This incredibly uncomfortable episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians made me feel an emotion towards the family I never thought possible: sympathy. The show’s appeal lies in revealing this family’s dirty laundry, and no other episode digs deeper than this one. I couldn’t even grin at watching their problems like I usually do; for once, everything felt a little too real.
Oprah Arrives, and Everyone Gets Free Emotional Problems!
It starts when Oprah interviews the Kardashian family, stirring up simmering emotions. Everyone complains of Kris favoring Kim, Rob feels neglected and Kim wants to strike off on her own for once. With all these issues, the Kardashians head to family therapy.
Therapy turns into a disaster. Kim isolates herself immediately, Khloe and Kourtney verbally assault Kris and Rob eventually leaves the room crying. Throughout everything, Kris sits with her face completely frozen.
The Part Where We Read Too Far Into the Kardashians’ Emotions
However, before therapy blows up, there’s one phrase repeated over and over: “I love you.” Do the Kardashians love each other? Of course.
Once cameras start filming Keeping Up with the Kardashians, though, all their emotions become products. Kourtney playing with Mason isn’t a cute moment between mother and son; it’s a carefully edited and orchestrated moment meant to attract viewers. Kris visiting the man who caused her to cheat on her original husband? It brings out more high-strung emotions. More ratings.
Rob leaving therapy, pursued by cameras? Each tear has a dollar sign attached. Still, I hate watching it.
How I Learned to Stop Hating and Feel Bad for Rob
I often joke about wishing terrible things on the Kardashians. They excessively spend when so many Americans have very little. They fight and worry over things much of the working poor would find ridiculous. However, Rob crying doesn’t stem from Kourtney being late for the Kardashians’ Dominican Republic vacation or Lamar’s fear of the dentist.
Instead, it’s from feeling ignored, unloved and having every moment constantly televised. The episode ends on a raw, grainy shot of Rob hiding his face, bawling. Compared to other moments on the show which feel overly scripted, this one feels too real. At its most authentic, Keeping Up with the Kardashians can be incredibly uncomfortable.
Is that necessarily a good thing? Should Keeping Up focus on its cotton candy filler bits of a rich family acting wacky or how fractured they’ve become? Am I just reading way too much into this episode? Comment below and let us know.
(Image courtesy of E!)
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV