Ladies, the Real Housewives of New Jersey ain’t got nothin’ on the Real Housewives of Atlanta. If you had forgotten, let the first episode of their second season remind you: the heat down here makes people crazy. It’s 10:30 in the morning as I’m writing this and it’s nearing 90 degrees outside – you’d get upset quickly too.
Maybe I have a special place in my heart for the Atlanta housewives because all of their shenanigans go down in my hometown, but I can’t help but think that they’re probably my favorite ones. I had a brief love affair with the New Jerseyites, but their reunion left me kind of glum and unimpressed, whereas the Atlantans have never done anything but delight me with their awfulness. And don’t get it twisted – that’s what we’re all here for.
And my Atlanta compatriots didn’t disappoint in their premiere. Since we saw them last season, alliances and residences have shifted, relationships have ended, and they started things off in the only appropriate way: a fight where a grown man had to be physically removed from his place of business, lest he punch Sheree in the face.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The first person we see is NeNe and her gay bestie Dwight, in her new house. We get the Atlanta news here in Athens (we’re only about an hour away), so from time to time, we get to see the Real Housewives covered like they’re actually people that matter. I seem to remember a news report from months ago saying that NeNe and her husband had been kicked out of their rented house, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not this house is theirs or provided by their benevolent benefactors at Bravo. Either way, it’s time to decorate and Dwight manages to do some really awkward hand motions with a bottle of champagne in the process of making mimosas during the “design consultation.” Mmmm, mimosas… Anyway, NeNe is still my favorite. A friend of mine met her at the bar at the W Hotel in Atlanta and said she was EXACTLY THE SAME in person. It’s not an act – NeNe is actually insane. He also said that the shoes she was wearing were fierce. I would expect nothing less.
The next person we see is Kim, pulling up to the Psychic Shanty in a drop-top white Bentley. I’m willing to bet that the Bentley predates her breakup with Big Poppa (who is widely believed to be redonkulously rich Atlanta denizen Lee Najjar; Google him if you are so inclined, it’s worth a read), since Kim still has no job and currently has no boyfriend to pay her bills. She says that Big Poppa “betrayed” her, but one has to wonder what she expected – she was his mistress. Apparently the powers of fidelity are not strong in that one. But the powers of the checkbook are, so, ya know. Her psychic tells her that there is a business deal and a son in her future; I doubt the former and wouldn’t at all be surprised at the latter, if she found another rich man to mess around with. The first rule of gold digging is that the best way to keep the money flowing is to have a kid. Kim may be a moron, but she knows that for a fact. Also, her hair is looking slightly less polyester than it was last season. Golf claps. She’s looking to start her own wig line, which has to be one of the most profoundly idiotic things I’ve heard in my entire life, but she makes a cursory visit to a beauty school to check out the technical aspects of the hair industry anyway. She flees within the hour – obviously she realized she’s wasting valuable time that she could be spending trying to find a rich man to BUY her a wig line.
Another person displaced from her home is Sheree – her deadbeat ex-husband stopped paying the mortgage and she got evicted. She also claims that he’s 19 months behind in child support. If both those things are true, then that’s genuinely pretty crappy, despite my general distaste for and irritation with Sheree. They’re his kids too. Her divorce has been finalized since the end of last season, and she most certainly did not get the “seven-figure settlement” that she kept talking about; apparently it wasn’t even close, and apparently it’s being contested. Despite that, she intends to throw an “independence party” for the sole purpose of getting people to talk about and think about and pay attention to HER. She is going to hire a poet to write a poem about her and recite it for her friends. I WISH I WAS MAKING THAT UP.
And then there’s Lisa, who still appears to be the relatively sane member of the group (particularly since Deshawn was dropped for being boring and drama-free) despite some significant crazy-making at the end of last season. She wants to have another baby with her very attractive husband, but doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get pregnant at 38. I’m sure they’ll have fun trying.
Lisa’s also friends with our new housewife, Kandi Burruss, who may be the only housewife to have a legitimate, successful career and not depend on a man to fund her lifestyle. She was in the 90s girl group Xscape (with TI’s girlfriend Tiny, who has her own reality show over on BET that’s worth a look), and after they broke up, she went on to write and produce songs for TLC, Mariah Carey, NSYNC, and Destiney’s Child. She won a Grammy for “No Scrubs,” which is one of my favorite songs from back in the day and still has a home on my iPod. She has a daughter and is about to marry a man with six kids. Yep, six kids. Seems like a huge red flag, but she appears to have her head on straight and her priorities in order, so I at least hope that they weren’t by six different women. Still, visions of Jon Gosselin dance in my head…
Now that we’re updated on what’s been going on since we last saw our housewives, let’s get to the drama. As anyone that has ever known someone like her probably could have guessed, Kim has done or said something to piss off pretty much every member of the group. She and NeNe never did sit down to have that glass of wine that they promised to have, and Kim continues to talk about her around town. Sheree, who had gotten to be BFFs with Kim at the end of last season, has realized that she’s been doing the same thing to her. Lisa still hates her, and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. While at Niecy Nash’s birthday party, NeNe and Sheree bond over the common hatred of Kim and later meet to bury the hatchet and join forces in plans to set her polyester hair on fire.
But the real drama is at the very end – remember that party Sheree was planning? Well, her party planner goes absolutely off the rails at her because she calls to ask some questions about accessories at the party. The show is edited to make it look like the freak out comes after just one call for clarification of the party plans, but I’m willing to bet that Sheree is the sort of client that will call you a dozen times a day, first thing in the morning, in the middle of the night, and on the weekends to ask about her party. I worked tangential to the party and wedding planning industry for about a year before starting at PurseBlog, and clients like that are more common than you would think. Sheree seems like she would be the worst of the worst – she’s resolute in the idea that the world does indeed revolve around her, and if she’s paying someone to do something, she should be able to treat them however she sees fit.
Which is not to say that the party planner’s reaction was reasonable – it totally wasn’t. He’s a grown man, and he had to be physically removed from the conference room by the office’s staff before he was successful in beating the crap out of Sheree. Forget about Teresa from Jersey – I thought this guy was going to flip a conference table at Sheree over her saying that his “connections” weren’t good enough. As Stephen Colbert would say – Real Housewives of New Jersey, you’re on notice. The Real Housewives of Atlanta aren’t here to mess around.