It was only a few short days ago that I praised Bravo for delivering on its promises from the preview for last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and the network has already gone and squandered any goodwill that might have been coming its way by giving us 55 minutes of tease for 5 minutes of fight on last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta. Come on, Andy Cohen. We know you can do better than this.

Last night’s episode was perhaps the most boring of the season thus far, with little in the way of action except for the brief fight at the end, most of which was spoiled by the commercials for this week’s episode. Perhaps they assumed that we’d all still be traumatized from the antics of the Beverly Hills broads, and who knows, they might be right. I’m still having visions of that insane fake cigarette.

The episode began with Kandi, who was still planning that bus tour with Kim that we talked about last week. She was at a dance studio to see Kim run her choreography for the show, but when Kim got there, all she wanted to do was talk about bedazzled microphones and her ability to perform any task successfully in heels. Kandi seemed irritated, but she’s met Kim before, right? This is about par for the Kim course, and I’m starting to love her in a totally non-ironic way, which makes me think that perhaps I watch too much of this show and have been sucked into some sort of Real Housewives of Atlanta k-hole.

Next up was Sheree, who headed out to do some furniture shopping for her daughter’s new apartment. Sheree had promised Tierra a sofa, but like mother like daughter – once Tierra got into the store, she wanted everything. Sheree stuck by her guns and only bought the couch while her daughter was present, but after she sent Tierra back to work, she sat down with the salesperson and bought…all of it. $7400 worth of furniture for her new apartment, which I suppose is the least Sheree can do for forcing someone to grow up with her as a mother. Although she spent all that money and didn’t get the kid a flat screen, which seemed like kind of a waste of money to me. I certainly don’t need a bunch of random, overpriced tchotchkes if there’s no TV. After all, if there’s no TV, then I have no idea where to point my furniture.

We then caught up with Cynthia and Nene at the Fernbank Museum, where Cynthia had decided to hold her wedding in the atrium, under dinosaur bones. Fun fact: I had my senior prom in the atrium at Fernbank! The dinosaur bones look a little weird when you try to picture an event there during the day, but when it’s dark outside and the place is lit and decorated correctly, it’s actually totally beautiful. I don’t even have any snark about Cynthia getting married with a bunch of giant skeletons. Surprise! I think it’s a really cool, non-traditional choice, and I can say that with at least a marginal amount of authority.

It wasn’t all fun and dinosaur bones, though. Cynthia and Nene eventually went outside to discuss the crazy friend contract from last week, which was still a little bit of a touchy subject and still seems a little insane, although not maliciously so, from where I’m sitting. I mean, it was several pages. Typed. That’s a lot of work and forethought, so perhaps Cynthia needs to have her sense of humor recalibrated just a tad. But they were laughing and joking by the end of the conversation, so hopefully we can all move on. Although who ever moves on in this show? No one, that’s who.

Elsewhere, Nene still trying to get an interview for her “entertainment reporter” job with the second-tier local news station. Jay-Z isn’t in town (is Jay-Z ever in town?), Serena Williams doesn’t answer her own phone, Bow Wow’s mom wasn’t any help, and maybe someone named Saptosa, who claims to be Jermaine Dupri’s publicist but who sounds more like some sort of prescription allergy medication that they advertise on TV, will be able to set something up. Nene tried to ply her son and his friend for Justin Beiber’s phone number, but they were no help. How dare they not have The Beiber’s number?!?

At Phaedra’s house, Kandi came over to see the baby and Phaedra immediately flopped out a titty to breastfeed. And good for her, I guess! I would have pegged her as too prissy to do that sort of thing, but she actually managed to put the baby’s interests over her own. Or maybe someone just told her it would help her lose her baby weight faster; that seems just as likely. Once lunchtime had commenced, Phaedra starting gossiping about Cynthia running up to her at the play and rolling her neck and demanding to know about the baby’s gestational timeline, none of which actually appeared to have occurred in objective reality. Phaedra needs to hang out from Camille from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, they seem to have a very similar grasp on the truth. And when I say “similar,” I mean “similarly tenuous.”

In grand lawyer fashion, when talk turned to Kim, Phaedra chose to call her a slut and various other things instead of actually dealing with the veracity of Kim’s claims about her pregnancy. Because Kim was right, of course – Phaedra had taken every opportunity to bring up the timeline of her pregnancy in order to assure everyone that the kid wasn’t conceived before she and Apollo were married, and apparently she had hoped that no one would do the math. Well, everyone did, and instead of owning up to her own crappy lie, it was much easier for Phaedra to simply talk about Kim being a former strip club employee (at one of the better clubs in Atlanta, I might add) who dated a married man. Please, Phaedra. We already know about that stuff. It’s not insulting to say it anymore, it’s just…Kim. I don’t think it’s possible to cast aspersions on someone simply by stating well-known facts about her life.

Speaking of Kim, her stylist came over to bring her some tour outfit options. I feel like it’s only fair that we get at least one crazypants Kim try-on session per season, and if possible, I’d like to have one per episode. Kim’s body isn’t perfect, but she clearly loves the hell out of it, and any criticism that has come her way has not affected her enthusiasm when it comes to showing it off. Also, in those situations, how fun would it be to be one of her daughters? Kim picks the shiny, fluttery, over-the-top outfits that we all wanted to play with when we were kids doing dress-up, and she’s got an entire closet full of them for their perusal. Fabulous. Also, she spends more time with her kids than the overwhelming majority of Housewives, for better or for worse. She’s not a perfect mom, but she tries, and she makes up for the rest with great shoes.

The next act of mothering was perpetrated by Sheree, who oversaw the gaudy stripe-painting and delivery of all the too-large furniture in preparation for Tierra’s surprise housewarming party. It was a nice gesture, sure, but it’s always best to measure an apartment before you buy a bunch of random stuff to fill it. And still, no television. Get me a beanbag and a television and I’m a happy girl. Ok, not really, but I can get more use out of a TV than I can an $800 mass-produced painting from a chain furniture store. Real talk, y’all.

A few other things happened – Nene was confirmed for her interview with Jermaine, Cynthia booked a show for Miami Swim Week or whatever it’s called, but mostly, they got straight to the spa party that I mentioned earlier. While they all sat around, mostly makeup-less, and waited for their treatments to begin, Kim talked about masturbating, Phaedra talked about knowing a male stripped that could, uh, orally pleasure himself and someone, I don’t remember who, brought up Cynthia’s friendship contract. Kim really started digging the “unexpected death” part, which was honestly a little creepy, but it’s probably not worth arguing about, particularly at a party. It was crazy, but it was not cut-off-your-skin-and-wear-it-as-a-suit crazy, which means that it’s about par for the course around these parts.

Also par for the course: gossiping. Phaedra’s baby came up next and Phaedra called out Kim for talking smack about an unborn child, but as I mentioned last week, that seems like nothing more that a diversion tactic. Any thinking adult can figure out that no one was insulting the child at all – they were insulting Phaedra for lying beyond all reasonable boundaries of normal, innocuous white lies. Phaedra keeps asking why anyone would care when her baby was due, but she was the one who cared enough to elaborately lie about it in the first place. So she got pregnant before you go married. So what?

Phaedra brought it on herself and when her lie imploded, Kim was the next easiest target. She called Kim stupid and uneducated, despite the fact that she has a verifiable nursing degree and her statements about the baby’s conception were logical and obviously true. The entire time that Kim was defending herself, the rest of the cast sat in the background and nodded silently, clearly agreeing but not wishing to step into the fray for themselves, lest Phaedra beat one of them to death with her surely enormous makeup bag.

Which brings me to something that has been bothering me about the various regions of the Housewives diaspora for a little while now. Every season, usually more than once, one of the cast members complains that someone (or everyone) has been talking behind her back. And I can’t help but wonder, did any of the women who complain about all the gossiping actually bother to watch an episode of this show before they joined up? Gossip and backbiting is the entire premise of the series, so I can’t exactly muster any sympathy for those who find themselves the target of a snarky jab here and there. After all, if I were opposed to that sort of thing, I’d be out of a job and so would all of these ladies.

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