RHOA: “I’m calling Clark Howard!”

March 12th, 2012

I can’t even get it up for Real Housewives of Atlanta anymore. These women used to be my favorite, but now when I watch the show, all I do is root for Cynthia and Peter to get divorced and for Marlo to fall into an uncovered manhole and disappear forever. Actually, they could all fall in except for Kandi and I’m not sure I could even muster any concern.

Atlanta needs to be recast, badly, and I’m not really sure that there’s much point to recapping the rest of the season. I’m going to be writing about Mad Men when it starts, so if RHOA doesn’t wrap itself up next week, I am going to be giving Bravo major side-eye. I have a feeling that I’m going to feel exactly the same way about Real Housewives of Orange County by the time the end of its season rolls around. In the meantime, though, let’s have a recap.

We started the episode by addressing Kim’s hoarder tendencies, which included a garage full of yoga mats and UGG slippers and all kinds of crap that no one needs. At some point, Kim sent Sweetie on an errand to take some random trinket to her bedroom and she disappeared for 45 minutes because stopped halfway through the house to take a smoke break and threaten to call Clark Howard to report her mistreatment at work. Admittedly, watching Kim chase Sweetie around the giant McMansion was kind of hilarious, even if you shouldn’t have to physically chase your employees to make sure that they do simple tasks like help you clean out your garage.

In slightly weirder environs, Phaedra was getting lessons in mortuary sciences, and I can confidently say that I’ve never been happier watching this show than I was when I realized that Phaedra was working on a dummy instead of an actual dead body. That may be the last line that Bravo won’t cross – corpses. Not that I would put it past Andy Cohen, of course, but we didn’t cross it last night, at the very least. Watching Phaedra sew up a dummy did make me a little more scared to die than I already was, though. I think I’m just going to…stay in my apartment today.

At Cynthia’s house, Peter was hitting her up for money, which has to be a weekly occurrence at this point, whether or not they actually show it on the episode. They were still intent on planning their one-year anniversary party, despite the fact that no one has a one-year anniversary party except Seal and Heidi Klum and they’re getting divorced, so make of that what you will. Because Peter has champagne tastes on a Miller High Life budget, he obviously wasn’t able to scrounge together to cash to throw the party for Cynthia on his own. One has to wonder why a one-year anniversary party is even necessary if throwing it is a financial hardship, but trying to apply logic to anything that Cynthia and Peter do as a couple has so far proved impossible. For example: After Peter got finished asked for a loan, he told Cynthia that her sister wouldn’t be welcome in the limo that he had grifted from one of his “friends” for their ride to the party.

RHOA: Im calling Clark Howard! Real Housewives of Atlanta 3

At Kim’s house, Sweetie continued to fail as an employee. Kim’s hairdresser had come over to curl Kim’s wig in the kitchen, and during their conversation, it became clear that Sweetie hadn’t bothered to register Kim’s kids for the next school year, despite the fact that the hairdresser, of all people, had given her the forms to fill out. I’m not sure why the wig wrangler would be doing any of that stuff anyway; wouldn’t procuring registration materials for school be part of Sweetie’s obvious duties as a personal assistant? Some grousing was also done about Kandi and last week’s lunch, but my cable cut out for a minute during that part of the conversation, so, you know, talk amongst yourselves.

Once again at Cynthia’s house, Cynthia and her sister were somewhat tensely discussing Peter’s behavior and their relationship. Cynthia makes a ton of excuses for Peter’s bad moods and general broke-assness, Mallory’s right, but I almost wish she would shut her mouth about it for the good of her relationship with her sister. She may be factually correct (and she is), but talking smack about someone’s man is a great way to get kicked to the curb, particularly when the involved party was desperate enough to marry someone like Peter in the first place. After Mallory called Peter an asshole, Cynthia swung back by telling her that she wouldn’t be allowed in the limo. Apparently we’re all back in high school and prom is being planned once again.

Elsewhere, Nene and Gregg were doing some actual parenting, a relative rarity on Bravo shows. Gregg had finally gone to spring Bryson from jail, and the three of them gathered in Nene’s kitchen to discuss how the family would move forward. When asked why he stole $14 razors from Wal-Mart instead of, you know, swiping his debit card, the best answer that Bryson could summon was a big ol’ KANYESHRUG. Nene once again said that Bryson had a limited amount of time before he would need to move out, but didn’t she tell him the same thing the last time he got arrested? We all saw how well that worked. What might work better? Stop giving him money and only let him use the car you bought him to go to and from job interviews or school. Bet he’d straighten up and act right real quick-like.

RHOA: Im calling Clark Howard! Real Housewives of Atlanta 2

Or maybe Bryson will simply go on being a loser who’s pretending to be fancy for the rest of his life, sort of like Peter. Surprise surprise, it was time for Peter and Cynthia to leave for their anniversary party and the “free” Bentley limo was nowhere to be found. Perhaps that was directly Peter’s fault or perhaps trifling people attract trifling friends, but either way, a show of hands of people who were surprised by the lack of Bentley would likely yield no hands. I’m not even convinced that Peter was genuinely shocked, or Cynthia, for that matter.

The couple eventually made it to the party, though, as did Cynthia’s sister and mom. They met with Cynthia while she was having her makeup done and expressed their surprise that she was still married at all, which is a surprise that I think we all share. Thankfully not much of a fight broke out and Peter didn’t walk in on the conversation, so we got to join the rest of the guests, who were making awkward small talk and meeting Marlo’s Old Rich White Dude of the Month. He was actually fairly attractive, as Old Rich White Dudes go, which would perhaps explain why Marlo’s getup looked so much like a wedding dress. Getting a tad hopeful, dear?

It wasn’t long before Sheree arrived with Lawrence and a bus to throw Marlo under, justified as it may have been. If you remember, Marlo was tossing around the six-letter F-word with impunity when she was fighting with Sheree in South Africa. As it turns out, Sheree’s best gay Miss Lawrence is also Marlo’s friend and sometime-hair stylist, and much like she did with Kim, Sheree reported back on what people shouldn’t have been saying and the third party did all the smackdown work for her. The difference, of course, was that Marlo’s actually hateful and Sheree didn’t have to lie about what she said.

RHOA: Im calling Clark Howard! Real Housewives of Atlanta 1

Marlo’s also a liar, in addition to being a flinger of slurs, which meant that when confronted about the F-word, she claimed that it had never actually happened at all, ever. You’d think Marlo would at least be more skilled at saying things that aren’t true, but she couldn’t even look Miss Lawrence in the eye while she pretended that she hadn’t been caught on camera denigrating gay men. As always, Bravo was kind enough to refer us to the tape to make the reality of the situation clear.

That wasn’t the only fight that was going on at the anniversary party, though. Peter was holding court outside and couldn’t help but make a few cracks about Cynthia’s sister, and in a teary, perhaps booze-fueled mess, Mallory stomped out of the party. With the effort that Peter went to to repeatedly call her out in front of the entire party, I can’t entirely blame her for being upset, particularly when it became clear that Cynthia didn’t see any problem with it. I hope that Cynthia wakes up and ditches Peter in time to save her relationship with Mallory; dudes come and go and someone as desirable as Cynthia can surely find another one. Sisters, however, don’t come along after you kick the ones you already have to the curb. Mallory’s irritation seems to be borne out of genuine concern for Cynthia, and I hope that no one involved takes that concern for granted.

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