Tommy Garcia/Virginia Sherwood/Jonathan Zizzo/Bravo Tommy Garcia/Virginia Sherwood/Jonathan Zizzo/Bravo
It's a strange moment to be talking about the Real Housewives, but here we are. I hope that these shows brought escapism to those who needed it this week, perhaps in the form of an outrageous theme party on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City or the Bravo editors mocking Shannon and Kelly's advice to their daughters on The Real Housewives of Orange County. At the same time, as produced as these shows are, there's certainly some truth in the strange reality of these flawed American women, so it didn't feel entirely irrelevant to see the The Real Housewives of Atlanta ladies' discussions of social justice or the return of The Real Housewives of Dallas featuring a tense confrontation about racism. However you took your 'wives this week — whom, with our stopover in Dallas, we saw across all four contiguous U.S. time zones — here's the best, worst, and wildest moments.
HIGH POINT: Howdy to Tiffany, RHOD
It's always a joy to see a series return — especially when it brings exciting new faces. The high point of the RHOD season premiere was the introduction of Tiffany Moon, the franchise's first Asian American cast member, a doctor who is "better than Doogie Howser," mother to adorable twin daughters wearing adorable twin jumpsuits, and unfortunately not (yet) a Nobel Prize winner. Her introductory episode comes to a dramatic conclusion as she speaks with Brandi, who spent the premiere answering for a racist video she posted years prior, about how hurtful the clip was. The issue of the video itself was a clear low point, but Tiffany's handling of the situation, making Brandi (and by extension everyone watching) listen to her perspective despite acting "like a kid who hits another kid but then starts crying," was a powerful moment — and one that proves she'll be a 'wife to watch.
LOW POINT: Kenya vs. Porsha, RHOA
On a grander scale, the state of Georgia brought the true high point of the week (and, in fact, the year so far); within the Housewives-verse, however, a complicated conflict began to grow among our peaches when Kenya (Cynthia's plus-one to begin with) was disinvited from the surprise party celebrating Porsha's activism due to old tensions. It was sad to see her disappointment when Cynthia told her that she could no longer attend nor deliver the Rosa Parks doll she'd picked out for Porsha's darling little daughter. It was upsetting, too, though, to hear Kenya dismiss the work Porsha had done and roll her eyes at Porsha's arrests — an attitude I can only hope doesn't reemerge when she inevitably addresses her exclusion from the party later. The event itself, where the women were glamorous in all-black clothes and Porsha gave a stirring speech, was wonderful to see. But the aftermath awaits.
WILDEST MOMENT: Who's Afraid of Jen Shah? RHOSLC
Sharrieff Shah's hip-hop-and-golf-themed surprise birthday party was initially a contender for the high point of the week, but the post-dance battle portion of the evening went downhill faster than tipsy Whitney's increasingly sloppy moves. It's hard to actually chart everything that went wrong with Whitney's ill-conceived confrontation with Jen: She wants to stand up for Mary but ends up communicating (with an unwanted assist from Heather) that Lisa and Meredith are afraid of her, which I don't believe for one second. While Lisa assures Jen that this is a lie, Whitney takes the moment to "share" Jen's gossip about Meredith's marriage with Ms. Marks, who does not care for what she hears. All it takes is one more mention of Mary M. Cosby's name for Jen to fling her glass across the room — though as Lisa rightly observes, it's just lucky she didn't throw Whitney herself instead.
👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Tiffany, RHOD
LONGEST-DELAYED GRATIFICATION: With RHOC's Elizabeth's divorce now finalized, she's sleeping with her boyfriend Jimmy at last.
FOURTH-WALL BREAK OF THE WEEK: We acknowledge RHOD's Stephanie explaining in a confessional that they're tested constantly for COVID-19 to be on TV, so "keep your tweets to yourself." But this crown goes to Kenya (she wears one so well, after all) for calling out Cynthia on her determination to have a wedding on Oct. 10… so that it can be filmed. "Let's break the fourth wall all the way down!" Cynthia cries, refuting Kenya's assertion before quickly saying she would marry Mike on the sidewalk if she had to — which is definitely not the vibe she'd given off before.
MOST WELCOME SURPRISE RETURN: Whitney's friend Sara, the unforgettable "Happy Birthday" singer from the RHOSLC series premiere
MOST ESSENTIAL PROFESSIONAL ADVICE: Brad the dog trainer warning RHOD's Kameron that, if she ever wants Fanci to behave, "this intervention is needed."
HYPOCRISY MONTAGE OF THE WEEK: Very close race! While two RHOC ladies lectured their daughters about how to behave despite their own bad examples, Shannon's "don't badmouth people" barely edges out Kelly's "get off your phone." (Kenya's "I know how to play nice" on RHOA is disqualified for being just a lie rather than specifically hypocritical).