Last season (or was it the one before?), I officially quit Real Housewives of Atlanta. I was already pretty much done due to the painfully lousy season before, but decided to give it a shot anyway ... let's blame it on the plannedemic. But following one terrible episode after another, I was officially done, and even removed it from my DVR's "series manager". But to quote Michael Corleone in Godfather Part III, "Every time I think I'm out, they puuull me back in!". So here I am. I know I'm going to regret it, but here goes.
In the very first scene, we are reminded that Kenya joined (the recently demoted to streaming only) Dancing with the Stars. Kenya is rehearsing with her partner Brandon, from DWTS. It appears he has come to her, and is presumably living with her in Atlanta so they can spend every waking moment of their time rehearsing.
Kandi and Marlo pay her a visit, and already I'm thinking, why the hell would Marlo be paying Kenya a social call? Because Marlo has finally been given a peach. This is one of those situations where the HW series in general really needs to just break down the fourth wall once and for all (at least for their confessionals). Marlo is excited about the surgery that she had done on her edges, but the conversation quickly turns to Kenya's attraction to Brandon. Kenya gushes, and says she love's his personality and they just click. But the whole thing seems rather pointless, especially already knowing that Kenya gets booted from DWTS.
On and off series regular, Sheree Whitfield, is back and joins the ladies. Of course her presence makes even less sense than Marlo's, but I may as well stop trying to make sense of it and just roll with it. Sheree tells us that she and Kenya are on good terms because Brooklyn has changed her (for the better). We also find out that her incarcerated boo, Tyrone, has been sprung, but he's not allowed in Atlanta, so she travels a few times a month to see him at some halfway house in Philly; however, she's holding out on being intimate with him until she finds out "who he is". Apparently, doing time for stealing $5M from "investors" isn't enough information. Later on in the season, we see Sheree cavorting with Phaedra Parks' ex, Apollo, so apparently Sheree has some sort of thing for felons.
As the conversation about sex continues, Kenya tells the ladies that she and Marc are "completely" over, and that includes the sex part, although it is hard for me to fathom them ever being intimate. In true Jason Hoppy fashion, Marc is dragging out the divorce, presumably holding out for a better $ettlement. Kandi admits that she and Todd are not "hitting it" like they used to, because they are both usually just too tired. Marlo cautions each of the ladies on "taking care of their mens"; stressing that if they don't, some other ho' WILL. Of course Marlo would know, and besides, when a professional offers free advice, you take it. BTW, we also find Marlo is still taking care of her nephews Micheal and William, while their mother is in prison.
We also get reacquainted with Drew Sidora, who is back for a second season. She and her serial cheating hubby, Ralph, meet up with new cast mate, Sanya Richards-Ross, and her husband, Aaron Ross at a gym. Drew and Sanya supposedly met through a mutual acquaintance and immediately hit off, yadda yadda. Sanya is an Olympic gold medalist, and Aaron is a former NFL player for the NY Giants. Sanya is Jamaican born and introduces us to her parents who are apparently staying with her. Her dad looks like a "cleaner" version of Bob Marley, and the mother is "articulate", but they both require subtitles when they speak.
At the gym, Drew takes Sanya aside, and tells her that she's concerned about Ralph’s fidelity (again), and then proceeds to read a text message of a woman telling Ralph she should have come to the house and given him a
hand job and BJ massage. More on that later.
Marlo sends all the women an invite to her event launching her new business via a woman dressed up in one of Le'Archive's costumes and carrying an iPad which plays a personal video invite from Marlo. All of the women make fun of it, but I think it was actually pretty cute.
Drew is working on a new business as well, a weight loss program and meal plan called "Drop It With Drew". She invites Sanya and Kandi over to taste some of the sample meals that her personal chef has been working on. Again, it is ridiculous to think that legitimate multiple business owner, actress, and new mom, Kandi Burruss, would have the time to sit around Drew Sidora's kitchen sampling her food is ridiculous. Then to make Sanya's existence on the show seem a little more plausible, Kandi tells us that she and Sanya used to have the same hairstylist, and have hung out before. Again, whatevs
Drew tells Kandi and Sanya she lost 25 pounds, and while she was having some kind of required medical procedure, decided to undergo a little "mommy makeover" as well. She tells Sanya and Kandi that because of her diet plan, she has already lost 25. lbs. However, Kandi and Sanya ain't buying it, and apparently neither are the producers who then flash a shady as F before and after image of Drew on the screen which clearly shows no weight loss whatsoever.
When the conversation about Ralph’s afforementioned text message involving his assistant who wanted "massage" him comes up, Drew says he fired her after she expressed her concerns. Right on cue, Ralph walks in to join the conversation. He says that the assistant originally offered to connect him with a massage therapist when he was having back issues. Then she later said she should have come over and given him the message herself. Ralph didn’t make it better when he responded he’ll remember that for the “next time.” Kandi has no problem telling Ralph he was wrong. To Ralph's credit, he did fire the assistant, but these two have about as much chance of making it as the Darby's, Beadors, Armstrongs, and about a dozen other couples who seem to join the Real HW series just to break up.
It’s the night of Marlo’s Le’Archive event. J-Lo’s famous jungle print Versace dress is on display, along with an array of mannequins wearing similar iconic getups. All the ladies are accounted for, including Kenya who was just cut from DWTS. Although she hasn't brought a marching band this time, Kenya begins the evening shade by criticizing everything about the event, from the unorganization feel to the (lack of) food. Drew wants to have a redo with Kenya (after last season where they clashed) so she pulls Kenya aside and tells her she did great on “Dancing With the Stars.”. Kenya eats it up and seems open to starting over because their issues were never that serious.
With nephews on each arm, Marlo finally makes her Le'Entrance, and immediately finds herself having to not only explain the concept of Le'Archive. She explains to the ladies that she owns all the pieces, rents them out to people in the industry. Then in a confessional, she tells US that she spent $40K on the event which will easily net her $120K from this exposure alone. She's taken aback at the lady's lack of support and politely excuses herself. But Kenya and Kandi aren't done and continue to throw shade to the other ladies in Marlo's absence. They have (valid) questions about how Marlo makes money. Kandi acknowledges that Marlo did "date" a billionaire, but that was 10 years ago. Kenja then chimes in, suggesting that maybe Marlo makes money by going out on dates with men; however is quick to point out that she's NOT suggesting that any sex is involved. Thus bone collecting begins.
Sanya and Sheree immediately rush over tell Marlo how Kenya is trashing her. Marlo says she isn’t surprised seeing how shady Kenya was at her wig launch event, adding that the first time Kenya appeared on the show, she had a white refrigerator in her kitchen and was driving a rented Range Rover. So Marlo confronts Kenya, Kandi, and Drew for their comments. Kandi says they were ALL being critical, including Sanya and Sheree. Marlo thinks she is just being hated on by the women, and then calls out Drew on her French roll do.
All in all, I didn't hate this first episode, and I have to say, the season looks promising. Giving Marlo a peach appears to be paying off already (as I knew it would), and when you factor in some Krazy Kenya, I don't know how it can fail.
UPDATE: Ratings for the premier were around 920K, which are respectable for most reality TV shows, but the lowest in RHOA's history (especially given the coveted Sunday night timeslot. Yikes.