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November 12, 2011  | by: Dania McDermott

Real Housewives of Atlanta, Season 4

Following a dismally boring third season, The Real Housewives of Atlanta returned to Bravo this week, bearing with it the mild suggestion that in its fourth go-round, things’ll get better.

But drama mongers will have to be patient about getting their feisty fix, as the season premiere is inevitably focused on establishing what the women have been up to since viewers last saw them. So what of it, you ask?

Simple. And Elegant.

Phaedra “High Class” Parks has become infinitely more likeable, if only from an absolutely comedic perspective. Known for hosting parties with eccentric, over the top elements  (e.g., the baby shower waltz with Dwight), the high profile attorney spent episode one planning a funeral for her great aunt. Her qualifications were that the event be “simple and elegant,” so when funeral director Willie Watkins shows the Parks clan a hearse with flashing lights that blasts music from its exterior, she knows she’s come to the right place.

And having enlisted the help of a man who’s buried famous folks – which she of course points out – one thing becomes imminently clear: Phaedra doesn’t want a simple service – she wants a goddamn extravaganza.

Mild-mannered model Cynthia has opened an agency of ambiguous aims to… help aspiring models? We’re not entirely sure what the goal is, and based on the conversation she had with runway coach, Miss Jay Alexander (the highlight of her segment), neither is she.

Since hosting Kandi Koated Nights, a sex and relationship themed web-show, Kandi’s decided to expand her brand – by about 10 inches. That’s right, folks: The former Xscape member is excitedly planning for the launch of her sex toy line, tentatively titled “Bedroom Candy.” Let’s just be thankful she’s better at naming songs.

Kroy Can Do Better

Kroy Can Do Better

When Kim, who has finally moved beyond mystery married man, “Big Papa,” brags that new beau, Kroy Biermann, is “twenty-five, humble, and a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons,” one has to wonder what he’s doing with a talentless oaf who looks like his slutty Aunt Sally to begin with. Perhaps it’s knowing what a great mother she’ll be to their child after seeing the care with which she raises her own that’s captivated him — this will come in especially handy when he’s away on business, as Kim points out:

“With Kroy being gone, it’s nice having my girls around. They bring me things all day long. And they’re happy to do it.”

Separated from Greg, Nene instills more tough love by buying trifling son, Bryson a replacement for the truck he crashed — though she did insist that he “help out more” given the purchase. Apparently there are places Nene’s Range Rover just won’t go.

Outside of her domestic life, Celebrity Apprentice exposure has only enriched Nene’s already buoyant personality.

Just ask Sheree. Claiming she’s been “getting more attention for her acting” during the lull between seasons, the divorcee alleges that after inviting Nene in on a money-making event, “the heifer tried to backdoor me.” In typical Housewives fashion, the pair meet to discuss at a swanky establishment, determined to appear classy when they will ultimately become anything but.

Nene Sidesteps Accusations Using Her Favorite Shield, Ego

Nene Sidesteps Using Her Favorite Shield, Ego

Of course, both women’s standpoints make sense: Sheree feels that Nene, who’s “always been conniving,” has let the increased visibility get to her head, while Nene believes Sheree is jealous of her success. Jealous or not, when charged with trying to be paid more for the event than originally discussed (thus taking monies from Sheree’s allotment), Nene is uncharacteristically at a loss for words.

Appearing guilty as hell to anyone who’s ever been lied to, Nene maintains her defensive stance while hastily exiting the restaurant. Later, when the tears hit, she tells Cynthia she’s hurt that Sheree would take someone else’s word over her own. Cynthia buys it, but we’re not convinced – those tears were owed more to Sheree’s last minute jabs about (the rotten teeth and repossessed cars of) Nene’s past than anything else.

Their ho-hum argument closed episode one, and while we weren’t privy to future Nene vs. Sheree spats, the sneak peak that followed did its best at suggesting a future worth sticking around for: A trip to South Africa; Nene dating a white guy; Sheree taking ex-husband to court with Phaedra playing attorney; a fight between Cynthia and Phaedra’s hubbies; and, of course, Nene biting bitches’ heads off. Stay tuned.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs Sunday nights on Bravo at 9pm EST.

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