you how this episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta started: It called into question the popular notion that the institution of marriage validates a woman’s worth within a patriarchal society; and it shed some light on the struggle of many women out there who love their children but feel like their investment in motherhood has caused them to fall out of touch with who they are as individuals.
I’m not kidding, you guys — those are real-ass topics that were briefly touched upon in this fake-ass show.
But don’t worry: The hour ended with one drunk woman about to lay hands on another woman in a bikini top from the Old Navy toddler section, so all is still right in the World That Andy Cohen Built. And do you want to know why? Because these people simply cannot keep themselves off of boats, despite the constant dangers the nautical life brings them. Can’t they see — the freedom of the sea is no place for them! If it’s not a boob flying out, then it’s a drink flying in someone’s face. And if it’s not a margarita flying, then it’s the playful shouting of “bitch this” and “bitch that” turning into the condescending shouting of “bitch this” and “bitch that” as a result of nothing more than a shot of Hennessy and the misplaced aggression of a failing marriage.
Actually, concerning that last bit, I guess that this boat ride held a hint of real-world relevance, as well. But where you or I might have an extra glass of wine and write a passive aggressive email during a particularly stressful time, Cynthia stranded herself at sea with six of her closest friends/enemies and then streamlined tequila. I’m with Kim Fields: Next time, everyone just grab your Jodi Picoult hardback, find a lounge chair, and lock it the hell up.
Speaking of Kim Fields, it seems the reason she’s subjecting herself to this madness is that the girl needs friends. It’s true, making friends in adulthood is a challenge. Gone are the days of shared dorm halls and youthful recklessness — enter quick chats at carpool and exhaustion following dinner, baths, and bedtime. Signing onto a reality show to make a few friends isn’t the craziest thing I’ve ever heard…but this is: “I think a friendship with Phaedra could be a really good start.”
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Kim goes over to Phaedra’s house to let her adorable sons play with Phaedra’s adorable sons in the pool, complete with lifeguard. They have a nice chat that ends up being quite cathartic for Kim when Phaedra tries asking her what her hobbies are, who her friends are, what she does for fun — anything that isn’t wrapped around her kids — and she can’t come up with any answers. She cries and says she’s lost herself without even realizing it. Phaedra promises that they’ll have some “mommy days” and get back on track together, which is a really nice sentiment, but the fact that Kim is wearing knee-length bedazzled denim shorts during this chat, while Phaedra is wearing a crocheted cover-up over a semi-thong bikini makes me wonder if this is the friendship match made in heaven that they think it is.
And we may have gotten the best of women-supporting-women Phaedra in that scene, but prior to it came this feminism minefield: “Everyone knows that men are hunters and ladies are their prey. But you can’t hunt if the prey is sitting there waiting to be caught, lying on the bed in her socks.” I have no idea what that means — sounds like a “get the milk for free” situation — but it’s said while Phaedra accompanies Porsha to a sex shop so Porsha can “find something cute for FaceTime” with Duke… I wish I didn’t know what that meant, but subtlety has never been Porsha’s strong suit (remember when she got an on-air colon cleanse last week?), and the whole scene gets a big “NO THANK YOU” from me…
What it leads to is pure gold, though: a contrived scene where Porsha prances around her middle-of-nowhere mansion in the new “diamond bra” that she bought, waiting on Duke to call her, and when no call comes, she calls Phaedra to discuss how maybe this Duke thing isn’t going to work out. Enter my Theory-That-Isn’t-a-Theory-Because-It’s-the-Stone-Cold-Truth Theory of the Week: That man made a hard exit stage right following Porsha’s creepy underground party for him, and they needed a scene to make it seem like the two of them broke up. This supposed FaceTime plan with Dukey absolutely never existed. (Oh, did I not mention that Porsha’s nickname for Duke is Dukey? Say that one out loud and then ask me again why this relationship might not have worked out.)
Also, Kenya walks down a sidewalk-less highway to Sheree’s house in the name of a story line. They make a bet about which one of them will be in their house by Christmas; the stakes are unclear, but I think we can all agree that everyone will be a loser here.
NEXT: They’re on a boat…