Posted Sunday, November 5, 2017 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
After nearly a decade, viewers know what to expect on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta": a little self promotion (Kandi's restaurant!), a big life event to gossip about (Kenya got married in secret?) and a party to force everyone together (Cynthia's 50th birthday... again!)
There is also residual pain from last season to address. That means Kandi Burruss is keeping her distance from Porsha Williams, who had spread lies about her courtesy of the now eliminated Phaedra Parks, who returns in black-and-white flashbacks like a nasty ghoul.
Let's quickly review everyone on the cast and their status as of this episode:
NeNe is back on the show full time for the first time since season 7. With her Hollywood gigs gone, she certainly needs the work. (Recent controversies have not helped her image either.) She appears to be going fine with her husband Gregg so she is ready to get back in it with the other ladies. Her friendship with Cynthia Bailey appears to be reasonable repaired. She's the first one who NeNe is featured with on camera. Her skepticism about Kenya Moore's marriage, though, means that even if they hug, you know there will be tension there. But this episode featured her issues with Porsha, who is angry that NeNe told Andy Cohen in May that Porsha shouldn't even be on the show. NeNe's a vet. She knows how to stir the RHOA pot when she's even semi-engaged. (She was somewhat checked out season six and seven when her scripted work in Hollywood started happening.)
Porsha only had Phaedra as a friend on the show last year. Now she has no one. She even admits that she can't trust anybody except her family. The only person who contacted her after that painful reunion episode was Sheree Whitfield. And as mentioned earlier, she was upset by NeNe's unkind comments about her. She desperately needs a boyfriend or a juicier story line to help guarantee a season 11 spot.
Kandi is still smarting over last season. She has even talked about almost quitting. But she's around to promote her new OLG restaurant. And she has chosen not to engage with Porsha. It helps she has a spin-off show that came on right after "RHOA": "Xscape Still Kickin' It."
With Bob out of the picture, Sheree is due for a boyfriend and she apparently has one now. But in this episode, she is merely there to play mediator between NeNe and Porsha, trying to force them to talk and "work things out." Whatever that means. In the real world, NeNe and Porsha would have nothing to do with each other.
Cynthia is now single but still attached to her ex-husband Peter Thomas. She even asked him to come to her 50th birthday party, which was basically an "RHOA" contrivance. She had the other women dress up like her, an amusing theme. Later this season. she will start dating.
Kenya got hitched to Marc Daly, a restaurateur from New York City in a surprise wedding in the spring. Bravo couldn't have been happy about not having cameras there. Marc clearly does not want to be on the show and she only mentioned his name (reluctantly) partway through the episode. Some of the women were annoyed that Kenya didn't invite them to the wedding. Then again, she didn't really invite anybody of note, not even her father. NeNe, of course, isn't even sure she is really married given her history of concocting boyfriends.