Real Housewives of Atlanta: New Year, New Attitude?
We hope the flash cards baby Ayden was looking at with his grandmother in last night’s episode included pictures of coffins and hearses because Phaedra is determined to start her family-run funeral business. She wants to leave a legacy to her son. We’re not sure how Ayden will feel about the business when he gets a little older, but his dad Apollo is definitely not on board. Phaedra wants to throw fabulous events – “funerals worth dying for” – and her mother is ready to lend her services as pastor. Maybe a trip to Willie Watkins’ funeral empire will change Apollo’s mind? At least it’s more free promotion for the exceptionally patient Willie Watkins.
When Phaedra takes Apollo for his funeral home tour, the sight of the embalming equipment and thoughts of an apprenticeship featuring cut open dead bodies would make anyone turn white as a ghost and run in the opposite direction. Phaedra admits that if Apollo isn’t okay with starting the business, then her plans are unrealistic, not that she’s one to give up so easily.
Maybe instead of fighting with Apollo, Peter needs to take some lessons from him about communication with your spouse. Because rather than starting a fight with his wife about her plans for them, Apollo visits Phaedra at her office, pink roses in hand, to discuss his hesitations about the funeral business and why it creeps him out. He’s willing to give it a go as long as he can concentrate on comforting bereaving families instead of embalming bodies. We’d happily cry on his gorgeous shoulder.
Peter signs he and Cynthia up for Salsa lessons in an attempt to step up the fun in their relationship, but the fallout from his behavior and sudden disappearance from Cynthia’s agency opening continues … as does his bad attitude about it. Peter doesn’t seem to get that when he married his wife, he ceased to be a “me” and became part of a “we.” Cynthia wants them to communicate better, but Peter doesn’t see why a lifelong commitment should change him from toad to prince, and if Cynthia doesn’t like it, she should consider getting “off the train at the next stop”. Far be it from us to give advice based on an edited reality show, but Cynthia honey, we’ll pay the transfer fee if you need a ticket to a better place.
Fortunately, Bravo, life and Cynthia are full of second chances. The second time we see Peter and Cynthia together, they’re heading for some much-needed counseling from Pastor Pollard, who married them. The first thing to note – obvious even at the Salsa lesson – is Cynthia’s got her moxie back. Instead of being weepy and frazzled, New York Cynthia is in dah house. She’s upset, hurt and pissed off at Peter. Let’s all say a Hallelujah, AMEN!
Pastor “effectively communicate or detrimentally disintegrate” Pollard asks how the Bailey-Thomases are and Cynthia kicks off with, “We don’t talk to each other; we talk at each other,” and finally, the honesty is on. Peter stumbles when asked to tell Cynthia what he loves about her. Heck, we can immediately list all the things we love about Cynthia, but her husband changes the subject instead. Come on, Peter, she’s worth fighting for. Speak up!
Here’s the way we see it. There are two main problems: 1) They got married late in life. Seems ideal to many of us, right? But it’s hard to change after you’ve been independent for so long. 2) Peter’s prickliness is exacerbated by the Bravo lens. Our theory is that Peter is less defensive, sweeter and maybe even a better listener in real life. You know, when he’s not feeling the pressure of proving to the world that he’s a M-A-N. Fingers crossed we’re right. While the gathering clouds seemed ominous last show, we’re now seeing the silver lining. Honesty. Conversation. Progress. Hooray!
NeNe meets up with Marlo Hampton for Moscato (the sweet tea of wines) and some girl talk. Marlo wants to clear the air about NeNe’s “non-relationship” with Charles Grant. We’re curious if there was a shift in the atmosphere when this scene was being filmed because, contrary to normal housewife behavior, the two have a civilized conversation with both of their weaves remaining intact. Marlo does finally cop to her run-ins with the law and SEVEN past arrests, which have been all over the blogosphere since filming began. Both women have a past to live down, but at least they’ve found each other and can double their Louboutin wardrobes by sharing. Could this be? Will the sweetness last? Do we want it to?
Later, at Marlo’s invitation, NeNe attends the Captain Planet Foundation Jewelry Fundraiser co-hosted by Atlanta INtown contributor Laura Turner Seydel. Marlo has indeed come a long way since her mug-shot days and knows how to work the upper-crust crowd. NeNe is hoping she can blend in with Atlanta’s high society, even if the idea of the Captain Planet Foundation and going green is lost on her. NeNe blend? Since when, girlfriend?! And considering that Laura Turner Seydel’s father, Ted, is much richer than “The Donald,” NeNe still has a lot to learn about how who is who in this new world.
Kandi and Lil’ Ronnie journey to Nashville to work on some new songs with country star Jo Dee Messina. Kandi and Jo Dee seem to click immediately, but this doesn’t calm Kandi’s nerves when she presents her first song idea. Although Kandi has more creative workdays than most of us, it’s interesting to see that her job is still all about giving a client what they want. It’s also nice to see Kandi get back to the basics that made her such a successful songwriter, and a star, in the first place. Later, after a great songwriting session, Lil’ Ronnie congratulates Kandi on her first foray into country music by buying Kandi her first cowboy hat and boots to go with it. Nice.
Kim and her family continue to unpack the Barbie Dream House, staging the formal dining room with a complete set of Versace china and gold (plated we assume) flatware. Kim’s future family heirlooms may not seem normal, but her relationship with her teenage daughter Brielle finally is. The combination of a new father-figure, a new baby brother and a new house with some new rules, means Brielle is acting out like any young teenager would. Wonder if Kim’s mom ever reminders her that when raising children, paybacks are hell. If not, we’re happy to put it out there.
Later Shereé visits for a tour of the new environs and to encourage Kim to get in shape after giving birth to little KJ with, of all crazy things, exercise and nutrient-rich juices. This is too much for Kim who is all about the quick fix, so Shereé encourages her to use Troy’s fit body as her inspiration. We’ll admit that our servings of ginger were more likely to come from ginger snaps over the holidays, but we do admire how dedicated Shereé is to a healthy lifestyle. Of course, she has to keep in tip-top shape to kick Bob Whitfield’s butt whenever necessary.
For once, all seems harmonious in Haterville with our ladies talking it out instead of duking it out. Can this last? Would we watch if it did?