Show Me The Money

Atlanta native Richard Blais gives his first take on the Housewives.

I thought I would hate it, but now I get it. I get the whole Housewives thing. Be prepared for an infinite roll out of these, it just makes sense. Every city will offer something totally new - it's actually genius from a creative aspect. There was a part of me that really wanted to hate on this. But I didn't, I couldn't. The Real Housewives of Atlanta, seems to fall right in line with the rest of the Housewives series. A small glimpse into a few families, nothing like your own, or I'm sure to some, exactly like your own. No, wait, that can't be correct.

I'm sure some of you want to know why I am writing recaps about The RHW-ATL. The reason is that I've lived in Atlanta for a number of years and I'm admittedly a fan of all the previous Housewives series. I was also on this show called Top Chef. So, I'm perfect for it, no?

So we begin with the standard introductions, and find out surprisingly enough that most of the HW's have big houses, big checkbooks, and big booty's. All pretty standard for the series, with maybe the exception of the booty part. What is not typical of the show is that 3 of the girls are in relationships, or were in relationships with professional athletes!

As a guy, and maybe more of your typical guy compared to the Bravo demographic, I'm fascinated by the show's focus on professional sports. One of my most memorable moments om RHW-OC was finding out that one of their sons was a professional baseball player. How cool! As a guy who finally came to the realization that running like a penguin and eating like a pig wouldn't get me in the major leagues, I think the addition of athletes as part of the background cast is brilliant.

So I'm automatically drawn to the Snow family. DeShawn & Eric (captain of the Cleveland Cavaliers ) and their 2 kids. Right off the bat, they seem to be the most "Real." I'll probably be spinning this around over the next few weeks, but I'm sure I wasn't the only viewer who easily imagined Jerry Maguire making an appearance in their living room. Although DeShawn and Eric are living in the stars, they both seem really down to earth. They seem to be the least likely to scream, " show me the money."

Besides their family appeal, the Snows had a few genuine moments in this episode. DeShawn seems to be happy playing with no agenda. When she was getting ready for the party, it seemed like it was no big deal to her. I liked that. I liked how the couple ribbed each other in that loving way.

I loved Eric's reaction to the whole Baileys and Vodka in the room for DeShawn's dad. Eric seemed to think that the whole estate manager thing was a bit much, and he was right -it was! I also liked how he joked about dunking on the poster in the kids' room.

And did anyone see their kids? They looked pretty adorable rocking their dad's jersey. Also, there was one shot of the kid folding his laundry. I've never seen a shirt folded that way - very creative.

Not sure of the order, but we meet Kim. I think there is going to be a more developed character here, but for now, Kim ramps us into Housewives fifth gear by making it obviously about the things. Kim is a self-described materialistic person, and a "black woman in a white woman's body." She gives us the ultimate shot in a HW's episode - the large check being signed for a spur of the moment toy. The Escalade. There is no other car that could be a better symbol of Atlanta's hip-hop fa-bu-lo-us-ness than an Escalade. And her kids, unaware of the irony, ask for spinning rims. I've never met Kim, but I've seen her a thousand times here.

In what was, I believe, a HW's first, Kim reveals that her man will remain a mystery, and be referred to as Big Papa. I prefer sugar Papa. I have a hunch about who this is, but will wait to reveal my guess at a later writing, after I make sure I won't get sued for it.

So, we have Kim, the yo girl, the sugar daddy manipulating (I think that's fair?) divorcee, in a secret relationship with Sugar Papa, riding in an Escalade. I also noted that at lunch with NeNe, there was a pack of menthol cigarettes placed in front of Kim. With that my friends, all cliched stereotypes have been achieved. Check please! And make sure you automatically grat it!

I have no doubt Kim will have an excellent story this season.

On a separate note, I thought her dress was pretty tight, both literally and figuratively. It was the most artistic piece worn by the girls. I think Nina Garcia would approve, but what do I know about fashion? A lot actually - thanks Bravo!

NeNe, Kim's apparent partner-in-crime, has a few things going on that are going to be perfect for HW's. She has a, let's say, interesting way with her vocabulary. She uses words like, Blam!, poppin' and bussin'. She snaps her fingers, rolls her eyes, and cocks her head. by the end of the episode I realized one thing for sure - I'm not messin' with NeNe. I mean, there's a good chance I'm going to run into her. And there's a good chance that when pressed, she might be willing to drop her earrings and deliver the type of beat down I took from girls like her in high school (long story). Hey, I never said I was tough - I wear pink shoes!

At one point, during the guest list smack down, NeNe launched into a string of profanity not heard on Bravo since, well, my season of Top Chef. NeNe went all Andrew D'Ambrosi. For sure, as it was with my colleague Andrew, there would be no sending home NeNe without security dragging her out.

I felt bad for her. It seemed pretty obvious to me that she was set up. I have a feeling that NeNe will be a much-loved character. At home, as with the Snow's, NeNe's family seems pretty down to earth. Also, I couldn't help but think that her husband Gregg had the look of a smooth, deep-voiced R&B singer - very Barry White-esque.

Lisa. Lisa is Chinese and Black. I only mention this because it was made obvious that it's important to Lisa. Otherwise, it's irrelevant. But Lisa reminds me a bit of my wife. My wife, for the record, is Honduran and Irish. Seriously though, Lisa is a firecracker, or maybe more like a small missile. Watching her energy was inspiring. All too often on this show, a character proclaims there activeness, just to be filmed drinking coffee and making photo copies. Lisa Wu Hartwell seems like a catalyst. She could run for Vice President!

Lisa is the second RHoATL to be in a relationship with a pro-athlete, this time an NFL linebacker. Lisa and Ed seem like a neat couple. I changed my mind. "Neat" describes a couple who live in the mid-west circa 1950. Lisa and Ed are a slammin' couple. OK, I'll admit it -I want to go bowling at Hartwell lanes.

It will be interesting to see how Lisa gets involved throughout the season. She definitely seems like the most ambitious, career-oriented HW and for someone with a new business like myself, it will be fun to experience her energy. Also, the story of an athlete returning from injury adds some serious guy drama.

And we are down to Sheree Whitfield. On the show, Sheree is divorcing Bob Whitfield. Long story short, Bob Whitfield IS, or WAS, the Atlanta Falcons. He played so many years, on good and bad teams, at a demanding physical position. I know don't know much about Mr. Whitfield, but the show is evidence to the type of money a veteran NFL player can make.

Obviously, Sheree is very used to her ex-husband's wealth. Sheree has come across as the most entitled housewife ever to star on a Real Housewives series. And last season, there was a Countess! I had a lot of trouble buying into the genuineness of Sheree. As someone who has had the camera pointed at them, I've seen her behavior before. She is the character that is trying to act a certain way. Usually, this wears off, so I'm looking forward to the ice princess melting a bit. I'm a bit uncertain as to why she has such a large staff. I mean a creative director, an assistant and a publicist? Maybe I missed something that detailed Sheree's "business"?

What did you think about the guest list situation? Something's not right, and I'm sure based on the previews for next week, it's gonna get dramatic.

So we are off to a great start in the ATL. Here are also some random things I picked up:

1. None of these ladies live in the city of Atlanta. Not a big deal, as one of the RHW-NYC lived in Brooklyn, but I'm just saying. That being said, most of the locations were OTP. That's Atlanta slang for Outside the Perimeter. For those familiar with NY lingo, this is the same as Bridge and Tunnel.

2. Food thoughts. Couldn't identify the restaurant at lunch, but am guessing it was at perimeter mall. Nor the restaurant where Nay Nay ate dinner with her husband. They served crabcakes and grouper, so that narrows it down to 99% of the Southeast!

3. There was a shot of Twist restaurant in the background at the end. Twist is a notorious hangout for, well, for ladies like the RHW-ATL.

4. Some pretty b-roll shots of Piedmont Park in Midtown and of course our neat skyline, which can always be recognized by the Westin Hotels cylinder of a skyscraper. And until next week - Peace up.... A- town down, don't ask... A - TOWN A - TOWN Get Richard's recipe for "The Ubiquitous Atlanta Crab Cake" after the jump!

The Ubiquitous Atlanta Crab Cake

1 lb. Jumbo lump crab

1/4c. Panko bread crumbs

1/4c. Onion, small dice

1/4c. Celery,small dice

2 tbsp. Garlic, minced

2 tbsp. Dill,chopped

2 tbsp. Parsley, chopped

2 tbsp. Basil, chopped

1 tsp. Tarragon, chopped

3 tbsp. Ginger, minced

2 tbsp. Scallion, chopped

1/4c. Mayonnaise

Chinese mustard to taste

A few dashes of Oregon bay spice (Terra Spice Company)

Flour Butter

Method

Sweat the garlic, ginger, onion and celery in butter. Then chill. Mix cooked crab mixture, herbs, mayo, bread crumbs, and spices. Mold into cakes Dust in flour and sear, basting in butter continuously. Serve with your favorite condiment. I like the Chili Garlic from Curry Simple, a squeeze of lemon, or make it into a sandwich.

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