Fans of The Real Housewives of Potomac were saddened by Monique Samuels’ decision to exit the franchise after four seasons. Samuels’ fallout and subsequent physical altercation with Candiace Dillard Bassett was the epicenter of Season 5 and after watching the final part of the reunion special and seeing what she calls unfair editing and bias from production and the network, she’d had enough. She jokingly admits that the show left her with “reality TV PTSD,” but Carlos King was able to convince her to give it another shot. 

After a 1.5-year hiatus from reality TV, Samuels and her husband Chris are back on the OWN Love & Marriage: Huntsville spinoff based in D.C. Viewers will see the couple unlike ever before and putting all of their marital trouble on the table. They also introduce their circle of married friends, rounding out the drama and Black excellence on the show. 

Ahead of the series debut, Shadow and Act Unscripted spoke with Samuels about the show.

On why she opted to give reality television a second chance

Samuels vowed to not do reality television again after RHOP. She even turned down Andy Cohen’s offer for her to participate in Ultimate Girls’ Trip. King was not an exception at first. Samuels turned him down also, not initially trusting that she’d be showcased in the best light. Eventually, she changed her mind.

“Dealing with that other show, it’s like they put you into a box, and then you’re only being shown for what they want you to be shown for,” she says of her decision to turn King down initially. “So you’re being kind of picked the part. Whenever I do anything, I give it my all. I put all my passion behind it. I want you to see the full me, uncut, unfiltered. But I wasn’t able to be shown in that way. It was always there, but it just wasn’t put on the show. So this time I felt comfortable because after having a conversation with Carlos [I felt taken care of].”

What viewers can expect to see in her and Chris’ marriage

The Samuels’ have been known as the ideal couple from their time on RHOP, but this time around, they are going through a hard time. Monique complains of not feeling supported enough emotionally by her husband, and Chris feels that while he can do better, he gives his all, and Monique appears to never be satisfied. It’s all on display on the show and Monique was well aware before the show started filming that they weren’t in the best place, but she refused to mask anything.

“I knew going into filming that it was going to be one of those seasons where y’all are going to see some sides of us, which I have never witnessed before, and I honestly felt like this time around we’re going to do what we did before – but we will be more open, and more transparent,” she told us. “But my hope is that it will help other people who are going through something very similar. Communication is a huge issue in marriage, and sometimes the other person may be a little dismissive of what you’re asking for because they feel as though they’re already giving you what you need. But they’re not the ones that need to tell you that they’re that you will the bill. It’s like, ‘No, I need this. You can’t tell me what I need. Here’s what I need.’ And we all we have to be flexible. We both have to be bendable.”

Watch the trailer below:

The show premieres May 14 on OWN.