Whether it’s tonight’s shady teatime, season 6’s pillow talk, or Cynthia’s infamous cookouts playing games with the cast RHOA usually ends in orchestrated chaos. And what better place to start this exercise in creating shadows than at a children’s birthday party?
Kenya and the adorable party planner Monet throw baby Brooklyn the tea party of my 27-year-old dreams. From the pink decorations to the delivery of Veuve champagne, I’m making notes for my own party next year. Always on the clock, the former Miss USA doubles as doting mom and messy castmate, instructing guests to write on a piece of paper tea they know about someone else at the party.
As Larsa out RHOM would say, “Let’s get a pulse.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the shady moments that games have offered housewives. RHOC has bunco, RHOBH has more than I can count and Potomac‘s rather shady game deserves an Emmy. But that shady tea time feels a little too forced to set the stage for the drama. Why would Kandi choose the card that was addressed to her? Call me a skeptic but it seems a little too comfortable.
However, that moment reminded me of a bone to pick with both the show and the fans. Although sexuality was an element of the show from the start, Atlanta is particularly vicious when it comes to slut shaming. While the cast loves sexual innuendos, overt sexuality is usually one of the first things they turn to when it’s time to attack. The tea Kandi reads about herself is a claim that she sucked cock in a dressing room. Again, kind of weird that she would draw this card herself, but let’s roll with it.
Season after season, Kandi’s sexuality has been a hot topic, but season 9 was particularly dark. Now one of the most memorable stories for the show, Porsha repeating a rumor that Kandi and Todd had plots to drug and rape her, permanently changed the dynamic within the cast. Phaedra was eventually fired after it was revealed that she was the one who shared this (false) information with Porsha. This moment between Kandi, Porsha and Phaedra remains a polarizing discussion on and off screen. Some fans are vehemently expressing their desire for Phaedra to return. Shereé recently spoke to former producer Carlos King on his podcast and admitted that she advocated Phaedra filming for the show this season. But Kandi is adamant she won’t be in the same cast with anyone who would make such a claim on the show. Personally, I’m still not over people commenting “Pill Cosby” on Kandi’s Instagram posts.
I won’t pretend that I didn’t eagerly eat up the situation like every other fan (the amount of reaction videos that are on my phone of this reunion is embarrassing), but at some point we have to acknowledge that it was a highly inappropriate moment and one All-time low for the series. With Phaedra in the cast of Real Housewife Girls JourneyIn the second season of , I saw more and more people saying that she deserves to win back a peach. I wholeheartedly disagree.
What some people, including Shereé, believe is that it’s not fair for a cast member to dictate who’s on the show and who’s not, and that if you sign on as a housewife, it’s all fair game. Tonight, Shereé even compared Kandi not telling her about Drew’s assistant spreading rumors to what Kandi went through in season 9, saying Kandi should know how hurtful it is when her name is slandered. That’s just ridiculous.
We have to draw the line somewhere. We cannot continue to pretend that allegations of rape should be treated with the same standard as petty rumors about who has money and who doesn’t. It’s a shame that you have to say that at all. I’ll still tune in to watch the shenanigans in the Bezerkshires, but I’ll always stand by Kandi’s right to refuse to work with anyone who would accuse her of sexual assault. It’s sad that even after this situation, Kandi’s sexuality is still being used against her, with her performers repeatedly trying to portray her as a sexual deviant.
Anyhow, the game of course continues to accelerate the drama between Shereé and Drew over their assistant. Drew writes on her card that “someone at the table” doesn’t pay their employees. Maybe I’m overly suspicious of Drew after that forced storyline about the Prophet last year, but it never feels organic when she’s trying to start drama. She’s always very invested in the most random of things when she clearly needs to focus on her marriage. That smells like assistant Anthony is thirsty for screen time and Drew wants to provoke Shereé.
Drew’s tea backfires when Shereé’s friend Fatum says assistant Anthony said Ralph was gay? Sigh. Let the games begin. Tensions between Shereé and Drew reach a boiling point at the end of the episode when Drew waves her hands in front of Shereé’s face. If Drew needs to figure out where “talking with her hands” can lead, she should talk to Candiace.
Despite the drama, Kenya announces that Brooklyn’s party was a success and I support that motion. While things felt a little over-produced, at least everything is on the table and setting the stage for the first cast tour this season, which will see the ladies see Kandi’s play in New York.
• Before the shady tea game, Kenya lets the ladies play a game to show how well they know Brooklyn. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not a mother myself and most of my friends don’t have kids, but how the hell are people supposed to know what age Brooklyn started walking or what her first word was was? I can’t even answer these questions about my own nephews. Sorry guys I still love you!
• Kandi’s statement that one of her career goals is to get an EGOT is admirable. I think we should always aim for the moon. I’m excited to see what acting roles you think will bring her to the ranks of Audrey Hepburn and Whoopi Goldberg. She’d better hurry before Marlo beats her to an Oscar since she’s now getting into the acting game herself (and hopefully learning how to say IMDb properly).
• I can’t decide which is more embarrassing: Drew wore a dress almost identical to what Kenya herself wore last year to Brooklyn’s birthday, or our new friend Monyetta wearing jeans to the event. Either way, Monyetta, who was formerly married to Ne-Yo, should make an interesting cast. Some may know Moneyetta from her time on the short-lived show on VH1 Ex-boyfriends from Atlanta or their claims that Ne-Yo forced them to have their tubes tied off. whoops
• Does anyone remember Shereé’s manager Clifford? If you remember, in season two he tried to set Shereé up with one of his friends when Shereé went to his bodybuilding show. If you want a good laugh, I definitely recommend coming back for season two episode eight to see the classic Shereé side-eye, a narcissistic gymnast rat, and Cliff on stage in a speedo and combat boots. I would like to see footage of Cliff training Marlo.
• Call on Kenya’s white friend who started the party with an excited sip of champagne and ended it with a drunken outburst. We’ve all been through that.
https://www.vulture.com/article/the-real-housewives-of-atlanta-season-14-episode-3-the-tea-is-served.html The Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 14 Episode 3