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Reviewed by Will Harris
have to presume it to be a good thing that, when I first started watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Season 1,” I was sufficiently unfamiliar with any member of the Kardashian clan to even be 100% which one of them was Kim. And even then, I kept getting mixed up on occasion.
It’s been said many times in the media that Kim Kardashian became famous for no damned good reason, and that argument will not be disputed in this review. If she hadn’t been the daughter of OJ Simpson’s defense attorney, Robert Karsadashian, and been one of Paris Hilton’s party pals, then it’s likely that no-one would’ve cared about her sex tape that was leaked by her ex-boyfriend, rapper Ray J. But she was, and they did. Since then, she’s mostly become known for the size of her ass, which apparently earned her enough notoriety to score a TV show on E! for herself and her family – a fact which says as much about the stupidity of the average television viewer as it does about E!’s standards for green-lighting new series.
Watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” provides one significant challenge for the viewer: trying to decide which female member of the family you want to smack the most. You will be astounded at just how much of a career Kim has, given that she’s never done anything of note; there are episodes which revolve around an appearance on “The Tyra Banks Show” and taking photos for a Playboy layout and a “Girls Gone Wild” shoot. (If this doesn’t indicate the lowest-common-denominator nature of the show, nothing will.) Her older sister Kourtney and younger sister Khloe co-own a boutique with her (called DASH), but it’s clear that they’re so spoiled that they’d be lucky to survive in the real world. Mom – Kris Jenner – is Kim’s manager, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more air-headed manager in show business, based on what we see in the series.
As a non-viewer, it was legitimately shocking to see Bruce Jenner pop up in the series, since I had no idea he was Kim’s stepfather, but as it happens, he’s actually the only person in the show who comes out looking good. He must surely love Kris with every fiber of his being, as you cannot conceive of any other reason he would’ve gone along with the show. His two daughters with Kris – Kylie and Kendall – watch so much stuff during the course of the first season that you can only hope that Child Protective Services has looked into the Kardashian family by now, but at least Jenner looks legitimately annoyed and pissed off about it all. Rob Kardashian, Kim’s brother, is on the fringe of the series more often than not, which is to his benefit.
The attempt at sentimentality in later episodes, such as one when they pay tribute to the late Robert Kardashian, is both sad and sweet, but it’s most definitely a one-off. Watching the already-noted business opportunities of the siblings will make you weep for our country, and the romantic adventures of the sisters are so stupid that you will stare at the screen in stunned silence. If you haven’t tuned out by the point when Kourtney learns that she’s not pregnant and her sisters decide to celebrate that her boyfriend hasn’t knocked her up by going to Las Vegas and getting rip-roaring drunk, then you deserve this show.
Ultimately, there’s really only one reason to watch “Keeping Up with the Kardashian”: the fact that Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe spend a sizable amount of the proceedings in tight and/or revealing clothing. Otherwise, it’s as brain-dead as reality TV gets.
Special Features: There’s a featurette about the season (“Junk in the Trunk”) which provides bits and pieces of previously-unseen footage, but Bullz-Eye doesn’t pay me enough to listen to the audio commentary tracks by the Kardashians, which appear on every episode but the first. The mere idea of listening to the family discussing their already-excruciating adventures paralyzes me with fear.