The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4 Reunion Pt. 1 Review: Money Ain't a Thing
I've made no secret of the fact that this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta has been a little limp for me, to say the least. What once was one of my favorite guilty pleasures, a veritable palace made from finely crafted shade, had turned into a pretty frustrating experience to behold on a weekly basis. The cast became much more divided than usual and either had nothing going on in their personal lives or thought they had a lot going on when, in reality, they didn't. By the end of the season, my allegiance lied solely with Phaedra, quick with the one-liners and obviously self-aware about how silly this all is, so tuning into the reunion felt more like obligation than opportunity for entertainment.
But that reunion, y'all. The first part of the reunion was the liveliest episode that The Real Housewives of Atlanta had aired in a long time, eclipsing the past two reunions and pretty much all of this past season in tension. In a way, it's a good thing that the ladies had kept their distance from one another because all of their beefs have had time to fester and rot, that stench of hatred and jealousy burning my nostrils through the TV screen.
Most of the drama ran through NeNe, as expected, with the breakout star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta duking it out with Kim, Kandi, and Sheree over the course of the first 42 minutes of the reunion. I was once a big fan of Miss Leakes, but the past season, season and a half of fame have really gone to her head, making the loud, funny southern girl you'd love to have a drink with turn into an egotistical, materialistic shrew with a superiority complex. How combative she was during the reunion, particularly toward Kandi, may have made for fascinating TV, but it pretty much solidified my dislike of the new NeNe. Whether she was referring to herself in the third person, hypocritically chastising Sheree for coming after Bryson (when NeNe had been talking about Kim's kids on Twitter), or coming at Kandi over her sex toy party, NeNe put out this sourness that masked any hint of likability she may have had beforehand. It's a shame that new money and the flashing camera lights have taken that away from her, but considering she just landed a pilot for NBC, Hollywood NeNe may be here to stay.
But you know who turned it at the reunion? Of all people, Kandi. Her role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta has always been as the quiet, level-headed one that goes about her business like an adult. All that went out the window once NeNe came for her and Miss Kandi read her cover to cover, y'all. Part of what makes NeNe such a frustrating reality character is that she drowns people out when they argue, so nobody can really check her in the way that she needs to be. Kandi, though, stood up to her and then some, calling her out on how judgmental she's been over the toy line and how NeNe's past isn't one of purity and innocence, either. For all the "meh" that Kandi's filled me with over her two seasons, her performance tonight was fun to watch, with her love life finally coming together and her business killing it. Say what you want about her geisha gear and whatnot, but Kandi's a self-made chick that started a successful business, something that will sustain her long after her time at Bravo comes to an end.
We hadn't had much of Sheree in season four, as she started pretty prominently (the fight over money with NeNe) and kind of withered away to a background player by the end. Her return to decent camera time resulted in a rehash of her child support drama, hilariously called out by a question from a Bravo viewer, and another scuffle with NeNe. I have to say, I don't think Sheree did anything wrong in bringing up Bryson's legal trouble; he's a grown man and he chose to have it play out in front of the cameras, so it's fair game. Was it the best card to play? Not necessarily, but for NeNe to get on her high horse about bringing in children when she talks about Kim's daughters (both minors) makes it an okay move for me. What I didn't like, though, was her throwing Phaedra under the bus regarding the child support case, because it's not the fault of Miss Parks that Sheree kept waffling about what she wanted to do and only retained her the day before. Had Sheree exhibited a little more conviction and understanding about what she wanted to do, I think that results may have been different, but she didn't and things are still stalled regarding her quest for additional coins.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta had a very exciting opening part of their reunion after a not that exciting regular season. It's promising that the first part wasn't packed with filler, so if last night had that much going on, imagine how ridiculous (or Redickulous) part three is going to be come next week.
Thoughts, Quotes, & Observations:
-"Now, what is the name of this wig?"
-"Speaking of versatile hair, geisha Kandi."
-"Are you rich...bitch?"
-In case you missed Mark's take on the reunion, here's the link.
-Andy Cohen's She by Sheree remark, though likely not intended as such, was the best shade of the night.
-Kim made more money than Kroy last year. Pardon this, but from what?
-Phaedra's one-two punch of "Dirt and grass." and "What is the status of your case?" killed me.
-Next time on The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Peter and Marlo come aboard the crazy train, plus Kandi talks about the infamous black baby comment she made about Kim.