Please welcome to the stage, Kim Fields...and Porsha's boyfriend, Duke.
Credit: Bravo

As they say in the great state of Georgia: Y’ALL. I’m very nervous! I think I might be — steel yourself — enjoying this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta? Now, given, I enjoy every season with that sort of stunned disbelief that can only come from watching a grown woman in a nightie made of handkerchiefs throwing a pajama party for a bunch of other grown people that starts off seeming like a scene from Eyes Wide Shut ends up being like Bad Boys.

Yes, it provides a specific type of hide-behind-the-throw-pillow enjoyment. But the angle that the editors and producers seems to be taking in this show’s eighth season is a little less shock-factor and a little more willing to embrace the monster that they’ve created. They put Kenya Moore into this world, and, damn it, if they want to mock her for implying that she’s “made it” in “Hollywood,” or thinking she “owns a home” that isn’t “falling apart” and probably the “scene of violent crime,” then that is what they’re going to do. And I thank them for it.

I also thank them for Kim Fields. I have but one simple question: WHAT IS SHE DOING HERE??? Let me provide you with a few analogies to help understand why I’m so confused: Kim Fields is to Kenya as Roger Bobb is to Tyler Perry; Kim Fields is to Porsha as NPR is to…whatever the hell Porsha hosts on Dish Nation; Kim Fields is to Kandi — actually, you know what, I’ve never really understood what Kandi is doing on this show either. But Kandi seems more down to clown (and drink a moscato and Hi-C Fruit Punch cocktail) than Tootie. How will this lovely, accomplished, professional woman insert herself into situations like…

Cynthia’s eyewear launch/pool party, where the episode picks back up. Porsha, who’s never met Sheree, is keeping her from throwing her drink at Kenya and using the resulting glass shards to either create a lovely mosaic for Chateau Sheree or maybe murder Kenya. Porsha says she’s never seen someone go from zero to 100 so fast — Porsha, the woman who had an rage blackout and dragged Kenya to the floor two seasons ago, thinks Sheree turns up fast. Kandi tells Sheree that Kenya just seems to inspire that kind of response in people.

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But from new “Housewife” Kim, Kenya is just inspiring some good old-fashioned eye-bugging at all the crazy she’s spewing when she goes to Kim’s office to see if they can do a little collaboratin’. Luckily we don’t get any fake introduction for Kim where someone tries to act like they’ve been secret besties for years; we all know this is RHOA’s last-ditch effort to survive the NeNe apocalypse. And it might just work! Kim is nice enough not to laugh in Kenya’s face when she walks into Kim’s real-life office where Kim is working on real-life projects and saying things like, “You know, Hollywood has been good to us” — us! — but not so fake as to pretend like she’d ever have anything to do with Life Twirls On — a thing that Kenya is under the impression still exists.

**ALERT, ALERT** We’ve got our first mention of The Blogs. Cynthia’s business partner tells Cynthia that “everybody is still talking about [the eyewear launch]. Blogs. Media.” Cynthia’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, business partner, I’m sure you’d like to crunch some rhinestone-aviator numbers, but instead, let’s talk about my philandering husband and how he spends all his time at a Charlotte sports bar bought with my hard-earned money and then comes home once a week smelling like pulled-pork nachos and Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean body mist.” Never go into business with Cynthia.

NEXT: Porsha’s totally normal party…

Also busy sharing way too much personal information with her employees is Porsha, who now has a “successful” hair-care line, dreams of a half-trashy, half-classy (all-assy) lingerie brand, and an exasperated Creative Director named Johnnie, one of two men employed by Housewives named Johnnie in tonight’s episode (still only one Don Juan though — still his real name). He’s annoyed because he needs Porsha to eat, sleep, and bleed thongs and underwear to make this lingerie line happen, but all she wants to do is talk about her new boyfriend, Duke. Now, I distinctly remember Porsha saying last week that she had been dating Duke for about a month, but somehow that has turned into “a few months” this week. That could be blamed on the sorcery-style editing of these Housewives shows, but either way, it is 100 percent not long enough to warrant a personalized costume jersey, multiple chicken-finger platters, and forcing all your friends to attend a weird surprise going-away party.

Where is Duke going, you ask? Presumably back to Buffalo, where he plays football and dabbles in stripper antics. How long has he even been in Atlanta? Presumably a weekend. It is all very weird, but it also provided my three favorite moments from this episode:

3. Cynthia saying, “I’m looking forward to meeting Porsha’s new man. However I’m looking more forward to this gas voucher that I hope she’s gon’ give me for driving these 2,000 miles to get out here,” which is, hands down, the wittiest thing Cynthia has ever said.

2. Porsha’s response to her sister telling her she’s pregnant is that it’s “kind of awkward” that Lauren is pregnant before her, and she’s hopes this is the reason Lauren hasn’t been that excited about Duke. Yeah, Porsha — the fact that her entire life is about to change, she’s vomiting in the middle of parties, and can no longer fit into her custom rhinestone-studded jersey may be contributing to the fact that she doesn’t give a s— about your Instagram boyfriend.

1. Duke’s friend Ken, upon seeing hired cheerleaders and 100 people that Duke has never met at what they probably thought was just going to be a 10-minute stop before the airport, tells Duke, “She’s a lot bro.” It’s such a great moment, made all the better when Porsha immediately calls Duke up to the front of the room and says, “I want to ask everyone to open your heart to what we have because, to me, it’s everything,” and then presents him with an actual glass plaque for being her MVP, or something. I mean…the woman got in her car, went to a trophy store, presented her credit card, and asked to have a glass plaque made for a 24-year-old man she met on social media. I’m with Ken: She’s a lot, bro.

Now, we all know Phaedra is a lot. And we all know Kandi is emotionally unavailable. What we don’t know is if these two will ever actually make up. We can only be certain of one thing: They will keep having conversations in each other’s offices where one says the other was hurting her, the other responds that she didn’t know she was hurting her, and then one will cry…and then the other will cry. That is as dependable as the ever-lingering scent of bacon grease at the Kandi Factory.

Phaedra does at least say she’ll talk to Todd about the money she owes him for her workout DVD — that should go well, right? Are you cautiously enjoying the pratfalls of this season as much as I am? And how long until Duke dumps/files a restraining order against Porsha? Sound off in the comments!

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of Atlanta
NeNe, Kandi, Cynthia, Phaedra, Kenya, and Claudia keep the ATL just peachy.
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