Do you love Bravo, but have a hard time keeping up with the drama of the Real Housewives, the magical world of Andy Cohen, and the denizens of “Summer House”? We watch them all — so you don’t have to. Here are this week’s Bravo highlights.
‘Real Housewives Of Atlanta’
Two weeks ago, Porsha Williams and Kandi Burruss had a come-to-Jesus lunch where the revelations and accusations flew fast and furious. We thought there was no way any more drama could have been packed into that meal, but boy, were we wrong. It turns out the most volatile bombshell was held back until this week’s episode — and we were completely unprepared when it blew up on March 5.
At Kandi’s house, things seem laid back as Cynthia Bailey, Sheree Whitfield, Kenya Moore, and Shamea Morton relax while Kandi catches them up on Porsha’s latest allegations. The women react pretty hilariously, pretending to search around Kandi’s room for the fabled sex dungeon. But when Kandi reveals that Porsha’s stories have reached a new and twisted level — namely, alleging that there was some nefarious plot afoot where Kandi and her husband plotted to drug Porsha and Shamea and bring them back to the mythical sex dungeon – Porsha’s fantastical stories don’t seem so funny anymore…
All the women recognize the ridiculous lie for what it is -- another effort by Porsha to make Kandi look bad, but one that could have very grave real-life consequences. And in just five minutes, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” gives us everything we’ve been loving about this season. Even sworn enemies can hang out and have some laughs at Kandi’s -- but when things get real they all understand the moment that Porsha’s lies go from mystifying to malicious. This season “Atlanta” has unflinchingly explored domestic violence (which looks to continue next episode), shown that being not-entirely-straight isn’t something you have to defend or apologize for, and now seems to be setting us up for a storyline on how false accusations of serious crimes not only have repercussions for the accused, but can actually be used to attack the credibility of real victims. Making us laugh and making us think: The drama this season couldn’t be any more rooted in reality.
After a season of complaints, the “Summer House” denizens seem to -- at least occasionally -- be acting their age in the March 6 episode:
- Carl Radke is open with Lauren Wirkus about how he's jerked her around -- and how part of that is because he’s screwed up about his own parent’s relationship, and she astutely points out that his self-sabotage is rooted in his low self-esteem. They may have had a rocky start, but God help us, they’re kind of adorable together now.
- Cristina Gibson is frustrated at people for always yelling at her for meddling when she’s just trying to facilitate adult communication, and is realizing that the only way to fit in at the house is to be drunk and immature -- which she’s not interested in.
- Kyle Cooke has finally realized that he doesn’t actually want to be Single Kyle: He’s ready to date and be monogamous, and he’s ready to commit to Amanda Batula... Which he also knows means being upfront about all his dalliances in the last month -- and he's rightfully nervous that he’s come to his senses too late.
And finally, we get to see Everett Weston and Lindsay Hubbard's frank and honest conversation about the crossroads in their relationship, and work through their decision between moving forward or breaking up for good. These people are a lot more likeable when they’re showing emotional integrity -- too bad it's only happening the week before the season finale next week...
'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'
There are lots of great moments in the Mar. 7 episode: Kim Richards is giddy over being a grandma, and even Lisa Rinna and Lisa Vanderpump reach a détente of sorts... But the star of the show by far this week is our beloved Erika Jayne. Early in the episode, there are a few moments where she's prickly and aloof to Dorit -- and readily admits that she’s a very guarded person... Which we get a glimpse of, traveling with her to hometown Conyers, GA, to support her mother who is in a play -- and to visit the graves of her late grandparents.
Over the course of the episode we learn that Erika was raised by a young single mom who taught her to be tough, and that ever since then she’s seen vulnerability as a weakness. We ache for her as she seems to let her guard down for her two friends/glam squad members who have accompanied her on the trip:
It's still clear that, even as much as she reveals about her experience losing her grandmother slowly to Alzheimer’s, she still holds back. It’s only in front of the confessional camera later that she truly shows her agony. At one point, she looks to the side, eyes a little unfocused, and for a moment you see not Erika Girardi or Erika Jayne, but just Erika at her truest core. It’s achingly beautiful, and we fell in love with her just a little more.
All in all, this week provided some surprisingly forthright and compelling adult drama, for a network and genre often derided about both. We're not saying we're not surprised -- but we are very happy to have stuck around to catch these moments.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, "Summer House" airs Mondays at 10, and the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" airs Tuesdays at 9.