Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You See On TeeVee: Exhibit NN.

The other day, I told ya'll about how my Thanksgiving Day was ruined by guests who seized the TV and got me momentarily hooked on a The Real Housewives of Atlanta marathon. While I was entertained, I was concerned about the image the show was throwing out there. Sure, it's cool to see "successful" and "classy" black folks on TV. At the bare minimum, it at least beats watching a ghetto trainwreck like Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.

Many of you defended NeNe, the show's runaway star as being "real" and "down to Earth". Down to Earth she may be, but "real"? Not so much.
NeNe Leakes, the breakout star of the hit Bravo reality show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is no longer living at the pricey five-bedroom Duluth residence shown on the series.

According to Darryl Pierce, the broker for the 5,000-square-foot home at 1765 Silvermere Court in Duluth, NeNe and her husband, Gregory Leakes, left in November after Winwood Properties filed an eviction notice.

The notice, filed Sept. 24 with the magistrate court of Gwinnett County, said Greg Leakes owed $6,240 in past due rent. “The tenant said they would move by Sept. 14th because they could no longer afford the house,” the notice said.

The owner of the home, Kajani Shenaz Ali, lives overseas, Pierce said. Online records show the home in the gated community of Stonebrier at Sugarloaf was purchased for $829,400 in September 2006. Pierce said the Leakeses moved into the home in 2006.

NeNe Leakes, in a series of e-mails Tuesday, would not say where she is now living. “It’s none of your business,” she wrote. But she noted that they “are financial able [sic] and stable to live where ever we feel fits.”

NeNe Leakes, 41, wrote that the eviction notice does not have her name on it, adding “and you don’t know my relationship with Greg so be careful what you report!” The Duluth home, she wrote in an e-mail late last week, “was a lease purchase corporate deal with Greg & his company. Things didn’t work out between the two of them so they did what they had to do and he did what he had to do.”

Gregory Leakes, 54, couldn’t be reached for comment. The TV show called him a real estate investor. The only business the AJC could find under his name in Georgia is called “Advantage Move LLC.” The phone number listed for Advantage Move has been disconnected.

“If we rent, lease purchase or buy, money is still coming out of my pocket,” NeNe Leakes wrote on Tuesday. “So who’s [sic] business is that?”
I don't run this post to poke fun at the obnoxious and uncouth NeNe, but to simply underscore the point that you can't and shouldn't believe everything seen on TV.[1] This show was a prime example.

Looking back, I remember NeNe saying she "don't keep up with the Joneses, I am the Joneses." There was the episode where they dropped a grip on a brand new car for her son for merely graduating from high school. Her overall attitude towards the other, more moneyed cast members was one of odd condescension. She seemed to think she was better and more grounded than them because they flaunted their massive wealth while she simply acted like hers didn't matter. Neither is particularly admirable to me, but strangely, NeNe seems (from the comments on this blog only) to have become some cult star for "keepin' it real".

But how "real" is it to get evicted from a rented home when you're involved in real estate? What part of the game is that? That's like a pimp who can't get laid. Besides, they were barely $6,000 in arrears. What sorta "baller" can't scrounge up a measly 6 G's to keep his family off the street? If NeNe was as Ryde-or-Die are she portends to be in the show, couldn't she have just gone back to her old job for a weekend or so and knocked this out easily? Couldn't she have asked her sista-from-another-babydaddy New York for a loan? She's had a gang of shows on VH-1 so ya'll know she's prolly good for it.

Heck, I read somewhere that the participants were paid $8k/show. All she had to do was hold onto one paycheck and they'd still have a house.

I'm just sayin', be careful what you believe, especially when it's on reality TeeVee. 90% of the time once the cameras and lights leave, "reality" looks nothing like what you see on Bravo.

Question: Does learning that NeNe can't even afford rent on a suburban home somewhat change your opinion of her? How do "reality shows" even sucker people into suspending logic when they're so poorly and obviously scripted? Got any other notable examples of fallacy in Reality TeeVee you wanna share?

Real Housewife’ out of big home [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

[1] Just one more reason why I like Sheree most. She's got a 7 figure divorce settlement check on the way, and she looks great from the neck down.

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