The Real Housewives of Atlanta recap: The Shades of It All | EW.com

TV Recaps | The Real Housewives of Atlanta

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap:
'The Shades of It All'

There's no NeNe, but Cynthia is throwing yet another launch party for herself, and Kenya is starting random drama, so all is as it should be with the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

(Bravo)

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Season 8, Ep. 1 | Aired Nov 08

With NeNe (and NeNe’s wigs) gone, it quickly became clear who the producers have cast as the new RHOA anchor in season 8: meet your new star, Cynthia Bailey of The Bailey Agency School of Fashion and Probable Money Laundering, everyone!

Now, this is a terrible decision. An insane decision. Every part of Cynthia’s personality has been crafted like a fine pair of her luxury eyewear to adapt to whoever she happens to be sidekicking for that season. And Cynthia is a great sidekick — she’s beautiful, she nods like a champ, and she has a terrible husband, so that makes for perfect girl talk. But, as discovered last season, when given the chance to shine on her own, it turns out that Cynthia is just kind of mean, while simultaneously being a total pushover.

So, yeah, terrible decision for the narrative of this show. But — but! — if you’ve ever read my coverage of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you know there’s hardly anything I love more than watching Cynthia Bailey try to act (maybe watching Kandi eat chicken fingers while the world blows up around her, but it’s close). I was near giddy as I watched Cynthia in her new Joan Collins eyebrows try to adopt the emotions of a woman scorned like she was the lead on a Shonda Rhimes show. But without the smart trenchcoat and ability to emote and speak words at the same time, the glare of the producers’ cue cards in her pupils was simply too distracting to find her anger believable.

Here’s the deal: A video surfaced that features Crusty Peter chatting up a woman, his face smushed against hers and his hand on her neck, eventually traveling down for a boob graze. All I can notice during this video is that Peter and the woman are wearing the exact same button-up blouse. But all Cynthia can think about is the shit she’s going to have to take from the other women (considering she spent all last season running her mouth about Phaedra’s marriage) about her philandering husband. Atlanta’s No. 1 catalog model/sunglasses mogul doesn’t seem nonplussed by the boob graze itself — Peter can fondle as many women as he wants (Gross. Gross, gross, gross, I’m so sorry I said that) — just don’t let it end up on Instagram.

Clearly Cynthia’s rocky marriage to Peter will own her story line this season, but it felt a little like the editors were trying to throw in some drinking drama too — that fishbowl of oaky chardonnay barely left her hand the entire premiere. It was like a damn episode of Cougar Town (RIP) up in there. Speaking of perfect segues…

Porsha has a new boyfriend of one month, and this is what she tells Phaedra about him while they snack on a tray of Kroger’s finest prepared foods: He’s 24, she met him on social media, he contacted her through her “booking” email, and she claims not to have seen his penis. Modern romance! Since she lives an hour outside of the city (what the hell, this is not The Real Housewives of Kennesaw), she rents a hotel to see his penis for a little romance when he comes to visit. Which brings about my favorite scene of the premiere: she tells him that she asked the hotel for the finest bubbly they had and then holds it up and says, “I think it’s called Cupcake.” Y’all. Cupcake. What fresh Holiday Inn Express hell is this?

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Not all life changes can be as exciting as Porsha macking on a recent college graduate (okay, okay, he plays for the Bills), but a few other milestones are also occurring: Kandi and Todd are having a baby, and Kenya has just bought a house.

Or rather, Kenya has bought something in the shape of a house. She bought it in foreclosure, but it looks like the house just kind of gave up and went ahead and foreclosed on itself. It looks more like a modern construct you’d see in the hills of L.A. than the suburbs of Buckhead, but Kenya sees promise in it and thinks it will only take three months to fix it up. But we know there is only one reason Kenya bought this house: It’s just down the street from Château Sheree, unfinished home of season 8 returning cast member, Sheree.

Cynthia may be the producer’s pet, but Kenya has always been their favorite mistress. Not only will she do anything they want, but she’ll do it with conviction, as evidenced by her upcoming display at Cynthia’s sunglasses party.

NEXT: Sunglasses by Cynthia, Outbursts by Kenya… 

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