I’m late to this “Love & Hip Hip Atlanta” (runaway) train (wreck).
I tried to stay away. I really did. I wrote a preview before the show launched, hoping it would just fade away. But viewership has nearly doubled since the first week as word of mouth spread.
The show hit a ratings high last week (3.5 million viewers, 5.5 million if you count the 10 p.m. repeat), compelling me to take this ignominious position of writing recaps.
Since I’m not quite up to date with the storylines, having not seen all the episodes, let me provide my impressions of the show in general, especially compared to the “Housewives” shows:
- Background or foreground? The producers embed the music much more aggressively than the “Housewives” shows, often featuring songs with vocals, which can be distracting. They’ll even highlight the songs by name on screen, notably a current single by Flo Rida “Whistle.” (Do labels give them a kickback?)
- Foodie travelogue? The cast members seem to enjoy having meals at restaurants that seem oddly bereft of other customers or even staff. And often, they are not even seen eating and drinking. They also like patios. I suspect these meetings are set up at 4 p.m. in the afternoon or 10:30 a.m. or some other less-than-busy time. But I appreciate that VH1 identifies the restaurant and neighborhood, too. “Housewives’ does not do that consistently. Among the places the cast members hung out with during this episode: Park Tavern in Midtown, Dugan’s in South Atlanta, Imperial Fez in South Atlanta and 255 Tapas Lounge in Castleberry Hills.
- Waste not, want not; To include more scenes, the show pretty much get straight to whatever folks are talking about. “Housewives’ tends to let scenes play out longer.
- Atlanta Ink: Hip hop dudes (and dude-ettes) love their tattoos.
- Cry me a river! This particular episode did not include any big verbal battles between the ladies but plenty of tears. Rasheeda got teary over firing her husband as her manager. Benzino got teary when Karlie rejected his house key, a move he felt to show more commitment. Why? Her manager had said Benzino had gotten “cold” reputation wise in the hip-hop industry. “Do you want love or a career,” the manager asked, as if the two were mutually exclusive. Benzino was hurt. Mimi and her rogue baby’s daddy Stevie J got teary over therapy and their past. His mom abandoned him. Ditto with Mimi. He also admitted he’s a liar though I can’t tell he has any real intention of changing.
-She’s a she, right? Joseline came across in earlier episodes as a complete nasty beeyotch – all heat and attitude. But she has softened up big time by episode seven after she slept with Stevie J, the scalawag of the show, got pregnant and had an abortion. She tries and fails to get out of her contract with Stevie J professionally. “Never bite the hand that feeds you,” Stevie J says – or maybe never swim in the pool where you work?
- This is not a love song: Stevie J has a warped way of coming up with a so-called love song to Mimi at Park Tavern.
I can’t go on living with you no more
All the arguing, fussing, fighting brings red and blue lights
Barry White, this is not.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk