And so, it was over. Last night marked the season finale of Real Housewives of Atlanta, and my initial reaction is this: please don’t let that 90-minute, overlong, bloated mess become a thing that Bravo does for all of the Housewives season finales. An hour and a half is unnecessary in every way.

It was particularly unnecessary last night because the only thing that happened at all was Cynthia’s wedding, which was precisely the event that most viewers were wishing wouldn’t happen. But it did, and they were married, and Cynthia wore a really unfortunate dress. But at least they didn’t have a cash bar; anyone who’s been to enough weddings knows that’s the really important part.

We started out the episode with most of the cast at a club where Lawrence was getting ready to perform “Closet Freak” for the first time publicly, and for some reason, I couldn’t shake the impression that the performance was happening at two in the afternoon on a Thursday and was totally staged for Bravo’s convenience. And that might have been the case, I’m not sure, but even if it was, Miss Lawrence made two in the afternoon look fierce from his feathered eyelashes to his mesh leotard to his stilettos. And not only that, but he sang live behind backup dancers who knew a little choreography. It was a nice way to start the episode.

Afterward, it was time to get down to some unpleasantness at Cynthia’s house. And unpleasant it was, at least for those of us who are at an age where we go to lots of weddings and constantly fear that we’ll end up at one without an open bar: the alcohol situation. Cynthia didn’t want to (or couldn’t) fork over the cash to have an open bar and Fernbank charges a $3000 beverage minimum for its weddings anyway (this is not uncommon), so Cynthia made the tackiest decision imaginable: a cash bar.

Ladies, I don’t care who you are or where your wedding is going to be. If you’re inviting guests and expecting them to take off the entire day to celebrate your life choices and give you gifts for the honor of attending, it’s tacky as hell to then charge them $4 for a beer. It’s simply not to be done. As Cynthia was discussing the booze issue with her sister and mom, her daddy called at exactly that moment, but he just didn’t have the cash to lend her, naturally. If women marry their fathers, I guess we know why Cynthia loves Peter the Deadbeat. Momma eventually came through with the money to avoid a cash bar, thankfully.

Over at Phaedra’s, she was getting ready to go back to work after her maternity leave and it appeared as though she had managed to grow into the role of motherhood over the course of the season. A friend was there to keep the baby for the day, but she still shed a few tears as she handed the bambino over to head out the door in her magical elf high heels. I guess Phaedra is a real human being after all.

At Kandi’s studio, Kim showed up to discuss some sort of monetary shadiness in which she had evidently partaken. It wasn’t clear exactly what Kim had done wrong or what she was supposed to have done or even what they were talking about, but whatever it was, I think Kandi was probably right and Kim was probably shady. We know enough about those two that I think assuming Kandi was right is pretty safe, but either way, I have a hard time pretending to be interested. Kandi had issues with Kim and money in the past, so I’m not sure why she thought it would be any different the second time around. Doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.

In Sheree’s neck of the woods, she was trying out for her first movie role and didn’t expect to have to do the audition in front of people. Several of them! And they were not impressed, mostly because they were actually trying to put on a real production and Sheree is not a real actress in any sense of the word. So far last night, we learned that Kim is shady about making sure she gets paid and Sheree can’t act. News at 11, y’all. If the end of the episode is to be believed, however, Sheree did end up getting the part.

Over at Nene’s house, we learned that Bryson still a deadbeat living at home (again – news at 11), but at least he had been to the barbershop since the last time we saw him. A modest improvement! Very modest, considering that he still didn’t have a job or seem particularly concerned that he had yet to find one. Remember that 90 day time limit Nene had set earlier in the season? Yeah, about that…

The next thing we knew, it was Cynthia’s wedding day. She trudged downstairs from her bedroom like a woman who had made some bad decisions the night before. Her stylist immediately sprang to his feet to give her a glass of champagne and inform her that if she wanted to run, there was still time to do it and that they had a gassed-up car waiting outside. If only she had taken the suggestion and left! But she didn’t. Cynthia picked a fine time to prove that she’s not a runaway bride. Why couldn’t have she gotten all determined and stubborn when it came to marrying Leon?

Having spent enough time panicking inside, she went out to the neighborhood park to panic outside for a while, and her mom followed her. They hugged and cried and were both dressed all in black, sort of like they were attending a very casual, early-morning funeral for the death of Cynthia’s independence and self-respect. They sat down on a bench and talked about the generalities of fate and love for a few minutes before heading back inside, and I couldn’t help but think that being too concerned with blindly following what you assume is your fate might lead you astray. Sometimes fate involves making some tough decisions and not just getting married because you put a deposit down on the venue already.

Speaking of bad marriages, Gregg and Nene sat down together for the first time in a long time. I meant to pay attention, I swear I did, but everything Gregg says sounds like such an epic load of bullshit that I just couldn’t bring myself to focus. Also, I don’t really care about Nene anymore and these two should so clearly be divorced that staged conversations about their optimistic future really don’t serve any dramatic purpose except filling a few minutes in this bloated, overlong season finale.

Back with Cynthia, we found out that there were no wedding bands. And ladies, if the fact that your fiance forgot to buy wedding bands isn’t a clear sign that you shouldn’t get married, I don’t know what is. I don’t know how the universe could tell you any more clearly than that. I don’t know how your man could tell you any more clearly that he’s not all that concerned with your happiness. If getting married to Cynthia before he turned 50 was such an important thing to Peter early in the season, why couldn’t he be bothered to run to Zales and buy some rings?

Over at Fernbank, Cynthia arrived to see her dress for the first time and, uh, about the dress…well, where do we start? First, I have to give her credit for not choosing white. I will never have a white wedding dress either, mostly because I look like crap in white, and and gunmetal is a nice alternative, if maybe not a wise choice for that particular material. And what was that thing tied up around her head? Why was it so big? Doesn’t she know that’ll knock her hairdo down if she turns around too fast? And why hadn’t she bothered to see the dress before the ceremony? And why hadn’t the wrinkles been steamed out? So many questions.

We took a momentary break to go see Kim, who had just gotten her boobs redone, and in violation of everything that we know about the Housewives, she didn’t do it on camera. Her hottie football player boyfriend came to pick her up and she left for the wedding with Uggs on her feet and her heels in her hand. That’s a woman after my own heart right there.

Back at Fernbank, it suddenly dawned on Cynthia that she had left her marriage license at home and, oops, that meant that the ceremony couldn’t be legally performed. And then there was a rumor that the license wasn’t there. And then there was a rumor that it was! And since I was not at all rooting for the marriage to happen, I had a very hard time caring where the license was or was not. Also, Cynthia’s mom might have been a little drunk, which is entirely understandable, given the situation. I would have been drunk too.

While all of that was going on, guests were arriving and Kim was making sure that one of the cater waiters took the bottle of wine that she had brought for herself (I bet she had more in the car) and all of the single ladies were swooning over Kroy, who is just my type: big, dumb, cute and quiet. Phaedra arrived with a giant box from Tiffany and it suddenly occurred to me that no one had brought a gift, which wasn’t all that surprising once I thought about it for a little while. Our ladies don’t exactly strike me as the type for gift-giving.

As far as the location went, I will say only this: Fernbank was much more lavishly decorated when I went to the Lassiter High School Senior Prom there back in 2004. It’s a very nice space for a big event, but it could have used some swagging and lighting and whatever else wedding planners do that makes a big room look like a wedding instead of just a big group of people standing around together waiting to be served alcohol (which is all that a wedding really is, when you think about it).

Once the cocktail hour was over and everyone was seated, speculation started about whether or not the bride would even show up, and most people seemed to think that the odds were slim. Cynthia didn’t run, though. She emerged at the top of the stairs and made it all the way down in a giant dress that was partially obscuring her peripheral vision and a vertiginous pair stilettos, which is more than I would have been capable of doing, and she got to the altar and said her vows and everything. She didn’t even look panicked, just resigned to her fate and relieved to be getting it over with

At the reception, everyone was drinking the much-discussed booze and mugging for the cameras and probably trying to get Leon’s phone number when Dwight walked over to try and make peace with Nene over that fight that they had waaaaay back in the season premiere eight or nine years ago. I was cheering for a fist fight or some plastic surgery jokes or something interesting to end the season, but instead, Dwight plucked a flower from the wedding directions and then they danced. In the season-ending “where are they now” segment, we found out that Nene wants to move to LA, Kandi is still being Kandi, Phaedra is still being Phaedra, Sheree is still single, Kim is pregnant and getting married and Cynthia has yet to divorce Peter. A thusly, our boring finale to a better-than-average season was done.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Ladonna

    The only thing that keeps me going is that some of the Housewives are getting ready to crank out their new seasons. At first, I kinda liked Nene, but now I see that she is jealous, bitter, a hater-wait a minute-I know what Nenes’ problem is-Greg is still down in the basement, Nenes’ still upstairs, girlfriend ain’t gettin her none! LMBO! She needs to get Kim to set her up with some big old fine football player-friends with benefits! That will definitely put a smile on her face and a song in her heart! She needs something for herself, I found it very amusing that Nene managed to get herself a free ride to Miami, and free food, and free entertainment, and free lodging and had the absoloute NERVE to talk shit, about EVERYTHING! Why does she care where Sweetie and that other stays?? If I had been Kim or her German friend that OWNED the house, Nene would have found her free loading, loud talking, threatening bitch self out on the side of the freeway. AND she must not have no credit cards or cash, because I know for a fact that I would have left from there, either got a rent car or a room away from all of that-she must be broke or loves to be miserable. Speaking of broke-Cynthia is going to be sorry that she married that broke ass man! you mean to tell me he couldn’t even rake up the credit for a couple of wedding bands for “til things get better??” She is out of her flipping mind-Even a mother on food stamps living in the projects has better sense than that-

  • Jo Marie

    I think Cynthia’s mother and sister were actually discussing withholding the license and aborting the wedding. In the end they couldn’t bring themselves to do it. I also thought the dress an unfortunate choice but who am I? I have zero experience in Haute Couture. Frankly Cynthia is lovely enough to wear anything at all with grace. She made the younger models at the swimsuit show look like awkward teenagers.

  • Lisa in Oregon

    I’m afraid to say it because I love you Amanda, but I actually liked Cynthia’s dress. I know I’ll be the odd one out, but I can’t help it. It was the only thing I liked about the wedding. Very Sex and The City.

    For most of the episode, I was extremely sad for Cynthia’s sister. The pain on her face was just too much and I had to walk away a few times. Her tears were obviosly very real and I felt horrible for her. I had a hard time feeling sad for Cynthia because she could have walked away at any time. I really think she should have mitigated her emotional damages and just called the whole thing off. I’ll bet more of her friends/family than not would have sighed a large collective sigh of relief.

    • RedHead

      Lisa – I actually liked the dress too. It was the best part of the entire boring 90 minutes.

    • Z

      Lisa, I said the same thing about the dress. I said it was very Carrie Bradshas-ish, lol.

    • Mimi

      I liked it too, but everybody would not have been able to pull that off. Cynthia wore it well.

  • Lorie

    That whole episode was so dull. The best thing about it was when my friend and I were texting back and forth about how much we love Lawrence and hate Peter and Gregg.

    Lawrence is for sure no closet freak. Miss Lawrence just freaks it all out in the open. Go Girl. Finally Kandi finds someone who actually has talent.

    Gregg is useless. He’s just taking up space in the basement.

    I just look at Peter, and I want to smack him back to Jamaica. He can’t buy ANY sort of rings AT ALL? Plain gold bands are not that expensive. Get some at the Pawn shop, but for crying out loud, GET SOME. That marriage will never last, and I am very sorry for the both of them. I’ve never seen a wedding have so much gloom over it or be such a train wreck.

  • madelaine

    Bravo should make a show with just the ATL fabulous gays featuring of course Miss Lawrence, Derek J, (maybe Dwight, but I feel like he’s changed and not as interesting anymore)

    I agree this finale was very lacklustre! Hopefully the re-union won’t be a bust either…

    • Ashley

      Not Dwight! He freaks me out every time he’s on screen. His face does NOT move. At all. And he’s mean. Lawrence is awesome, though- he and Kandi should have done the road trip, not Kim.

      • Bee

        I thought I was the only one! iCan’t with Dwight. I just can’t…

  • deka

    i thought cynthia’s dress was beautiful and daring!! but i would have put the giant bow on the other shoulder so her face wouldnt have been hidden from the guests during the ceremony. and i hope peter starts to listen to and respect cynthia more. i dont want to root for her marriage to fail.

    kim is growing on me
    nene wont move ’cause she cant be on RHoBH.
    kandi will never be as big as she was in the 90s
    sheree is a terrible actor
    phaedra is phaedra

    • RedHead


      You are SO right about why NeNe can’t move.

      LOVE that insight:-)

  • engrmom

    I used to like Nene, but this season I can’t stand her aggressiveness in your face personility. The fact that she is unapologetic during her interview segment after seeing how bad her behavior was just made me dislike her more. During WWHL segment last night I just feel really sorry for Kroy, that dumbA just got suck in by venuskim trap. Last night I actually felt a little connection with Phaedra, I know shocking, but being a working mom wishing I could be home with my babies every minutes of the day, I can feel her pain. Kandi need to grow a backbone and tell Kim to fork up that money that she owned her. I have a feeling Cythia, Peter and her kid will be alright.

  • Otter

    Did anyone enjoy Phaedra’s “going back to work” nailpolish look as much as I did? At the end of the season, she came out as my favorite.

  • Dcet

    I liked Cynthia’s dress too. It is a shame that it was for such an unfortunate wedding. Amanda your comments about the wedding rings were spot on. Actions speak much louder than words.

  • Straycat

    I cant beleive no one commented on Cynthia’s t-shirt! She knew that she was a big dummy for getting married to Peter. It was as if Fred Sanford was talking to her from the grave.

    • Z

      Right!! It was so ironic she had on that Big Dummy shirt. Did bravo set that up? LOL!

  • Birkin Lover

    Cynthia was once engaged to Jason Williams of the NBA, dated Russell Simmons and then there’s Leon. I wonder what brought her to settle for Peter, he’s not particularly attractive, he speaks to her in a tone that’s mean and condescending and he’s broke not to mention he’s got six kids, as mentioned earlier in the season (and with no money I wonder how/if he’s taking care of them). I mean what is she seriously thinking. I must say though I too liked her dress thought it was fitting for a former high fashion model.

  • New-New

    OMFG, you went to lassiter?

    I went to Kell. small world.

    the finale was an overly long mess to a great season.

    • Ha! Very small world. Kell opened when I was a…senior? I think?

  • EllenNotAfraid

    This overfed episode was a frustrating snoozfest. If not for tweeting with Amanda I would have thrown a glass at the TV (well no not really but you know what I mean).

    Was someone holding a gun to Cynthia off camera? Because nothing short of that or a hostage situation should have caused her to go through with that abortion…err…wedding. I can’t believe I’m about to say this; but Phaedra and her crazy self ended up making the most sense after all. Feel like I’ve tumbled into a parallel universe.

    What the wrap of this season has shown me is that what we used to love about these ladies is what ultimately has made them caricatures of themselves…they believe the hype. Oh and NeNe has definitely jumped the shark, drank the Kool-Aid or whatever, she’s become highly uninteresting and tiresome…THONK!

    Miss Lawrence was the lone bright spot.

  • Z

    What was up with the minister saying Mr. and Mr.??? What was that about? The whole thing was just too weird and awkward. Cynthia looked like the saddest bride I have ever seen.

  • Mochababe73

    There is a reason why I haven’t watched the show since Phaedra’s pickle pictures. Boring. But, I did watch last night. It was the finale. Why not?
    I loved Lawrence’s performance. I agree with NeNe. The man (?) has actual talent.
    I was touched to see that Phaedra’s heart wasn’t two sizes too small. But, as the breadwinner, it was time for her to go back to work.
    Kim is a hoot. Her boyfriend is adorable. I wish her all the luck in the world. And, I am praying for that baby.
    I don’t think that Sheree got a part in a movie. I think that it’s a part in The Game, a television show on BET. Sheree can’t act, and I can’t believe that she actually was questioning the professionals. They know what they want. The last thing that Terri needed was a non-talent hack telling her how the part should be played.
    Bryson is a wash-out. Seeing him makes me be that much harder on my children. I have told them repeatedly that eventually their dad and I want to be alone. LOL!
    Poor, poor Cynthia. She and that ugly dress should have ran as fast as they could out of there. I can’t believe that they didn’t exchange rings. Really? I haven’t been to Wal-mart in YEARS, but even then, they sold wedding bands.
    I see from this episode that I haven’t missed anything this season.
    Bring on the OC and New York.

  • lolanyc

    I had to comment on cynthia.. why would she marry this old poor shlub! Shes beautiful! he couldnt afford rings! I totally missed that part! I was wondering why they couldnt chanrge the 3k. dont they have credit? if u cant afford booze OMG dont get married! Or do a quicky! so stupid. I wonder if bravo picked up the tab? I still dont get why she likes him. he seems mean and nasty. a liar.. and broke? I dont get it. is she that desperate? she already has a cute daughter! she doesnt NEED a man!

    Kim is by far my favorite. shes like a cartoon character! I cant wait for NY though! Even the OC.. I will miss bev hills.. =(

  • Tamara

    Kim tugging up her dress every 2 seconds was killing me! She knew her breasts were still swollen from the procedure but she still wore a low cut dress.

    What bothered me most was after the wedding during Cynthia’s confessional she mentioned that she was unsure about the future of the marriage. What was that all about? Have a little faith after all that trouble you went through to get there.

  • erica

    First off Amanda, bravo for making this season bearable with your recaps. My favorite being the boughetto breakdown article! You’re funny, you’re awesome, You rock!

    Next, props to Cynthia for wearing a “Fred Sanford” t-shirt but of course, the joke’s on her since she’s the “big dummy”. That shirt summarized her appearance all season long.

    Lawrence…the next Ru Paul…’nuff said.

    Pheadrea…I thought she was crazy at first but she grew on me towards the end. Sheree, Nene and Kim…getting a bit stale lately so do something before Lawrence steals the whole show.

    Goodbye ATL Housewives, please don’t bore me next season

  • Pam

    I hated Peter even more when I saw his poor mother was in desperate need of some dental work. Getting his mama’s teeth fixed should be more important than all the fancy wine and dinners he has enjoyed. Shame on you, you cheap bastard. I hope Kim is right and Cynthia dumps him before the year is through. Cynthia is gorgeous and shouldn’t waste her time on that old loser. I’m sure NeNe would help Peter through the breakup. Phaedra actually seemed like a caring mother, despite her initial ‘gross’ comment at the birth of her son. My favorite housewife is still Kandi, but Sheree sort of grew on me this season.

  • Tay

    Phaedra sure didn’t seem to have a problem leaving lil Ayden when she headed to Miami for the weekend to enjoy the stripper fest. Why is it that she became soooo emotional when she had to go to work for just a few hours. I just had trouble believing those tears were genuine.

    Cynthia’s dress – Oscar night, yes – Wedding day, no. The Fred Sanford T-shirt – perfect indeed. When Peter put those specs on to read his vows, he actually looked like Red Foxx wearing those Coke bottles in Harlem Nights. And what about the drunken speech Cynthia had with Noelle, completely unable to open her eyes. Poor, poor Noelle.

  • Mimi

    Cynthia and her family were the saddest bunch of people I’ve ever seen get ready for a wedding! You would have thought it was an execution– well in some ways, I guess it was!

  • c.c.

    I thought her gown was beautiful.

    I hate to be catty but Sheree should never wear jeans. Or she really needs to be refit. She should definitely not let anyone photograph her in jeans leaving the room.

    • Sue

      Thouht it was just me who felt that way!

  • Matthew

    I can’t stand Dwight. Does anyone else see the irony of him talking about Phaedra’s baby being an alien? He looks like an alien.

    He’s a creep.

  • ali

    Are there any honorable men on this show? Lawrence seems to have his shit together, but he calls himself Miss, so . . .

    Was Peter drunk when he got to the wedding? He’s just a well-dressed hobo. Without Cynthia, he’d be drinking High-Life out of a paper bag.

    These people are such trash. But they drive such nice cars. It’s so confusing!

  • Bagolicious

    The only thing of interest in this episode, as far as I’m concerned, was the dress. Fabulous!

  • Tara

    I thought Sheree dressed terribly for her audition. Not believing that she actually got the part.

    I loved that Kim brought her own “good” wine to the wedding because she figured Cynthia would only have “bad” wine since she’s broke. Then Kim promptly puts ice cubes in her “good” wine. Super classy – LOL!

    And Phaedra’s nails were very professional (ha, ha).

    Otherwise, the episode was a total snooze.