“Keeping Up With The Kardashians” will conclude its reign of terror in 2021, coming to a close after its twentieth season. It will be the end of an era for the Kardashian family, after the show launched the careers of many family members and, apparently, destroyed their relationships with each other.
In reactions to the show’s ending, many seem to be in disbelief that it even lasted as long as it did. However, as a person who loves reality television, the show’s end makes perfect sense to me. Yes, the Kardashians are racist, rich, materialistic and ridiculously annoying. The appeal of the show is not that they’re good and interesting people. The actual appeal of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (and reality television as a whole) is that it is so absurdly unreal.
The world the Kardashian family lives and operates in is so different from that of the average American, that it might as well be on the moon. The joy of reality television is how detached from actual reality it is.
Everyone knows reality TV is full of scripted moments and nefarious producer-driven plots. That’s what makes it so good! When I’ve watched “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” I’ve often found myself asking aloud, “How do these people even exist in real life?”
The escape into the wild and bizarre worlds of reality shows brings a sense of calm to my stressful life. Of course I don’t care about the Kardashian’s family vacations, business exploits, or, frankly, tame and boring pranks. But there’s nothing quite like half-watching the show while scrolling through your phone, letting the nasally voice of Kourtney Kardashian lull you to sleep.
Some TV is just not meant to make you think, and some shows are genuinely enjoyable as a hate-watch. Actively not thinking while watching a show is comforting in a time when everything seems to be going wrong at once. Of course, I will not be too disappointed that the show is ending. It has enough hours of content to half-watch forever. Or, of course, you could watch almost any other show.