The two biggest Atlanta-based reality shows are "Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Love & Hip Hop Atlanta."
A third that pulls in solid numbers but not nearly the level of attention is "Married to Medicine," a Bravo show that debuted last year and features a mix of doctor's wives and doctors. It returns with two new cast members on Sunday night at 9 p.m. after "Real Housewives of Atlanta."
The newbies are Dr. Heavenly Kimes, a dentist, and Lisa Nicole Cloud, a doctor's wife with a sales and marketing background . Kari Wells, the token white lady on the show season one, is no longer part of the cast but shows up briefly in the first episode. Cloud, too, pops up for a second Sunday but is not officially introduced.
Here are some tidbits from screening that episode, which I screened in advance:
- Mariah and Quad remain on the outs after a big physical fight last year. They were friends last season but there are jealousy issues. Mariah said she felt Quad's friend Rico infected Quad with nasty comments about Mariah.
- Quad's husband (who is 13 years older than she is) is pressuring her to have a baby. She is resisting.
- Dr. Jackie Walters too is thinking about kids. She feels bad about not having kids with her husband since her breast cancer treatment.
- Dr. Simone struggles with balance between work and home life as a single practitioner with kids and a husband.
- Toya is focused on raising her kids rather than working. She is still peeved that Dr. Simone danced up on her man at a charity event.
- Dr. Heavenly arrives as Toya's dentist. But she also comes armed and ready with ammunition against the other two doctors. She hosts a cocktail party to introduce herself to the other ladies. She starts clashing with Dr. Simone immediately. Simone thinks Heavenly is too clingy to her hubby and mocks her for calling him "daddy." Heavenly sees her role as submissive to that of her husband. Then she goes after Jackie pronto about her lecture to a plus-sized woman at a charity event last season where she sounded preachy and sanctimonious. Of course, Dr. Jackie bites back by negating Heavenly's profession as not really a doctor.
And here are highlights from a talk I had with Dr. Heavenly:
On her unusual first name: "I did not embrace the name initially. Kids would say, 'Oh heavenly father, full of grace.' Then when I got older, they'd ask if that was my stripper name. But in senior year of high school, when I ran for student government, I realized my name is a brand. I used that as leverage." (Indeed, she goes by Dr. Heavenly as much if not more than Dr. Kimes.)
Getting into dentistry: She didn't want to do the longer residency other medical fields require and wanted better hours. "I wanted to be a wife and mother and dentistry seemed like a good fit."
Broadening her brand: She has a Dr. Heavenly website featuring her books and motivational speaking information.
She opted out season one, changed her mind for season two: "I saw what Dr. Jackie was doing. I saw what Dr. Simone was doing. Being a business expert, I understand sometimes you have to go through the negative and use it as a vessel to get to a positive." She felt this could get her name out there, enabling her to garner more speaking gigs.
Avoiding physical violence: She promises not to get into hair-pulling confrontations. But that doesn't mean she won't be saucy with her tongue. "We are ladies from different walks of life," she said. "Of course we don't agree. Our realities are different."
On others badmouthing her (as is likely on this show): "As long as I have my man and my kids, I'm happy. I'm great." (She has three kids between the ages of 8 and 16, four dogs and a doctor husband Dr. Damon Kimes, who is in emergency medicine and family medicine)
Who she liked the most on the show: Not the other doctors but the wives Quad, Mariah and Toya. (She's both a dentist and a doctor's wife.)
"Married to Medicine," 9 p.m. Sunday, April 6, Bravo