'The Real Housewives of Atlanta': Can't You All Just Get Along?

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You just can't hate Mama Joyce for trying with "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Her misguided, yet touching attempts to be the salve on the gaping, bloody wound that is the fractured friendship between NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak, made for touching TV. Or something.

Before Kim could shoot daggers at NeNe during a pseudo dinner party, she shoots bullets at the gun range. Kroy wants his woman to learn how to protect herself. Is anyone surprised Kim's a good shot? Is anyone surprised she bought a pink gun? Is anyone surprised they even MAKE pink guns?

Cynthia Bailey and Papa Smurf, aka her curmudgeon of a husband, Peter, wend their way to some chic Atlanta eatery for a make-nice dinner with Phaedra Parks and hubby, Apollo. Surprise, surprise, Peter pays compliment to Cynthia's pretty purple dress and one wonders if the death knell sounded too soon for their odd couple union. Probably not.

Phaedra's so hot, she had to bust out the baby powder for her hello kitty. That gets Peter's attention and we're off to the races. The quartet make polite small talk over fierce cocktails and Cynthia asks for relationship pointers. All I took away from that exchange was not to get on Phaedra's bad side, cuz she'll bite you. Of course she may sink her fangs into Cynthia if it will get her to do the makeup on her new "clients" at Fantasy Funerals by Phaedra. Speaking of bloody nightmares, Phaedra mentions she'd like to do a Kumbaya trip to South Africa for the Housewives. No babies, no husbands. Just a lot of crazy Black women on safari. Wishy-washy Cynthia won't commit until she confers with puppet master, NeNe. NeNe's not interested in going to the trashcan with her fellow Housewives, much less to South Africa. No worries, folks; Bravo's producers will intervene with the heel of a Christian Louboutin pressed against her back to force her on that plane.

Later, NeNe meets with her "business partner." Or sugar daddy. Whatever. John, who "obviously adores [NeNe]," continues to fawn all over our Miss Leakes, leering at her long legs and every other part of her body. They meet with a design team to talk about that lounge they want to open and we're talking a $1.8 million investment. Uh, oh. NeNe's not feeling it. That's a lot of money to her. Guess she's not that rich, honey. John's not going to let this club fail. Nor is he going to let her walk out of there without another pair of "red-bottomed shoes." Though he makes NeNe uncomfortable, she won't kick a gift horse in the mouth. Especially not with those hooker heels.

As I think back on the early 90's and the heyday of Xscape, I don't remember those gals being known for their banging dance moves. And tonight, Kandi Burruss demonstrated that indeed, she would not be mistaken for Janet Jackson in a dark alley. In preparation for South Africa, Phaedra takes Kandi to an African Dance class. While Phaedra goes full-on tribal, Kandi can't find her inner Beyonce to save her life. Afterwards, Kandi clues Phaedra in on what she's uncovered about socialite/criminal, Marlo Hampton. Namely her seven mug shots. Phaedra and Kandi now know they're dealing with some straight-up crazy.

Kim continues her voyage to love and light and thus, takes Kroy to visit her psychic, Rose. Rose predicted way back in Season One that Kim would have a little boy. Guess what? Apparently, she's going to give birth to a little girl at some point. Kroy and Kim look like they're ready to go home and get started, but not before Rose does some more readings. Kroy's anxious (NFL lockout) and little K.J. will be player - with the ladies. Bloop.

Phaedra is serious about her South Africa preparations and takes Sheree to visit a local museum of African American history. Phaedra, that "connoisseur of artistic nudity," feels up the slave sculptures, checking underneath their loin cloths for "black coal." Maybe Apollo should let her bite him more often. Lord, deliver. Phaedra invites Sheree to South Africa and drops the little bomb that she's going to invite NeNe. Sheree's hesitant, but decides to put her "grown woman panties" on and hop on the train.

Mama Joyce wants to gather the Housewives to try and broker a peace agreement between all the warring factions. This is also the first time she's been around the ladies since the RiDICKulous fiasco. Mama Joyce says while she's cool, she isn't trying to be in da club, so don't get it twisted. NeNe and Cynthia breeze in, followed by Sheree, who's got nothing to say to our Miss Leakes. Kim Zolciak also has nothing to say and none of this sits well with Mama Joyce. She calls out NeNe and Kim for not at least being courteous and saying hello to each other. They're not school kids anymore (ha!), they're women.

Kim and NeNe continue to give each other the evil eye, all while resisting the urge to stab each other with the cocktail forks. Mama Joyce at least wants them to say hello, which is just too much for either of them to muster. Kim finally acquiesces but NeNe's standing firm. Sheree also complies with a curt hello and Mama Joyce falsely believes a thaw is imminent. NeNe's not going there, because as far as she's concerned, she and Kim can never be friends again. Kim's divorced NeNe and there will be no more skipping off the chapel for them. After all, NeNe attacked Kim twice. Yeah…pretty hard to come back from that one.

Turns out, Mama Joyce was unknowingly taking a few nips from the ripple (thanks Andy Cohen for the trip down memory lane!) but it doesn't matter, because the evening is over. Kandi tries to convince NeNe to come to Africa, claiming it will be fun. For some reason, NeNe thinks she'll be on the Midnight Express if she goes, but Kandi and Cynthia vow to spring her if she gets thrown into the hole.

Next time, NeNe cozies up to Marlo, Kroy leaves and Kandi's nervous.

More From This Contributor:

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'The Real Housewives of Orange County' Call It a Day

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' Untie the Knot

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