This is posted on Sunday, November 6, 2016 by Rodney Ho on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
I've been recapping "Real Housewives of Atlanta" going back to the innocent beginnings of 2008. Eight years later, here I am, still here, still writing, with a bottle of snark and plenty of eye rolls handy.
There are plenty of reasons why it remains Bravo's most popular show. The women are typically sassy and fun. (If they aren't? They're gone!) They dress well and party hard. They travel to cool places, eat at great restaurants and argue over things women argue about in real life: friendship, marriages, kids, business and silly slights. They attend parties where conflict inevitably results. Fights - both verbal and physical - happen. Issues fester and occasionally resolve themselves. Alliances shift. Castmates come and go. Tears and laughter prevail.
This season features various levels of transition for each of the six full-time cast members. Let's go over each person and where they are now:
Kenya Moore: She is having issues with her much younger boyfriend Matt Jordan. After he got angry with her on a vacation and broke down a hotel room door, they hadn't seen each other in a month. ("I'm not going to be in the presence of someone who can't control their anger," she proclaims.)
But that's about to change. She has decided to hold a housewarming party for her new home, dubbed "Moore Manor." Sure, it's not really finished but Moore and the producers know they need a story line and an excuse get all the women together again.
Moore invites four of the ladies but skips Porsha Williams. She is still wary of Porsha since Porsha attacked her during a season six reunion show in 2014. Of course, Porsha shows up as Phaedra Parks' plus one at the end of the episode. Cliffhanger! Expect fireworks to fly next week.
Porsha Williams and Phaedra Parks: Porsha, still single and not dating that dude from Miami anymore, is now bonding with Parks, who says her divorce to imprisoned husband Apollo Nida is almost complete. Phaedra is nearly ready to date and Porsha is psyched to set her up with some single dudes. Phaedra, in the meantime, knows how to be mischievous. So when she gets an invite from Kenya that asks attendees to bring a "hot" plus one, she decided to make Porsha her "hot" plus one. Phaedra knows how to sow the seeds of conflict when the mood strikes her.
Porsha is also seen taking anger management classes. It's not clear if she fully owns up to her rage issues but she find roots in it from her childhood when she was bullied.
Sheree Whitfield: She's back full time and two story lines that were touched upon last season are back:
1) She is on good terms with her ex husband Bob and the other housewives wonder if they are getting back together. ("We're doing great co-parenting," she says in episode one, "but romantically, he has a long way to go before he can get in my chateau.")
2) Chateau Sheree, begun during season four in 2011, is not finished after nearly five years. What's the hold up? Probably money. When she was booted off RHOA after season four, her income to build the house disappeared too. Now that Bravo is giving her a salary again, she may now be able to actually finish the 10,000 square foot monstrosity. She made a soft bet last year with Kenya that she'd finish it before Kenya. How one defines "finished" is up for grabs but Kenya did move into her home before it was actually done.
Of course, on the show, Sheree doesn't truthfully explain why it has taken so long beyond blaming lame contractors, not her own inability to pay.
Kandi Burruss: She and Todd Tucker now have their very own baby and all seems fine in paradise though Todd seems to think he does more than he really does in Kandi's mind. Typical mom and dad stuff.
Cynthia Bailey: Cynthia, meanwhile, meets with an attorney to talk about divorcing Peter Thomas after six years. She said there was no infidelity and there is a prenup. Perhaps this won't be too messy? She manages to get Peter on Facetime from Charlotte, where he has moved to take care of his two clubs. He is at one of them and says at first that he's with his "girlfriend." Then he says that's a metaphor for his business. He misses her deeply. He clearly does not want a divorce. But she does. She requests a copy of their prenup. He doesn't appear to want to help her, making a comment that maybe her mom has it. (Her mom and sister tried to hide the marriage certificate before the marriage in 2010.) She uncomfortably ends the conversation. How smoothly will this divorce really go? "I'm not the type of person who wants to stay in something to just be with someone," she says. "He will stay in a relationship just to be in the relationship. And that doesn't work for me."
SHADIEST COMMENTS OF THE NIGHT:
Kenya, commenting about her own house but shading Porsha in the process: “When I first saw Moore Manor, it was a hot mess. It looked like a set from 'The Blair Witch Project.' It was even uglier than that. It looked like Porsha without makeup on. It was scary."
Phaedra shading Kenya: "I'm glad she got her house done... hopefully up to code."
Kenya shading Sheree after calling her to invite her to her housewarming party: "I would have gladly sent her invite by horse and carriage but I don't know where she lives. It's not Chateau Sheree. I don't know if she's in a tent in the woods or a cardboard box under the freeway or at a halfway house. I don't know where to send it."
Sheree to Kenya, commenting about her house with plenty of shade: "It's the same size as my master suite."
Sheree, noting how unfinished Kenya's home is: "She says she's living fabulous but it's clear she's living like the Flintstones."