RHOA: “I think I look like a drag queen.”

December 13th, 2011

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta…contained a metric ton of earrings! And a brand new baby! And a trip to New York! And a cameo by Russell Simmons, the only genuinely rich person to ever show up on the Atlanta series! My, this was an action-packed episode.

We also got to see Kandi adorably cinch her mom into a girdle and Kroy try (and fail) to reassure Kim that everything with the birth of their son would be fine. Sure, the Atlanta housewives are among the most ridiculous of the series, but they’re also the ones who act like real, live humans from time to time. All has been forgiven for Ridickulous, at least on my end.

We started with Kim, who was loading up the SUV with her assistant and her bagel and her baby daddy to go to her ob/gyn to see if it was time to have the baby yet. And, guess what, it was! The baby was only 37 and a half weeks (is that way early? Or not that early? I don’t know these things.), but the doctor sent Kim back to the car to eat the rest of her bagel and go to the hospital and have the kid because of pre-eclampsia. Kroy tried to make a football analogy, which obviously didn’t go over all that well with an irritable, swollen pregnant lady who was about to shoot out a kid.

In slightly less dire situations, Cynthia was preparing for a work trip to New York that made Peter very nervous for several reasons. Part of it was because Cynthia would be out on the town with Nene without he close supervision, but the majority was about the fact the Cynthia would be meeting with Russell Simmons. Apparently Cynthia and Russell used to date a million years ago, and since Russell has his money right and isn’t opening bars that look like houses and that have no air conditioning, Peter was obviously concerned that Cynthia’s trip to New York might snap her out of whatever kind of voodoo he has her under.

In other news, Sheree and her mom met in her vacant lot and talked about a Speak-n-Spell. I think that I probably should have reacted to this story more emotionally than I did, because absentee parents who makes empty promises and skip out on their kids are some of the lowest scum of the Earth that there is, but I couldn’t help but be distracted. Are we going to have every Sheree storyline take place at this empty lot at some point? Are producers trying to use its incompleteness as some kind of heavy-handed metaphor for Sheree’s personal life right now? Why can’t Sheree have conversations in her actual home?

Elsewhere, Nene and Cynthia arrived in New York and had a little bit of an expository chit-chat about what they’d be doing during the trip. Nene was going to meet with the owner of Famous Famiglia pizza about a “business opportunity” while Cynthia met with Russell about a different “business opportunity.” “Business opportunities” galore! Make sure you use the scare quotes when you refer to them, though, because other than Nene investing in a Famous Famiglia pizza storefront at an airport somewhere, none of that stuff is ever, ever going to happen in any real, business-like way.

Meanwhile, Phaedra was in court with one of her clients, a young gentleman who showed up late, hadn’t taken the illegal tint off the windows on his car, and admitted that he’d fail a drug test if the judge requested one. And he’d done all that stuff before, too! This wasn’t his first arrest! The judge said that because he hired Phaedra, he’d let him go with a fine and probation, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about why truckloads of poor people go to jail for having a little bit of weed on them while Lindsay Lohan is in Hawaii right now, despite having broken too many drug, driving, shoplifting and probation laws to count on all of my fingers.

Phaedra and her client both then walked out of the courthouse, at which point Phaedra’s client peeled off a wad of cash, paid her right then and there, and then tore out of the parking lot in the same car that got him pulled over for having tint that’s too dark. He told the judge that the tint had been removed, but in reality, it was still right there, all over his douchey, loud car. Methinks Phaedra’s going to have a repeat customer in that man, and since he pays his bills in the most preferred way for sketchy reality TV lawyers, I’m sure that’s what Phaedra’s hoping.

Back in New York, Cynthia met with Russell and they talked about the fashion industry and Cynthia’s modeling school. Russell thinks that the idea is kind of stupid and advises her to at least change it to a school of fashion, which is advice that Cynthia seems to have taken, based on her website. If Russell didn’t still want to sleep with Cynthia, I’m guessing that he would have been even more negative. Even at their best, modeling schools are basically grifting operations – if you have the look and any kind of instincts, you’ll learn once you get representation.

At the hospital, Kim was still pregnant and insisting she’d wear her wig during labor. Moving on!

In other parenting issues, Sheree had been served with papers from her ex-husband to have her child support modified. I missed last week’s episode, as you know, so I’m not sure exactly what went on during her fight with Bob, but he wants his child support lowered because he only makes $3000 a month. That sounds like a bold-faced lie to me, and if you don’t want to pay child support, you probably shouldn’t be out there knocking people up and expecting them to care for your kids for the better part of two decades afterward. I’m a little no-tolerance when it comes to men and child support, particularly when the dude actually used to be married to the woman who had his children, so I can’t help but have a little sympathy on the issue, even though Sheree isn’t my favorite.

Again speaking of parents, we moved to Kandi’s house, where the mother-daughter roles had flipped a little bit. In one of the genuinely sweetest scenes we’ve seen in these parts in a long time, Kandi was getting her mom all dolled up so that she could take some pictures for her dating profile on a “seniors singles” dating site. Kandi’s mom even let herself be filmed getting cinched up in Kandi’s girdle, which takes a whole lot of confidence when you’re 60 years old and not stick-thin.

The photos Kandi took were adorable, and the genuineness of the entire interaction, from the outfit-choosing to the profile-creating (which we didn’t see), stuck out like a pleasantly sore thumb in an episode of Real Housewives, and unlike most scenes that the producers try to play that way, it was also funny and entertaining. It might mean harder work for them, but I wish the people in charge would find more positive interactions like that to put on film, rather than the negative, sometimes disturbing stuff we usually see. It would make watching all of the Real Housewives shows a less soul-sucking experience for all involved.

Speaking of soul-sucking experiences, we then accompanied Nene on a lunch date with the guy who owns Famous Famiglia, and he more or less gave a perfect example of what a white guy should NEVER EVER EVER DO if you’d like to impress a black woman on a date. He mocked her speech patterns, he called her “girl,” he more or less acted like a giant, gross, casually racist jackass. He also ordered lunch for Nene without asking her what she wanted, and if he had done that to me, I would have stabbed him in the thigh with a fork. I mean, I would have stabbed him in the thigh for a lot of things that he did and said during that date, but especially don’t mess with my lunch.

After that, the gifts started coming out, including a Tiffany pen (for their first “business deal”) and a random pair of Louboutins. They weren’t nearly as random, though, as the old dude who then came up to serenade Nene, who the Famous Famiglia douche said had been on a singing strike for nine years over the tragic death of his nephew. Previous to that, though, he sang for the Vatican and in Pavarotti’s kitchen or something. Right. $10 says that the guy is the Famous Famiglia douche’s driver. By the end, all I could think was that it was so incredibly obvious why the dude was friends with King Douche Donald Trump. (That’s not a compliment.)

While Nene was having the most awkward date ever, Cynthia was in the city and meeting with her longtime bestie/stylist to talk about the differences in New York City and Atlanta. As someone who’s lived both places, I can say with complete certainty that some of their generalizations were correct, particularly those about brand-awareness – Atlanta is much more concerned with flash. In fact, I was shocked at the differences in stock between the Jeffrey boutiques in New York and Atlanta – Atlanta was much heavier on accessories and shoes, particularly from big-name labels like Christian Louboutin. Obvious status symbols are big, subtlety is not.

Cynthia and Nene eventually got together for a little New York-based bash, but the scene was so short and boring that I managed to zone out for the entirety of it both times that I watched the episode. I also zoned out for most of Kim’s birthing scene, which I had assumed would be more dramatic; it seemed like before we knew it, Kim was holding a healthy, eight-pound bouncing baby boy, which is a big baby for one that was born a bit early. I guess that’s what happens when you get pregnant by a big, corn-fed NFL player from Montana: Giant babies. Still, though, I bet Nene’s earrings from this episode weighed more.

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