'Real Housewives Of Atlanta' Pilot — 7 Things You Never Noticed From The Reality Show's First Episode
While Kandi's Ski Trip is currently acting in our Real Housewives Of Atlanta timeslot, it's no replacement for the real thing. So, it's time for another Real Housewives of Atlanta pilot rewatch, because even though Season 7 was enjoyable, it didn't necessarily have that "instant classic" feeling to me. But, when I started rewatching the first season, I was shocked by a few things. The show wasn't the same as I remembered, and my main impression of RHOA at its finest was actually formed from somewhere around Season 4.
But, my favorite part about revisiting the show was seeing the young NeNe Leakes. She refers to other people in her neighborhood as "wealthy," but, strangely, never says that she is "very very rich, b**ch." And she's very loving, affectionate, and sweet to her two kids, but we also get to see a little bit of her tough parenting — she really does seem tough — and she's enthusiastic to be a TV star. Even her rivalry with Sheree felt happier than her so-called "friendship" with Phaedra this season.
I wish NeNe could recapture some of that enjoyment, because she's the last original remaining cast member, and I love RHOA and want to keep that tie to the first season alive. But, there have been lots of rumors that NeNe is leaving the show in order to keep pursuing other acting opportunities and maybe even heading to RHOBH or Oxygen.
But, while NeNe's differences stood out the most, that's not the only notable thing that comes up for a Real Housewives of Atlanta fan when rewatching the original pilot.
1. Who Are These Randos?
First of all, the cast was full of people I barely remembered. DeShawn? Lisa? It was wonderful to see Sheree again, because that woman was born to be on reality TV, but the other two were far too normal to be memorable cast members. The pilot started to bring back vague memories of when professional athletes' wives had a much bigger spotlight on the show.
2. There Were Times It Took Itself Pretty Seriously
Another thing that surprised me about the show? The class discussion. The show opens with a long exploration of DeShawn's huge mansion and her staff, and the fact that Atlanta is a majority black middle, upper middle, and upper class city. Deep stuff for the reality show.
We get to hear her throw out the troublesome "I'm a black woman trapped in a white woman's body," but we also get to see her playing around shopping with NeNe and changing her clothes in the parking lot.
4. There's So Many Things Missing
Kim's music career isn't mentioned, although her relationship with Big Papa is. Sheree's money problems aren't mentioned, and in fact she makes sure to mention that she's allergic to spending money wisely... which just looks sad in retrospect after so many things fall through for her. And, NeNe doesn't have cropped, blonde hair! So many of the show's signature struggles and memorable looks don't appear until later in the series.
5. Lisa Was The Original Jobs Holder
Her introduction sums up just how many different careers she has and she has an adorable toddler. Now, Lisa Wu has shifted to Hollywood Divas , a different reality show that depicts her struggles working in the entertainment industry.
6. Sheree Had A Lot Going On
Wow, I did not remember that Sheree's fashion line, She By Sheree, dated to the pilot episode (though not by name). She even makes reference to wanting a brand new house, too... the origins of Chateau Sheree! So did Miss Lawrence, who first popped up as Sheree's hair stylist for a brief appearance.
7. It Put The "Real" Back In Real Housewives
NeNe and Kim independently decide to show up hours late to Sheree's B-day party. We also get to see NeNe before she had a full time makeup artist on call, so her eyes are not always hidden by a thick layer of Muppet lashes. While I'll always show up for a new season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, it used to capture moments like Sheree choosing to leave NeNe's name off of her birthday party guest list for maximum shade, things that echoed for seasons. Now, the show is more polished, but it lost a little of that rough charm. But, at least we can always go back and watch the beginning when we're feeling nostalgic.