Anyone who thinks that Noelle Thomas is going to end up as “one of those fast girls hanging out at the mall looking for boys” is just wrong, in my opinion. Tonight on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” we open to former homecoming queen Cynthia fretting as her beloved Noelle plans for her first homecoming dance and the scene is priceless. There is a lot of joking and laughing (and more of Cynthia’s understandable handwringing) when Kenya arrives and joins the pair. Kenya is excited about sharing her tips with 15-year old Noelle and excited to tell a shocked Cynthia she has a “big comedy role” in “Life Twirls On.” Noelle is thrilled about the dance and models her wardrobe choices for her mother and Kenya. Both choices are modest and tasteful.
Noelle gives a hair flip and “model face” when asked to show how she plans to enter the dance. Cynthia and Kenya are amused and then Kenya offers to show Noelle how to make an entrance – shoulders back, cool stare as she glides into the room. It’s easy to see what made Kenya a pageant queen. In a talking head interview (TH), Cynthia reminds us that mama will teach Noelle how to walk, Kenya can teach her to twirl.
The Leakes family makes its way to historic Sardi’s restaurant to celebrate NeNe’s success and the move to the big city. Gregg tells his wife that her picture will one day end up on Sardi’s famed wall. NeNe is smart in at least one way that counts. Most pseudo-celebs have to hire a hype man. She married one. NeNe jokes (?) that she should talk to the owner before leaving since she should be up there now. Sure! Just as soon as one of the major award ceremonies adds a category for “Best Actress Playing Herself in Every Damned Role.” There are times when Gregg and NeNe are sweet together, and there are times when it feels as if they are living out some bat crap creepy version of “The Enchanted Cottage.” They have a french fry toast. The scene ends with NeNe using her best manners to devour her french fry: all-consuming and mouth fully open. It’s pretty much how she gets through each season, as well.
Kandi is planning a dinner with Todd to get things “back on track.” Her crew (Carmon, and Kwame, Kandi’s stylist) wants to know how they are already off track after six months of marriage. My guess is that scenes like this, where she confides too much to too many people outside her marriage, play a role. Part of “getting back on track” includes Kandi wearing… visual it, and then blame Kwame…a body hugging leopard print dress with a HUGE keyhole up front. Riley begs her to button it, because the top shows too much cleavage. There are no buttons.
Next, Phaedra talks about the trip to the Philippines and the cleansing spas, including the colonics and colemics, and all other kinds of “stuff up the butt” (oh, and she really said that). Her assistant finds every crass thing she says hilarious. She recalls the woman from the Philippines who lost her husband and realizes that her sons aren’t the only ones to lose a father. Her boys miss their dad. While still on what appears to be a “rehab my image” tour, which includes lemonade with Sarah Jakes and a make-up session in Manila (minus the acknowledgement that the lie was a lie), Phaedra decides to hold a men’s rally. She wants to reach out to youth in her community and encourage men to be better fathers. Showing her reach, she contacts a friend who works at the White House, David Johns. He’s happy to help out. I wonder if Mr. Johns will be taking phone calls after April 20th.
At dinner with the newlyweds: Todd is not happy to hear that Phaedra faults them for taking Apollo’s side. He doesn’t think that it’s right that children are separated from their father because she’s mad about her choice of mate. Kandi responds that his comments are exactly why Phaedra had trouble with them. They start arguing about not spending enough time together, not enough sex, etc. Todd wants to go home and get the job done. Kandi comments about anticipating the start of her period that night. I would have been ok if they saved that scene for the “lost footage” episodes I don’t watch. Todd responds they are always trying on the wrong night. When asked about whether he still wants a baby, Todd notes the difficulty with his schedule, and the tension with his mother-in-law. The man is in a no win situation.
His show (Hollywood Divas) was green-lit for a second season. He wants to build his own empire, which keeps him working and away from home – making Kandi unhappy. She wants him to spend more time at home – which would make him AND his mother-in-law unhappy since she would most likely call him a freeloader. Kandi feels that she can’t go with him and leave Riley for weeks at a time but is silent when he says she would do it if she was cast in a movie. I see a pattern developing, here.
Peter (tries to help) Cynthia work on her Jamaican accent. It is so unintentionally funny. Cynthia playfully states that “working for the heifer,” who is a self-admitted diva, means she has to “bring it” for the shoot. Later we’re on the set of “Life Twirls On” and if Peter had worked more on Cynthia’s accent, rather than grabbing her backside, I wouldn’t be cringing, right now. Cynthia wants to show that she is more than just a pretty face. Hey, go with your strengths. The shoot gets better, but I’ll have to reserve judgement for the final product. Kenya celebrates Cynthia’s performance while shooting the production, and in her TH.
At the “Save Our Sons” rally, the ladies all agree to serve food and end up wearing aprons with Phaedra’s name on them with S.O.S. underneath < — because it is all about the boys. Kandi is not there. She is at a fertility appointment with Todd. Phaedra is introduced as she walks out to the crowd accompanied by a marching band, again – because the event is all about the boys and their fathers. She carries Dylan and introduces him to the crowd (Aiden is with her parents).
The male presenters are impressive, including Judge Mathis and Jeff Johnson.
As the women gather, it’s Porsha who reminds everyone to think about the kids and keep everything positive. Just then, NeNe and Gregg arrive in the most pretentious way possible, stepping out of a chauffeur driven SUV, she in stiletto heels. Was she really planning to serve for hours in those things? As the mom of young black men, NeNe supports the event. She is only there to support Phaedra and then return to New York. Gregg is warm and friendly to the women. NeNe is standoffish.
As the women are serving food, Claudia brings up the session with Dr. Jeff. Asked if she liked their video, NeNe tells them she thought it was very phony. I don’t like that Claudia brought the session up, but GEEZ, why does NeNe have to be such a prig???? NeNe whines that she didn’t like being treated as the “captain of the ship of doing wrong” when they have all had their hands in the dirt. She neglects to acknowledge that she is the only person to have conflict with every other cast member, but hey, why let reality get in the way of a reality show?
Claudia and Cynthia, who should know by now that it is no use asking her to accept responsibility, keep pressing until NeNe walks out again, just as Kenya is walking in. The exchange is so heated that Kenya pulls Claudia back. NeNe talks about Claudia not really wanting to take it out in the streets… um, one word, MARLO! Nay-Nay ain’t that chick, either. She’s full of bluster. She knows that they’re all too grown to throw hands, but it doesn’t stop her from pretending, I guess. When Claudia confronts NeNe on always walking away, she tells Claudia that she’s not a friend and she is not important her. Sadly their voices carried into the outer room where the young people were sitting. Bad form, ladies, bad form.
It’s too bad this event was more about the ‘Housewives’ than the individuals it was meant to honor. In a TH, NeNe says that she doesn’t care to “ack” a “black fool” at the event even if the others do, and feels that there are too many women in the kitchen without sons who don’t care about the event. Porsha and Phaedra follow her out and revert back to jumping to NeNe’s defense while attacking the others. Is the season over, yet?
I’m an exasperated soap fan who keeps hanging on – waiting for the daytime I once loved to return to its former glory! Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a dream. I learned to love soaps thanks to my wonderful mother and grandmother. I’ll always have fond memories of daytime, most especially of ‘Another World’, my first stoap love. The ever great, but sadly defunct, daytime shows like Ryan’s Hope, Search for Tomorrow, The Doctors, Loving, and many others keep a special place in my heart, as well.