Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All The Real Sh*t's Goin' Down On Bravo!...

Last week Bravo's The Real Housewives of Atlanta aired its first season finale with a montage at the end that featured on-screen text announcing what each woman has been up to since the season finished taping. It was an odd choice for a show that I had assumed would be coming back sometime in mid-2009. After all, the other two Real Housewives programs cycle around, and when one end, the next begins, and so on. This time around, though, it looked like the season finale was actually the series finale. Add to that all of the drama that had been in the press about what really went down behind-the-scenes at the reunion special, and it certainly looked like certain doom-- or at least a lot of liability-- if these women were to get back in the same room all at the same time.

If you missed the finale, you can still catch it on bravotv.com, but basically each woman was put in her place when it came to her professional aspirations, as everyone from Dallas Austin to Mychael Knight told them that passion wasn't enough; they were going to have to put in a lot of hard work, too. Unfortunately, it appears the only hard work they have put in recently is in hating each other and spreading vicious rumors.

09:00 Andy Cohen introduces the ladies and says they are broadcasting from the historical Imperial Ballroom in downtown Atlanta. Already I think the setting is too fancy and too classy for the shenanigans that are about to go on, and I feel bad for the ghosts of galas past that must live in those walls. He wastes no time getting into the emails from fans on the website, though, and he flat out accuses Kim of not being the 29 she claims to be. Oh, this is going to be good! Andy can be just as bitchy as the rest of them, but Kim just laughs it off, saying that in some of the footage she did look ten years older. Um, try 20! She also laughs off her spelling of "kat."

09:01 Sheree talks seriously about the portrayal of these women as strong African American women because this is the first time Bravo has "allowed" African American women to represent the wealthy elite. Nene, though, didn't think about the referencing... nor did she think it would be so much drama.

09:02 Andy Cohen almost outs Anderson Cooper but instead just adds he has come out... "with his love for Nene." She tells Anderson to call her. BAM!

09:03 Montage of Nene, her arc, and her "isms." There is picture-in-picture the whole time of Nene watching herself, nodding along, pleased with how she came off.

09:04 Nene admits she has not had any contact with Curtis since learning the DNA results. She says she feels like he should reach out to her since she was the child in this situation, and she feels badly for her children because Curtis was the only grandfather they ever knew.

09:05 Nene has fun with a question about being an ex-stripper, saying she still strips every night for her husband. She also claims she's not a trash-talker because she simply "tells it like it is." Sheree disagrees.

09:05 Nene says she likes her boobs, and she doesn't think they sag. This was in response to something, but I don't remember what.

09:06 Kim's montage: big hair, big boobs, big spender. She doesn't look as comfortable watching how she is depicted. Maybe that is because everything revolves on her faults, from her smoking to her inability to carry a tune... and then there's all of the references to Big Papa, who she is no longer with. And on that note:

No one knows who Kim's "Big Papa" is, but there has been much speculation; considering his ease at getting Kim into the studio with Dallas Austin, it has been assumed he's a bigwig in the music industry, like Tommy Mottola or Quincy Jones, and Nene flat out accuses Kim of messing around with a married man (which again, could be either of those men), and for once Kim's claws don't come out, but she instead looks like she is about to cry. Her face falls, and she looks genuinely nervous that Nene is going to spill her big secret. That should teach her to confide in someone and then freeze them out of her life! In high school, when secrets don't get told, it may ruin adolescent relationships, but these women's high school antics can potentially ruin families. As much as I'm on the edge of my seat to finally find out just who "Big Papa" is, even I have to admit Nene is taking it one step too far.

09:08 Andy accuses Kim of cringing during her singing clip, and Kim says that everyone can hear for themself how good she is when her album "drops" in January. She is simply excited for where she is going.

09:08 Nene expresses her opinion that Kim cannot sing.

09:09 And the first bit of drama explodes. Kim announces Big Papa is still legally married, but he has been separated for a few years. Nene expresses her upset that he said she was bad news when he doesn't know anything about her, and it must be due to something Kim fabricated or exaggerated.

09:10 Poor Andy Cohen is visably nervous, leaning as far back in his chair as he can to escape Nene's finger which she is pointing in Kim's face and scooting off the edge of her own seat. Um, ladies, what happened to the very political "we're going to move past everything" and "Aunt Nene is always going to be Aunt Nene" declaration of the finale?

09:11 Kim announces there will be a next season! I guess all of the publicity garnered by the TMZ death threats paid off! And we may see Big Papa in it because they're "on again off again," and it was her decision to have him remain anonymous, but now she just wants to set the record straight. Nene begs to differ. Lisa decides it would be a good idea to sit on Nene to hold her back from jumping up and down Kim's throat, I guess, but really she just looks like one of those third wheel kids who is finally just happy to have a place in the group, even if it is simply to get in the middle of the other best friends' business.

09:12 First commercial break. I don't have a DVR so I use these three minutes to Google "Who is Big Papa on Real Housewives?" and the first entry that pops up is a blog that speculates he is real estate mogul Lee Rajjar. The evidence is lengthy (and damning); supposedly if you freeze-frame the video on Kim's cell phone, you can see various text messages from a "Lee," and one of them says "Miss U." Also, court records show that while he is legally married, he and his wife (ironically also named Kim) are estranged. Oh and supposedly he has a twenty-something son who is BFFs with Brody Jenner and has supplied his friends with lavish gifts like luxury cars, since he has a black card.

09:15 A viewer asks if Kim wears a weave, and she breaks down and says she got very sick about three years ago with cancer. She claims she didn't choose to walk around wearing a hairpiece-- but she doesn't deny that she wears one. Nene says she never heard any of this before, and Kim backpeddles and says she found out she did not actually have cancer. She had "some other stuff" going on-- that she doesn't want to talk about, mind you (I'm thinking syphilis!).

09:17 She's still smoking, though.

09:17 DeShawn's turn! She's so sweet and cute and non-confrontational. For some reason, they show in the picture-in-picture box for as long as they show DeShawn, and it's not long to begin with. I guess she isn't camera-savvy enough to know how to work the dramatic reactions.

09:19 They talk about DeShawn's husband and the "fatal flaw" in her charity event, and it's all what we've heard before in the interview section of the episodes, so sadly all I'm hoping for is another outburst.

09:20 Sheree is called out for blowing off DeShawn time and time again. She blames the fact that DeShawn was close with Nene for why she was so standoffish. She calls DeShawn out for not reaching out to her for the auction, too, and then she practically blames her cell phone for not getting messages. Please, this woman dropped $100,000 on a start-up of a clothing line that was sewed together with elastic; she sure as shit can afford a phone that works!

09:21 DeShawn doesn't know how much she spends on her staffing. She doesn't apologize for it, but she does get defensive about it.

09:22 Lisa might be a little drunk-- or just bitter about the lack of airtime she got during the season-- because she's screechy and posey as her montage rolls.

09:23 A clip comes on of the "peacemaker" Lisa.

09:24 Andy reiterates the "peacemaker" Lisa. All that means is that we're about to see the opposite.

09:24 Andy asks if they can ever move on and all be friends. Lisa is a bit diplomatic in her answer, saying that a lot of things were said that can never be taken back, but it's water under the bridge now, and she hopes they can look forward.

09:25 Ed was released from the Raiders, and Lisa is oddly happy about it. Some dude writes in, asking her to share her "hot" husband with him, and none of the women seem to realize they are on a channel that caters to gay men.

09:30 Sheree takes a turn with questions before a montage. A girl asks why she thinks everyone should look and dress like her, and she denies that she acts like that. She says she can't talk about her divorce because her attorney has advised her not to. Andy asks if she'll let him know if she gets the seven figures, and she stutters as if she knows she's not getting it.

09:32 Kim admits the "you're beautiful"/"no, you're beautiful" behavior between her and Sheree was ridiculous. Nene agrees without a shred of humor in her tone.

09:32 Sheree says her clothing line will be in stores in a few months, and she says most designers don't need to sew to be a designer. It's her vision and her dream. She admits that it was embarrassing to hear what Mychael Knight had to say, though, because she looks up to him.

09:33 Sheree thinks she treats her staff well, but the footage looks like she "beats them."

09:34 What's up with Sheree being uninterested in "the dating thing?" We still don't have an answer, but I feel this is the most real she's ever been.

09:34 Fashion montage! ...Or at least that's how Andy intros it, but really it's another Nene vs Sheree montage.

09:35 Sheree says she never intended to leave Nene off the list. Nene points out, though, that she had a camera crew with her, so how could the woman at the door not know she was a part of the cast? Good point. ...I can't believe I just said that.

09:35 Nene doesn't care about Sheree's opinion of her sense of style.

09:37 Sheree claims she tried to apologize to Nene, but then she started to hear things Nene was saying... that Nene says she never actually said. I don't see how they were friends for years "without incident;" I can't believe you throw a few cameras in the mix, and so much blows up all at once.

09:38 Nene and Sheree argue over the definition of classy.

09:41 Does every timezone get the same commercials? The Curious Case of Benjamin Button looks like a bad attempt to get an Academy nod, but Brad Pitt is still hot!

09:43 We're back with a Kim/Nene montage! Nene watches disapprovingly from the picture-in-picture box.

09:45 Andy addresses Nene first, saying she seemed surprised by some of the events that transpired and the way Kim treated her, and Nene elaborates, using the spa day as an example of how she felt disrespected and like Kim was playing games with them. Kim gets in on it, talking over Nene, and accusing Nene's foundation of being fake. Low blow, Barbie.

09:46 Kim claims she thought everything was okay between Nene and Sheree because they had hung out at some party. A viewer calls her "two-faced," and Kim says she was floored by what Nene sang about her in the limo. She calls out Sheree and then Lisa for snitching.

09:47 Lisa snaps. She calls Kim a "habitual liar" and tells her she needs medication quite a few times. Then she turns into a middle school brat, too, and starts pointing the finger at how (and who) Kim lies about, including the cancer thing.

09:48 WTF is going on with Lisa?

Now, I don't believe in using the term "hoodrat," but I think this may be the epitome of it; all of a sudden she has to be in the middle of everything and threaten to "flip you over the couch?" Maybe she realized how little screentime she got in the seven episodes of the season, but she's climbing all over Nene and playing the "hold her back" friend. Now that I think about it, even in the finale, she tried to stir stuff up by insisting that Sheree and Nene be in a picture together. And this woman is a mother? Doesn't she know if your kid doesn't get along with another kid, you just keep them out of each other's way so they don't beat each other up? All season I marveled at how drama free she and DeShawn were; I called them "normal" for crying out loud! I feel that I must now apologize, DeShawn, for lumping you in any category with Lisa, because she is clearly as batshit as the rest of them, but in a very different, and slightly more dangerous since she's not at least upfront about it, way.

09:49 Andy wants DeShawn to weigh in, but she stays silent, seeming to look for the emergency exit. He moves on.

09:49 And back to Kim who sort-of apologizes for some of the things she interviewed about Nene but then defends Sheree and some of her behavior.

09:49 Nene pulls the racist card on Kim for saying she didn't want to go to DeShawn's to "hang with Nene and eat chicken."

09:50 Nene has enough friends. Kim seems to want to keep the door open, though she hasn't quite forgiven Nene for the song. Nene does not bring up all of the things Kim said that she may not have forgiven, though.

09:50 A montage for Dwight, the honorary sixth housewife!!!

09:52 They accuse Sheree of being a bigger diva than Dwight, and then they bring him out to prove it. His hair is super long, as if he's wearing a hairpiece just like Kim! He weighs in on the ladies' new looks. He loves everyone but Kim, who he says he needs to bring to the twenty-first century.

09:53 Dwight's opinion on all the fighting and melodrama is that they are all unladylike and unnecessary, but he thinks he is the bigger diva and raises a glass of champagne in his own honor.

09:54 Andy pitches to the last commercial, encouraging everyone to take some of their own cocktails. Oh, I don't even want to imagine what would have gone down if he had said that at the start of the show. These women are uninhibited enough without alcohol!

09:57 Andy recaps where the women are at, and DeShawn finally has her three minutes to announce she is in grad school. Nene and Lisa are working on a book together about surviving domestic violence. We know what everyone else is up to.

09:58 Andy thanks the women as the credits roll, and he encourages everyone to check out the extra footage at bravotv.com. That's it? That was the fastest hour ever! So when does this show come back? And can I still catch a marathon of season one for nostalgia?

09:59 The Real Housewives of Orange County is starting it's new season. I think it's time to go to bed...

And if you want to get a taste of The Real Housewives of Atlanta in a nutshell:

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