Keeping Up with the Kardashians Will Never Be the Same, and I Don’t Care

‘The Kardashians’ arrived on Hulu this week with a blinding new gloss, but we'd expect nothing less.

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Keeping Up with the Kardashians Will Never Be the Same, and I Don’t Care
Photo:Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA (Getty Images)

In the latest installment of the Kardashian-Jenner family’s expanding empire, the premiere of Hulu’s The Kardashians kicked off this week by giving viewers a dizzying drone tour through each of the Kardashians’ luxe households. We watch Kourtney Kardashian’s fiancé Travis Barker playing drums with her children, Khloe Kardashian observing construction on her opulent new home, and Kendall Jenner partaking in, uh, a personal sound bath all before landing upon queen bee, Kim Kardashian. In contrast to her persona on E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kim is shown being a regular mom—getting “horny” about cleaning her kids’ play room and preparing for extremely normal things like hosting Saturday Night Live.

It’s been less than a year since the final episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the show that launched the careers of our top cultural (if not problematic) titans and ran for fifteen years and twenty seasons. For a matter of mere months, America’s most omnipresent family took a break from the cameras and closed the door to their living room before opening it right back up with this new vamped-up series.

However, this series, which dropped on Wednesday, displays a harsher shift in the cultural understanding of the family’s dominance. Their sheer level of wealth feels even more front and center, while the overall sheen of the series seems to obscure more than just blemishes. Do I care? Not one bit. The Kardashians are the Kardashians, and I will painstakingly track their every move to the grave.

Far removed from the cutesy, whistling jingle that accompanied the original series’ opening sequence, the Kardashians are no longer just your regular Calabasas neighbors. Everything in the Hulu series is on steroids: the plastic surgery, the houses, and even the romantic interests are bigger, better, more famous. The confessionals are even airbrushed like never before, as is the plot of the show.

The issue with a rebooted Kardashian series is that we now know them too well. At this point, the Kardashians are no longer famous for being famous. Each member of the clan has become a recognizable figure in their own right. We know that each step in their lives has been orchestrated and strategized by matriarch and manager Kris Jenner. We know that not a single breadcrumb will be dropped without intention or plotting. And we know that this family, perhaps more than any other in the American tabloid era, knows how to run a fucking news cycle.

When we get to spy on moments like Kim asking her kids, “Do you want to go with Dad to the Grammys? Wanna be his date?”” we can identify this as foreshadowing for the shitshow that is to come: Kanye essentially stalking his ex-wife and her new boyfriend, resulting in him not attending the Grammys at all. Whenever we see any footage of Kourtney and Travis making out, we already know the fairytale ending (spoiler: They’re engaged!). Even the conversations between Tristan and Khloe post-cheating scandal number one seem far too emotionally mature, as they employ therapy speak and discuss working on themselves (work your fucking ass off, Tristan!!!).

Despite all of this being a controlled look at excessive wealth, I will continue to watch this show until the end of time. I’m stupidly excited about witnessing Kim’s Legally Blonde moment, as well as a legitimate billionaire trying to convince us she’s an imperfect everywoman (in just the first episode, we hear her say gems like “I’m a vegan 98% of the time” and “love a fountain soda”). I can’t wait to see Kendall’s reaction to everyone boycotting her 818 tequila. And I will forever hold out hope that Rob might someday make a triumphant return.

Welcome back to Kim’s ugly cry face. I’ve missed her.

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