After 20 seasons, Keeping Up With the Kardashians will end with the final season to begin airing early next month. Despite the show being on air for around a thousand years, I have managed to achieve the unthinkable: I’ve never seen a single episode of KUWTK.
This comes despite being surrounded by people – my wife, our friends – who discuss the Kardashians as if they are people we know and love.
“Can you believe the way Kylie has been acting lately?” says my wife to close friend and fellow Kardashian konfidant, Amanda.
“I know, she’s really changed,” replies Amanda, genuine disappointment etched across her face.
These conversations are more common than I care to admit, but I’ve long since given up expressing concern. Life would be boring if we all had the same taste and I file KUWTK under the same umbrella as Game of Thrones: shows that I don’t understand the appeal of.
However, last week during a particularly nasty hangover I was lying on the lounge making a mental list of drinks I’d consumed the previous night. This also doubled as a list of things I’d never drink again. Tequila and lemonade. Aperol Spritz. Chilled red wine. Jager in any form.
In the background, I’d put on the Planet Earth documentary by David Attenborough, scientifically proven to reduce the impact of a Sunday hangover. (I assume). Just as David was diving deep on the mating rituals of the pygmy possum, my wife, Kate, entered the room and informed me that the time had come for her to keep up with the Kardashians.
Unable to muster up the energy to fight, I handed over the remote and quickly found myself sucked into the glossy world of America’s most famous family. Within minutes, I felt confused and invested; unsure why I was watching these people book a holiday to Palm Springs, but unable to look away.
Therein lies the magic of KUWTK, the secret ingredient that has made the show a ratings mammoth on E! for fourteen years. Bite slice versions of our own mundane lives served back to us in high definition. The Kardashians are exactly like you and I but nothing like you and I, and that’s why it’s so addictive.
Convinced I’d learned everything I needed to know after just one episode I offered these thoughts to Kate who found my observations annoying and unsolicited.
“Look, why don’t you make a list of everything you learned,” said Kate turning the volume up.
“And I’ll tell you if you’re right or wrong.”
Kris is a control freak
Momager is a word I have only heard used in relation to Kris Jenner and having sat through an episode of KUWTK it all makes sense. Wielding her iPhone like a weapon, she can bend the will of her spawn with a single text message. Kris is the type of person who spends all her time creating drama while telling everyone in earshot that she can’t handle drama.
Kate says: Agreed, though she is also the funniest one I reckon. No Kris = no show.
Kylie is over it
From what I can gather the show used to belong to Kim Kardashian but she has since been replaced by a younger model: Kylie Jenner. It felt like much of the episode was devoted to all the other sisters desperately trying to track down Kylie who was obviously avoiding their calls/texts/voice memos.
The family holiday to Palm Springs just became a long-running conversation about whether or not Kylie would show up. In classic younger child style, Kylie swanned in at the last minute as the life of the party while also running Kendall’s life by stealing her outfit.
Clearly, the 23-year-old is over it, and who can blame her? She’s already a billionaire and having spent more than half her adult life on TV she’s undoubtedly maxed out on her Truman Show style upbringing.
Kate says: This is also true. Kylie used to be the annoying younger sister, but she’s the main attraction in the last few seasons. I still prefer Kim, though.
Corey is a weirdo
Gamble by name, gamble by nature. It took less than an hour for me to realise that Kris is rolling the dice with her younger boyfriend. What even is Corey in this dynamic? He seems to occupy several roles without ever really justifying why he is around. At 39 years old he is closest in age to Kim, but he looks most friendly with Kylie, despite sleeping with their mother.
He’s also listed as a ‘business executive’, yet his main job seems to be trailing after Kris.
Kate says: Corey is a complete weirdo. Did you head about how Kanye text him and was like “Hey Corey, how come we know nothing about you?” He weirds everyone out.
Kanye hates the entire family
I once had a soft spot for Kanye, before the whole Trump MAGA meltdown turned me off, but his fleeting cameos in KUWTK reminded me of what I loved about Ye. It’s not often you see someone look so unimpressed with everything going on around him, but whenever Kanye finds himself forced onto the show (by Kris, presumably), it’s must-see TV. All he does is and scowl and nod and edge towards the nearest exit.
Marrying into a family, you don’t connect with is relatable for plenty of people. It’s little wonder that the Kardashian machine is one reason for the alleged split between Kim and Kanye.
Kate says: Obviously.
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) December 2, 2019
Scott Disick needs a hobby
Easily my least favourite part of the show was watching Scott Disick complain about everything. In one episode he spent at last ten minutes discussing how a bougie IV treatment he was receiving would last for five hours instead of the usual half an hour. The therapy replaces damaged cells, but as far as I could tell does nothing to improve your personality. If anyone has five hours to spare, it’s Scott Disick. The definition of privileged and painful.
Kate says: You couldn’t be more wrong. Scott is my favourite part of the show! He’s so ridiculous which makes him even more hilarious. Scott is proof that you can’t judge KUWTK after one measly episode, he’s a slow burn.