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5 Things We Learned From "Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta":
The show touched upon a more prominent but recently hidden factor about Atlanta: You remember how it was seen as the single woman's paradise 10 years ago (Brothers used to swear by the ATL ratio was 30 to 1)? Well, some of those sisters have gotten married. "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" played up the fact that these women had gotten successful men and bored them kids.
Now, the backdrop was real as well: Lisa Wu Hartwell being the mother of Keith Sweat's children would imply that at least some drama happened, since they're no longer together.

At first glance, Kim Zolciak ran the risk of being mistaken as a soccer mom. That prototype was immediately smashed when she flung open her cellphone and proceeded to beg the mysterious "Big Papa" for an Escalade. Then the show slowly bled out her shortcomings, her insecurity about herself, her chainsmoking, her anxiety about being a single mother.
The show used her, instead of a typical black woman, to illustrate what an Atlanta single mother may look like. And it worked. It also showed that she can't hold a note and that she can shed friends like a calico cat.

Sheree Whitfield, pretty much the one you love to hate, comes off as someone with high self-esteem and a precocious ego that needs stroking as much as her body does when she lay for a massage (Which Kim Zolciak treated her to on Spa Day). I see her as the old, chiseled trophy on the mantle, dusty from years of just staying on the shelf content with watching the world pass them by. Will she get married again? I don't know. The fact that she openly flaunted more than thrice the fact that she was so eagerly awaiting the settling of her divorce case from former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield smacked of a gold-diggerdness (of course she denied it) that I don't think she clearly perceives in herself. Still, I can say that she didn't embarass herself or the ATL.

One of the main stereotypes for athletes wives is that the spouses don't do anything except stay at home or go shopping. DeShawn Snow held it down for the mothers, although she didn't fit the stereotypical profile of a baller's wife (or maybe she did?). She didn't seem to exercise, she didn't seem to know how to cook, she got up early to get the kids off to school but she seemed largely detached from the "family" life that got her into the situation in the first place (on her site she reveals she didn't make the cast at first, after being referred by NeNe). But her husband, Eric Snow, seemed even more detached, although I'm sure the producers purposely played him to be the unconcerned father-husband who doesn't have a clue that his wife blows through $5000 a week in spending money.

Kim Zolciak quickly became the butt of watercooler jokes and happenstance when it was discovered that not only was she rinsing a married man, but that she chainsmoked and treated her kids as equals to her. Kim, NeNe and Sheree had the distinction of being the "Housewives" that actually hung around non-housewives on the show. Kim, who almost lost all credibility with the singing episode with Dallas Austin, soon became the sympathetic figure when you juxtaposed her with the married women, especially NeNe ...

NeNe Leakes was the viewers' favorite, but not because of what she had or even who she was, largely it was because of who she wasn't: NeNe wasn't filthy rich, NeNe wasn't a hater (although she was jealous, particularly of Sheree'); she wasn't obnoxious about money like the rest were (and the rest of them were.) She had a normal husband with a normal house (rumored to have foreclosed, but aint that the realest?).


Lisa Wu Hartwell was the firestarter, the one who could gab with the best and give as well. Her husband former NFLer Ed Hartwell shared the screen as much as he could with his boo but Lisa's personality outshined him. What didn't become apparent until the reunion episode is that Lisa may be cause of NeNe and Kim's disagreement, for it was Lisa that went back and told Kim that NeNe derided her singing. Also at the reunion it was discovered that the Wu in Lisa's name may be short for Wu Tang, as she bucked up on Kim at least twice.
But for the most part, the reason why the show worked for ATL is because the women didn't play themselves. I can honestly say that I don't think the women embarassed themselves or the ATL, although it may give the impression that the city is filled with tons of women with disposable income but I doubt it. Will there be a season 2? I heard it's in the works.

Related Post: Who's the Realest ATL Housewife?


Assertive Wit said...

what did I learn from the real housewives of Atlanta? that a group of women STILL can't STAY friends if they are around each other ALL THE TIME. LOL

As for it being an honest portrayal of women AND women in Atlanta, they are on the money for SOME women, specifically those that latch on to the entertainment industry trying to come up on a bank account; I think it was a very accurate portrayal for THAT.

Now, I think it was an UTTER disgrace to REAL housewives in Atlanta and if I was one, I would have been offended for 5 seconds because not ALL women behave like this and DEFINITELY not ALL housewives.

AND....these heffas aint live in Atlanta. They lived 25-30 minutes OUTSIDE of the Atlanta Perimeter. So again, another false portrayal. These heffas came into the city when they felt like shopping and intermingling with the common folks LOL

P.S. - NeNe was my favorite tho...even when she was being ridiculous LOL

November 26, 2008 at 12:26 PM

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