Married to Medicine has long been called Bravo‘s most underrated reality series. Set in the affluent Atlanta suburbs and centered on wealthy Black women doctors and doctors’ wives, the show has provided the correct balance of drama and fun that other reality shows are void of, which is probably the reason it “came second” to The Real Housewives of Atlanta for so long. Since its debut in 2013, fans have grown to love the core group, and with its 10th season, producers knew they needed something to solidify the show in the top spot on the network. Or they needed someone. While fans suspected the crossover of Phaedra Parks to the show would bring in more eyes and give the series the credit it was long overdue, Phaedra’s Southern belle persona that thrived on RHOA — coupled with her ghost doctor of a boyfriend — fell flat to provide any actual storyline, and her relationships with the cast were too surface level for her to stand out amongst this cast. But one injection took Season 10 to the next level, and her name is Lateasha “Sweet Tea” Lunceford.

Joining the series as the soon-to-be wife of longtime cast member Quad Webb’s ex-husband, Dr. Gregory Lunceford, many anticipated an all-out war between Quad and Sweet Tea. While they didn’t get that, Sweet Tea proved she’s more spicy than sweet. While viewers had a mixed reception of her at the beginning of the season, by the season’s end, she proved despite being the youngest of the bunch and a newbie, that she could not be punked, even by the abrasiveness of Dr. Heavenly Kimes, or the nice-nasty of the astute Dr. Jackie Walters.

Sweet Tea entered the fold as green as a reality star in the early 2000s. While most new Housewives or other cast members from popular franchises were clear fans and studied “How to Be a Reality Standout 101,” Sweet Tea came in raw. She’d watched the show occasionally but never attended Bravo boot camp. Her being ill-prepared allowed viewers to see her in rare form. While unpolished compared to many, it was a breath of fresh air. Without the lace fronts, BBLs and a contoured face, we got to the root of the Texas native.

She took hits about her age and was constantly referred to as “baby girl” among the more esteemed cast members. Sweet Tea’s complaints about her now-husband’s old-school values were shot down by the mature ladies’ old-school ways of being with a successful man who financially provides for her while she’s seemingly taken care of (despite her being a veteran and having a career) in comparison to them grinding it out in the medical field while caring for their families and home. But she refused to be dismissed. After a few episodes of her being chastised by her elders, she’d had enough.

Sweet Tea was brave enough to go toe-to-toe with resident mean-girl Dr. Heavenly, which came near blows at a church of all places. After the internet uncovered Dr. Jackie’s controversial take on Black pregnant women sharing their grievances, an episode aired with Sweet Tea on a couples trip verbally assassinating Atlanta’s finest OB-GYN. She would later apologize for her outburst, but Dr. Jackie knew to never try it again despite the shade she threw in her confessional.

Sweet Tea was the main ingredient for this season’s success, but the cast members also took other medications to help create a winning remedy.

There were plenty of real moments. Toya Bush-Harris opened up about her marriage to fan-favorite Dr. Eugene Harris growing stale. Some fans and co-stars believed Toya complained too much as a stay-at-home mother of their two sons. But others defended her desiring more romance from her man and reminded other social media users that being a full-time mother is a job. Furthermore, her Bravo check helps their household. In an interview, she let Blavity’s Shadow and Act Unscripted know that while she may come off as brash, don’t be fooled by Dr. Eugene’s gentleness on screen. 

“I will say that he married a very dominant, independent woman. And I’ve always had a certain tone. I don’t know if it’s harsh. I think it may be for the public. But I think everyone’s marriage is very different,” she said. “I think Eugene has always been a very soft individual in public. But behind closed doors, he could be very harsh. I think we both have learned to put sensitivity behind the way we speak to each other. And I think that comes with time. The longer you’re in a relationship, the more you learn how to navigate your conversations.” 

Newbie Dr. Alicia Egolm sparked social media chatter with her traditional marriage. While she works and contributes to the household while taking care of her children, her Nigerian husband, Dr. Kema Egolum, expects submission and hot meals and doesn’t believe in oral sex. And she obliges. You like it, Alicia; we love it. Her co-stars, however, say she’s a fool. Submission isn’t necessarily trending in 2024, but if it works for her household, then so be it.

While balancing her practice, Dr. Simone Whitfield and her husband Cecil’s conflicting parenting styles tugged at viewers’ heartstrings. Their now-adult children have little independence and rely on their help, with one still living at home. Viewers could sympathize with a well-off Black couple wanting to provide the best for their children but understand that a child leaving the nest is necessary for their survival. 

Dr. Simone spoke with Blavity’s Shadow and Act Unscripted about the situation and admitted it was difficult navigating parenting adult men with her approach while her husband is more lax. 

“I think that, No. 1, we are not playing good cop/bad cop. We are good cop/bad cop. Cecil wants to just be this cool and friendly dad. He does not want to put the hammer down. I’m the mean mom. I’m always going to put the hammer down on the boys. And I feel like we spoiled them. Our mothers spoiled us, but it was just at different income levels. And now that they are in manhood, my thing is you’re not going to stay in my home, stay on my payroll forever. It’s time to start thinking about leaving the nest, especially for Myles. Myles is 25 years old. He’s handsome, and morally, he is just a really good guy. However, he is not even ever thinking about paying bills. And I’m like, it’s time that we start moving him in that direction. But if I left it up to Cecil, Myles could just stay in our pockets forever,” she explained. 

Quad’s place in the group was challenged this season. While she has her dedicated fans, it’s been clear that she doesn’t have 100% interest in cultivating relationships with the women on the show. It appears she’s there for a nice Bravo coin, and who can blame her? But it doesn’t make for good scenes, as the chemistry between her and the ladies is off. The group voted her out after growing tired of the same song and dance. Morally, it may not have been nice. But it fed into the conversation about outgrowing friendships and knowing when to pull the plug on a dying relationship.

Dr. Jackie continued adding legitimacy to the show, proving she’s the medicine in the show’s title. Whether it was seeing her with her celebrity clients or addressing the Ozempic craze, she stayed focused on her practice. Viewers want to see more of Dr. Jackie’s personal story and feel she relies too heavily on the medical aspect. Despite viewers’ personal feelings about Dr. Jackie’s superiority complex within the group, her work is admirable. 

Dr. Heavenly has always stirred the pot to deflect from the personal storyline, and she continued this season. Like it or not, she thrives in that role. She met her match in Sweet Tea and had no trouble throwing Phaedra under the bus regarding Phaedra wanting to detach herself from Quad as she lost favor in the group. But the best part of Dr. Heavenly, aside from her Disney villain chuckle, is the bond between her and her college-aged daughter, Alaura.

Before Sweet Tea was knucking and bucking at Dr. Heavenly, little Alaura had no trouble putting her meddling mama in her place. The two are as close as ever, and Dr. Heavenly is having difficulty adjusting to Alaura’s new life in Florida in college despite her excitement and pride for her baby girl. Dr. Heavenly and her husband, Dr. Damon Kimes, even offered to buy Alaura a home to keep her local, but Alaura kept her eye on the prize.

“My baby girl is my best friend. I keep telling everybody the same thing repeatedly. We spend a lot of time together. So it’s a part of me that left and went to Florida A&M University with her. I can’t be mad,” Dr. Heavenly told Blavity. “That’s my alma mater, one of the best public HBCUs in the land. But it’s hurtful. That’s probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done on the show: let my baby girl go.”

Phaedra didn’t give much except a confusing revival to try and resuscitate the group’s relationship with Quad. Instead, it left viewers scratching their heads. But the one thing no one can take from Phaedra is her being a good mother. In probably the most heartfelt scene Bravo viewers ever witnessed of the lawyer-turned-funeral director, her son, Aiden, aka The Prince, gave a moving speech about his mother’s love at his 13th birthday party. Viewers remember Phaedra’s turmoil amid her divorce from Apollo Nida, his prison sentence and her trying to keep it all together for the sake of their two sons. Aiden’s speech proved Phaedra not only succeeded in raising two well-adjusted Black boys but also that she did it primarily alone. If more moments like this of Phaedra were sprinkled throughout the season, she may be more digestible.

Part one of the Season 10 reunion airs Sunday, and it’ll be a few battles. Sweet Tea told Blavity’s Shadow and Act Unscripted in our chat that since starting on the show, her naivete in dealing with the other women is gone. 

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. You will not ever, ever cross me like that again,” she warned. 

Let’s see how she delivers at her first reunion.