‘The Kardashians’ are getting too good to be famous

The Kardashians are back on TV after announcing the end of their long-running “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” series less than a year ago. Their new follow-up on Hulu has been met with mixed reviews. (Photo courtesy of Hulu)

Since this Wednesday on Hulu, the Kardashians are back. And, spoiler alert – they have a new font. That’s really the only major change, but definitely a big one (at least enough to warrant a whole new multimillion-dollar show).

After less than a year of hiatus, America’s most famous family returns to the screen in their new Hulu show “The Kardashians.” The pilot, which premiered Wednesday, proves that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” fans have nothing to worry about. As the family worries about who was invited to a random mid-week barbecue, talks at length about all their work (and the laziness of the rest of the world) without ever being seen doing said work and As Kim faces backlash for hosting an upcoming “Saturday Night Live” episode, audiences can take comfort in how little the Kardashians have changed.

That being said, there are some notable changes in the newer, sleeker streaming version of the show. First and foremost, “The Kardashians” is finally acknowledging what viewers really want — home content. A lengthy follow-up opening shot takes audiences through an in-depth (albeit expedited) tour of this show’s main sets, providing a sequel to the already considerable coverage (thanks to Architectural Digest) of the Kardashian’s luxury homes. Plus, the aforementioned new (!) serif font and bold, frozen titles give KUWTK’s classic split-screen transitions a new HGTV feel.

“The Kardashians” also shows how a break was the last thing this family needed. Not only did the (brief) absence give viewers time to overcome their long-term fascination with the Kardashians, making audiences harder to impress, but it also gave the Kardashians time to learn from their mistakes in KUWTK. and sharpen their skills.

Now the family is too good to be famous. They returned to television with a level of sophistication and artificiality that exponentially surpasses their previous show. “The Kardashians” doesn’t feature a messy, dramatic family of influencers stabbing each other in the back and dropping what becomes months-old gossip in interview inserts. Instead, it’s a show about an incredibly powerful family that relies on remarriage, the dominance of dying capitalism, and whether they’re funny or not.

This new cultural context is on full display in the pilot as Kim struggles with the resurgence of yet another sex tape (yes, that’s an oddly timely callback to KUWTK’s first season). As Kim and her family compare this experience to a year ago, Kim says she now knows what to do and has the means to do it. In a call to Kanye about the situation, he tells Kim (according to her) “You have the power. Nothing will undo you. Later, Kim ends the episode with a statement to her lawyer that “I have all the time, all the money and all the resources to burn them to ashes”. This level of invincibility accurately represents the Kardashians’ place in society – they truly are impossible to undo (as proven by this show’s classic reboot However, it also makes the drama, reality TV nature of this show less entertaining for the average viewer when they know the stars can’t lose.

“Keeping Up With the Kardashians” originally covered a moderately famous family navigating the drama and excitement of the entertainment industry in the 2000s. Now, “The Kardashians” is a show about one of the families. the most powerful in the country. At least in the pilot, there’s none of that simple, trashy drama or ridiculous one-liners that cemented KUWTK as a decently popular cult series. Now there’s only extremely long scenes about Scott Disick feeling left out (like, extremely long. There was a full five minute conversation about it and that wasn’t even the only one) and how Kim is stressed about SNL (again, multiple 3-5 minute scenes). In the end, it’s just a trivial drama that they can’t solve with a quick phone call or a few million dollars.

The freedom of streaming definitely promised potential for a Kardashian show that kept the drama and humor alive while covering the heavier topics of the Kardashians’ role in society, or at least incorporated some sort of economic critique into their constant complaints about the no one in the world understands hard work like they do. Instead, he floundered trying to dramatize a family that has done too well to be dramatized. But maybe that was just a slow start to the season — we all know what happens when Kim finally moves on to SNL.

However, regardless of your views on the Kardashians, their cultural role, what they do to America’s youth and so on, the new show does a good job of reminding viewers of a timeless truth — no matter the time, place or the network. , no one is as obsessed with the Kardashians as Scott Disick. There must be some sort of social commentary in there.

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Edward L. Robinett