Sheree is the star of ‘RHOA’ and other random thoughts about Season 9

Kenya Moore made an interesting observation about the Real Housewives of Atlanta while live-tweeting during the show last night. Moore responded to a couple tweeters that RHOA is the number one show on Bravo. “We transcend race,” the reality star wrote. Transcending race is a farce, but Kenya is right about RHOA having almost two million more viewers than all the other Housewives in the franchise. Black girl magic? Perhaps. It is the only all-black show under the umbrella while the others — New York City, Orange County, Beverly Hills, New Jersey — don’t include any black women. What the significant gap in viewership means in a larger context, I’m not sure. For me, though, it speaks to the nine years I’ve stayed invested in these vivacious, shady, funny, messy women’s lives. Nine seasons in, on every Sunday (with rare exceptions) you can find me tuned in to Bravo at 8:00 p.m. on the dot.

Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Porsha Williams, Phaedra Parks, Sheree Whitfield and Kandi Burruss make our Sundays brighter. Even Solange is obsessed with the RHOA matrix, wishing the show came on every two days. I feel you, girl. After last night’s fifth episode I had a few thoughts on this season so far. Shall we?

Sheree is clearly the star.

Not even up for debate. The battle royale between Chateau Sheree vs. Moore Manor would’ve gotten old quick with anyone but Sheree. Sheree showed up in all her shadiness to Kenya’s housewarming party. The lack of air conditioning, Kenya leaving her pipes exposed, and the dust falling from the unfinished construction was all fodder for Sheree’s shadiness. And she delivered it perfectly at the housewarming. She went for the jugular during her and Kenya’s argument at laser tag. Kenya had it coming though — she started the whole competition last season.

Everybody has had something to say about how long it’s taking Sheree to finish her house — four to five years and counting. But Kenya takes it to another level, like how she alleges Sheree’s house is in her mama’s name. Girl. Kenya couldn’t even talk to Sheree without calling her a bitch, but then plays victim when Sheree clapbacks with a smooth “I can fit your entire house in my master bedroom.” Come through, Sheree! Sheree deserved her peach back. Her body is banging, she reads like no other, and tells it like it is when everybody else pussyfoots around the issue. It’s also interesting to see how her relationship with Bob has evolved over the years. While I personally think she should leave exes in the past where they belong, I’m happy they can co-parent as friends. All hail queen Sheree.

Phaedra and Porsha deserve a spinoff.

Frick and frack’s friendship is really the best part of the show at this point. They have fun together, always laughing and making us laugh in the process. That’s what a real friendship should be. It’s not all lollipops and roses either. They show up for each other. Porsha tagged along with her BFF to Philly for the Democratic National Convention to support the police brutality panel Phaedra was part of. Even though she couldn’t make it with Phaedra to visit Apollo in prison, she gave her friend an encouraging spiel. When Kenya put Porsha out of her housewarming, Phaedra left with her. I know that’s right, Phae Phae! Watching their genuine friendship on TV is enjoyable and refreshing. They give me all the “go best frannn, that’s my best frannnn!” vibes. And it’s wonderful to see black sisterhood in this way on a reality show that naturally highlights drama.

Kenya is still insufferable.

I’ve tried to ease up on Kenya over the years because she clearly has a lot of internal issues that can only be worked out through therapy. Kenya is such a fun person when she’s happy. Showing up to the ATV outing she planned even though Matt stood her up was commendable. She also handled Matt’s overbearing sister with grace, because that lady deserved an ol’ nice-nasty read for doing too damn much. But those moments are overshadowed by Kenya’s misery and how she inflicts that misery on everyone around her. There’s no way she can be a happy person with the constant low blows she hurls out. I can’t even call it shade because it’s deeper and nastier than that. The audacity of her saying Sheree’s “thunder thighs” couldn’t fit in an ATV. Kenya, girl. Sheree’s body is sickening! And Kenya’s definitely bigger than Sheree, but who cares. All of the ladies have amazing cornbread-fed bodies. No reason at all for the unnecessary body shaming.

While Kenya is busy insulting everyone (seriously, did she really try to shade her girl Cynthia’s ‘fro?), she needs to figure out why she won’t walk away from a man who kicks doors off the hinges and punches walls. Work on your own shit and leave people alone.

What exactly is Kandi’s storyline?

Now I love me a get-money type of chick. Kandi’s hustle is inspiring. She’s seemingly cool enough. But other than her opening the restaurant, with Todd and Riley’s father reappearing after being a deadbeat for 14 years, what exactly are we supposed to gather from Kandi’s story this season? Mama Joyce is hella cool with Todd now, judging by the sexy date night she set up for the couple. So without the Mama Joyce tension, Kandi’s story falls a little flat. If only she could repair her friendship with Phaedra.

Cynthia is really growing on me.

It’s not that I ever disliked Cynthia, but her days of kissing Nene Leakes’s butt made me weary. The way she would flip flop and passive aggressively deal with issues really tried my patience. All that aside, Cynthia has always been graceful, fly, sweet, and likable for the most part. Although she’s going through a divorce from Peter, you can see she’s coming into her own again. Cynthia now has time to focus on her own businesses without pouring her mental energy and finances into Peter’s endeavors. Her relationship with Noel seems beautiful. She’s in a happy place with all the girls. My one wish would be to see her rekindle the relationship with Noel’s daddy, Leon.

Other random thoughts:

- The focus on Porsha’s “anger management” is racially coded nonsense. Do they ever beat us over the head that the white housewives who fight are “angry?” Yeah, didn’t think so.
– Block is such a deadbeat. Kandi should’ve intercepted his opportunist request to appear on the show. But since he’s here, I am here to remind him much of a deadbeat he is.
– Looks like R.L. and Lena are trying to secure a permanent spot. Not sure if their lives are interesting enough for TV, but the show could use another married couple.
– Kandi’s team is so messy and annoying. They have an opinion on everyone and… like… who asked y’all? It comes across as thirsty for some camera time. Sit down, please.
– Sheree’s convo with her son about the police was the heartbreaking reality of nearly every black mother and father in America.
– Phaedra’s workshop on police brutality was ripe with respectability. We all cringed through it, yes?
– Cynthia’s hair is always point! That ‘fro was amazing. Kenya is obviously a hater.
– When will Sheree’s house be finished?

I must say: Season 9 is doing quite alright without Linnethia “Nene” Leakes. A few are holding it down more than others, but everyone is bringing something different to the table. All I’d ask for is a bit more drama starring the one and only pot stirrer, Marlo Hampton. Then the RHOA circle would be complete.