The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: Jamaican Beef Catty
Cynthia's commercial is Jamaican Kenya crazy
I guess there is some justice in the world: Kenya Moore, welcome back to the bottom of the pack.
Now, in the real world, I would never revel in the simultaneous and rapid decline of someone’s professional and social life. But in the fake world of reality TV, where I’ve been watching Kenya think she has top-dog status for far too long, watching her sheer desperation as she tried to argue her way into a job that she wasn’t wanted for and a “BFF” slot that had just been ripped out from under her felt pretty gratifying.
And with Kenya knocked down a peg or seven, now we have a new HBIC-in-training candidate on the track: may I present to you, Kim Fields — the woman who just gasped and covered her mouth when she let a curse word slip is the very same woman who just flipped the switch on the social standings of RHOA. And she probably did it all while carrying around a Ziploc bag of Cheetos, wearing some sort of polyester one-sleeved number she’s had since Living Single, and reading all the Bible verses about not getting so angry you flip a table.
The jury is still out on if Kim can really keep up with this crew long term but one thing is for sure: Kim is an actual professional with a real-life job, and she knows how to get her work done. Around here, that’s as rare as a heel under four inches or a bikini without 17 extra straps. Tonight, the women head to Jamaica, where Cynthia intends to shoot the commercial for her eyewear line. I say “intends” because this is what we are to believe: that Kenya has flown to Jamaica under the impression that she would be either producing or directing — or both — this ‘mercial without ever having spoken to Cynthia about her concept for it or hiring any talent.
Now I’m pretty lenient on blaming Kenya for just about anything — global warming, Donald Trump’s hair, having to pretend that Potomac is a city — but for Cynthia not to have talked to her about the decision to choose Kim to take on the project alone has Flamin’-Hot-Cheetos-level producer fingerprints all over it. But for Kenya to make a single comment about anyone acting unprofessionally when she was trying to act like she would come into a producing gig with nothing but a few ideas is insane. I’ll do my very best to limit my use of “insane” to 30 times in this recap.
Let’s break it down: Cynthia is shooting a commercial for her eyewear line, a thing that will benefit greatly from being advertised on television. Someone told her that it would be in her best interest re: job security to have Kenya and Kim, who don’t particularly seem to enjoy each other, work on it together in some split of the producer/director responsibilities. She held a pitch meeting where Kim presented her ideas, some nice storyboards, and a sunny disposition; Kenya didn’t show up, and when Cynthia called her, she told her she wouldn’t be coming due to some emergency with Moore Manor, presumably that it was sliding down the cliff it seems to be located on. Kim made it clear that if she was to be working on the project, she would not be up for co-directing. And as her potential co-director was currently scraping mold off of drywall, she got the gig solo.
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Kim has been working on preparing for the commercial since then: making a budget, scouting the talent, connecting with people she knows in the Kingston area. Kenya has been making a detailed flow chart of screen-time ratios and quippy one-liners for her now “boyfriend,” Matt. And yet Kenya heads into this trip to Jamaica thinking that she’ll be…what, directing this commercial that she has never discussed with Cynthia? And Cynthia has been just so swamped with packing Peter’s sneakers and, specially, sunblock for his head that she simply hasn’t had the time to tell her friend Kenya that she decided to just hire Kim. She’s planning to tell Kim when they get to Jamaica on the trip that was planned entirely for the purpose of shooting the ‘mercial.
Phaedra has different plans: When everyone gets on the bus to the hotel in Jamaica, she asks Cynthia out loud who’s directing and who’s producing. Cynthia kind of says that Kenya wasn’t able to make it to the pitch meeting, so Kim will be handling it, but you know it doesn’t stop there. There will be fireworks in Jamaica, and they will be coming from Kim Fields’ eyeballs when Kenya tries to tell her she doesn’t have the TV experience
Yeah, that’s the argument Kenya is going with — that Kim Fields, who has been acting and directing in television for at least three decades does not have enough experience for a Cynthia Bailey Eyewear commercial that’s going to air on local Atlanta television. Oh, this is one for the record books. Cynthia decides the best way to explain to her friend that she chose someone else over her to direct her commercial is with that someone else sitting at the table with them. Cynthia, Kim, and Kenya gather for sushi and a conversation where Kenya says the decision not to let her help on the commercial is “rude and as a businesswoman I’m insulted.” No, no, lady. You can be personally insulted that your friend chose not to hire you, but you can’t be professionally insulted that you weren’t hired for something that you didn’t show up to a meeting to talk about and then came to Jamaica to take part in without doing one bit of preparation.
NEXT: Kim Fields directs alone…
Kenya’s other main argument is that the reason she doesn’t get to work on the commercial is because Kim refused to work with her. Again, no — the reason she doesn’t get to work on the commercial is because Kim didn’t want to work with someone else, and Cynthia didn’t want Kenya to work on the commercial by herself. She had two options for solo operators, and she chose the one with IMDb director credits that don’t start and end with Life Twirls On. Hearing Kenya say, “You want to talk about your experience, well then put your experience on the table,” is, among a sea of options, one of the more delusional things I’ve ever heard come from her mouth.
She did put her experience on the table, Kenya. Literally, when she showed up to the pitch meeting, sat down at THE TABLE, and presented her storyboards. Her experience is on the table by your Philadelphia rolls in the form of a signed contract because she’s Getting. That. Check.
Kenya gets completely out of hand and starts taunting Kim and calling her condescending as she repeatedly calls her “Kim Tootie Fields,” and then when Kim says she’ll be making her exit, Kenya gets up and pulls out her chair while she’s still sitting in it. It’s rude, and as a recapper, I’m insulted.
Kim somehow manages not to flip the table over — please note that during this time, Cynthia kind of mutters “stop” a few times — goes back the hotel suite and gets a little rage out of her system before her husband Chris gives her a can-I-get-an-amen sermon to calm her down. For real, I can’t be the only one thinking Chris just pulled that pulpit voice out of the blue.
Speaking of out of the blue, Cynthia totally on her own and not at all influenced by anyone else also thought that it would be fun to surprise the rest of the group with NeNe and Gregg’s presence on this trip, even though everyone else has no idea that they’ve made up for the sake of cold hard cash. Porsha and Phaedra are excited to see her when she pops up at dinner, but they both think it’s a little odd that she’s suddenly BFFs with Cynthia again when she hasn’t mentioned a reunion to them at all. Kenya, on the other hand, looks like she’s seen a ghost — and that ghost, of course, is her spot at the top of the call sheet. She literally says, “I want to see how that relationship plays out with respect to me.” Spoiler alert: It does not play out well for Kenya, who causes a minor scene at the dinner table by saying she would rather gouge her eyes out with spoons and take a lantern and light herself on fire than talk about the situation with Kim again. As everyone clamors to offer her a choice of spoons and lanterns, she decides it’s time to go.
With Kenya gone, the others decide it’s time to inform NeNe that Kenya is Cynthia’s new BFF, and Cynthia decides to say that’s not really the case and they’re “still trying to get to know each other.” Ha! I love off-script Cynthia. NeNe insists for the rest of the night that Kenya is not her newly renewed BFF’s BFF, and Sheree decides to scurry over to Kenya’s room the next morning, the smell of a fresh contract and genetically modified peach strengthening which each new episode, and tell Kenya what Cynthia said. And Kenya decides to go have her second conversation with Cynthia where she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s just trying to get Cynthia to admit that she doesn’t really care for her.
It’s all ridiculous, and Kenya’s thought process is truly incomprehensible, but after the snore that was last week’s hour, I’ll take jaw-dropping delusion any day. And for all the ‘mercial silliness, I actually really enjoyed most everyone else in this episode. I didn’t necessarily think that I wanted NeNe back when she was gone, but her return seems to also bring with it a little more credibility to some of these friendships. Plus, everyone just seemed so giddy to be in Jamaica and even if that meant I had to thaw my cold dead heart to momentarily find Peter endearing for being so proud of his home country or to laugh at Phaedra rolling around on that beach chair, I guess I can do it. But I draw the line at Kenya. The woman must be stopped.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did Kenya have a right to be upset? Did Kim handle herself well? Is it weird that she brought her kids? It feels weird, but I’d rather get your opinions on the matter…sound off in the comments! (And here are links to Kim and Kenya‘s IMDb pages for your perusing purposes).
The Real Housewives of Atlanta