Nene Leakes' tag line for season seven of The Real Housewives of Atlanta is, "Why be so nasty and so rude when I can be so fierce and so successful?" It's supposed to be rhetorical but in fact has the following answer: Because she LOVES to be so nasty and so rude!
During a spa day that Kandi planned to give the much-beleaguered Phaedra a little R&R, the subject of Kenya eventually came up. Kind-hearted Kandi, of course, thinks that everyone should cut Kenya at least a tiny break, given Apollo's admission that he lied about Kenya trying to get in his pants. It is at this point that Nene says that Kenya is not a truthful person, and posits the theory that Apollo lied about lying.
WHAT?!?!? Kandi asks, "So even though he said it was a lie, we're still supposed to look at her with a scarlet letter on her forehead?" (Which, apparently Kenya isn't the only member of this cast to have read the classics!) Nene's response? "Yeah." !!!!!!! I never thought I'd say this, but: Poor Kenya. That's just…well…so nasty and so rude. Kandi nails it in saying that the other ladies just don't like Kenya, and will cut her zero breaks.
So Kandi takes it upon herself, during a kickboxing class, to (as kindly as possible) disabuse Kenya of the notion that the other ladies will actually treat her differently now. And when faced with the theory that Apollo was lying about lying, Kenya freaks out and gets quite upset. Or, "upset." Kenya's tears look fairly genuine, but then she goes a little far in pushing the camera away when it follows her into the bathroom, and so it's possible that she just took acting lessons during the off-season and THAT'S where her sudden knowledge of Shakespeare comes from.
Kenya thinks that the ladies are evil which, as we can agree, may have some merit in specific cases. And she has some words for Nene: "Stop being so goddamned bothered by me." I can only imagine the offense Nene will take at the idea that she stop being bothered by anything! This includes Cynthia, for whom Nene says she has no hate (HA!) but with whom she will never be friends again. Quoth Kandi, "Y'all had a friendship contract. I mean literally." And so Nene delights in Porsha's tales of her confrontation with Cynthia, in which she claims that Cynthia was all botoxed up so as not to show emotion (at least she doesn't call her grandma, I suppose) and did a "robot read." Robot or not, when Phaedra learns that Cynthia called Porsha a mini-Nene with a longer face, she has to acknowledge, "Now that's a read."
Speaking of Porsha, new cast member Claudia Jordan is having her own issues with her co-worker, who was nice to her for two days and then turned—it must be said!—so nasty and so rude. And we actually see Porsha and Claudia interact at work, when Claudia tries her best to make chipper small talk. In response, Porsha just puts on another coat of lip gloss. And if you can't find a nice word to spare on Paternity Test Tuesday, what hope is there?
After talking it over with Cynthia and Kenya while shoe shopping (a trip during which Claudia also acknowledges that she has "struggle toes" and thus continues to make me love her), Claudia decides to invite Porsha to lunch in hopes of working it out. Kenya thinks it's worth a try, though does question the potential outcome when an idiot and non-idiot sit down to talk. And so, in response to Claudia's mature explanation of her concerns, we see Porsha mostly talking about scented lotions. Claudia does make a major misstep in wondering aloud if Porsha would ever be open to sitting down with Kenya, to which Porsha quite vehemently notes that her relationship with Kenya is none of Claudia's business. And if a mug shot (even a very glamorous one) is involved, I have to agree that any efforts to play peacekeeper are rather misguided. That's just basic Real Housewives etiquacy.
So, I am as relieved as anyone that we've seen less of Mama Joyce this season and that she's been less crazy COMPARATIVELY and doesn't seem to have such a laser-focus on ruining Kandi's life. However, without her Kandi doesn't have all that much of a storyline. And so we are treated to some Kandi Koated problems, in which both Todd and Kandi wonder why Kandi has so many people on her payroll, but so little is getting done. And didn't Carmon quit either last season or during Kandi's Wedding? In any case, she's back, apparently still being terrible at her job.
The real tension now is between Todd and Kandi's manager, Don Juan. Todd thinks that Don Juan needs to be better at delegating, Don Juan thinks that Todd needs to mind his Kandi-Koated business. He posits that Todd is getting in Kandi's ear and causing their professional dynamic to change, when Don Juan has been ride or die for Kandi for ages. Don Juan gives the SHADIEST interview, in which he a) touts Kandi's historical success and then posits, "And Todd Tucker's resume reads…what? I'll wait on it." b) says he's happy to work with Todd as long as Todd gives him the respect he deserves, and also stands on a step stool so he can look Don Juan in the eye. To Don Juan's credit, Todd thinks that one of the team's failings is not having Kandi do anything with President Obama, like she was going to deliver a basket of sex toys to the White House or something.
And finally, Apollo meets Peter for a drink, and they talk about how Phaedra often visited Apollo when he was fresh out of prison, sleeping on an air mattress, and couldn't go anywhere due to his ankle monitor. Phaedra at one time was REALLY hot for Apollo, is what we are to gather. Newsflash: those days are gone. And it's no wonder given that, after Peter mentions that he recently saw Kenya and she didn't seem bitter about Apollo's enduring lies about her whoredom, Apollo wonders if Kenya's going to come and see him in prison. This is too much even for Peter, who offers to send Apollo some magazines.
In related news, please enjoy this photo of Ayden and the puppy that will take the place of his estranged jailed father.
Next time: Everyone gets together for dinner, which gives Nene multiple opportunities to be so nasty and so rude to her heart's content.