Buenas tardes, mis brujas! As Gerard mentioned, I’m currently pasando mis vacaciones en la Ciudad de México, so I’ve been very busy going and doing. But amongst it all, I’m happy to say I’ve found time to catch up with the peaches of Atlanta on a vacation of their own to Barcelona. As they say in both México and España, “más vale tarde que nunca.” Hop on a plane and join us.
I’m a little chapped that I ditched my Queen for an Episode format just in time for an episode where everyone contributed — other than Kenya, although Marlo found a way to ensure she would be represented on the cast vacation:
I use the word “contributed” under advisement, however, because everyone kiiiind of annoyed the shit out of me this week. But not in a bad way! I was at all times entertained and engaged by the tale of these terrible women blundering their way through the world’s most poorly planned trip to Spain (between this and The Cartagena Adventure, I advise Michael Beck to make sure his next destination is somewhere driveable in under two hours). But it’s hard to argue that the Barcelona trip showcased everyone at their most annoying and hypocritical.
Let’s take the Shamea vs. Eva moment, for example. Notionally, this was juicy. I’ve wanted to know forever if Eva and Missy Elliott were legit a thing (Eva denies it but acknowledges some sort of sapphic dalliance in her past, presumably with Ann). But in practice, it just led to more of the ‘is she a lesbian?’ speculation that the Housewives badly pretend isn’t motivated by homophobia. It feels particularly cheap coming from Shamea, who got cornered by similar rumours last season. Speaking of Shamea, it also reinforced that she’s one of the show’s most poorly drawn characters; three seasons after her introduction, I still don’t really have any idea who she is. She’s sort of a shapeshifter, taking on whatever role the narrative requires. That she’s friends again with Porsha feels particularly egregious, though I don’t know why this should annoy me so much; Housewife reconciliations are always crimes of convenience.
Speaking of things that shouldn’t annoy me but do: room selection. Again, if I’m hypothetically allergic to rich women griping about their hotel accommodations, I really should watch any other show — maybe one of those Netflix documentaries about murder. But for some reason, the group meltdown about the dereliction of this perfectly nice Spanish villa really got under my skin, perhaps because NeNe and Cynthia used it as the springboard for their worst material of the episode. It’s funny, because on paper, I feel like they’re right: Kandi taking the master suite that probably should have gone to Cynthia* showcased some of her recurring bad qualities — selfish, obstinate, petulant. But Cynthia was already so deep in the well of delusion re: the Will situation, and NeNe handled the whole thing so badly (you can’t play the age card to get a room you want and then get mad when people dunk on you all night for your AARP subscription, NeNe!), that I found myself rooting for Kandi. Maybe it’s just years of vicarious frustration from watching people give in to Ramona Singer’s hotel room psychosis, but I was glad Kandi held her ground. See you in the basement, NeNe!
*Note: Cynthia deserves the master suite in the fictional alternate universe where she actually planned and implemented this trip, rather than it being a contractually mandated contrivance of Bravo and True Entertainment.
And then, of course, the marquee fight of the evening:
Kim vs. NeNe re: roaches. Obviously, we’ve known for some time that this is the story the season’s been building toward. I can’t begin to express my delight that this conflict was shit-stirred into existence by Shereé, and that she seems poised to slither away from it completely untouched as usual. I’m only surprised that I’m surprised; of course this fight is a She by Shereé Production.
I don’t know if there’s a clear hero here, but I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved. Shereé calling Kim long distance to tip her off about NeNe dragging up her ten-year-old cancer lie is pretty great, Kim timing the roach bomb to drop during a group dinner is fab, and NeNe goring Kim is the only context in which I regularly find her amusing (cf. her applauding Kim for surviving “every disease in America”). I will say that Kim seems to have won the battle, insofar as NeNe seemed genuinely rattled at dinner, but at the end of the day, NeNe is an annoying hypocrite and Kim is a pathological liar so even odds they’ll both come out of it looking awful.
Either way, promising start to the cast vacation, even if this is still very obviously a season held together by Scotch tape and chewing gum. Good effort, ladies.
- in addition to Kim vs. NeNe, we saw the beginning of another long-awaited disaster as Kandi announced that NeNe would be opening for the Xscape reunion tour. I literally gasped.
- a nice character beat that you might have missed: Shereé’s turn-up of choice is a vodka Fanta.
- speaking of Shereé: I’ve drawn the comparison a million times before, but there was something truly satisfying about seeing her in front of La Sagrada Familia, a building that’s been under construction for 136 years. I’m sure she felt right at home.