If nothing else, Kandi's Wedding provides a format for Momma Joyce to clear up a few misconceptions. For example, she doesn't dislike Todd or his mother! On the contrary, she thinks very highly of her future in-law as evidenced by her generous and emphatic declaration that, "There's a lot of nice hoes."
So, yes, as the title would suggest, The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Kandi's Wedding is a Housewives wedding spin-off. This time there's a twist: It features someone whose happiness we actually care about! (Sorry, Nene! Sorry, Wig!)
And we all love Kandi, right? She manages to be interesting yet never abhorrent, and that's something that's rare and notable for a Real Housewife. And while The Real Housewives of Atlanta Presents The Crunk Adventures of Momma Joyce is enjoyable on the one hand, because old ladies throwing shoes, it's also been pretty painful to watch. Kandi just wants to have family dinners where her mom doesn't accuse her fiancé of being a no-good grifter! Is that so wrong? (Side note: if Todd turns out to be a scrub, I will personally find and grievously harm him. You in?)
While I would never expect Kandi to be a bridezilla, she does get a little crazy when she wants her team (featuring long-time assistant/friend/Momma Joyce shoe receptacle Carmon, manager Don Juan, and production coordinator Johnnie) to plan a Coming to America-themed wedding in five weeks. The five weeks part has something to do with the fact that the date 4-4-14 is memorable, and probably a lot to do with the filming schedule of this very show. The Coming to America part is because she and Todd met in Africa, and also an excuse for her to have an elephant walk her down the aisle. The Carmon/Don Juan/Johnnie part is because she wants to save money on a wedding planner, which I'm sure will turn out great.
Happily for us, Aunts Nora and Bertha—known for being accessories in the great bridal shop shoe incident of 2014!—are apparently going to be regular cast members on this series. They, along with Kandi's cousin Weenie (Weenie!) all get together to talk wedding. First Aunt Bertha shares her special recipe for ghetto punch (pineapple juice, ginger ale, sugar), and then both Aunt Nora and Aunt Bertha apologize for their earlier Todd-bashing behavior. They want Kandi to be happy, and if Todd makes her happy, they're on board. I'm sure their paychecks for this show primed the pump on that one. But whatever works!
Aunt Nora is definitely the more sincere of the two on this matter, and even goes so far as to say that Todd's mom is fun. Aunt Bertha's collection of faces in response is the greatest (this lady is a star!) and her final word on the matter is, "The woman talk too murch." Actually, her final word on the matter is that she'll leave the wedding if seated next to Todd's mom.
Everyone gets emotional as they agree on their mission: to get Momma Joyce to embrace Todd. Maybe first get Momma Joyce to embrace a mood stabilizer?
Kandi then meets with designer Reco Chapple about her wedding dress. Her friend/bridesmaid Tan and stylist/bridesman Kwame are on hand to remind Kandi that the last dress that Reco put her in made her look like Smurfette, and also, when it comes to Reco's current sketches, "That shit don't look right." But Reco offers to do the dress for free, and thus gets the job. Kandi didn't get money for Todd to steal by NOT accepting free things. Incidentally, Carmon is MIA for this meeting, and Kandi wonders what's up.
So what's Todd doing during all of this, you may ask? Well, first he makes Kandi a really great looking omelet and serves it to her in bed (forget the prenup, I say!), and then he stops by to see how wedding planning is going. Carmon has had no luck finding scrolls for wedding invitations, as Kandi requested, and offers to either send an evite or get something from Party City. This DOES lead me to think that maybe she's not all that great at her job. Johnnie is not faring much better. Though he's planned weddings before, they've been more of the "collard greens and chicken wings" variety, and he's overwhelmed by the big Kandi wedding.
Todd notes that these two are getting paychecks, and need to do their jobs. Carmon doesn't take kindly for his editorializing, and tells Todd that he has no role in her performance evaluation. Then there's lots of bleeping, and Carmon walks out. I'm sure Momma Joyce is reading this as their attempt to cover up their alleged affair. And if that is indeed the case: Well played.
And THEN it's the scene we've all been waiting for! Aunt Nora and Aunt Bertha meet with Momma Joyce for lunch and fill her in on their earlier conversation with Kandi and Weenie. Momma Joyce acts like she doesn't know there's still going to be a wedding, which, please. You're getting paychecks from a show called Kandi's Wedding! Then there's an interlude where the three actually order food, which is a thing that I could watch forever! Just they way they ask for peach tea and baked chicken breasts is magical!
Momma Joyce talks about all the misconceptions people have about her. For example, she LIKES Todd! Hate the game and not the player, she says, and what can you expect when Todd was taught by the best? Yes, she then says, "Daddy was a pimp. Mama was a ho." She is literally saying that Todd's mom was a prostitute! A thing that she will continue to say in a separate scene with Kandi mere minutes from this one!
Momma Joyce also thinks Todd does not have Kandi's best interests at heart, because he's allowed her to gain weight. And I'm just going to let Aunt Nora take this one. "Look at Oprah! She big! And she successful!" One excellent piece of news from this scene is that Aunt Bertha plans to get trashed at the wedding, which, I can't wait.
The other big drama involves Carmon, who disappeared for three days and then shows up at Kandi's place acting weird. She recounts the situation with Todd, who told Carmon that she makes Kandi feel negative and also probably isn't very good at her job. And at first I thought this was a made-for-TV bit of conflict, but then Kandi and Carmon both start crying and arguing for-real for-real. Poor Kandi!
So, apparently Carmon hasn't embraced the notoriety that comes with being the person Momma Joyce almost clocked with a shoe, and also is emphatically not a wedding planner. And it gets weird to be on your friend's payroll, because sometimes you can't say what you want to say without losing your job. (Hopefully that thing is not, "I actually DID have an affair with Todd.") They both agree that to save their 20-year friendship, it might be best if Carmon stops being Kandi's employee. Now when Carmon doesn't respond to Kandi's messages, it will JUST be personal shade instead of professional incompetence. So that's good, I guess? Except that Kandi looks SO HURT. Why can't anything be easy for her?
This season: Everything is a lead-up to the showdown between Momma Joyce and Todd's mom! "You got the wrong one now, bitch!"