Toni Braxton couldn't make it, but mom Evelyn and sisters Trina and Traci stopped by the other day to talk about upcoming episodes of "Braxton Family Values," their WE channel reality show that films mostly in Atlanta. Season 2.5, as they're billing it, launches at 9 p.m. today on WE.
"When we decided to do this show, we decided to put the 'real' in 'reality,' " Trina Braxton said. "We are women with really strong opinions."
And they have shared personal matters, including health issues, business deals, sibling tension and relationship drama, with viewers. In past episodes, for example, the Braxton matriarch and her daughters started planning for a wedding that never happened. Mother Braxton decided she is happy on her own.
"If it's not broke, why fix it?" she asked, explaining that she enjoys her single life. "It's always been about someone else — my ex-husband, my children. I need to get to know me. It's a good thing to be living on my own."
She was just getting started.
"Having a husband, you're a little limited," Evelyn Braxton continued. "When you don't have that, you don't have to worry about cooking, you don't have to worry about his clothes, the house. It's about me."
At this, her daughters cracked up.
"Would you like to tell us how you really feel?" Trina Braxton asked. She has shared romance drama of her own with viewers, of course.
"My relationship was tumultuous," she said. "I am the only person I know how to be. No matter what the issues, be open and honestly talk about it. That's what makes us identifiable."
Traci Braxton, on the other hand, dealt with her sisters confronting her about her health while the cameras rolled.
"I was on the fluffy side," she said. "To have my sisters say, 'Traci, you need to lose weight,' it hurt my feelings."
But positive lifestyle changes resulted from the encounter.
"I had to open my eyes," she said.
Speaking of health matters, the show has been a way to raise awareness of lupus, which Toni Braxton has been diagnosed with, and autism, which her son Diezel has.
"When Toni told us she had lupus, we were, of course, devastated," Evelyn Braxton said. "We pray a lot. We have a lot of faith. We got through it."
So what can viewers expect when episodes resume today? More drama (will Traci open her salon? will Trina's single "Party or Go Home" be a hit?), more candor and more laughs.
"We just enjoy each other all the time," Traci Braxton said.
Owen Wilson, in Atlanta filming "The Internship," hit the town Tuesday night. He was spotted first having dinner at Ecco and then much later playing pingpong at Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium, known colloquially as just Church. The high priest of Church, owner Grant Henry, who likes to send news tips in the form of hymnal liturgy, blessed us with a little epistle about the visit Wednesday morning. "I got awoken by a midnight call from my bartender saying, 'Owen Wilson wants to play you in pingpong,'" Henry told us. "I said, 'Tell him I'll be there in 10 minutes to kick his [three-letter word found in the Bible]!'" The two parted friends although Henry is now sporting Wilson's hat after beating him fair and square.
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