Kim Kardashian, for those unaware, has ridden a friendship with Paris Hilton to stardom. Once she achieved her "celebrity" status, she has managed to keep herself there thanks to her famous rear (and if you forgot about that, the cover of the DVD, which has Kardashian sticking out her behind - is there as a reminder.)
"Keeping Up With the Kardashians" is a reality series on E! that focuses Kim and her family - siblings Robert, Kendall, Kylie, Kourtney, Khloe and parents Kris and Bruce. Kris was formerly married to the late Robert Kardashian, famed defense attorney. Bruce, on the other hand, is widely known for his Olympic success.
The series follows the misadventures of Kim and her family, as well as...well, it's mainly about Kim's career, with the family as supporting players. A fairly large part of the series is the business side of things between manager ("momager"? Oh wait, Dina Lohan apparently started that term - and while we're on the subject, please E! - no more "Living Lohan" - that's more difficult to watch than this is) Kris and Kim, with some subplots about the other kids thrown in to give them some on-screen time.
Within the first several minutes of the first episode, we get a few "gems" from Kris, who starts the series talking about how Kim has a lot of "junk in the trunk" and could use some cardio. Kris on Kim's sex tape: "As her mother, I wanted to kill her. As her manager, I knew I had a job to do." Oy vey. A few minutes later, regarding daughter Kourtney's boyfriend: "I found out he's cheating on Kourtney, and as her mother I want to tell her, but I don't know how." Uh, how about you tell her that he's cheating on her? While these instances may very well be played up for the series, they are pretty terrible things and are said in a mannner that would suggest honest belief in them.
The three main sisters - Kourtney, Kim and Khloe - eventually tend to come together to support each other, but there are moments between the three are impressively catty and bratty. The only one that generally seems to rise above the fray is Jenner, who also seems to spend most of the time on-screen walking around the house, doing his own thing and seemingly trying to avoid (not that I blame him) what one has to imagine are daily discussions on the latest from Louis Vuitton.
In one episode, Kris doesn't tell Bruce that Kim, Khloe and Kourtney are going to be spokesmodels for the new "Girls Gone Wild" clothing line because she thought he would be against it - so they leave anyway, leaving poor Bruce none the wiser, thinking the girls were going away for a "Girl's Weekend". It's only when son Brody (of "Hills" fame) tells Bruce that he finds out about the plans and he goes to confront them. My issue with the episode is simply that Kris and the girls appeared to have no problem not being honest with Bruce (in the commentary for the episode, Bruce comments, "Look how well you lied to me."), and the eventual apologies seem quick and half-hearted (and only come after Kris acts as if she's horribly embarassed when Bruce confronts her about lying to him, as if Bruce has caused some sort of "scene" by being upset about it.)
Oddly, despite the fact that the second season has been over for months, all that is included here is the short first season. While second season episodes expand things out a little bit and at least have more going on - such as a vacation episode and one where Kim and her sisters head to New Orleans - this first season is largely family drama, such as an episode focusing on Khloe's DUI. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" is certainly a few steps above the network's "Sunset Tan", but it's still tough to find much compelling about the confessions of these drama queens and the one guy who - at least from what is seen on the series - doesn't seem to truly want anything to do with all the drama, drama, drama.
1. 1- 1 14 Oct 07 I'm Watching You
2. 1- 2 21 Oct 07 Managing Mom
3. 1- 3 28 Oct 07 Brody in the House
4. 1- 4 4 Nov 07 Birthday Suit
5. 1- 5 11 Nov 07 Remembering Dad
6. 1- 6 18 Nov 07 You Are So Pregnant Dude
7. 1- 7 25 Nov 07 Helping Hand
8. 1- 8 2 Dec 07 The Price of Fame
VIDEO: "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" is presented by Lionsgate in 1.33:1 full-frame. The picture quality is just fine, as the full-frame image remained crisp and - at least throughout much of the series - clean.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack offers crisp, clear dialogue and music.
EXTRAS: We get commentaries on episodes 2-8 from various members of the family. The commentaries are halfway decent, as the various family members appear to give their honest opinion regarding some of the scenes and also discuss some of the behind-the-scenes or background moments that aren't seen or aren't focused on. Also included is "Junk in the Trunk" (a featurette that offers deleted scenes.)
Final Thoughts: "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" isn't the least of E's reality shows (the network cancelled the best of its reality bunch, the Denise Richards show, "It's Complicated"), but I find it tough to find much about it engaging. The DVD set provides fine audio/video quality, as well as a few extras.