Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: The Life and Times of NeNe Leakes.

This week on the RHOA we took a journey into the psyche of Ms. Lennethia “NeNe” Leakes. Where did she come from? Where is she going? From what tiny, humble spore did the magnificent mushroom we now know grow from? All questions were answered.

But first! We open on Sheree and Kim as they meet to plan Kandi’s engagement party at (GASP!) the very same restaurant where this season’s infamous wig-shifting took place. Both ladies muse at how far they’ve come, and what tremendous fences they’ve mended. The two share a glass of wine, and Kim teases Sheree for doing “that fancy shit” with her wine (i.e. swirling and sniffing it), which we know from earlier episodes Kim is decidedly against. She says it’s because she “knows what she wants,” and clearly what she wants is a bottle of chardonnay down her gullet pronto.

After the wine and dialogue, the ladies go on a tour of the venue to see if it’ll be right for the party. Both ladies particularly like the upstairs patio: Sheree for its views, Kim because she can “have a cigarette up here!” They’ll take it!

While that’s going on, NeNe makes the arduous trek out to far off Athens, Georgia with Uncle Mel and her biographer in tow to show them her roots. Is it just me or does the fact that her hometown is called “Athens” give this whole trip a Homer-esque quality? Anyway, she shows them her humble beginnings in sleepy Athens, pointing out modest homes and “all these damn trees!”

After a brief driving tour, NeNe takes everyone to her mother’s house, explaining that her mother was really young when she had her, so NeNe was effectively raised by her Aunt Nell while her mother split her time between New York and Georgia. Up until now they had made it seem like NeNe came from a working-class background, but when we arrive at her mother’s former home, that shit is a mansion! Columns, brick, “fly doorbell,” the works. Who knew?

Back in the ATL, the first batch of pieces from the She by Sheree line have arrived, so Sheree has her friend who dines at the Y, Tania, over to check them out. Overall, they look great, and Tania remarks at how proud she is of her lov-ahem- her friend. Sheree tries on all the outfits, which have been designed according to her size since she views herself as perfectly proportioned. Sheree sashays and chantés around in the outfits while Tania platonically tells her how hot she is and admires her tiny waist.

Tania becomes incredulous after Sheree mentions she is having Dwight plan her show even though she’s never seen any of his work first hand. Tania demands that she call him and put him on speakerphone, which Sheree does. Dwight answers all “What?!” and is a huge, barely-lucid bitch. Such a grumpy puppet! The two have an awkward, unfriendly conversation that leaves Sheree with reservations about her decision to work with him. (Side note, whenever I type “Sheree,” my spell check always marks it as incorrect, and suggests “Sheeree” instead. What the fuck is a “sheeree?” Someone who’s just been shorn? Just thought I’d share. Or rather, just thought I’d sheeree.)

While that mess is going on, Kandi and AJ are heading to a dubious “Christian counselor” to meet with Kandi’s mother and hash out their issues. Kandi’s mom describes AJ as a truck that is on course to hit Kandi and destroy her, among other glowing analogies. So, obviously the conversation goes nowhere, and they leave feeling the same way they did coming in. Though, it is brought up that Kandi doesn’t want a pre-nup, which strikes me as a little risky, but whatever.

Later, Kim has be-heeled Tasmanian devil-bodied wigonista (and Dlisted Hot Slut of the Week) Derek J over to make her pretty for the engagement party. He surprises her by by bringing the prototype wig from her wig line with him and says he wants her to put it on. Outrageously, after cruelly teasing us with the promise of a wigless Kim on-screen, Bravo lets us down by panning to the floor as the creature is removed. We return to see her mannequin face nestled under a brand new wig, which admittedly looks much better and more real than her old mop.

Kim says that she likes to go through THIRTY WIGS A MONTH! One per day! Derek urges her to scale back, and maybe change her wigs once every couple weeks or so. Wig expert I am not, but even that seems mighty excessive. Anyway, Kim likes her new look, and literally screams into the mirror “GOD I LOOK SO GOOD! DAMN IT!!!!” like she is legitimately angered by her beauty. (Also, has anyone else noticed the nude portrait Kim has of herself in her bedroom? It looks like she is leaning over a motorcycle too. Stay classy!)

After Wigmania 1983, everyone heads to Kandi’s surprise party, which winds up being really sweet and fun. That is, until someone suggests to Kandi’s mom that she should do a toast, at which point things become really awkward and uncomfortable. Everybody squirms for a few minutes until she finally musters up a half-assed toast where she basically says “well, let’s wait and see.” This woman needs to simmer down.

Back in Athens (which in real time probably took place before the party), NeNe and her crew head over to her Aunt Nell’s house to show everyone where she was raised. Aunt Nell is supremely bizarre, with a nearly unintelligible falsetto voice and dark, drawn-in eyebrows. Now we know where NeNe gets her weird from. We’re shown kind of adorable pictures of NeNe when she was a child, as well as some of her looking very Toni Braxton-y in the mid 90’s. Such a chameleon, that one.

Next, Sheree has Dwight over to take a look at the sample pieces. He is predictably an asshole, sucking his teeth and saying “mmhmm” while critiquing all the items unnecessarily as if he has actual fashion training. He says Sheree has “no clue” what she’s doing in regard to style, but being as this is coming from someone who looks like Madame in a zoot suit, I’d take this with a grain of salt.

Across the Aegean in Athens, the crew leave Aunt Nell’s house and begin to head home, but as they’re leaving Uncle Mel gets a call from Alan, the mysterious man claiming he is NeNe’s father. He says he wants to meet, but doesn’t want them to come inside, and he doesn’t have much time. What a dick! “Hey, come over, but uh, yeah, stay outside, and I uh, got about 10 minutes.” Anyway, NeNe has a bit of a freakout but finally agrees. When she sees him, she audibly gasps because, in her words, he “looks a mess.” The dude seems kind of shady and not too friendly, but he says he’d like to meet with NeNe again one-on-one, when Uncle Mel (and presumably a Bravo film crew), aren’t around. NeNe looks a little disappointed as she says she’s willing to bet money that Alan is her father. Dramatic!

And so the stage is set for next week’s season finale, where it appears NeNe has a meltdown of Greek proportions. She fights with Gregg over meeting Alan, fights with Kandi at Sheree’s fashion show, and apparently chokes Kim for a yet-to-be-determined reason (YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!). So, basically, y’all should be excited.

No comments: