Twas simpler then, in the long ago days of yore (last fall) when I attended the first Real Housewives of Atlanta premiere party. The red carpet was well organized and spacious; after all, who knew it would be the hit that it was? The crowd was like Goldilocks’s third bowl of porridge: just right, and mostly made up of the Housewives’ friends and families. (The crowd, not the porridge.)
Last night, on the other hand, was the second season premiere party for the Housewives at the W-Atlanta, Buckhead, and boy how times have changed. Instead of a red carpet, there was a “red corner” in which those cherry-picked by organizers as worthy were crammed, as twenty or so photographers (myself included) struggled against each other to get a shot. It was like a mosh pit, and for once in my life I actually empathized with the paparazzi. No matter how despicable their trade, they work hard for the money.
And the crowd. The crowd! Last night was not the territory of loved ones; it was a see-and-be-seen scene of epic proportions. The W was the place to be, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta phenomenon seemed especially potent. There were hangers-on and semi-celebs aplenty, including producer Jazze Pha and Tiny and Toya of BET reality fame, and many perhaps seeking cool or fame by association (or, considering how claustrophobically close we all were, cool by osmosis). I even received e-mails today from publicists saying, “My client so-and-so does so-and-so for one of the Housewives and is interested in an interview to tell you what really goes on.” Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of this pie.
Anyway, on with it: The Housewives’ arrivals were spread out over more than an hour: Lisa Wu Hartwell and her husband, Ed, first; she in a stunning one-shoulder green Sergio Hudson mini. Then Kim Zolciak with her daughters and a dress so precariously perched upon her ample bosom I’m figuring a roll of stylist tape was at play. (Sidenote: Kim also seemed to be shadowed by an imposing bald man the whole night—a bodyguard?) Kandi Burruss followed in gold sequined short-shorts, then NeNe Leakes with her kids and Greg. Finally, after much waiting, came Sheree Whitfield with a full on mohawk. It was an appropriate spectacle.
Dwight Eubanks, the unofficial sixth Housewife, beat them all there in a dapper white suit, pointy boots, and a shiny delicate clutch so small I’m guessing it only held his license, a $20, and the bit of his soul that hasn’t yet been burnt up by the fleeting flame of fame.
A no-show who had been promised: Michael Vick. Though it seemed prepostrous anyway–why would he come right back to Atlanta to pose on a red carpet? Excuse me, red corner?
To end, I did not stay for the episode viewing; I had already seen a screener and was getting faint from lack of air and food. (And glad I am: I hear it didn’t get going till 11:15 p.m. or so.) But here is what you have to look forward to in the first episode of the second season, debuting tomorrow night on Bravo at 10 p.m.:
-Dwight and NeNe take a tawdry tour of NeNe’s new home
-Kim visits her psychic, Rose, who sees a boy in Kim’s future (like, a baby, not a boy toy)
-Sheree moves into a new house and on with her life post-divorce—which includes planning a celebration that ends in a mind-melting throwdown with her party planner
-Lisa contemplates adding to her family
-We’re introduced to Kandi, whose daughter, Riley, is my new favorite part of the show. She’s precocious and adorable when assessing Kandi’s upcoming nuptials.
-NeNe and Sheree attempt to mend fences