As someone who’s been a faithful viewer of The Real Housewives of Atlanta since the series premiered on October 7, 2008, I can count myself amongst the millions of viewers who’ve hung in there with the Bravo-lebrities through seven seasons of drama that involved revolving cast members, an ever-changing lineup of wigs and more. Despite being well-acquainted with the show, rewatching it revealed a few aspects of the pilot episode of RHOA that felt strangely unfamiliar.
For one, there’s the cast. The only remaining original cast member is none other than NeNe Leakes, which may explain why she carries herself like the queen bee of the series. When RHOA debuted, Leakes was accompanied by then-NFL wife and Jill-of-all trades Lisa Wu, the completely unmemorable DeShawn Snow, Kim Zolciak and Sheree Whitfield.
Overall, RHOA’s first episode still lives up to its hype, but less than halfway through, I lost count of the number of times I rolled my eyes at how everyone put on airs. Each of the ladies dropped an obscene amount of references to Atlanta’s “elite,” the “who’s who” of the city and how many wealthy people live there, all while spending thousands on fully-loaded Escalades, Botox-injected handbags and Louis Vuitton cakes. While Kim did most of the cash-flashing, it appears that most of the first episode’s damage was done by Sheree, but who gon’ check her, boo?
Here’s what else you may not have noticed about the RHOA pilot:
NeNe Was Super Bubbly and Never In a Bad Mood
Unlike the NeNe I've come to know and loathe, the pilot portrayed her as a pretty decent person. Except for the incessant mentions of designer labels, "ath-a-letes" and celebrities, she’s never been nicer than she was during the show's first episode.
But She Wasn’t That Rich, Bitch
Even though she famously proclaimed to actually be the Joneses instead of trying to keep up with them, in the pilot Leakes readily admitted that some of the other women had left her in the dust when it came to amassed wealth.
The Tyler Perry Cameo
During the pilot, we spot the movie mogul casually strolling into an event, but this was long before we knew anything about Perry's working relationship with Roger Bobb, who probably holds the record for most mentions in a single RHOA episode.
Kim Zolciak Played With Her Hair — A Lot
Everyone knows Kim's wigs are basically extended family members, but give the hair-twirling a break already.
And She Also Said Some Really Crazy Sh*t
In the pilot, we learn Kim wants to "die wearing Dior," and she even refers to herself as a "white woman trapped in a black woman's body" who people said "should've been born black anyway." Girl, what?!
None of The Other Ladies Hung Out Together Except Kim and NeNe
Although it didn't take long for Kim and NeNe's friendship to take a nasty turn, the pilot was noticeably absent of scenes that showed the other ladies spending time together outside of major social events.
The Sheree/NeNe Argument Was Totally Ridiculous
Reality story lines tend to be more on the shallow side, but NeNe claims the initial disagreement started because Sheree didn't like NeNe being at the same club. Seems like the producers could've come up with a more convincing beef.
Sheree's Name Has An Accent
It's actually written Shereé. I swear I never noticed this acute accent before, but interestingly enough, her name is spelled with a grave accent on her Twitter profile. Which one is it, Sheree? This grammar geek needs to know.
Dwight Eubanks Was Nowhere To Be Found
How dreadful! As far as I can tell, Dwight wasn't around to help organize Shereé's birthday shindig, but judging by the evil looks she gave her publicist and assistant throughout the entire process, she could've definitely benefited from his expertise.