There's something almost unsettling about Quibi's new show Kirby Jenner. Perhaps it's because watching a "reality" show where people walk in and out of each other's houses and stand less than six feet apart couldn't be further from our actual reality right now. Maybe it's because the Kardashian-Jenners who appear in the series are capital A Acting, which goes against the very nature of their regular Keeping Up With The Kardashians behaviour. Sure, they turn it up for the camera, but they never attempt to read lines or convey different emotions when a script calls for it. Or maybe it's because Kirby Jenner himself isn't, well, real.
Upon reflection, it's definitely that last one.
Kirby Jenner is a performance artist (whose real name is about as heavily guarded as Banksy’s) who's been around since 2015. One of his longest-running pieces of art involves posing as Kendall Jenner's oft-overlooked fraternal twin brother. He's spent the last five years editing himself into photos and videos with the model. Now, she's in on the joke. Having amassed a following of over 1 million on Instagram, Kirby and Kendall finally teamed up — for real this time —to create a new alternate-reality show for Quibi.
Kirby Jenner takes on the same format as Keeping Up With The Kardashians. There are talking heads, inconsequential conversations, and a day in the life of Kirby includes photoshoots and organizing birthday parties. Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, and Khloé Kardashian are also there. At least, I think they are? Maybe?
It’s unclear. The only thing that’s certain is Rob Kardashian is NOT in it. The elusive yet very much real brother of the Kardashians once had his own reality show with Blac Chyna, but he’s more often relegated to the sidelines while his exponentially more famous sisters’ hog the spotlight. I can't imagine it feels great when your fictional brother gets a show with your sisters before you do. Or when your name isn’t mentioned at all, essentially striking your entire existence from the history of the world.
How very kind to Robert Kardashian, Jr. Forgotten to time in the name of a Quibi show.
While Kendall and matriarch Kris Jenner (along with their usual co-conspirator E!) are the masterminds behind the new show and definitely involved in filming, Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé's involvement is less clear. While they do appear in the Kirby Jenner, it's hard to tell if they're actually there with the titular star, or if the same trickery used for his Instagram has now been applied to TV. Are these old shots of KUWTK chopped up with footage of Kirby? Did the Kardashians film separately from Kirby, and that's why it never quite seems like they're really in conversation? Or are the sisters far better actors than I ever knew and are convincingly playing the roles of siblings who do not give a flip about their secret brother?
But what does feel good is getting more typical Kardashian content during a time when quarantine has thrown KUWTK out of whack. While the family was in charge of filming themselves for the finale because California is still practising social distancing, Kirby Jenner takes us back to the style we know and love — with some bonus celebrity cameos. You'll know what I'm talking about when Kirby Jenner premieres on Quibi May 25.