Should We Still Be 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' on TV?
Even if you're not a major Kardashian fan, you kind of know who the family is, unless you've completely avoided pop culture for the past decade.
The Kardashians and their show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, has been a fixture on television since October 2007. They're basically the first family of reality television. As of late, though, their E! series hasn't been too hot in the ratings. Are people getting tired of watching the family and their drama?
When the show originally premiered, social media wasn't nearly on the same level as it is now. MySpace was the big thing then; that pretty much says it all. Now the family is dominating social media in every sphere, with Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and the rest of the crew boasting millions and millions of followers across every platform. They share just about every detail of their lives on these sites, so do we need them to be featured on TV anymore? Why would viewers tune in if they could get the same update from one of Khloe Kardashian's snapchats?
These Snaps, Instagram photos, and Tweets are obviously different from seeing the crew as they are on their edited television show. Without adding the rest of the family's impressive social numbers, Kim and Kylie both have close to 100 million followers on Instagram. That doesn't even include their large followings on other sites. In comparison, Keeping Up with the Kardashians garnered only 1.48 million views for its latest season premiere.
What's up with that discrepancy? There isn't a clear answer, but maybe their followers feel as though they don't need to see more of the family since they've seen just about everything on their social channels.
However, a recent episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians showcased exactly why there's still room for the show in today's television landscape. In the episode "The Aftermath," the family gave us all of the details concerning Kim Kardashian's terrifying robbery ordeal. This recounting of events would not translate as seamlessly on social media. It would either be seen in stilted tweets or 10-second Snapchat videos. Neither of those would be able to portray the reality of what happened in a way that an entire episode of television could.
During the episode, Kim tearfully recounted the whole ordeal and, unless you don't have a soul, you had to feel for the reality starlet. No one should have had to go through a situation like that. This specific episode also showed the family in what may be the most real they have ever been, although it's sad to think about how that specifically came about.
The family didn't even have to show these super-raw moments on their show; as Kim, Khloe, Kourtney Kardashian, and Kris Jenner are all executive producers on the show, they have a major say in what gets aired. The show is one of their main ways to control their own narrative, something social media can do, but only to a point.
Many people claimed that the Kardashians staged the robbery as a publicity stunt. The fact that the Kardashians actually showed the direct and true aftermath of what happened post-robbery, shows that they were not only aware of those hurtful rumors but would attack them head-on. Take a look at Kim recounting the event in the video below and see for yourself how real this moment is.
Social media may be a major part of the Kardashian brand now, but there's no denying that their brand started, and is in part dependent on, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Other than watching the show for an honest view of the hilarious family, we'll still be 'Keeping Up' with them because the show is straight-up entertaining! There may be parts where the editing goes a bit too far, but what television show doesn't have that? The Kardashians know how to produce a fun show that will always be top-notch escapism TV. Isn't that all we can really ask for?
Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Sundays, 9/8c, E!