Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Atlanta – S10E11

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.

9 thoughts on “Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Atlanta – S10E11

  1. I feel like Atlanta has backed itself into a corner with relationship storylines. They’ve made coupling such a significant part of the show (endless couples trips, husband talking heads, scenes of JUST the husbands no wives, etc.) that the single ladies are always scrounging up a man to keep pace.

    I want to see Cynthia’s renewal season. I want to see her flirting with cute younger dudes (remember the bearded guy from one scene in like ep 1?). I wanna see Cynthia take up some ridiculous hobby. Anything but just finding a man.

    Kenya makes the fake partner stuff entertaining because she’s the pioneer and also she’s just an inherently entertaining housewife. I think this marriage (though it will likely tragically be cause for her firing, which I am devastated in advance about) is playing out pretty well. I crack up everytime she says “my husband” and refuses to name a name. But yeah, time’s a ticking on that.

    Skipping out on Porsha’s firing alongside Phaedra is killer (she deserved it before the lesbian rape scam anyway). I feel like she gets too much airtime but maybe it just feels that way because she’s dull.

  2. I loved the end of the episode because I had this weird feeling Kenya was actively trying to sabotage production (as revenge?). I hope I’m not reading too much into it, but the way she was calmly moving around trying to de-escalate the situation and bring Cynthia up to speed off-camera (she almost got away with it) seemed like a direct response to the last episode, and there’s something really poetic about the Housewife arguably most contrived (i hate the connotation of that here because I love Kenya) and camera-aware being brought to this point. Kenya’s sudden disillusionment with RHOA is fascinating to me, and a layer to her character that I never expected. I just hope I’m not imagining it. If this really is her last hurrah, it’d be a great note to end on.

    1. i’m not so worried about kenya maybe getting fired because unless she legitimately legs it to new york city, she’ll be back. if they went back for fucking LYDIA i can’t imagine kenya won’t get another shot once she and the show are ready to be in each other’s company again.

  3. Eva came across well, but that introduction scene via Nene read as so inauthentic. Feels like yet another issue stemming from the new production team.

    This season should have been monumental (“monumentous”) but it’s just been so oddly paced and lacks a focal point so far. Last season was a slow burn that ignited around the half way mark into a great blaze of fire by the end. Here we are: episode 11 and I guess we have Nene vs Kim to look forward to? Marlo vs Porsha?? Not even excited because this season will probably either shoot it’s load super fast with the conflicts or drag them out over two episodes with yet another “To Be Continued…” closing caption.

    1. i don’t fault the fakey fake introduction scene because honestly there’s only so many ways to shoehorn these women into the plot. heather is buying a house from tamra! tinsley is moving in with sonja! lisa rinna ran into kathryn at the bar and started making light patter about the o.j. trial! (lol at that last one btw)

      i think that nene vs. kim will be an epic shitshow, for whatever it’s worth, just because the animosity between them is so long-tenured and real, but i’m not nearly as excited as i’m supposed to be. i want something fresh and exciting from atlanta but they seem so committed to the same old, same old.

      porsha vs. marlo i’m legit excited for; marlo is a beast when she wants to be. <3

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