In Which We Try to Explain Real Housewives of AtlantaS

When looking for a city to chart the materialist lives of wealthy women, how did Atlanta come in third after iconic locations Orange County and New York? Apparently because it is the nexus of all bat-shit insane drama.

Yeah, we know that Thursday is the third episode of the second season and we're a little late to the game, but we just couldn't keep away any longer. And neither should you. After all, this is one of those shows you try not to watch, but then end up talking about all week with your friends.

The third in Bravo's hit series that follows a group of women who pretend to be friends so that they can share the spotlight and hock products, Atlanta immediately distanced itself by having a mostly African-American cast and by the intensity and volume of their drama.

Ruling over the show is the Bermuda Triangle of drama: NeNe Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, and Kim Zolciak. NeNe and Kim were best friends and were united against Sheree, who thought NeNe was trashy. Then, Kim—a pathological liar and kept woman who wants to be a singer—started spending time with Sheree. When NeNe picked on Kim's nonexistent vocal ability, Kim left her camp to bury her nose in Sheree's bosom. But now Sheree is sick of Kim making shit up all the time, so NeNe and Sheree have buried the hatchet in order to go after Kim together.

It's like an episode of Maury, except no one works, everyone has lots of money, and everyone knows who their father is—oh, except NeNe, but she's supposed to be finding out this season.

Rounding out the cast is Lisa Wu-Hartwell. Aside from just having her house foreclosed on, Lisa is sort of a free radical. She gets along well with everyone (except Kim) and is generally nice and smiley and playing with her ex-NFLer husband Eddie Hartwell. That is until she turns and goes completely ballistic over something insignificant. She's like a volcano, but one that designs jewelry on the side.

Replacing boring DeShawn Snow is Kandi Burruss, a former member of the R&B group Xscape and co-writer of "Scrubs" (the TLC song, not the never-dying sitcom). We don't have much of a read on Kandi yet, but she loves to fight and loves to cry and loves her fiance who loves to have kids because he has six of them.

The brilliance of the show, as with most reality experiments, is in the casting and the location. The ladies are always carrying on about fabulous and luxurious and glamorous their lives are, but they live in Atlanta. Hardly known as a place of opulence (like Orange County), importance (like New York), or incredible tackiness (like New Jersey), Atlanta is just a battleground where big personalities can go to war over issues of very little consequence.

Take the fight below for example. This is from the first episode of the second season and has already become a classic. In it Sheree goes head to head with her party planner, who has inexplicably flown off the handle and Sheree handles herself first with restrained tact that soon boils over into shrieking aggression. And if you think that is great, wait for the second half of Kim, NeNe, and Sheree's parking lot brawl on Thursday's episode (you can catch the first half on the rerun tonight).