Marcus Jones Outlines How the Cast Members of ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ Address the Turbulent Year Throughout Their New Season
EW Digital News Writer, Marcus Jones, discusses the 13th season of 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta'; how the show addresses the pandemic, protests, and Black Lives Matter; and previews this season's drama and storylines for all our fave housewives!
I hope you rested up over the long weekend, because the Housewives came back from a quiet week with an absolutely merciless string of four high-drama episodes, starting with The Real Housewives of Atlanta, whose beach trip intensified with some diva antics from Kenya and some sad national news. In a week when Texas was on everyone's mind, it was a joy to see The Real Housewives of Dallas in happier (if still quarantined) times, road-tripping down to Austin, where a chicken named Patsy Cline would make them all crazy. Then The Real Housewives of New Jersey made their long-awaited return with a birthday party with an ugly aftermath, while our mountaineering Real Housewives of Salt Lake City continued their explosive three-part reunion with a typically baffling second installment. Here are the best, worst, and wildest moments from this Week in 'Wives!
HIGH POINT: A rock & roll road trip, RHOD
This week was low on high points, to be honest with you. But the Dallas Housewives' road trip to Austin — the actual drive of which had a strict rock & roll tour bus theme — was a pleasure despite the "hurt-off" (Tiffany's phrase, not mine) that followed. "I was never a groupie, okay?" Kameron said of the concept. "So this is my chance!" For D'Andra, however, it was more of a homecoming, and I had no choice but to gasp in awe of her long list of edgy paramours. "In the '80s and '90s, any guy in a band was the coolest guy ever," she said with a shrug. And indeed, as directed by Kary yelling her favorite call to arms, the ladies were there to party like it was 1999.
LOW POINT: Teresa gets the word out, RHONJ
There is definitely an argument to be made that Jackie's misplaced "analogy" at the episode's end, met with repeated screams of the c-word from Teresa, would qualify as the low point of this week's season 11 premiere. But I must say, nothing made my heart sink so fast as watching an extremely self-satisfied Tre circulate around Evan's own birthday party to systematically inform every person wearing a microphone that she had heard — and she simply cannot remember from whom, so don't ask — that Evan "does stuff" at the gym (she eventually had to incriminate herself a little further by elaborating that that implied "stuff" with people other than his wife). Joe Giudice may be out of ICE, but his ex remains as vicious as ever. Buckle up — this was only the premiere.
WILDEST MOMENT: Heather vs. Lisa round 2, RHOSLC
I spent the first half of this reunion episode fully convinced that Mary M. Cosby would steal the wildest moment spot all by herself after taking us on a journey through her mind, apparently oblivious to how bizarre most of her answers to Andy's questions were. But no: Even after Mary and Jen tentatively reconciled, which would have absolutely shocked me just a month ago, the conflict between Heather and Lisa heated back up out of nowhere. It's evident, as I somewhat gleefully observed last week, that Lisa resents Heather having become the fan favorite. But how this drama spiraled from there is less clear — they're stealing each other's friends, or faking it, or posting to Instagram a certain way? We're back to the thing about whether they knew each other in college? Lisa recommended Heather for the show?! A few more orders to "roll the footage"??!!?! I'm with Meredith, who disengages (as she is wont to do) from the argument to stare serenely around the room.
👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Kandi, RHOA
MOST WELCOME RETURN: Hello again to The Real Housewives of Miami, a reboot of which is in development at Peacock!
REALEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: We all know that the cop who killed Breonna Taylor was indicted only for wanton endangerment, which is frankly bulls---, so it was of course a low point to see the decision play out all over again onscreen — but a deeper one than our usual gossipy Housewives story beats. "It just doesn't feel, as a Black woman, like I even belong in America," said RHOA's Porsha in a confessional. "It just feels like I'm here on borrowed time if something can happen to me and nothing can be done." As Kenya reflected: "When is the world actually going to see us?" The moment was devastating for its blatant injustice, but also affecting to see the ladies hear the news together, all the bickering from earlier in their trip forgotten, and showing great strength and grace. The sequence concluded with the 'wives reminding viewers to say her name: Breonna Taylor.
ELLE WOODS, IS THAT YOU?: Kameron kicks off RHOD's road trip by handing out vacation itineraries that are pink. And (Chanel-) scented! I think it gives it a little something extra, don't you?
WORKING OVERTIME: Our friend the RHOA music supervisor making crucial scoring selections for Kenya's villainess moment and LaToya's drunken daytime workout class.
BEST METAPHOR: (And in the same hour as RHONJ's worst analogy...) Upon hearing that Jackie's friend, a potential match for Teresa, is half-Italian and half-Jewish, Jennifer cries out "Pizza bagel!"