HOLLYWOOD—Sometimes when you’re channel surfing you stumble upon a series that just grabs your attention.  One of those shows is “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”  The show revolves around a group of housewives who bask in the lifestyle of the rich and famous, while maintaining their homes, families and friends.  The stars of the current season include Linnethia “NeNe” Leakes, Sheree Whitfield, Kim Zolciak, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey and Phaedra Parks.  Each of the housewives has unique qualities that make them stand out.  There are countless other spin-offs of the series like Beverly Hills, New Jersey and D.C., but the women of Atlantahook you in a way that I feel the other shows don’t.  You either love or hate these characters; there is no in-between, and there’s always a reason to watch each week.

Kandi, who is a former member of the R&B group Xscape and has written countless songs for many musicians, is a favorite of mine because she speaks her mind, and her facial expressions when she hears some of the things that come out of other housewives mouths is classic.  She is always there to assist Kim in her musical endeavors and she is friends with everyone. She balances her duties as a mother and prevents the drama from taking a toll on her life.

Then we have Kim who is striving to become a famous singer.  Her hit “Tardy for the Party” put her on the map, which she recently performed at the White Party.  Since that single, Kim has been striving to find her musical niche, which she believes is country.  Kim references her relationship with “Big Poppa” on the series, but the audience has never seen him.  She has had her run-ins with the other housewives on the show.  In season two, Kim got into a huge fight with Sheree at a restaurant where her hair was pulled and NeNe watched the shenanigans.  Both Kim and NeNe have had their issues in the past, but in the current season, we’ve seen the ladies kiss and makeup, but I’m counting on another blow-out fight between the friends in the near future.

Sheree is the housewife who has found herself back in the dating scene after getting a divorce from her NFL husband Bob Whitfield.  She reminds the audience of that diva in training, but hasn’t gotten there yet.  Love is an important aspect of her life, which she’s looking for but hasn’t found.  She had an ” Independence Party” in season two celebrating her newfound freedom.  Her focus is now on establishing herself as an actress, and she can be a bit catty if you rub her the wrong way.

Two new additions to season three include housewives Cynthia and Phaedra. The audience can feel the tension with Phaedra and the other housewives.  She puts herself on a pedestal and gives the impression that she is better than others.  She is an acclaimed entertainment attorney who recently got married to Apollo who was released from prison.  Phaedra is the talk of the town amongst the housewives who take jabs at her for her over-the-top baby shower and other antics.  Her close friend at the moment is Dwight who is there to assist the southern belle in any way possible.  Cynthia is a model who has been engaged multiple times in the past, but has never gotten married.  She’s hoping to turn things around this time with her current boyfriend, Peter, who has yet to pop the question, but the audience has the perception it will happen soon.  She’s down-to-earth and friendly with all, making her a likable character.  I have a feeling that there are more facets to Cynthia’s personality that viewers have yet to see.

Of course, we’ve saved the best housewife for last.  NeNe makes me laugh and scream at the same time.  She will create a scene in a heartbeat and not apologize for it.  Whether it’s her drunken run-in with Dwight or cat-fights with Kim, NeNe is not afraid to put herself out there and the audience loves her for that.  At times she’s loud, blunt and vicious about how she feels about people.  She is the diva of the bunch that’s had plenty of ups and downs with her husband Greg and recently had plastic surgery to lift her spirits up.  I’ll admit it, I admire NeNe for her brass attitude, which makes loving and hating her so much more difficult.

The great thing about “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” is that even though it’s a reality show, I almost feel that these women are true depictions of themselves.  Of course, we can debate the issue of behavior being adjusted because of the camera, but I’m thoroughly enjoying what I’m seeing on the screen.  Season three has only gotten started and the drama isn’t near the boiling point.  What’s going to happen with NeNe and Greg? Will Sheree find true love and money at the same time? Will Kim’s music career be taken to the next level? Will Cynthia finally say “I do”? And what will happen with Phaedra and her new bundle of joy? With so much happening, the audience can only hope for more surprises along the way. “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” airs at 10 p.m. every Sunday night on Bravo.