How difficult it was to both love and then totally dislike NeNe Leakes by the time The Real Housewives of Atlanta was in its second season?
NeNe Leakes is the only original cast member of the current Housewives’ cast. She has outlasted, out mimosa'd, out sang, and outsourced. During four seasons of conflict with friends and hubby, NeNe built a solid foundation for a career in television. She’s the last woman standing in an industry that frowns on comebacks.
Greg and NeNe’s reconciliation after divorce thrills Housewives fans and is one of the shows brighter spots, particularly in the area of character development. Greg and NeNe have grown, but fans get a real chance to see what growth and change brings. And the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Greg was sorely missing in two stages of NeNe’s career: when she made the life altering decision to undergo plastic surgery, her consequentially fast and unyielding pursuit by business and entertainment moguls who had the power to turn African American icon NeNe, who’d come to symbolize what it meant to be a strong and real black woman into a blonde and submissive damsel in distress.
Fortunately, Greg and NeNe’s marriage is on the road to reconciliation (they’re engaged to be re-married) and NeNe’s fans already know how the story ends because they’ve seen it before. NeNe’s career takes off and Greg keeps her in line when she’s stepped out of line. That’s the way marriage works and its great that the Leakes have shared a very real part of their personal lives with others who can appreciate the story of growth and renewed love, faith and friendship.
NeNe’s made powerful friends and fans who’ll probably tune in to the New Normal to see their favorite reality star in a fiction role. The summer prior to RHOA Season 4 (May 2011), Leakes was on the road traveling with a band of actors where she starred on stage in “Loving Him is Killing Me” with Tyson Beckford, Angie Stone, and Christopher Lattimore.
In reality and scripted television, particularly shows that last for many seasons, a character’s development has a lot to do with the show’s success and intrigue. Fans of the RHOA who’ve been around since season one know they’re dealing with a maturer Leakes who strays from the current behavior of Kenya Moore and Porsha Stewart.
All along NeNe’s cat fights have helped developed her current character—a working Hollywood actress.
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