RHOA: “I don’t even know if she’s allowed to leave the country.”

January 24th, 2012

Last night on Real Housewives of Atlanta, we spent the majority of our time getting to know Marlo, our newest quasi-housewife, a little better. Like Brandi in Beverly Hills, Marlo has yet to get called up from the farm team for a full time spot in the big leagues of housewifery, but she’s trying her very best to put on for the cameras and get a job other than Professional Girlfriend. Unlike Brandi in Beverly Hills, Marlo seems to have few redeeming qualities.

I thought that last night’s episode might be our first one in Africa since last week was such a placeholder, but no, we’ll have to wait for next Sunday to see the actual trip. This time, we just lazed around Atlanta for a little bit longer, getting full-body wraps and trying on things we can’t afford. Except for Kandi, of course, who was pushing a truck tire around a vacant lot while someone yelled at her from the sidelines.

We started out with Nene, who was making a visit to Marlo’s house. That was the first peek we had inside the place that some dumb dude clearly bought (rented) for her, and it was…tacky. But tacky in a different way than the houses on Real Housewives tend to be tacky. Instead, it was like Marlo had watched one too many Sunday hangover Cribs marathons, and she decided that it would be a great idea to decorate her house like Fabolous circa 2004, if Fabolous had his place decorated by a gay man who wears high heels. There were even security cameras so that she could keep an eye on all of her tacky crap from her bedroom. Clever.

And let’s talk about Marlo’s house itself for a moment, shall we? It was a townhouse. People who have real money in Atlanta don’t live in townhouses – even in an intown neighborhood, they all either live in single family detached homes or high rises. Real estate prices in Atlanta are low, and although I’m sure Marlo’s place was perfectly nice under all the plates bolted to the walls and the ill-advised lavender faux finish, it wasn’t the type of place where a rich person in Atlanta lives. Simple as that. I don’t care how many pairs of expensive shoes you put in it or if you have your boyfriend hire a chef for the afternoon so that everyone on TV thinks you have a “staff,” I’m not impressed with a townhouse in Atlanta. And it’s probably a rental. Marlo’s going to have to come with tighter game than that.

Nene is easily impressed by shiny things, though, particularly if those shiny things have red soles. She flipped out when she saw Marlo’s bag and shoe closet, and although there was some good stuff in there, it seemed like it was mostly there by mistake. Unlike Kim, who revels in her complete lack of taste and has a sense of humor about her own ridiculousness, Marlo’s the worst kind of tacky person – the kind who has no clue that she’s tacky. Even her Chanel bags were ugly, and one of them was so ugly that not even Nene would accept it as a random gift. When Nene’s turning down free luxury goods, you know things are bad. I guess that’s what happens when most of the stuff you have is given to you by other people’s husbands – you accept whatever it is that shows up at the door, as long as you don’t have to get a real job.

Our next two scenes involved the divergent weight loss methods of Kim and Kandi. Since we’ve seen Kim eat Domino’s chicken fingers while getting zapped with weight-loss laser that she had someone bring to her house, I’m sure you can imagine who was trying to take the easy way out. While Kandi was in the gym with a trainer wearing sweats and pushing a truck tire around a vacant lot, Kim was in her kitchen being wrapped in hot ace bandages by a woman of indeterminate accent. 45 minutes later, Kim swore she felt thinner. Kim always looks about the same to me, so if it makes her happy, let her waste her money. At least she’s honest with herself about her unwillingness to break a sweat.

Kandi was breaking an actual sweat, on the other hand, and it looked like hell. Kandi wants to get married and she thinks she needs to lose weight to find a man, which would seem to contradict everything that Phaedra has told us about The Magic of the Donkey Booty. Phaedra was in Kandi’s situation not long ago – slightly older than the average dating age, employed, successful, paying her own bills, in possession of a Donkey Booty – and she ended up with the hottest Real Househusband this side of Mauricio. Perhaps Kandi should give it a try with the booty for a little bit longer before she goes torturing herself trying to lose it. Or, you know, maybe try a juice fast. That seems to be what everyone’s doing these days.

At Cynthia’s house, Cynthia and Peter were talking about how she was going to South Africa. Cynthia had been there one time before. Excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

Over at Phaedra’s, Apollo was looking hot in a shirt and tie and feeding the baby (swoon) while Phaedra lamented canned beans and spilled what she knew about Marlo’s police record. Even Apollo, notoriously an ex-con, seemed shocked by Marlo’s litany of arrests. After all, Apollo’s record doesn’t contain anything violent. He was involved in a car theft ring. Marlo, on the other hand, tried to stab a bitch at the club. Speaking of which, how did Bravo even let her on the show? Usually reality TV casting departments have to screen for people with violent offenses on their records because of liability issues, but apparently Bravo decided that the potential drama of Marlo cutting someone was worth it.

Meanwhile, Nene and Marlo went shopping, accidentally bought a diamond necklace and we got to hear a little bit about What’s Wrong with Black Women According to Marlo. Nene smiled and nodded, seemingly happy that at least someone more entertaining and lively than Cynthia and less skeezy than that pizza dude was willing to be in her presence for more than a few minutes at a time. And really, that seems to be the entire reason that Bravo brought Marlo from the rock under which they found her – no one wants to hang out with Nene, so they needed someone who doesn’t hate her yet. Give it time, Marlo! You’ll probably change your mind like everyone else.

Speaking of Marlo, I have another little mini rant about her. As I mentioned, she categorized Kandi’s willingness to listen to the negative things that people have to say about her as A Thing That Black Women Do. Clearly Marlo has had this problem with other people before, but instead of considering that maybe there are legitimate criticisms to be made of her (like, I don’t know, that she has an arrest record a mile long? That she tried to stab someone? That she more or less admits to being a professional girlfriend?), it must be a problem that All Black Women have. It seems to me that pop culture and society in general shit on black women enough without black women doing it to each other, particularly a poor representative of the group like Marlo. The problems you have with other people are your own fault, babe.

Speaking of problems, Kim unfortunately found out about a brand new one. The NFL lockout ended, which meant that it was time for Kroy to report to training camp and get back to the business of football-playin’. I’d imagine that most NFL wives were relieved to send their husbands back to work to start bringing in the paychecks again, but Kim seems to be among the only housewives who doesn’t have any issues finding income from somewhere (although god knows where…), and she wanted Kroy to stay home and hang out with her and the baby. Unfortunately that wasn’t an option, so instead, they went out to dinner to celebrate their last night together before Kroy left for camp. Incidentally, I used to eat at that restaurant with a friend pretty regularly when I lived in Atlanta, and I hope one of them tried the lobster enchiladas.

While Kim and Kroy were out, Kim’s parents and Sweetie were at home making the house romantic to surprise Kroy when they returned. Apparently they didn’t start early enough and Sweetie didn’t check her cell phone, because Kim and Kroy walked in while they were still sprinkling rose petals and Sweetie started cursing at Kim and left them both locked out of the house for a while. Somehow, not only was that not the thing that eventually gets Sweetie fired this season, but she also didn’t set her maxi skirt ablaze in one of the zillion tea lights that were all over the floor. I count both of those things as small miracles. Just when we thought Kim and Kroy had made it home free to their gigantic bathtub, Kim’s incredibly awkward (and incredibly dad-like) father popped up to remind them that if Kim got accidentally pregnant again, he wanted the baby to be named after him. UGH DAD YOU’RE EMBARRASSING ME.

The next day, Kim had to say goodbye to Kroy for a month while he attended training camp for the Falcons, and based on the emotional goodbye and all the promises Kim made him make about calling her and texting and keeping in touch, you would have thought that he was getting sent to Iraq. In reality, Falcons camp is less than an hour away from where Kim lives and he’ll be back in a couple of weeks. In fact, I’m not entirely sure that they don’t have, like, visitation times or something. Keeping a couple dozen millionaires isolated for a month seems…unrealistic.

Not matter how unpleasant Kroy’s departure was, though, it couldn’t possibly be as unpleasant for Kim as the trip to Africa is about to be for the rest of the cast. We ended the episode at the Atlanta airport, where everyone arrived one by one, the sane people in comfortable airplane clothes for a long international fight and the crazies in stilettos and tight waist belts and everything you never want to wear if you’re going to be on an airplane for double-digit hours. Naturally, Marlo was the last one to arrive and Nene was the only person who was happy to see her. Well, that’s not accurate. Cynthia was also happy to see Marlo because Cynthia has whatever kinds of emotions that Nene tells her to have. Alternately, everyone else was making faces at Marlo that looked approximately like they had smelled a fart. If I had been the one to plan the trip, I’d have told her to take her probably fake croc Birkin and get back in the car that brought her, but somehow, Phaedra held her tongue.

Should be a fun trip. (Insert the appropriate amount of side-eye here.)

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