I know I’m a little late posting this week’s Atlanta recap, but hey: better late than never. Wait, what? I already made that joke last week? Whatever, let’s just get on with it.
Recapping RHOA this year has been a tricky affair. Not because it’s the worst season I’ve ever seen — it’s not, though it’s nothing great (I’m mindful of complaining too much lest I seem ungrateful; between OC12 and now BH8, Tracey, through no fault of her own, seems to have a kiss of death that makes every franchise she recaps a suffocating bore). But it’s very piecemeal, and poorly produced. Characters blip out of existence (usually, it’s NeNe; this week, Shereé didn’t even speak until a single confessional in the last five minutes of the show). There are barely any solo arcs (every seventh episode we re-learn that Porsha is a vegan). I can’t tell if the season is building toward anything. It’s just a sloppy job all around, and a poor showing from the new production team.
I’ve been staring at this WordPress window for days trying to figure out how I’m going to make a ranking out of an episode with only one storyline. It’s not happening, so I’m going to scrap my format for the second time this year and just dive into the lone plotline of episode 11: the introduction of new Friend of the Housewives Eva, armed with some truth bombs. Fun, frothy opening gambit from America’s Next Top Model 2004, by the way; looking forward to more.
The central question of this week’s episode: does Will (Phil?) have another girlfriend, and is he hiding this information from Cynthia? Eva says yes, Will says no, Cynthia is so very confused. My take? I would be far more invested in this storyline if it weren’t so fake-fake-f-fucking-fake. Or maybe it’s not! Maybe it just seems like Kenya is raking in the discounts for referring her friends to fakeboyfriends.com. But Will’s evident oiliness, and his history of fame-seeking, and the sheen of artifice on every interaction he and Cynthia have… it’s sus. And it’s the latest in a long line of similarly sus courtships. RHOA has a fake relationship problem.
This isn’t universally applicable. I believe all of the marriages, from Kandi/Todd, to NeNe/Gregg, to Phaedra/Apollo (though Kenya should at least produce a body soon to convince me “Marc Daly” isn’t an elaborate piece of identity fraud). But Will hews so closely to Dr. Tiy-E, and Walter, and Todd the Baby-Nup Guy. He and Cynthia don’t seem like a couple. They seem like co-stars. I can’t imagine a world in which we don’t find out they’ve broken up by the reunion, although Cynthia’s man judgment is so bad that it’s equally likely we find out they’ve married. The shadow of Peter Thomas is long.
In any case, that was our storyline, and our cliffhanger, so if you didn’t like it, tough shit. While there are no proper rankings this week, this will likely be Cynthia’s only chance to walk away with the title of Queen for an Episode, so I bestow it upon her now. I do so grudgingly, however. You’re a beautiful, funny lady. Go get yourself a real boyfriend and STOP shopping in the fuckboy section. Case dismissed; get out of my courtroom.
Next week on The Real Housewives of Atlanta: post-production forgets to CGI NeNe into a scene, resulting in footage of Porsha arguing with a tennis ball on a string.