Shade of the Week: Keeping Up With The Kardashians
It's the end of an era.
After 14 years, 20 seasons, 260+ episodes, and 10 spinoffs Keeping Up With The Kardashians is finally coming to an end early next year. The family announced the news on Tuesday and while most fans were shocked and stunned by their decision, I truly believe this is one of the best things to come out of 2020.
No one can deny that this is one of the most iconic and successful reality shows we've ever seen. The Kardashian family has created an entire empire out of Kim getting pounded by Ray J in a cheap Mexican hotel and regardless of what you think of them, you've got to respect the hustle. Millions of people have leaked their sex tapes in the hopes of getting famous but Kim is the only one who made her family millionaires out of it.
Back in 2007, this show was campy, fun, and a silly way to waste 30 minutes. If any family ever deserved their own reality show it was the Kardashians, they had everything. Kris's thirsty antics, Kourtney's monotone one-liners, Kim's melodramatic narcissism, Bruce (now Caitlyn)'s disapproving looks in the background, and Khloe dragging those bitches across the floor. The show was perfect and as people caught on to this real-life sitcom, their fame grew and it hasn't stopped yet.
In my opinion, the best era in the Kardashian empire was Kim's "Fairytale Wedding" to Kris Humpries which resulted in a 72-day marriage. Lamar was still around, Scott was in between rehab stints, Rob was still happy, Kourtney had just given birth to Mason, the New York and Miami spinoffs were already in the works and everybody seemed happy. They were at the perfect height of fame, a little bit higher than 2010 Bethenny Frankel but not quite as high as Beyonce.
However, after Kim married Kanye that's when I believe the show slowly started to decline into a steamy pile of unwatchable, sloppy shit. Once the girls started sitting in their million-dollar mansions wearing sweatpants and a full face of makeup, the show didn't feel real anymore, which was exactly what we loved about it in the first place. They understood the game too well and only showed exactly what they wanted to show, which is when you know a reality show has been on TV for too long, just ask any of the veteran Real Housewives franchises.
Obviously this show, as well as the family's success, relied on them leaking stories to the press and doing anything to get our attention, however, once we caught onto all their savvy media games it was hard to determine whether the scandals in their lives were real or just another publicity stunt. Kim getting robbed in Paris, Bruce becoming Caitlyn, Blac Chyna jumping on Rob's dick to secure her child support checks, and Khloe's baby daddy cheating on her when she was 9 months pregnant, all became tabloid sensations and although they're all (allegedly) real, it was gross to see them exploiting their tragedies for financial gain when they already had more money than God. And this is coming from someone who watched every episode and spinoff up until 2018.
I stopped watching religiously after they bamboozled us with the Tristan Thompson cheating scandal. They teased it all season and then didn't show us ANY OF THE TEA when the show actually aired. That's when I knew I was done with this family. In the later seasons, the show felt like a stray cat with one leg trying to cross the road: sad, drawn-out, and desperate.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians was the first reality show I ever fell in love with and whenever an old episode is on I can't help but watch it, however, whilst the family used reality TV to make their fortune, they don't need it anymore. They have millions (and fake billions for Kylie) in the bank and they no longer need to document every moment of their lives for a paycheck. In watching the last few seasons you could tell the show was coming to a close and everybody seems ready to move on and focus on different things.
Kim's becoming a lawyer and helping reform the justice system. Khloe will probably move to Cleveland with her cheating baby daddy and have a lifetime of shame and regret while he impregnates every hoe across the country. Kourtney will still not work and probably move to Iceland or something with her kids to have a more holistic lifestyle. Kendall will continue to be a model and everyone will continue not to care. Rob will probably thrive from his family finally living a somewhat private lifestyle and Kylie will do whatever 23-year-old billionaire single mothers do. The one person who doesn't have a clear path forward without the show - is Kris.
Kris Jenner has successfully pimped her kids out for the last 14 years and although she'll still get a 10% cut on whatever they make, her thirst for fame will still be there. Nobody enjoyed filming this show more than the momager herself, so the only logical next step for Kris is to join The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She's rich, famous, and mildly alcoholic which is the trifecta when casting a good Housewife. She's also friends with Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna, so her fake entry into the group is already there. And the best part of all, nobody knows how to make reality TV like Kris fucking Jenner. She’d be nice and fake one minute and a conniving villain the next, which is exactly what we need.
Despite the show definitely reaching its expiry date, we have to give credit where credit is due. The Kardashians have been at the centre of pop culture, and the world, for the last 14 years. You can't pick up a magazine without seeing their faces in it and even though we got sick of their antics, they always knew how to drag us back in.
They have given us some of the most dramatic, entertaining, meme-able pop culture moments in history and for that, we have to tip our hats. Although it doesn't take the talent of being a singer or the intelligence of being an accountant, it takes a special skill to be able to cultivate clout and attention for almost a decade and a half while also showcasing all your personal family drama to entertain the world. Kongrats, girls.