From black women owning entertainment to the hellscape that is American politics, 2017 has been a year of polarizing change and picking the right side or wrong side of history. Unfortunately, even fictional characters weren't spared from the dumpster fire tendencies of this year.
Whether unlucky in love, saddled with a shark-jumping plot or unspeakable tragedy, here are are 8 characters that deserve better in 2018.
Something terrible is happening: networks are announcing the dates of their *gulp* season finales of all of our favorite shows. How could we let this happen?! What am I going to do in that endless, sweaty showhole normal folks call summer?!
Thankfully, I've been through this before, and I know how to handle the post-TV season panic in a way that is more productive than chaining myself to that sculpture in the The CW's headquarter's lobby. I just need to remind myself that that my Netflix and Bravo are still my entertainment lifesavers, and in mid-March, most shows are still in production. Also, thanks to an ever-evolving television schedule, some shows are just beginning production.
Earlier this week, EW.com reported that the one and only Angie Tribeca herself was guest-starring on ABC's black-ish as Rainbow's sister. If you thought it was too good to be true, we know now have photographic proof! In the snap above posted by star Tracee Ellis-Ross, Rashida Jones looks AMAHZING and this BTS shot features all of the Johnson siblings thus far, including Daveed Diggs' free spirit, Johan.
Try not to catch a nasty case of FOMO from these amazing behind-the-scenes Instagrams from Black-ish, Empire, The Flash and more...
In a Dubai hotel suite in more luxurious and sprawling than actual castles, six women bicker about the schedule of a chronically ill woman.
In a Jamaican resort, a grown woman berates another for being passed over for a job opportunity.
In a beach house in Maryland, one woman insults another for allowing her husband and owner of the house to stay the night during a “girl’s weekend.”
These incidents of cringe-worthy pettiness have all taken place on various editions of Bravo’s The Real Housewives’ series--Beverly Hills, Atlanta and Potomac, respectively. If what used to make for addictive, live-tweetable television now feels like an exasperating, brain cell killing waste of time, you may have Housewives Fatigue.
From Cynthia’s martial issues and launch of her eyewear collection to the petty competition for occupancy certificates between Moore Manor and Chateau Sheree, the eighth, and Nene Leakes-lite, season of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, has yet to disappoint.
New housewife actress/director/Scout Mommy Kim Fields has been an polarizing and frustrating for addition to the cast. Fans of the show and Fields’ career were taken aback by a Kim's surprisingly homebodied personality. She's a woman who successfully avoided the perils of Hollywood and child stardom when few black women did, but can't bear being away from her husband for more than 12 hours. How does she direct “hundreds of hours of television” and corral petulant, ego-driven actors, but is overwhelmed by the prospect of a day on a boat with accomplished women? Did she even know what she was signing up for?
Season 8 of “The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” has been like most franchises these days—a rush for alliances, more shade than a blinds store and a hell of a lot of fun, thanks to the ladies’ dynamic personalities and quick wit. Atlanta in particular, has been bogged down with the fallout of not one, but two physical altercations: Cynthia punted Porsha like a glammed-up football after a drunken misunderstanding and the tragically-haired friend Tammy was knocked unconscious by her own “nephew.”
This week’s episode boasted the usual shenanigans from uber-manager and extra thirsty Don Juan. But more importantly, it also offered a realistic glimpse at the physical and emotional struggles of motherhood. New mom-to-be Kandi Burruss struggled to balance her near pathological ambition with the demands of a high-risk pregnancy. The increasingly irritating and overeager Don Juan obsessed over her every move, citing Kandi's "mature" age (but not that she's his fame and meal ticket and the most tolerant boss ever). Meanwhile, Phaedra celebrated (or endured) a milestone as her beautiful and loquacious son Ayden started kindergarten in a freakin' bowtie!
Much of Kandi’s arc this season has been her celebrated pregnancy—a happier departure from Mama Joyce drama—and her unstoppable need to work. In addition to expanding her empire that includes songwriting, Atlanta-based boutiques, and a national line of sex toys, Kandi is also opening a restaurant with Todd and returning to music by executive producing singer Demetria McKinney’s new album and filming a video for the first single, a duet called “Unnecessary Trouble" (think "The Boy Is Mine" for the soccer mom sect).
The pressure is on, and there are three very big problems to contend with—Kandi’s ample bust and growing belly. Wardrobe disguises both in a glorified purple cotton sheet and bedazzled boots. It’s an uninspired and laughable choice, but Kandi, the consummate professional absolutely werked those sleeves and that weave, and looked amazing. Homegirl even managed to bust out a few bodyrolls whilst pregnant. If that doesn’t deserve an applause, nothing does.
Unlike overpriced Hermes handbags, every season of Bravo's "The Real Housewives" has its own unique in its own over-the-top, captivating flare. The women of New York are neurotic, anxiety-driven whack-a-doodles who talk so fast and so much that they can insult each other without the others realizing it until hours later. The Beverly Hills wives are so deliciously connected that every conversation feels like a behind-the-scenes tell-all come to life. Atlanta offers the best catchphrases ("Fix it, Jesus"; "Gone With The Wind Fabulous"; "Bloop") and supportive friendships.
However, every franchise is built on a catty, insecure, zany foundation that's vintage Housewives, and it must be celebrated! If you are 21 and over, you can play Small Screen Girl's Real Housewives Drinking Game! An since Housewives diets are more regulated than American gun sales, you can trade alcohol for bites of your favorite carby or chocolaty treat, if you're underage, don't like alcohol or just hungry! #DrinkResponsibly
Take a drink or a bite if the following happens:
There is a montage of a Housewife's gigantic and impeccably decorated home.
A Housewife is frazzled during the set-up of a party, even though the caterers and event planners are doing all of the work.
A few Housewives decide that a glamorous party or a charity event is the perfect time to hash out their problems. It does not go well.
A tiny disagreement between two Housewives becomes an episodes-long fiasco with people taking sides and possible hashtags (#whatdidHarrydo #tablegate #scaryisland).
This week's episode of “The Real Housewives Of Atlanta” was admittedly tamer than last week’s shade-tastic premiere. But don't get it twisted, it was still jam-packed with deliciously juicy moments from our Atlanta peaches.
Grab your favorite MVP trophy, and let's dive in, shall we?
False alarm? The premiere episode ended with Kenya going all the way in with Sheree about her still unfinished chateau. And just when you though the week long cliffhanger would end with Kenya actually hanging off the side of a the hotel's rooftop, it fizzles out like a dud firecraker. No drinks are thrown. Porsha's Naked hair extensions aren't lying on the floor. Bravo editors can create suspense out of anything, and we fall for it every time.
There’s are some raised voices and a bit of shaky camera work before Kenya apologizes for calling Sheree a "bitchass" and slips out away. Kenya acts like it was an innocent misunderstanding, and wouldn't dream of coming for Sheree the second they met. She better hope karma doesn’t find her in the form of a Buckhead rainstorm because her house just might float away.
Moore Delusions. Kenya met with “Hollywood Royalty” Kim Fields to reminisce about the glory days in Hollywood and, of course to insult her before asking for a gigantic favor. After suggesting that Tootie’s famous rollerskates were on eBay (apparently no one remembers that Kim was also on "Living Single" AKA the original "Sex And The City"), she asks Kim—a busy actor, director and mother—to sign on as a director of her still unpurchased “Life Twirls On” pilot before even giving her the chance to watch it. It must be said that Kenya's pilot has been so well-received that no network wants it. Even a seasoned actress like Mrs. Fields had to stretch those improv muscles to politely decline. I actually want to see this pilot because something tells me it actually might not be that bad.
Fields Of Dreams. Kim Fields was finally introduced, and she seems like a colorful, sweet breath of fresh air. Her introductory montage includes touching moments with her husband and young sons, and not one frame of her buying extravagant gems or standing in a meticulously organized closet the size of my apartment that's filled with shoes and handbags. I’m simultaneously refreshed by her unpretentious happiness and worried that the other women will demolish her within a few episodes with their pettiness and unnecessary shade. Though I'm sure decades of Hollywood has made her tougher and shrewd than her sunny exterior and dye job seems.
Ration your tea, everyone, because this season of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is about to spill it all. The teaser, which featured scrumptious tidbits of jaw-dropping drama, choreographed African dance, tears, and someone unconscious on the floor, was enough to send me induce guilty-pleasure euphoria. And the episode itself was stuffed with plenty of pearl-clutching moments that I didn't even notice the absence of NeNe Leakes. Bloop!
Grab your favorite cocktail and let's break this episode down, shall we?
Duchess Porsha. In an wincingly ironic twist, we find the ever-glam Porsha in a new relationship with Buffalo Bills’ safety, Duke Williams. She showers him with luxury hotel suite, and designer clothes. He arrives with a backpack and a dopey smile--he's a bit young, you see. It's a complete role-reversal from her marriage to former football player and all-American douchebag Kordell Stewart, who loved to pamper and dress her (while treating her like garbage). Porsha is merely taking charge of her love life with "no apologies," and from the three minutes of giggly, gropey screen time Duke gets, I don't get any creeper vibes yet. I will only worry when Porsha starts restricting his behavior and telling him to retire from football so he can maintain the home.
#BlackGirlGlamour. Atlanta’s sidewalks must be made entirely of red carpets and runways because nearly all of the women worked seriously fabulous fashions. From Phaedra’s black outfit complete with a mini-cape and longer, sultry locks to Porsha’s elegant white dress with the sassy change purse pockets to Marlo’s complicated banded black jumpsuit, the Atlanta women serving us Black Girl Glamour.
Moore Manor. It’s not remotely shocking that resident villain and shit-stirrer, Kenya Moore found a house in mere feet away from Chateau Sheree. Moore Manor is light years beyond a fixer-upper, but it does have good bones (said bones may be infested with snakes and termites, though). It’s not a Real Housewives season without some murky real estate woes, so Kenya’s treacherous moneypit definitely fills that requirement. Her insistence to throw shade at the unfinished Chateau Sheree is all in devious fun. Until it's not.
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.