Ya know, when Nene originally posed the idea of going to Athens on Real Housewives of Atlanta, I naturally assumed that the editors would take the “Athens is the ghetto” editing angle since, well, that seemed natural, considering Nene. Surprise, surprise! They got all creative on us and took the “Athens is the woods! Look at the trailer park!” angle.
In reality, Athens is a college town chock full of upper-middle-class twenty-somethings from the Atlanta suburbs and the bars they love, but I guess that didn’t work as a story arc for the producers at Bravo, so they took footage of some trailers next to the highway outside of town and pretended like that was the hardscrabble beginning from which Nene was able to pull herself up by starring in a reality TV show. Nice try on making Nene’s upbringing more interesting, producers! But you can’t fool someone that actually lives there. I’m on to you.
And for all of those that were hoping for the “Nene is from the ghetto” angle, don’t worry, we got that later! And, really, that apartment complex WAS in the ghetto. And we also got a super morbid and sad engagement party, wig shenanigans, a peek at She by Sheree and a meeting with Nene’s real father.
You know what’s really awkward and more than a little sad? Watching an engagement party and couples counseling session for a couple who we know never got married and with a fiancÃ© that we know died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. Not even someone with a Grinch heart as tiny as mine can find any humor anywhere near that scenario. Kandi seems like a genuinely nice person, the engagement seemed like a legitimately difficult time in her life, and I don’t doubt that she loved AJ.
It was also fairly nice to see Sheree and Kim join forces and do something nice for someone besides themselves – normally those two are only interested in getting out of bed if they’re throwing a party for one of their own mundane life events. Plus it was a SURPRISE, which probably involved them thinking about others even more than a regular party would require. And the whole thing didn’t even end in them getting in a physical altercation. Color me surprised.
Luckily for Kim, her new wig was ready just in time for the party and her stiletto-wearing Wig Gay came right over to stick it to her head, all the while carrying a gold purse with a giant Cadillac logo on it, and I’m having a hard time deciding if that’s better or worse than the fake Balenciaga that he was wearing last time we saw him. But you know what was better? Her wig! Marginally! It didn’t quite have the My Little Pony plastic shininess to it, but it would have been way more believable if they had left it a bit disheveled. Naturally, she had her Wig Gay mold it into exactly the same Barbie shape as the old one.
We also found out that Kim’s monthly wig budget is $12,000 because she requires a brand new wig EVERY DAY, so at least she’s doing her bit to contribute to the wig economy. I don’t know whether I believe her or not, she sort of sounded like she was just saying that to brag about yet another eye-rolling extravagance, but you never know. She did say that she liked her new wig so much that she might wear it for two days, which I’m sure the Wig Gay took as a great compliment.
Sheree didn’t have anything quite as exciting as a new wig going on in this episode, but she did have a fashion show to plan, theoretically. In case you were not yet thoroughly convinced of Sheree’s deep-seated and thoroughly delusional narcissism, she explained to all of us that instead of having her clothing line cut to conventional sample size (0-2), she had her samples cut to fit her body (4-6) and assumed they’d just find models that are exactly the same size.
Dwight, who is helping with Sheree’s show, is suitably unimpressed by all of this. He pointed out that they’re going to need to fix some shoddy finishing on a few of the pieces and a few other details, and of course Sheree took that as him trying to take over her show when in reality, he was just making sure it wasn’t a hot mess. Which it will be anyway, despite his best efforts, but at least he’s trying. Of course, he’s probably only trying in an effort to gain more screen time, but Sheree shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Insert “Sheree looks like a horse” jokes here.
And also, I’m sick of Sheree’s friend Tania. She’s smug, insufferable, and bucking so hard to be on the cast next year that it’s actually painful to watch. She needs to go and never return. As someone that’s spent an inordinate amount of time devoted to these women over the past few weeks, I feel like I should have the power to banish her.
All we learned about Lisa this week is that her husband can’t paint. Because, you know, he’s a football player. Not an artist. Moving on.
The real point of this episode was what I mentioned in the beginning – Nene’s search for her new father. Like an engagement party for someone that has since passed away, such things are probably best left out of reality shows, but in a world where Maury Povich paternity test clips are an internet meme, I suppose that’s too much to expect.
Nene did get to meet her real father while she was in Athens, and while she didn’t have any scientific proof it was him, anyone that’s ever seen Nene’s son could tell you that he is a close blood relative of the man that they met. Despite differences in skin tone and hair, the resemblance was remarkable. And in a fit of reasonableness and propriety normally unseen on Bravo reality franchises, Nene’s dad declined the opportunity to air his dirty laundry on television, requesting instead that she called or visited at another time. And until then, I had sort of forgotten that there are people out there who do not desire their 15 seconds of reality TV fame – who knew that it would be a delinquent father that showed all of these women how to be reasonable?
But, if that’s not your thing, you’re going to want to make sure that you watch next week’s season finale. From the previews, it appears that Nene questions the effect that Kim’s wig may have on her ability to produce rational thought (although when Nene says it, it sounds more like “Heffa, is yo wig squeezin’ yo brain too tight?!??!”) and Kim threatens to whack Nene in the head with a particularly sparkly Louboutin shoe.