This was posted Monday, November 7, 2016 by Rodney Ho on the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
"The Real Housewives" franchise may have been the original in this genre, but Bravo has had success with other similar type shows. The Atlanta-based "Married to Medicine," despite reaching only about a third of the audience of the "Real Housewives of Atlanta," still draws enough audience to merit a fourth season, which returned last night.
The ladies are a mix of actual doctors and wives of doctors. They returned last night debating Lisa Nicole Cloud's desire to have a baby at age 43. There are skeptics. And Quad Webb Lunceford and Lisa hugged it out after last year's violent interaction.
I spoke with a four of the seven cast members (Dr. Heavenly, Lisa, Quad, Toya) before the debut. Here are some highlights:
Dr. Heavenly Kimes (the dentist)
Shifting friendships: "We had turmoil as always. Myself, I kind of lost a friend this season. I feel bad about it. Me and Lisa had some issues. Hopefully,we can work them out."
Why Lisa clashes so often with the other ladies: "I think Lisa doesn't come to own a lot of things she does. That's why she has so much conflict within the group. She needs to see someone. I don't even know if she gets what she does. I hate to say this but I think she's been brainwashed by her business. (She's in multi-level marketing.) They do chants and quotes. It's not right. Everyone can see that."
Work-life balance: "I'm a doctor. My husband is a doctor. I went to school a long time. But my family comes first. I have to make it work. It's a continuous thing."
Her dating app: "We've had to revamp it. Every time Apple makes changes, we have to do an update. It's been challenging. We're working on it. There is still a lot of interest in it."
A newcomer, who is recurring (Genise, a fitness model): "I think she's transitioning very well. We had a little tension with her. She's understanding herself a little bit better. She's falling into place."
The show "uplifts": "I'm not throwing shade at other shows but we are really married with families. I think it's been positive how we uplift people. You're a doctor. I can be a doctor too! Everyone relates to different things on the show."
The "drama": "It has to be edited with drama. Its a Catch 22. The things we go through are real. You have to have some element of surprise or drama for people to watch."
Reading into Lisa's need for a baby at age 44: On the show, she said she's "too damn old to have a baby" and told her so. To me, she said she wonders if Lisa is doing this to save her marriage, a terrible move if true. "I'm the type of the person to tell the truth and give you tough love. I want the truth when people tell me. Some people can't handle the truth."
On owing $170,000 in taxes: She said they gave right of attorney to their accountant, who didn't do his job. "He took advantage of our ignorance. We should have been a lot more aggressive and make sure he was doing everything by the book. We should have read more. [Her husband] went to school for medicine. I went to school for administration. I never thought anyone would do that to a couple. He would send us paperwork. We did not do a lot of reading. He was filing way late and piled up late fees."
On Lisa and the fight she started with Quad: "We have always tried to make Lisa feel better with the situation. Even though we had her back, it doesn't always get returned."
On her friend Jill [on the show last season] getting arrested for domestic violence : "You have to be careful when you come in front of a camera. A lot of personal things are exposed. It's a terrible thing when your past comes to haunt you. I spoke to her two weeks ago. She's back with her kids. She and her husband went through a divorce. She now has joint custody."
Why she and her husband are so tight: "We live and learn. We argue a lot. We have great communication skills. We put it out there. We talk about everything. Once we talk about it, we let it go. We have learned from watching other relationships and our parents. It's way more important to talk about it and deal with it."
How she has grown since season one: "I actually feel more confident in myself. Initially season one, I worried a lot. I worried about what the public would say, what my husband would say, what my family would say. Now I just realized. I'm 40 years old. This season, I'm happy. I'm in a place where I love me. I don't want to change me. I'm not going backwards. I'm not retreating."
Can Mariah come back into the fold? "She will try to mend some relationships that should have been mended a long time ago. She told me not too long ago that this show started with her and will end with her. I thought it was very sad. She wasn't around last season. Did it end then? Mariah loves Mariah. She doesn't understand when others do not."
She won't be playing nice this season: "I have a voice. I'm not wavering. I stood out a lot more... I really feel like I stepped up this season. I'm patting myself on the back."
Quad Webb Lunceford
Why is stays on the show: "I think people definitely want to see me in this capacity. I’m very relatable. Many people have inboxed me, emailed me to say how inspiring I've been for them in terms of them wanting to achieve their goals. For me it's been a perfect fit. It hasn't always been easy but it has been a good fit for me."
Her altercation last season with Lisa: "That was horrible. Even then, I hated that that had to happen. This was viewed globally, not just nationally. That was the harsh reality of reality TV. I am not an advocate of that... I always look for a good tongue tussle every day, all day. At no point should women ever put hands on someone like that or utilize a glass as a weapon. [Lisa threw a drink at Quad to start the fight.] The glass could have shattered and gotten in my eye. It's threatening behavior. That was last year. We don't dwell on it. There's still tension of course... I just want to move on. She's going to get what's coming to her. I can tell you."
Psycho-analyzing Lisa: "Her image means so much to her. For her to come out of character was her lowest point. I don't want to continue to persecute a person for their worst moment. She knows what she did was wrong. It tarnished her image."
Did tax issues humble Toya? "Toya has grown slightly. Any little bit is a lot. She loves her things. She loves expensive clothes and cars and these monstrosity of homes. We're going to try to move the needle toward coming down to earth. But [the tax problems] didn't humble her too much. She's already posting big homes on her Instagram. She was probably a little embarrassed early on. I do like that she's taken responsibility and is paying her taxes."
How she deals with the other women: "After awhile, you either learn to love each other or you don't deal with each other. Currently, we have actually learned to love each other for the most part. Let me tell you: Dr. Jackie and Simone and Heavenly, myself, Toya. we really spend time outside of 'Married to Medicine.' We have personal relationships. It's real. We hang out and have our families get together." [Lisa and Mariah? Not so much.]
Lisa Nicole Cloud
Hard to believe but... "this season is worse than last season. I thought about not coming back. I really did. But my personality is not to quit. I always try to finish what I start. That is what brings me back. When the season wrapped, I just jumped headfirst into my other businesses I stay very focused on things that really matter like building my clothing line. We're looking at some department stores. And then I have the "WEN" conference . I started a marriage and relationship conference. It's a lot to have to keep me focused on what matters, not the nonsense."
How's her marriage going? "Last season was very challenging as it related to Daren and me. Communication was a challenge. After the season wrapped, we spent a lot of time counseling and really figuring out how to effectively communicate. We came into this season in a really good place. Counseling is like maintenance, You have to do it. Marriage is not easy. Marriage requires a lot of work and commitment.
Why a third child? "I always wanted a big family. I got so into my career and building my companies. Of course, I have two beautiful children. But my babies are not babies anymore. They're growing up. DJ's about to be a teenager. Amira is coming into her preteens. Where did the time go? This week, I celebrate my 44th birthday. I'm not getting any younger. If there's something I really want to have to make time, it's that."
A party to declare her baby desires? "The theme was love and life and celebrating life. That was the theme of the party. One of my life's goals is having another baby. You're going to be amazed by the reaction and response to me wanting a child. I would never have though that would have been the case. [Indeed, a lot of her castmates recommended she not try for health and age reasons.]
On Quad: "We have a cordial relationship. I don't have any hard feelings. I said it at the reunion. I don't hold on to negative pasts. I apologized. My apology was sincere. I'm moving forward. I think Quad is in the same place. We would never be close friends."
Friendships: "There have been some shifts in friendships this season. The ones I was closest to last year are not necessarily the case this year. I can't really put a finger what caused the shift or why. You're going to have to watch the season. It's going to be a whirlwind of emotions between me and the ladies."
She doesn't socialize off season: "I'm busy with my businesses. Some of the women take it personally. They think I'm only a friend at certain times. It has nothing to do with that. I'm just juggling and wearing a lot of hats."
Who did she connect with? Mariah! "I really didn't give that friendship a fair shot in the beginning. I was new. I came to the table kind of knowing Quad a little better than Mariah... She's a big personality. Some people love her. Some people hate her. At the end of the day, that's what you got to love about her. She's just who she is. I think people just need to accept others as we are, not try to change anyone. Just love each other. That is what sisterhood is about."
"Married to Medicine," 9 p.m. Sundays, Bravo