Generally, this show is most entertaining when the cast members get catty with each other.
This was not one of those episodes. In fact, there was no tension at all among any of the housewives or even a wannabe housewife like Marlo Hampton.
If you want over-the-top drama, you needed to go over to VH1 and watch “Mob Wives” an hour earlier. There’s blood and cursing and hair pulling and punches that would scare the wig off Kim Zolciak!
Instead, the focal point this week was problems between Cynthia Bailey and her new husband Peter Thomas.
Peter in the eighth episode had left Cynthia’s model agency party early and didn’t tell her. When she announced his name, he was long gone. In this new episode, Peter had scheduled a “date night” salsa class but she was still peeved.
She told him she was upset he just got up and left. He said he hates to say goodbye but didn’t apologize. She said they have a major communications problem. And they do.
At a counseling session at Enon Chruch and Ministries with Pastor Gregory Pollard, Cynthia tried to get Peter to open up. “We don’t talk to each other,” she said. “We talk at each other.”
“She don’t think I listen,” Peter acknowledged. “But I listen extremely well. Sometimes, I just react to something that was said. My reaction may not be the best.”
“We effectively communicate or detrimentally disintegrate,” Pollard said.
“You can’t say you’re a dinosaur and that’s just the way it is,” Cynthia said, very reasonably. (Peter didn’t take that line well.)
“I would like to come up with some sort of plan,” she said.
Pollard suggests they each say why they love each other. “You have this strength,” Cynthia said. “You’re smarter in so many ways. You’re older. You’ve done things I’ve never done.”
“It’s not the stuff I love you is why we’re here,” Peter said, resisting the exercise. “We’re here is about what we don’t like about each other.”
He eventually said he loved how she treats people. “The moment I look at her, the day is better,” she said. “She probably doesn’t know it because I don’t say it to her.” He appreciated that she wants it to work.
Peter received the third-party advice surprisingly well. Maybe this will work after all.
After the meeting, Cynthia told Peter she sometimes doesn’t like him – or even love him. But she said there’s hope: “We both need a lot of work.” They hug, with sappy music.
In other housewives news:
- Phaedra Parks convinced her husband Apollo (reluctantly) to help her in pursuing a funeral home business, in a joint venture with Willie Watkins funeral home. He was squeamish about it, even after Watkins gave him a tour of the home, showing him the embalming equipment and caskets.
- Kandi Burruss traveled to Nashville to meet up with country recording artist Jo Dee Messina and do some recording. There was a bit of awkward give and take between the two. Kandi was nervous singing a new song with her. Jo Dee taught her some rules about country music. Whether this ultimately led to any usable songs was hard to tell but what Jo Dee sang didn’t sound too bad. I’m sure Kandi was happy to be working with an actual singer as opposed to Miss Tardy for the Party.
- Sheree Whitfield visited Kim Zolciak and tried to get her to work out. You can guess how that worked out. Sheree also had her try some ginger juice. “She likes the fast fixes,” Sheree noted correctly. Exercise is not a fast fix.
- Kim, by the way, struggled to reign in Brielle, her spoiled 14-year-old daughter who refused to do any work, including organizing their Versace place settings (a mere $500 per setting.)
- NeNe Leakes hung out with Marlo Hampton, the woman who tried her darndest to become a housewife but didn’t make the grade this season. At Goldfish at Perimeter Mall, they quickly smoothed over any issues concerning NeNe dating Marlo’s boyfriend Charles Grant. NeNe repeated that she dated him once long before she knew of Marlo and that was that. In other words, the producers tried desperately to pump up a non-story and it deflated fast. More interestingly, Marlo told NeNe that she was arrested seven times over a fight in a club and parole violations in her younger years. NeNe was amused.
Later in the episode, Marlo invited NeNe to a Captain Planet foundation fundraiser at a private home of a jeweler Elizabeth Dupree Lynch. Marlo is friends with Laura Turner Seydel, Ted Turner’s daughter who runs the foundation. Ted’s girlfriend Elizabeth Dewberry was there, too. This is proof that Marlo is more of a socialite than any of the existing housewives. Downside: no drama. Best moment: Lynch explained a piece inspired by the Dalai Lama and it was obvious NeNe had no clue who she was talking about.
“I want to do fabulous funerals, funerals worth dying for. Real events! Not just throw them in the ground. Let’s throw them in the ground with a bam!” – Phaedra, on her newest business.
“I’m not feeling this whole activity we’re doing.” - Brielle to Kroy and Kim about place settings.
“It’s work.” – Kroy responds dryly, adding “You wouldn’t survive two days in the real world.”
“I don’t want any drama. I don’t feel like arguing,” NeNe, the usual queen of drama.
“Are you trying to f—-g kill me, Sheree?” - Kim to Sheree as they “plank.”
“I don’t know about going green – unless it’s green going to the bank.” NeNe, after going to a Captain Planet fundraiser.
“I’m not touching no dead bodies.” - Apollo, drawing a line about the funeral biz.
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS
Kandi is a guest on the first “Watch What Happens” live of 2012. The show is going five days a week this year, too. Kandi said she hopes at least one song she and Messina worked on would be released. “We did a couple of songs that were really really great,” she said.
Host Andy Cohen asked Kandi if she thought Kim had quit smoking (a reference Sheree made in passing during the episode). The silence said everything.
For Kandi, the fact Marlo had been arrested seven times was old news on the blogs. (Yes, I even reported it last summer because I have no shame when it comes to this stuff.)
Questlove, the musician and other guest, didn’t believe Peter and Cynthia would last. “It made me sad,” Kandi said, while watching them try to communicate.
Kandi said a reunion with Xscape is unlikely. Except for Tiny, “I haven’t spoken to them in years.”
And of course, Kim never paid Kandi all the monies due for “Tardy for the Party.” “I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” she said, understandably.
TRAILER FOR NEXT WEEK
Kim learns how to shoot a gun. Phaedra tries to have a reconciliation with Cynthia and brings Peter and Apollo along. Kandi and Phaedra take a dance class. Kandi’s mom Joyce invites Kim and NeNe together at a dinner table for the first time in ages. It’s awkward.
The numbers for episode 8 were the best of the season, at 3.4 million viewers. We’ll have the episode 9 numbers later Monday.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk