The Kardashians are back, but it’s hard to ignite enthusiasm for those who haven’t been away from the limelight long enough to be missed.
Last year, the reality TV giants spectacularly announced that the 20th season of their show Keeping up with the Kardashians will be their last. It marked the end of a particular era for the clan that had created their own space in the American imagination and amassed ever greater sums from marketing fantasies.
Toned and polished to an eerie effect, and mostly unremarkable.
Unfortunately, what it doesn’t signal is a divorce between family and cohabitation. The end of the Catch up and the Kardashian-Jenners relationship with E! freed them up to strike a cumbersome, multi-year content deal with Disney. The KardashiansThe first product of the aforementioned expensive contract, airs on Hulu this Thursday, April 14.
With more money, more kids, and some lucrative businesses, the Kardashians aren’t the family they used to be. Compare moments from the early days of Catch upfilled with history, sibling squabbles, and lo-fi production values, with the first two episodes of this flashy new project put out for review by critics and it’s hard to believe we watching the same person.
This more stylized and elaborate show remains an experiment in marketing, offering viewers an unattainable aesthetic and lifestyle, flaunting dizzying amounts of wealth and evoking conflicting emotions. contradiction. As I’ve written before, it doesn’t really matter whether you loathe, admire, or envy the Kardashians. Reacting to their antics is part of a massive PR scheme centered on their relevance and economic status. But while Catch up manage to maintain a camp level, The Kardashians stripped of any fun, leaving only the rigid ethos of a family that had mastered fame.
The new show is thwarted by an aggressive ennui. Even the slick opening sequences – drone shots that provide a glimpse into each family member’s busy lives are aided by the pulsating hit “777”. ” of Silk Sonic – can also relieve listlessness. Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie have been in the movies for so long that this reviewer wonders if surname sometimes find myself surprised the camera is still rolling.
Their lives mirror the lives of other super-rich entrepreneurs and heirs, but it wouldn’t be fun to just show six stars (Caitlyn Jenner and Rob Kardashian, so far, in the new series don’t. ) shuffles from meeting to meeting. And so they litigate old issues, creating tension and creating drama out of razor-thin moments. It’s a fascinating thing to witness, if not necessarily a fun show to watch.
In the first episode, the family gathers at Kim’s minimalist residence for an intimate barbecue. There, the most famous Kardashian announced that Lorne Michaels had asked her to host the show Saturday night live. She worries about her ability to do it: What if she’s not funny enough? Should she ask Kanye to be her musical guest? (At the time of filming, the couple seemed to have a better relationship.) What if she embarrassed the family? The last question is perhaps the most humorously confusing.
Sitting around a long ornate table, the family sipped fried chicken, mac, cheese and burgers while trying to calm Kim’s nerves. They insist that she To be humorous (although years told her otherwise) and noted that Kardashian is in the middle of being successful at whatever she sets her mind to.
Family has always been important to the Kardashian brand, but it’s sold even harder here The Kardashians. Motherhood has transformed the sisters, who spend most of their testimonials reiterating the role their children play in their lives. There is a lot of discussion about the importance of spending time with children and less about what it means to raise Black children in America, but perhaps those conversations will come later.
It is during these one-on-one interviews that the focus of the new Kardashian era becomes clearer. If previous chapters have been about the elevation of the Forbes list and the scandalous confessions, this one is about restraining and balancing life in the country in line with the explicit call of capitalism. American version.
The Kardashians really promises not to affect the working life of the clan – first of all, Kim, who recently said that women don’t want to work these days. The SNL arc dominates the first episodes. We see the mother-of-four prepare for her arrival by meeting with comedians like Amy Schumer, packing her outfits with her sisters and mother, and reflecting on how she How far she has come with her stylists and makeup artists.
However, what haunts the scene and worries Kim most is her sex tape, which reappears in the first episode. The legacy of the video weighs heavily on her, and she spends a lot of time threatening to use the power of her lawyers and her own money to destroy the rest of the tape. Twenty years ago, she didn’t know what to do; now, she said, she has the resources “to burn them all to the damn ground.”
The other sisters get some airtime in these first two episodes, though not as much as Kim. Kourtney’s arc focuses on her well-documented romance with Travis Barker. They’re trying to buy a home and have a baby, and Kourtney talks about the strain on both of them. Meanwhile, Khloé is working through her relationship with Tristan Thompson, focusing on building a new mansion and managing her worsening anxiety. Kylie and Kendall have yet to appear much, but previews of future episodes have hinted at their arcs.
For longtime fans of the Kardashians, or even the casual audience, The Kardashians can be a disappointment. The famously famous and shameless family shares themselves having eerily polished, toned and polished their brand. There’s nothing here that’s shocking, unexpected, or exhausting.
But that doesn’t seem relevant. On the day that the ban on coverage of the show (whose implementation was strictly controlled) was lifted, I saw dozens of headlines capitalizing on the “reveals” from these episodes. The Kardashian brand is, at this point, an entire ecosystem; it doesn’t really matter who they say they are, whether they are authentic or trustworthy. Whatever they do will be recognized, propagated and consumed. We are all part of their machine now, whether we like it or not.