The Kardashians return to reality TV


Source: New York Times

Isabelle Lee, Reporter

On April 14, Hulu aired the pilot episode of “The Kardashians,” after America’s favorite TV family signed a lucrative 9-figure contract with Disney. The contract followed the Kardashian family’s announcement that they would be leaving “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the 20-season long E! reality show to which the Kardashians owe their fame. Now, as the Kardashians make a flamboyant comeback under a new network, viewers are looking forward to the changes that will be brought to the Kardashian ecosystem.

“I am so happy that the Kardashians chose to return to reality TV after a short interim period,” Christine Lee (11), avid reality show fan, said. “As someone who spent a majority of her life in the United States, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ was something that I grew up with and could never imagine living without. I am so excited to see what the future holds, not only the new show but also the larger contract that the family signed with Disney.”

The new show mainly focuses on the Kardashian family’s entrepreneurial endeavors as well as their sincere interactions with each other, and viewers are able to vicariously live through every experience. In the first episode, Kim Kardashian faces her son’s exposure to her ever-surfacing sex tape. Then, the light shines on Kylie, who, along with boyfriend Travis Scott, navigates through the perils of getting ready to give birth to their second child. 

“Something that I found really interesting in the first episode was the extent to which the family’s struggles and emotions were portrayed in the media,” Jacqueline Lee (10), TV fan, said. “In my previous experiences of watching short clips and memes of the old show on Instagram and TikTok, I concluded that the show was not deep but rather focused on trivial matters. However, this episode, where people talk about finding love and protecting their loved ones, completely changed my opinion.” 

By the second episode, the family’s elaborate lifestyle is again chronicled as members are featured in different television shows. Kris and Khloe, who are worried about their upcoming appearance with James Corden, lean on each other to make the ordeal much more bearable. On the other hand, Kim plans out her highly anticipated SNL appearance with friends and family, including Kanye, comedians Amy Schumer and Dave Chapelle, and Michelle Wolf. 

“Personally, I was shocked by what I saw on the pilot episode because it was so different from ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians,’” Vivienne Chung (11), Kylie Jenner fan, said. “If I were to recall the original show, it was full of family catfights, drama, and basically quibble over really basic matters. On the other hand, the repackaged version shines more light on each of the members’ personal ventures, struggles, and the more glamorous aspects of life.”” 

While the show is similar to “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in terms of cast and setting, there are profound differences that explain the shift from E! to Hulu. For instance, the new polished show is centered around the family’s unattainable lifestyle and aesthetic, whereas the old show was about conflicts surrounding the overdramatic events in the family and the journey to climbing the social ladder. Despite some mixed opinions about the first two episodes, fans await the upcoming weeks where more facets of the Karddashians’s’ lives will be revealed.

“With the big contract to back things up, I am expecting a lot more in this season of ‘The Kardashians,’” Joseph Kim (9), Keeping Up With The Kardashians fan, said. “‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ was a really interesting show that showed us everything we need to know about who they are, but I am looking forward to seeing the genuine faces of the Kardashian family. I hope that the new episodes bring a lot of joy and entertainment to both me and the rest of the world.”