Real Housewives of Atlanta Season 4: Growing Pains

The Real Housewives of Atlanta has spent its fourth season undergoing necessary growing pains.

NeNe has to find herself after 15 years of marriage meets an unfortunate fork in the road. Kim Zolciak is a new wife and new mom. Kandi Burruss has to dig deep, as deep as Nashville, to find inspiration. She chooses country music to overcome her past musical endeavors with amateurs Kim and Miss Lawrence. Cynthia Bailey settles into marriage with a misunderstood older man. Phaedra Parks eeks her way out of a full-time legal career into the burial business. And last but not least, Sheree Whitfield continues to demonstrate that money can't buy love or happiness. And that success eludes those without drive and determination.

As Bravo's Atlanta producers find a space for the African American housewives--a space that doesn’t devolve into total blaxploitation, the producers are reconciling varying lifestyles and ideologies among these six women. Most at odds with the entire cast, however, is Sheree Whitfield.

Although Sheree’s finances have plagued her since the series began, and fans have mocked her net worth, celebrity net worth sites have Sheree listed as a far more valuable commodity than former super model Cynthia Bailey.

Despite it all, it’s clear Sheree has long depended on men to navigate her financial waters. Her unnecessary speech on in life, love, marriage and finances with her daughter Tierra was sad and depressing. Tierra’s obviously a smart, independent and selfless woman and college graduate. Sheree gets lots of criticism for not having a college degree or a strong academic background to support her passions, like fashion or drama school.

As Phaedra Parks and Kandi Burruss craft storylines that hover over petty, vicious and snarling gossip, Sheree Whitfield’s role in the ATL housewives diminishes.When Phaedra and Kandi visit Sheree's empty property, they share a bonding bourgeoisie moment. They both lament Sheree's behavior as a result of economic hardship.

Sheree’s been my favorite housewife for a long time. She’s pretty, quiet, and doesn’t come out of her shell until absolutely necessary. Although she’s a Capricorn, she’s got Scorpion like tendencies that make her vicious. She's a vicious enemy and a sometimey friend.

One wishes, for the love of Jesus, that Sheree would forgive her husband Bob. Just forgive him and let go. If there was a light in Sheree’s heart that is as tender and inspired as that of her co-stars Kandi and Phaedra, Sheree too would inspire, rather than drown her audience in misery.

It’s miserable watching Sheree go after $250,000 in child support from a has been football player who appears to be concerned more with the golden years than right now. It’s more haggling to watch Sheree undertake yet another unfocused project—this time the construction of her mansion which she wanted move-in ready by Thanksgiving, but wasn't.

Soon enough the ATL housewives season will end and they’ll sit down for a reunion. We can't wait. Kandi and Kim can, once again, review their friendship--one of the more odd relationships on the set. The most Kandi and Kim have in common is age—they are two years apart and both have deep southern roots. During the reunion Kim can comment on how she feels about the statements made in South Africa, if she hasn’t blogged on it already.

Next week, Kim and Cynthia will talk it out, and so far, Cynthia has been pretty efficient at setting her naysayers (sister Mal) aside. But it’ll be interesting to see how Cynthia behaves when the shoe is on the other foot.

More disheartening, next week, we watch Whitfield shop for $40k wedding rings with her future son-in-law which, for all the above stated reasons, is sad. And depressing. Money isn’t everything, but why hasn’t Sheree learned that yet?