Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images Photo: Kim Richards Strikes a Pose at 'The World According to Paris' Premiere Party on May 17, 2011

After the explosive fight with her sister in the Season 1 Finale of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, along with news of her struggles with alcoholism and rehab, nobody seemed to be quite sure if charmingly awkward but frequently fragile Kim Richards would be returning to the show. To tell you the truth, we were bummed. What would RHOBH be without the woman who gave us the “Give me my chicken” song?

Well, Kim Richards is back, ladies and gentlemen, and by all accounts, she’s back with a vengeance. (If you need any proof, just watch the Season 2 trailer — and then tweet Kim and thank her for adding the phrase “slut pig” to our modern vocabulary.) We talked with our favorite child-star-turned-reality-star at the 2011 TCA Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, and she told us all about the New and Improved Kim Richards.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Why did you ultimately decide to come back for Season 2?
Kim Richards: I think last season, as I've said all along, it takes me a while to get to know people. So I think a lot of what you saw of me last year was very quiet, almost intimidated — well, maybe intimidated isn't the right word. And I was uncomfortable being around all the girls, and the cattiness and the fighting, and it overwhelmed me. So I think you saw a side of me that really wasn't me. So even though I said I wasn't going to come back, I said "You know what? Time out — I'm going to work on myself.” And I got stronger, and decided I was going to come back and show everybody who I really am.

Well, if we may say so, you look FIERCE in the Season 2 trailer!
(Laughs) Nobody's messing with me, baby!

Did you have a moment when you felt like you had your big comeback?
I think the whole season I felt like I was myself; I came back strong. There are definitely points in this season when I go through some personal stuff, but it's real life. My kids are growing up, and they're moving away... [I’m dealing with] relationships, not just with the girls but with... gentlemen. So there's a lot that you see me go through that was great, and there was a lot that was sort of overwhelming.

Gentlemen, you say? Does Kim Richards finally find a man in Season 2?
That, you'll have to tune in and see! But you definitely see me come out of my shell. (Laughs)

What would you say is the biggest difference between this season and the last?
Well, I'll tell you one thing — I don't think anyone thought we could be as exciting, explosive, dramatic as we were last season, and I do believe that we have conquered that. (Laughs) So keep your channels tuned and your minds open, 'cause here we come!

Want more RHOBH gossip from the TCA Summer Press Tour? Check out our exclusive interview with Lisa Vanderpump!