‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Recap: Kenya Moore and Phaedra Parks Are Both Working on Their Fitness

Kenya Moore

I imagine what it must have been like to sit on the veranda of a giant Georgia plantation while the war was on, being fought so far away. The woman just sweltered there in their giant hoop skirts, drinking their sweet tea brought by maids that would soon be emancipated. They would just sit there with nothing else to do and worry and fret and fan themselves and think about all the balls they were missing. Then they would hear the slow clomping of a cart, the mules ambling down the path and they could hear it before they could really see it — before they could make out that shape. It could be just another merchant coming to sell them some wares or it could be a Union soldier waiting to set the whole house on fire. It could be anything. They couldn’t know. They just sat there on that porch immobilized by the weather, waiting to see how it was all going to turn out.

That’s how I felt watching the Real Fainting Couches of Vapor Manor last night. It just seemed like so much rehashed drama and so much waiting. I had a hard time caring about any of it, really. First of all we had to deal with Act II of Kernya Moo-ah’s freak out about Walter being at Kandi’s party which, seriously, was so ridiculous and overblown that I wanted to just find her and punch her square in her head. She’s all “Walter is stalking me and I need to leave immediately and I’m going to run over these cars if you don’t move them.” Oh, come on. Walter is many things – a dog, goofy, poorly-dressed, plenty sad, in need of a new face that doesn’t make him look like he’s happy he just took a dump in his drawers – but he is not dangerous. He’s not going to hurt anyone.

The hero in this story is Don Juan, Kandi’s assistant, who was so calm and level-headed during the whole debacle while, as politely as possible, telling Kernya that she needs to calm the heck down and deal with it and take a deep breath and an even deeper gulp of rosé and let the whole thing just blow over. He should have punched her in the head though.

Portia Stewart

Now onto Portia Stewart, who would be really funny as a sad little ditzy girl in the movie Cars. She would be like a pink sports car with big eyelashes who can never figure out how to put herself in gear because girls don’t know how to drive and are dumb. She’s just sort of stuck in one place being ordered around by a really mean driver who thinks he knows what’s right for her, but really grinds her gears when he drives her. But she is afraid to say anything, because having a shitty driver is better than having no driver at all.

I’m not sure how to segue that comparison into a paragraph about Portia going to therapy, so I’m just going to go there and bring you along with me. She’s in therapy and we got to see it. Of all the crappy things that happen on reality TV, I think the worst is stars who bring us into their therapy sessions. First of all, I am skeptical of any psychological professional who would do such a thing. Secondly, how much healing and honesty can there really be when there is a camera in there the whole time? I don’t think much. This is why LA Shrinks gives me the dry heaves. I don’t want to watch any show about psychologists on TV ever never.

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But Portia has some very real problems. Mostly she is not over the miscarriage she had a few months ago. Also, she’s having a hard time with the first year of her marriage — mostly, completely sublimating her will to her husband who is – well, you could say that he likes things a certain way, but let’s just say he’s controlling. Yes, he’s controlling. Also it doesn’t seem like he was very sympathetic that she lost her baby, or at least she feels like he was not supportive and that feeling has grown in her heart like a sunflower next to a compost heap and it won’t go away. She cries about it to her therapist and she says, “Um, you need to talk to your husband about this.” She’s going to bring him in next week for the season finale. Yup, this is going to go well.

Phaedra Parks

Speaking of other old news, the producers made it look like Phaedra and Kernya Moo-ah were both taping their respective exercise videos at the same exact time, but one was in L.A. and one was in a crappy sound stage in Atlanta. I’m sure this didn’t happen exactly as it was filmed but, well, it was more dramatic.

Also, there was an interesting shift in how these videos were shown. Kernya’s video has always been a joke and, even if it is the better video, it should continue to be a joke. Kernya Moo-ah has never had an original thought in her head, so she just stole the idea from Pheadra and then made it look like she had the idea all along on her own. Kernya was too busy thinking about what color highlights to get and how she was going to put too much foundation over her lumpy skin to think up an idea for a video.

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But, during the filming, it was Phaedra who got the brunt of the jokes while she made silly jokes and giggled and jumped around on one leg like she was circling a May Pole of death, and that the little children were circling her with chartreuse ribbons and enmeshed her in her green velvet body suit like she was Gulliver being tied to the ground by a tribe of miniature fitness buffs. It was like she was a hilarious amateur marching along like a soldier to the Battle of the Bulge, stammering and making all sorts of mistakes. Apollo, whose finer attributes were really highlighted in his loose athletic shorts, stumbled too, not knowing his lines and making some serious flubs. But, really, that happens on every video, on every set. That’s why they have multiple takes. That’s what we do with editing, children. 

Speaking of editing, Kernya was shown as the consummate professional. She knows what to call cameras and how to say “last looks.” She play acts that she’s a movie star and part of that acting is knowing all the terms. She is just dropping words like “boom” and “best boy” and “grip” and “booty isolation” to make it look like she went to the New York Film Academy and bought herself entré into the world of the cinema. But really, this was just some 99 Cent Store set on some dusty back lot in Atlanta (actually, it was probably in the burbs somewhere). But, no, we’re supposed to think that Kernya has the better video, but I will never think that. She will always be a copy cat and an also ran and no matter how many overhead shots she asks for, I’m still going to make her the butt of my jokes about booty videos.

Speaking of the ladies getting to business, Kandi had a meeting with all of the reps who were going to be selling her Bedroom Kandi line at naughty Tupperwear parties across the nation. They all flew in just to hear their motivational speaker give them pointers on how to sell her wares to other women at intimate gatherings open-plan living rooms large and small while the kids are away at the sitter’s. She was so moved by all the support that she got up on stage and she cried. She cried right there and told them all they were going to make millions together and I was really moved and inspired and I was so proud of our Kandi for doing something for the good of humanity and to make herself rich rich rich rich rich. Then I remember that it was all about dildos and, well, it just all seemed different.

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Then Kandi lounged in bed with her man Sean and talked about marriage and her mother moving in and pre-nups and it was all nice and sweet and dandy and there is probably going to be a wedding next season. Or maybe there will be a wedding on The Kandi Factory, coming soon to a TV near you.

NeNe Leakes

Speaking of marriage, NeNe Leakes is getting married again. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m having a hard time getting invested in NeNe Leakes this season. Maybe it’s because she’s just out of the game too much and whenever she is with the other housewives she’s talking about herself rather than the drama that surrounds them. Maybe it’s because she finally has success and is living a good, full life which is just inherently more boring than falling apart and facing your demons (that’s why there is no reality show called Wonderful Happy Times with the Lewis Family). Maybe it’s because NeNe has just lost her spark. Whatever it is, I’m just not feeling it.

But last night it was a nice scene when her ex-husband Gregg, always quick with a pun, a rhyme, or a groaner of a joke that is so bad that it makes you smile, tried to get down on one knee to propose and NeNe said yes. “I’d get down on one knee,” he told her, “but I’m gonna need someone to help me back up.” And NeNe laughed that infections laugh of hers that ends in a guttural stifle.

Yes, NeNe laughed and she thought about the future. She thought about her show being renewed and going on for seasons and seasons and into syndication and living off that money in L.A. forever. She thought about qutting the show she was on with the petty sniping and griping and moving on to her real dreams. She thought about her son Bryson going to a good school and making something of himself, of being something boring and lucrative like a dentist or an accountant. She thought of her granddaughter Brie’Asia who could come to live with her and she would put her through private school in Bel Aire and she would be one of those awful spoiled children or rich people who only wears designer clothes and has one of those sweet 16 parties that you see on MTV and everyone at home thinks, “God, I want to kill that bitch but isn’t she lucky.” She thinks about it all as she stares into Gregg’s eyes over the flowers he bought for just this occassion and she thinks, in that second that it’s all going to be great. She thinks that this is the best it’s going to get and it’s going to stay like this forever. And then, on that abandoned veranda behind an Italian restaurant in L.A., the wind picks up and extinguishes the candles that had been providing just the perfect glow.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan

[Photo Credit: Bravo]

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