Bringing It And Blinging It
Bethenny Frankel's first take on the ATL Housewives.
How can I even start this blog with a straight face? Now it is officially a fact: Truth is stranger than fiction. Never in the land of ever could a writer come up with characters the likes of these five broads. The Real Housewives of Atlanta is an episode of Cribs meets Jerry Springer.
In this dreadful financial climate, it is particularly unbelievable to watch this level of conspicuous consumption. However, it is wildly entertaining and I applaud their honesty. These women are unapologetic, bringing it, blinging it, Prada-pumping, booty-jumping and letting everything hang out.
This show highlights the "Black Los Angeles" - the fortunate African American set of women who have married professional athletes, benefited from high-profile divorces or are seeded by their sugar daddies.
Being a part of the New York franchise, I think I may have to unexpectedly slap one of my castmates to keep up with these Atlanta women. Ramona and I may have to mud wrestle in Central Park to portray the shock value entertainment that these women will provide.
Now down to the characters:
NeNe stands out to me. Looks aside, she is the Jill Zarin of their cast. She and her husband have a long and strong marriage - she has struggles, yet a genuine relationship to her children, and yes, she is always in the middle of the drama and seems to like it. NeNe's feelings are easily hurt, and she seems as if she will often have an axe to grind. She's the heart of the show. What she looks like, what she wears and how she needs to be the center of attention seem to be important. When going to Sheree's event of the season, NeNe wants to stop traffic, have the best outfit, and be noticed by all.
I can't help but like DeShawn. It is incredulous that she built a 15,000 square foot house with only a three-hour consultation, but she seems like a nice girl. She is enjoying her money with no bones about spending it. She treats her house as a manor. Her husband seems down-to-earth and doesn't seem to really need all the bells and whistles. He's just giving DeShawn what she wants. She seems to love her children. When getting ready for her big night out at Sheree's house, her outfit, hair, and makeup didn't seem to be the center of her universe - it was just another night of getting ready. She's rich and, comparatively speaking, somewhat down-to-earth.
Lisa is the newlywed girl who is in love, who seems like she really found her teammate in a man. She would be most likely compared to me - simply because of all the hats she juggles. She's an artist, has a clothing business, does real estate and "is bouncing off the walls." She doesn't seem to need to work, so her motivation is admirable. We need more on her. She hasn't engaged in major drama - yet. Stay tuned on her. I envy her new love and relationship.
Kim is the "black woman trapped inside a white woman." She looks like she's straight out of Texas. She loves her African American friends and life, but her best friends are Dior, Dolce, Prada and the diamonds she charges to Big Pappa. She seems to have two sweet daughters who are important to her, but her unknown celebrity sugar daddy hasn't surfaced. I have no doubt that the press and the gossip will reveal this unknown ATM machine that she dates within minutes. Mark my words - within months, we will all know the identity of Big Pappa. I bet he simply doesn't want to be on camera. His anonymity will undoubtedly bring attention to him like flies to fly paper. Still, characters like this are wildly entertaining. I can't imagine what it would be like to spend my days only worrying about what logos to put on my back. I get a little bit of press, and even I don't deem a personal stylist necessary. This television is really too good to keep.
Now to Sheree. This chick needs a little reality check. First of all, let's not call the IRS straight to our doors by discussing every penny your ex-husband may or may not have and the seven-figure settlement you're looking for. I'm no secret keeper, but some things are better left unsaid. Her ex must be horrified. Also, I'm sure this will be great for her dating career. Every man is looking for a woman who, once divorced, wants to live a lifestyle that's as good, if not better than before. Every woman should look to her ex to give her a seven-figure settlement. Lovely. Also, she might want to wait for others to pay her compliments instead of constantly giving them to herself. Well, let me take that back. She does employ a bevy of people around her to compliment her on her booty, her waist and her fabulousness.
Did I leave anyone out? I think not. I think the show will do well because people's jaws will drop. In the world of stress, with the economy and the election, this is more trainwreck television (like my show) that will take people out of their every day lives. These women were perfectly cast, because they are truthful, unapologetic and gave the camera everything. Will they be giving some of their money to charity? I hope, but it's doubtful.
After all, the most important things are the chrome grill on a Maybach, the label on your back, and the size of the staff on your Atlanta manor.
I can't wait to watch another episode. I'm in and I'm hooked.