Heat is not good for Housewives. Anyone who was around for the Scary Island days of Real Housewives of New York already knew that, and lest we forget, last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta featured a beach retreat that often made me wonder exactly when Kelly Bensimon would hop out of a palm tree with her gummy bears and satchels of gold.
Thankfully she didn’t, though, because Nene probably would have put her in a headlock and threatened to go all Tanya Harding on her kneecaps. Instead, all threats of violence were directed at Kim, who is used to that sort of thing and just sat there, smoked her cigarette and made us all wonder what her relationship with the man of the house actually was. But don’t wonder too hard, because that’s not a great mental picture.
We started out with a repeat of a bit of footage from last week, mostly Nene and Kim having their epic meltdown in the tour bus while all of the smaller people in the vicinity tried to hold them back. The next thing we know, the bus is pulling to Kim’s friend’s estate where Cynthia, Phaedra and Sheree were all acting like adults and getting along with each other. Predictably, the calm mood wouldn’t last long.
Nene and Kim disembarked with nary a pause in the shouting and simultaneously tried to explain their conflict to their bewildered castmates, at which point Nene out and admitted that it started because she didn’t want Kim to let Sweetie or Don Juan have a place to stay. Nevermind the fact that Kim was the one who got them all the free place to stay in the first place and Sheree had invited Lawrence along too. You see, letting Sweetie and Don Juan stay at the house would ruin the weekend, but pitching a fit, being rude to the gracious host and cursing at at Kim in a volume that can only be described as “infantile?” That doesn’t ruin the weekend at all. Because Nene would never dream of doing anything that inconveniences others or inappropriately shifts attention to herself.
Speaking of the host, he was this crazy rich German dude that Sheree thinks Kim is probably banging and, well, that seems about as likely as anything. His house had some kitschy, tacky decorations, sure, but rich people are weird and having enough money for a house like that just makes them weirder. He mostly took all of the conflict well, and Kim and Sweetie retired to smoke while the rest of the cast sat on the deck to talk about Kim.
Nene ranted about how poorly Kim treats people and how badly she talks to others, which is at least factually true, but her point was entirely lost on me when it was juxtaposed with all of the insults, profanity and general unhinged nastiness that Nene had been hurling in every direction since the original fight. If you have advice for how others should behave, the best thing you can do is apply to to yourself first. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, depending on how you look at it), Nene is not self-aware enough to realize that she’s just as rude as Kim, and based on her reputation around town, she might be even worse. Pot, kettle, etc.
The rest of the night passed with little drama. Lawrence arrived and Nene didn’t bother to stick up for “girl’s weekend” or yell at Sheree for inviting him, which pretty much shoots to hell her explanation for why she got into the fight with Kim in the first place, although I think we all know that Nene started mess because she’s been jealous of Kim and the attention that she receives dating all the way back to “Tardy for the Party.” And for me, Lawrence is a welcome edition. He’s funny, well-groomed and legitimately talented as both a hair stylist (Sheree’s weave is one of the better ones that I’ve ever seen on anyone) and singer. In fact, he’s way too talented to be messing around with this show, but there he was anyway.
In the morning, the entire group headed out to Kim and Kandi’s performance at a Miami music festival and managed to get along for the duration of the show without any weave-tugging, shouting or threats of violence. In the context of this episode, it was a freakin’ miracle. And it didn’t last long, because when they all got back to the house to have lunch, Nene’s friend Diana had shown up to antagonize Kim and detract even more attention from Cynthia’s bachelorette weekend, proving beyond any shadow of a doubt that Nene doesn’t actually care about making sure the focus is on anyone but herself.
Sweetie came through lugging her suitcase to leave just after Diana had sat down to enjoy a catered lunch, and when Kim told her she didn’t have to leave because Nene was clearly no longer concerned with making sure the event was for Cynthia, Nene took exception. She repeated over and over again that she hadn’t made a “big deal” about Kim inviting Sweetie and Don Juan, which means that either Nene slipped into a rage blackout at some point during her epic toddler meltdown and doesn’t actually realize that she threatened to snap Kim’s neck, gouge out her eyes and throw her from a moving vehicle, or that in Nene’s mind, none of that stuff constitutes a “big deal.” And if the latter is the case, I’d truly shudder to think what happens when Nene makes a big deal out of something. I have a feeling it involves a mushroom cloud and nuclear fallout.
Thankfully everyone kept their hands to themselves for the duration of lunch, even though Nene had yet to make good on one of her many promises to leave the house, stay elsewhere and not participate in any of the weekend’s non-Cynthia events. Ultimately, it seems as though Nene would rather eat free and stay free and get plenty of camera time than avoid the drama, so I certainly wouldn’t have held my breath until she packed her suitcase and booked a hotel room. There’s no way that Nene would ever pass up attention in order to act like an adult. We know Nene. Kim even called her out for threatening to leave while sitting there and eating the food provided by the host that Kim had arranged, and Nene didn’t even bother to get up and act like she was going to leave.
They couldn’t continue to fight forever, though, because it was time for everyone to go to the fashion show and make fun of Cynthia’s butt, despite the fact that Cynthia is easily the thinnest and most attractive of not only the Atlanta housewives, but probably all of the housewives. Kelly Bensimon was a model, but let’s face it, time and plastic surgery have not been kind to her. Cynthia, on the other hand, looked great. Her butt may not be a size zero, but it certainly wasn’t the size 12 (not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not true in this case) that Sheree claimed or the “pretzel dipped in cottage cheese” that Phaedra claimed. I’m not even sure what that means. And my response to those comments can only be accurately conveyed by the following:
Back at the house, everyone sat down to eat again, which naturally resulted in more problems. Cynthia was awkwardly making conversation about her wedding planning and the stress of the impending ceremony, and when Kandi asked if she and Peter were still planning on going on a honeymoon, she unknowingly poked some sort of soft spot on Cynthia’s head and the tears started immediately. She ran off, Nene ran after her, and while she was in a delicate state, Nene set about convincing her that going home would really be the way to solve all of her problems. Luckily, Cynthia eventually escaped Nene’s sphere of influence and Sheree (Sheree), of all people, convinced her that since she was already in Miami and they had all flown down to celebrate with her, staying for the girl’s night wouldn’t do any harm. Ladies and gentlemen, when Sheree is the voice of reason, we’ve entered the Twilight Zone.
And, as it turns out, staying in Miami actually didn’t do any harm! Unless you count proximity to male strippers has harm, which might be a legitimate definition after all. All of the ladies plus Miss Lawrence managed to sit around together and have drinks and talk about Kandi’s love of giving, err, oral pleasure without coming to blows or blowjobs, but before things got too normal and boring, we met some of Phaedra’s “clients.” And by “clients,” I mean “oiled up, tattooed male strippers.”
As one of our Housewives observed, I’m not sure why strippers need to have a lawyer on retainer, and the more I think about it, the more I wish I had never started down that mental path. But when they’re bumping and grinding all over my 50-inch television, it’s hard not to, since allowing myself to think about anything else in relation to them is just too gross and awkward to bear. There’s nothing less sexy and more uncomfortable than being in the presence of a male stripper, although Miss Lawrence looked as though he had died and gone to heaven.
The evening ended on that somewhat positive note, but don’t be fooled – in next week’s season finale, we’ll attend the most reluctant and ill-advised reality TV wedding since Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire. Until then, enjoy this Big Boi/Black Keys mashup. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but I like it.