The legacy of Keeping Up with the Kardashians


After 13 years, 18 seasons and 256 episodes later, Keep-
ing Up with the Kardashians is sadly leaving our telly screens at the start of next year. It seems that we never truly asked for the Kardashians, but somehow, they always seem to make an appearance in showbiz news everyday. It could be an affair scandal, or a new lip kit, but whatever it is, we just cannot avoid that family.

“Kim K is a household name that truly describes the age of social media
and celebrity culture”

Let us have a look at the ‘cast’. We first have the matriarch, the mother figure that is Kris Jenner. And what a woman she is. Say what you will, but her ability to exploit and monetise her own children is an incredible feat. The humble beginnings of the show are perhaps not too humble – the leaking of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. Yet, it takes someone of great business knowledge and connections to build such an empire, purely out of one leaked video.

Of course, you then have Kim, the ‘star’ of the show. It should be noted however, that she was something of a Z lister before the reality series started. In fact, she was Paris Hilton’s stylist in 2003, when Paris had her own show ‘The Simple Life’. What a true noughties combination. Now? With 4 kids in tow, an enviable derriere and a rather turbulent marriage with rapper, Kanye West, Kim K is a household name that truly describes the age of social media and celebrity culture.

Whilst the show predominantly focuses on Kim, it would be rude to not give honourable mentions to other cast members. Look at Kylie Jenner, who was only 10 years old when filming first started. Standing now, with a net worth of $900 million dollars and the perhaps misleading title of Forbes’ ‘first self made millionaire’, the power of Instagram and a good publicist team has never been so apparent. Or even her sister, Kendall Jenner, who is now a runway model. It has been argued that yes, whilst she is pretty, her status as a model never could have been recognised without her surname. That, I believe, is the success behind the Kardashian/Jenner clan. It does not matter how skilled one is, or how much knowledge one has. If you know the right people and have the right following, then you are sorted. Even Rob Kardashian, the less aired child of them all, has wriggled his way
into the entertainment and fashion world with his own sock company.

“Is the show pure trash? Yes. 100%. But it is brilliant trash”

A well off family has now seeped their way into every nook and cranny of the consumerist digital age we now live in. From the Met Gala to music videos, we are constantly thrust into the world of the Kardashian-Jenner’s. There is a certain legacy behind KUWTK that other reality shows simply cannot compete with. Keeping Up with the Kardashians has brought some extremely memorable and quotable lines, a generator of comedy and memes that millennials and Gen Z would be especially familiar with:

  1. Kim Kardashian taking selfies in the car whilst her sister Khloe was going to jail
  2. Kylie Jenner thinking a pig was a chicken
  3. Kourtney and Khloe fighting each other with Louis Vuitton bags as weapons
  4. Kim losing her diamond earrings in the ocean, then being met Kourtney stating the iconic line ‘Kim there’s people that are dying

Is the show pure trash? Yes. 100%. But it is brilliant trash. The kind of trash where you do not realise the bland dialogue or the unwavering tone of voice from any of the cast (maybe Scott Disick and Khloe Kardashian should be exempt here), because you are too busy admiring how beautiful and luxurious their houses are.

However, this trash has been sitting in its bin bag for too long. The Kardashian-Jenner empire have simply outgrown their show. Whilst it has been rebranded (and themselves have rebranded multiple
times), the age of television is simply dying, to put it simply. With a combined following of 550 million followers on Instagram, the future is digital, rather than televised.

Am I still going to follow what the Kardashian-Jenner clan have planned? Of course I am. Am I proud of it? Not entirely. You can hate and moan about this family, but we all know, we can never escape them.

Image: The Salvator via Wikimedia Commons

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