Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Atlanta – S10E04

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Last week, we fired up our time machines and headed back to the ’70s for Thelma’s Soul Train party. This week, we’re going back to 2008. Hold onto your subprime mortgages.

Watching RHOA this season, you get the sense that the producers know we’re reaching the end of the road with this cast. Firing rumours have been swirling around Kenya, Porsha is obviously being ostracized from filming, and no one else has much going on. The returns of NeNe and Kim are meant to evoke some fondness for the show’s glory days. In episode four, the show doubled down on the nostalgia push. We saw Derek J, Marlo and Lisa Wu. We got flashbacks featuring DJ Tracy Young and DeShawn. Hell, we even got a visit from the woman we’ve all been waiting for, the elusive Mynique:

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(I’m mildly obsessed with Mynique, a season six rando whose entire existence I blocked out and was startled by upon rewatch, so her unexpected return delighted me more than it should have.)

Point being, the show knows it’s gotten a bit long in the tooth, and hopes that by bombarding you with familiar faces, you might not notice the cracks in RHOA’s elderly foundation. It’s a temporary solution. Atlanta has always been the franchise most resistant to change, rolling with the same cast of regulars + one or two short-lived interlopers since season three. But it’s time to turn this batch of peaches into preserves and start looking into some new talent.

This week’s episode gave us two minutes of a Kim/Kenya showdown before promising more next week. Who gave us enough to talk about until then?

6. Cynthia: Beautiful wallpaper, as per her custom. I do appreciate her bringing Derek J as a plus-one. I’ve always liked him, and I like him even more for explicitly calling out NeNe’s “bring your gays as accessories” white party. RHOA has always had a tangled relationship with homophobia (as does every franchise in its own insufferable way, to be fair), and NeNe in particular talks out both sides of her mouth on the gays constantly. It was nice to see her held accountable for it, even if I suspect her teachability on the subject is long expired.

5. Kandi: Did a magazine cover shoot. I think this is going to be a real low-key season for Kandi. Like so low-key as to be inaudible. She’s spread thin between this and the Xscape reunion, and no one in their right mind would come for her after season nine. I think she’s going to cruise through on the bare minimum this year, which… good for her, and she’s earned it, and she’ll be back for season eleven, but doesn’t make it interesting to watch. I hope Mama Joyce keys someone’s car to liven things up a bit.

4. Porsha: Couldn’t help but ring untrue when she insisted she was thrilled not to be at NeNe’s party. Like obviously no one wants to be at a NeNe party, but Porsha is an island. It’s starting to feel like end of days for Porsha Williams, the time when a woman takes a moment to mistily reflect on her legacy. When all is said and done, here is what people will remember about Porsha: she was violent, she was Phaedra’s pawn, and she thought the Underground Railroad was an actual train. I wonder how she feels about this chapter of her life now that it’s likely drawing to a close.

3. Kenya: The problem with petty is sometimes it’s too petty, and Kenya’s transphobic gender reassignment jokes were too petty. Still, Chrissy Teigen’s gotta be thrilled that her and John are now actual factual Housewives canon. Hope they split a bottle of Dom over that reveal.

2. NeNe: I’m holding off on my appraisal of NeNe’s All White Never Forget Girls And Gays Shirtless Men Stitch and Bitch Toddlers and Tiaras Blooooop party until I see how intertwined she becomes with the drama. Right now, it seems like she’s saving her bullets for Porsha and merely providing the staging ground for other people’s fights, which hey, fair enough. Set up your ludicrously themed party, hide the good glasses and dive out of the way.

1. Shereé: For the hair alone, my God. Shereé looked radiant as she carried her bones this week, and she gets bonus points for reintroducing Kim to the mix. I haven’t yet decided if I’m down for Kim’s return — she brings a very distinct tonal shift, and the rumours of Kim’s desperation to return to the show seem urgently true because she came weaponized with drama — but I’ve always loved the Shereé and Kim friendship. They’re both such duplicitous phonies and completely untrustworthy, yet their improbable bond has stood the test of time for, what, almost a decade now? It seems so random that Shereé of all people would ride hard for Kim Zolciak, but I guess ascending from the same pit of Hell forges a bond between demons.

Next week on The Real Housewives of Atlanta: a five-minute solo segment of Kandi answering emails.

2 thoughts on “Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Atlanta – S10E04

  1. I think Kim is obviously thirsty to get back on the show, but I think her introduction into the group again could be beneficial and her life at least constantly brings drama and she gives good talking head and her outrageous behavior and mannerisms just propels conflict naturally, even if her feud with Kenya is *so* manufactured. I think as time goes on, we’ll see more of that. Her scenes with Sheree were great, her artificial feud with Kenya wasn’t a good look for either of them. Still would rather have her back then NeNe who was fine in her family scenes this week but her girls + gays party had me cringing and the forced talking heads, yuck. It will be interesting to see how things go with Kim as the season progresses and she surely interacts with more than just Kenya (see the roach scandal which will probably be good tv since she undoubtedly rattled NeNe) which I think will be far more interesting for Kim.

    I get the same impression that Cynthia, Porsha, are all on their way out and it’s obvious no one wants to be around Porsha and I’m surprised they didn’t just fire her honestly.

    Not really a big fan of how the show’s been edited this season, and now that this new showrunner is taking over RHONY I’m a bit ~worried~ but I’m sure it’ll be fine cause its RHONY.

    Cast shakeup would be nice, these first 4 episodes have been pretty boring imo and I’m worried it might be like OC12 where they showed drama in the trailer but really it all just ends up being boring save a few good moments here and there. We’ll see though.

    1. i mean, non-euphemistically the thing i’m worried about with kim is we know shit spins off down the racism road, latent or overt, and that’s historically just not a good look for kim. she’s ignorant. i don’t think it will be a fun saga to watch. i think she and kenya legitimately hate each other, for what it’s worth — it was originally ginned up for a tv argument but it’s real now. kim is actively trying to ruin kenya’s career.

      maybe i’m just desensitized to nene because people keep mentioning her forced talking heads and if anything she seems low-key compared to her usual self? idk.

      hilariously, i think cynthia’s boring ass is probably safe for another year. there’s always someone who more urgently needs to be fired. both kenya and porsha are ahead of her in the line.

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