On September 8th 2021, pop culture lost one of the greats: Keeping Up With The Kardashians. It seemed like the end was nigh for the infamous family after entertaining (and infuriating) the masses since 2007. Yet, this month the family’s back with a new series, The Kardashians. But, with a Disney+ subscription being £7.99/month, is the series worth the cost?
The main question on critics’ minds is how is The Kardashians different from KUWTK? The premise of the new series is to provide a fresh lens on the family, focusing on their work lives and business ventures … at least that’s what Kim claimed in interviews.
Gone are the days of trivial drama. Instead, the show swapped out the petty fist fights for deeper personal issues that frame the family in a more genuine light. This stripped-back approach has meant audiences are able to better relate to the issues that shadow each family member.
So far, the series has been following Kourtney’s surprise engagement to Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker. However, this looks like it’s about to be overshadowed by the fertility struggles the couple faces. Simultaneously, we watch Kim try to maintain a healthy relationship with her ex-husband Kanye West, with the rapper still playing a significant role in her work and personal life. We’re yet to see the fallout between the pair on Instagram, or the debut of ‘Skete’ aka Pete Davidson.
Unlike KUWTK, The Kardashians is far less filtered both in terms of scripting and cinematography. By season 20 of KUWTK, you could barely make out Kris Jenner behind all the smoothing and blurring. You’re not kidding anyone Kris. Now, we actually get to see the family’s skin texture and age!
More genuinely intimate moments are shared throughout the series too. We watch Kylie aggressively snacking whilst ordering In-and-Out for instance – footage that would’ve previously been burnt. The family finally appears less concerned about appearing glamorously untouchable, instead opting for moments of touching emotional support that actually feel real.
However, one thing that the trailers have blatantly ignored is the Astroworld disaster. The carnage caused by that one event hugely affected the family as they desperately tried to save face. With Travis Scott (the face and founder of Astroworld) being the partner and baby-daddy to the most famous KarJenner (Kylie), the family was dragged down through association. A lot of the family members stepped back from social media, the driving force behind their success, due to the amount of outrage the fatal festival caused. For the family not to acknowledge Astroworld in their trailers says one of two things. Either the festival was so damaging to the family’s reputation that resurfacing it would only cause further backlash or, advertising the event as TV fodder would be deemed insensitive.
Overall, if you’re a Kardashian fan, undoubtedly you’ll enjoy the series. You get the classic Kardashian gossip with a glimpse into their work lives. Plus their kids are adorable. Saying that though, it did take me a while to enjoy the series. Major plot lines are dragged out over a number of episodes at an excruciatingly slow rate. In the past, KUWTK would have an overarching plot over a whole series, and mini-plots in each episode. Now, we have to watch Kim do SNL for three episodes, with Kourtney’s engagement dragging across several. It’s so much slower.
With that in mind, I’d only invest in Disney+ if you have an interest in pop culture and/or the family itself. Otherwise, feel free to skip this one.
‘Marshmellow’ rating: 5/5.
Genuine rating: 3.5/5.