The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: 'Nice to Metria'
Meet new cast member, Demetria McKinney, and more importantly, her baffling boyfriend, Roger Bobb.
There are a lot of non-realities I’m willing to accept as “truth” on The Real Housewives of Atlanta: mortal enemies taking international trips together; the idea that anything Peter does would be more interesting than even just watching Gregg try to use an iPhone or shop for paisley shirts; going to restaurants and not eating food. But one thing I must stand firm on… Roger Bobb is not a real person’s name. And if there hadn’t been that scene where he momentarily tolerated Kenya’s presence in his windowless office—why do all of these successful people willingly work in fluorescent light cages?—it would be easy to believe he’s not a real person at all.
Despite being skin and bones, and a pretty successful seeming person, the Roger Bobb presented tonight is about as real as THE BLOGS. Roger Bobb is just a siphon—a tall, Tyler Perry loving, executive producing siphon, used to connect one Housewife (who’s not a housewife) to another Housewife (also not a housewife). But much like the women of RHOA, I get some sort of sick satisfaction from saying his name over and over, and while I don’t love the weird lady-bashing vibes that were hovering around this storyline, I did love how disinterested Roger Bobb seemed in having anything to do with helping Kenya produce The Life and Lies of Kenya Moore.
I have to say, this is kind of one of my favorite types of no-stakes RHOA episodes: Within the already guilty pleasure of even watching this show is the truly guilty pleasure of watching the two main storylines alternate between real-life serious situations like a father going to jail, and hilariously “Oh, you know who I just saw the other day and invited to a party where their enemy will be…” falsity attempting to be played off as a natural occurrence. And within that, some of the most heinous outfits this series has seen this season. It’s like a damn Bravo turducken. I simply can’t wait to get to the visual explosion that was the photoshoot scene between BFFs4eva Kenya, Cynthia, and Claudia.
Speaking of… the whole purpose of Roger Bobb (short for Roger Robert?) is to introduce new cast member, Demetria McKinney. In the vein of Claudia Jordan and Kenya Moore before her, Demetria is a very famous actress that you’ve never heard of (caveat: unless you watched House of Payne/Deal or No Deal/Whatever Kenya Was On). She first shows up while Cynthia is conducting a very important meeting at The Bailey School for Undeclared Professions and Probably Tax Evasion. Demetria enters the building for undeclared professional purposes and Cynthia introduces her to the audience thusly: “Demetria McKinney is a super talented singer/actress who I’ve been cool with for years.” Cynthia. Try a little harder, boo.
For as important as this show is to Cynthia, she has always been the worst at faking any sort of interaction or relationship. Demetria is looking for a “chocolate man” either for a music video or general amusement; her intentions are unclear. What is very clear is that she’s there to inform her new coworker that she is currently dating Roger Bobb and has been, on-and-off for “dang-near eight years.” Cynthia and Peter have known Roger Bobb for dang-near even longer than that and they’ve never known him to have a girlfriend, so Cynthia is shocked to hear that intel. This whole episode is a practice in 40-year-old women not being able to understand what an on-again-off-again relationship is. Demetria invites Cynthia to the party she’s having for her music video (a thing!), and when Cynthia says she’ll of course bring along her “girlfriends Kenya and Claudia” to a party that isn’t hers to invite people to, Demetria tells her she’s a little hesitant about Kenya.
You see, at the last fake party for a kind-of-real event (Cynthia’s magazine spread) Kenya was seen in a photo with Roger Bobb and THE BLOGS Just. Went. Wild. THE BLOGS could not contain themselves with the possibility of Roger Bobb—ROGER BOBB!—and Kenya Moore—KENYA MOORE!—being an item. And that kind of annoyed Demetria…
NEXT: Fashion Police, jumpsuit edition…
Which leads us to possibly my favorite scene of the season thus far for totally superfluous reasons. It’s the scene when Cynthia just has to tell Kenya that Demetria told her in confidence that she was mildly annoyed that THE BLOGS thought Roger Bobb was dating Kenya. Let me set the stage: The camera comes up on Kenya participating in a photo shoot in a jumpsuit that is made of the sparkly red fabric they use on the booths in, like, a Johnny Rockets, except they’ve made it beige and less flattering. It should be noted that every single one of these women is a total knockout, and flawless from the neck up. From the neck down, they seem to have had some sort of sacrifice where they’re allowed to keep eternal youth if only they wear terrible things for the rest of eternity.
Cynthia is stage left, coaching Kenya on her modeling—and by that, I of course mean, telling her to stop putting her hands on her crotch—and wearing what appear to be dressy board shorts. Enter Claudia in a T-shirt that made love to a bathrobe so that it both exposes her midriff, but gives the overall effect of a muumuu… paired with high-waisted shorts. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING. Perhaps it’s all a distraction from the ridiculous clunky dialogue that establishes three things: 1. Claudia just met Roger Bobb (oh, did she?) and is also planning on attending the music video party; 2. Cynthia tells Kenya that Demetria is annoyed with her, even though that’s not really what Demetria said, and even though Cynthia is the most obvious producer mouthpiece this side of Kyle Richards; and, 3. In a Sex and the City extended metaphor, Kenya thinks she’s the Carrie. Enter me, maniacally laughing.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Fake Friends Figuring Out Ways to All Be Going to the Same Fake Parties program to bring you Real Friends Figuring Out Real Problems While Being Filmed. Phaedra goes over to Kandi’s to continue acting like her life is totally fine in public, but Kandi isn’t having it. She brings in her adorable cousin Melvin who is living with her because his father is in jail and has been in and out of prison for most of his life, to talk to her about how that affected him. Phaedra has been struggling with what to tell Ayden and Dylan about Apollo going to prison, because her biggest fear is that telling them the truth will make them think that breaking the law is okay and repeat the same cycle as their father.
Melvin tells her that he was lied to about where his father was, and he wishes people had just been honest with him: “You don’t want your child to grow up and resent being lied to.” He says he’s gotten in some trouble, but now, with the help of good examples like Kandi, he’s getting a degree, and seems like a super sweet kid. I also like that they call his dad Big Melvin, implying that he might be called Little Melvin as he towers over Kandi. I have absolutely zero credibility on the matter, but in addition to his personal experience, Melvin is studying to be a child psychologist and seems to give some solid and well-intentioned advice. But Phaedra is stubborn…
The Nene Show within a Show (within a Show): And now we interrupt your regularly scheduled The Real Housewives Franchise Leads Directly to Prison or Divorce, I Dare You to Prove Me Otherwise program to bring you what Nene’s up to this week. What Nene is up to is hawking her statement-sleeve Nene Leakes Collection to HSN shoppers in a midnight segment, and simply does not know if she’s going to be able to stay awake to make what I have to assume is a shit-ton of home shopping money: “I am going to have to sell thousands of pieces and stay awake at the same time.”
Your weekly reminder that this woman is so much richer than us. Also, I don’t want to address Nene’s new one-on-one look specifically, but I do want to vaguely mention The Beatles, hay, The Three Stooges, Lego heads, and the color peach. Do with it what you will.
Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming, where Kenya shows up at someone’s office and tells them they have to help make her famous. That person is Roger Bobb and that office is Roger Bobb headquarters, Bobbcat Films—you can’t make this stuff up. They’ve worked together in the past, and she tells him that she’s ready to get her professional life going again; with his help, she wants to produce a vehicle for her to get back into acting. Not yet swayed by that pitch for a surefire moneymaker, he asks if she has any, y’know, ideas for this thing she wants him to help her produce, which makes me like Roger Bobb 1000 times more and almost make me see why everyone is so hung up on him. Her idea is to create something about a woman who’s exactly like her: So, look out for that in a theater near you!
NEXT: Music video parties are for (vengeful) lovers…
Finally, Kenya gets down to her real professional reasons for being there, and tells Roger Bobb how Demetria told Cynthia that she was annoyed they were in a picture together. Roger Bobb informs Kenya that Demetria is, indeed, his “lady,” and she is shocked, simply shocked, that this 40-year-old man has a girlfriend. Mama Joyce once almost trying to murder someone with a shoe, everyone was cool with, but two people having a rocky relationship history is mind-boggling. Anyway, Roger Bobb invites Kenya to his girlfriend’s music video party, because if everyone isn’t at this damn music video event, there’s not going to be a Bravo corporate pizza party.
But come, everyone does, even the people who haven’t discussed being invited for scenes on end. Demetria seems to know most everyone, which is probably good, because the first impression she’s giving visually involves what appears to be one of those shirts that really built guys wear to the gym where they cut the sleeves off all the way down to the waist of their shorts. She’s tucked it into a sequined mermaid skirt so that most of her side and under-boob are exposed. But you know the classic saying: It’s her music video party, and she’ll flash if she wants to (flash if she wants to). Demetria neglects all of her other party guests to sit with her new castmates and have a brief, but ridiculous conversation where she and Kenya establish that there is no Roger Bobb beef. Roger Bobb… who doesn’t even show up to his girlfriend’s party for her music video that she’s never even able to get to play on the TV screens at the club.
They actually all seem to have a pretty decent time together, and I’m hesitant with my allegiances, but I’ve really taken to Claudia, especially when she lays out her mantra tonight: “I would say classy people with ratchet music is like the perfect combination for a good time.” She seems actually funny, and not just in a snaps-her-fingers-a-lot kind of way. I guess the word I’m looking for here is witty, but it just feels unnatural.
Our former purveyor of wit is having a tougher time, however. Phaedra seems mostly relaxed and glad to be back in the mix, when Apollo shows up. Listen, I know Phaedra is a little shady, and maybe she’s not handling this situation the best way she could, but Apollo is a certified terrible human, and I want him out of there. This is surely his grossest display ever: He shows up at this party, unbeknownst to his wife, ambushes her so she has to talk to him, and when she’s clearly not keen on talking about their marriage at a music video party, he starts showing her gratuitous physical affection so that she can’t get rid of him without causing a scene in public, which he knows Phaedra would never do. (Oh, and Cynthia can take her, “Your slip is starting to show” comment and shove it too.)
As repulsive as Apollo’s attention seeking actions are, I’m annoyed to admit that I’m kind of dying to know what’s going on there. Phaedra accuses Apollo of never coming home except to change his clothes for the club; he was formerly upset about her not letting him see his boys, but that’s not the story that Phaedra is telling now; and at one point he basically starts trying to talk to her about getting a divorce in the middle of a club because he says she won’t talk to him at home. Someone is lying, and if track records are anything to go by, I hope Phaedra has scheduled some more one-on-ones with Little Melvin, because she’s going to need them.
What do you think of this Apollo/Phaedra mess? Was your skin crawling as much as mine during his hug ambush? And what do you think of new cast member Demetria? Just a vehicle to say Roger Bobb over and over again, or a character in her own right?