Oh, good Lord what have I done?
While deciding the topic for today’s article, I noticed my sister watching a show about Kanye (future presidential hopeful and gay fish) West’s wife and her vapid family. Additionally, my most popular film article is my review on Pitch Perfect 2: King Pitchard the Snoop Lionheart, not so coincidentally my lowest ranked movie so far. This is because humans are pieces of trash that enjoy watching others treat people as such. That sentence, coincidentally, was the original marketing slogan for Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Before we start, I feel the need to address the more positive aspects of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, cause it’s all downhill from here. First of all, I respect Kim for bringing more attention to the Armenian genocide on its 100th anniversary. The genocide is a controversial topic that deserves more support for the Armenian side. Secondly, I would like to acknowledge my respect for Kim’s step-mother, Caitlyn Jenner. Caitlyn Jenner took a large step for the transgender community, an incredibly repressed and attacked community at that (around 1/2 of all transgendered people will experience violent abuse, mostly sexual, in their lifetime). I also acknowledge the exceptional business acumen of all the members of the insidious, arrogant and exploitative family. Now, down to business.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians is – for all the North Korean defectors who have never heard of said program – a reality show about two rich families, the Kardashians and Jenners. Kris Jenner started by marrying Robert Kardashian (infamously a member of OJ Simpson’s defense team) and having four children with him, Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Robert (he had to ruin it). Kris later divorced Robert and married Bruce, now Caitlyn, Jenner. With her, she had two more daughter, Kendall and Kylie. The girls, and Robert, are now all adults and appear on this show. What do these human beings do one may ask? Do they use their fame to increase awareness of the Armenian genocide? Actually, yes, but that’s beside the point. The show is often cited as the pinnacle of reality trash, and I have – somewhat masochistically – decided to find out why.
There is a phrase on the internet that accurately represents how I feel about this family. That is, “Y’all need Jesus.” This family is one of the most morally disgusting, megalomaniacal and psychopathic groupings of people I have ever seen (aside from my family get-togethers). There is no extent to their using of other people as means to their own selfish ends. As an example, I shall bring up two stories.
The first concerns an overarching story in Season 2. Robert, in real life, suffered from depression for a while. The family, rather than get him psychological treatment, decided to exploit his depression on the show. They used it as a story arc, but not his story arc. The vast majority of his depression was shown on everyone else in the family begrudgingly calling him in between their own various “dilemmas”. It was a shocking exploitation of a real man’s real depression.
The second – and arguably more disgusting – example was the advertising for the first season of the show. To help spread word of a show about the exploits of relatives of a member of OJ Simpson’s defense team and ex-Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Kardashian released a sex-tape she made with her ex-boyfriend Ray J (she might not have released it however, the specifics are unknown). Her mother, Kris, seeing a business opportunity, decided to use the sex-tape to help market the show. I repeat, a mother marketed a sex-tape of her daughter. That is all kinds of twisted, far too much for my liking. Keep the (granted, vague) incest-y things to Game of Thrones, not the lifestyle of the rich and famous. This is Kim Kardashian, not Cersei Lannister. Alright, that was unfair. Kim is more like Sansa Stark, a spoilt little brat who freaks out when anything is less than royal. Or I guess she might be a little like Joffrey.
Those examples aren’t even getting deep into the insipid world of the Kardashian/Jenner clan. There’s Kylie Jenner for example. Kylie is the youngest of the K/Js, only recently turning 18. Her mother has been criticized for ostensibly marketing her teenage daughter rather than raising her, as claims one meme comparing the newly 18, Kylie, to the newly 18, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. Perhaps it is a bit unfair. It would be like comparing me with an moderately attractive person. Still, the comparison can be made. Malala has a net-worth of $3 million, and Kylie $2 million. Has Kylie used her money to help educate and liberate women in Taliban controlled Pakistan? I know, it’s still an unfair comparison, but the point stands.
Back to the show. What is their to review about the style or writing. First of all, Kourtney saying “Kim was acting, like, totally insane.” does not qualify for writing. Secondly, the style, similarly. It’s a reality show, and is made using the common tools of the trade. There is really nothing to be said about the other aspects of KUWTK. It is essentially a bunch of home videos of people that act like a Marxist’s nightmare cut together on the cheap.
The saddest thing about this incredulous show is its audience. There was a study once that found out that, what the researchers called “mere exposure” to a reality show, including Keeping Up with the Kardashians, actually lowers a person’s performance on tests of varying kinds. Although I question the researcher’s confirmation bias, their results do not surprise me. The actions performed on the show are the most meaningless actions to be captured on film. They remind me of the first film by the Lumiere brothers in the late 1800s, when film was first made. They essentially filmed a bunch of people walking out of a factory. That was groundbreaking for the time, but now is just a home video. KUWTK is the same, just some random videos. Except these videos are of the most spoilt, vapid, self-involved, sociopathic, irrelevant, gaumless, byzantine, inane, vacuous, banal, narcissistic, nepotistic family on TV (with the exception of the Borgias/Lannisters/literally-any-other-medieval-evil-family).
I know it’s obvious that I’m going to give Keeping Up with the Kardashians a low grade. You probably knew that from the start. Yet, for some reason, I have decided to injure my senses by watching this excuse of a show and rating it. Kids, don’t become a movie/TV reviewer. Save yourselves from the death traps such as this show.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians gets a 1/7.
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