Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Kim’s Calendar For Reggie
May 12, 2008

E!, Sundays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Vapidness Sells

Well, that didn’t last long.  The Kardashians were back to pointless form after two solid episodes.  Kim is trying to figure out what to do for her and Reggie Bush’s one year anniversary.  After shooting down Khloe’s idea of a live leopard (which probably would’ve made for better TV…guess Seacrest was asleep at the switch), Kim decided to make a calendar for her NFLove.  The only thing I was wondering during this whole discussion was whether or not the Kardashian home actually has a Hollywood-style makeup room in their house, because thats where it looked like the girls were sitting.

To keep this interesting, we got to see Kim get the cellulite massaged or sucked off her thighs by some weird machine.  Not nearly as compelling as the producers must have thought.  Kim’s photo sitting was…well…something.  I’m curious to know how much the hair they added to her head cost.  Reggie ends up showing up to the shoot, unaware that it was for his personal use.  Obviously, Bush wasn’t comfortable with his girlfriend taking such risque shots.  Wow.  A decent guy on this show.  Unfortunately, Kris gets ahold of the calendar before Kim does and assumes that it was meant for mass production.   Kim awkwardly finds out when her younger brother finds the calendar on a newsstand.  She immediately knows Kris is responsible and is angry.  And she unleashes on Kris.  Kim then runs off to buy back all the calendars.  So here’s my thing: this has GOT to be Seacrest’ed.  I honestly believe that this calendar wasn’t sent out publicly.  I’m pretty sure these calendars were placed where they were placed just for the sake of this episode.  And Kim’s payback was even less believable.  It just seems highly unlikely that these calendars get mass produced and sent out withoutKim knowing.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

Bruce continued to be on camera for a change when the girls insinuated that he doesn’t work for a living.  At his daring, the girls go to watch Bruce speak at an event.  Beforehand, they go to a cocktail part for the event.  Pretty much, Bruce ends up schmoozing random guys while Khloe and Kourtney get drunk and ultimately embarrass him.  The actual event was not too bad.  It was pretty much exactly what you expect from a motivational speaker event.  The girls give him a little more credit than he deserves, but I guess that comes from them not expecting anything from him.  Apparently he actually succeeded in motivating the girls.

Final Grade: B-

Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Kardashian Family Vacation
May 4, 2008

E!, Sundays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Vapidness Sells.

So here I am, reviewing the Kardashians for the second week in a row.  Last week, the Kardashian drama felt authentic (enough) to warrant watching another episode.  So the warring clan found themselves in Colorado for skiing.  Things don’t get off to a great start, as Kim immediately hops online to talk to Reggie Bush, her boyfriend, as opposed to spending time with her family.  Things devolve pretty quickly as Bruce gets tired of Kim sitting in a room with everyone, and texting someone else.  So Kris throws Kim’s sidekick over her head, and Kim responds by doing the same.  The family tries to make up, but Kim just isn’t having it.  (Continuity issue: based on clothes and hair and such, the Sidekick incident happens right after they get to the cabin, and before the skiing begins, though E! cut it to look different.)  Kim bails on a family dog sledding experience because she just doesn’t want to deal with it anymore.  On the advice of Reggie, she then actually leaves the cabin and goes home.  And leaves a note on the bed.  In a day of cell phones and emails, that feels a bit over-dramatic, but again, this is reality TV.  Kim got a contrite voicemail from Khloe which genuinely seemed to move her, and she returned.  And things got better.  I don’t know.  I felt it.  I hate myself for enjoying this episode as well.

Bruce is going through a midlife crisis.  I really can’t tell how much of this is authentic, because I really do believe he is in the midst of his crisis, and how much of this is enhanced by the producers.  Either way, he ends up inviting the ski instructors over for pizza and beer.  A bizarre family vacation, I know.  Part of me also feels that this whole thing would’ve been fine without family members saying “this is so not like him” every couple minutes.  I will admit, Kris and Bruce have been more endearing together during this period than when Bruce really is doing nothing else other than sitting around, waiting to comment on the girls.

Man, when everyone is acting authentic, this show really works well.  This usually involves the girls not caking on the make up and Kris acting normal.  That’s what’s been relatively true for the last two eps.  Keep it up, Seacrest, and I’ll keep watching next season.

Final Grade: A-

Keeping Up With The Kardashians: Kardashian Civil War
April 28, 2008

E!, Sundays at 10:00PM

Genre: Reality-ish

Conceit: Vapidness Sells.

I know I am going to regret writing this review for 2 reasons.  First, I promised I wouldn’t review this show.  Though it hits my TiVo, the more I watch it, the more I hate it.  I end up watching it out of compulsion and hating it more and more.  Second, I liked this episode.

The reason this show is usually awful is both in its setup and its execution.  The former is flawed because there is nothing that makes this family famous in today’s world, outside of Kim’s unfortunate mini-dv moment.  We shouldn’t even want to watch them.  The latter is flawed because the show is SO producer-interfered with that it makes The Hills look true-to-life.  None of the premises even seem believable.  “Oh no, we had a quasi-disturbance at the store!  Lets go to the gun range and learn to shoot an AK-47.”

But tonight’s episode worked because they took the setup and executed it realistically…for the most part.  The show started pretty standard: Khloe, Kourtney, and Kim were on their way to pick up Kim’s newly tricked out Bentley.  I was so tempted to turn off the TV at this point.  But then things started getting interesting as Kim had to say Bentley every three words and Khloe and Kourtney were obviously annoyed.  Things got worse when they arrived at the mechanics to find the car wasn’t ready.  Kourtney and Khloe intervened to show their displeasure at this, and Kim wasn’t pleased with their displeasure at all.  When the girls reconvened back at their younger brothers place, things escalated with Khloe trying to close the door in Kim’s face, Kim punching Khloe in the arm, and her leaving, vowing that she was done.  An attempt to reconcile over coffee spiraled out pretty quickly, leaving Khloe crying in the car.  What worked about all this was that it was 100% believable.  Ok, maybe 90% believable.  There has to be underlying emotions with these girls who, until Kim’s tape came out, were merely partners in their stores.  now Kim is this celebrity (kind of) who does this and that, and the other two are…well…her sisters who have a reality show with her.  Kim’s indignation that her sisters would embarrass her during a business deal was believable.  Khloe and Kourtney’s hurt that Kim would put business before family was believable.  The cliffhanger solution that the family should fly to Colorado to settle things over skiing…not so believable.

Oh, and Kris had a girls night out with her best friend (who just happens to co-host a radio show with this show’s producer, Ryan Seacrest) in which she gets drunk and gets a tattoo.  I knew the show couldn’t go all the way through without falling into its manipulated ways.

Can’t lie though: I absolutely will watch the second part next week.  I hate myself for that.

Final Grade: B+ (I Hate Myself For This Grade As Well.)