As an entertainment editor, I'm expected to keep up with all sorts of pop culture phenomena, from Bachelor In Paradise to the latest Oscar-buzz movies, and of course, Game Of Thrones. (Who doesn't watch GoT at this point? Bring them to me, now!)
But for some reason, I've never kept up with the Kardashians. As in, I have never seen a full episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Okay, to be fair, I have caught random snippets of the show flipping channels at the gym, or at various nail salons. But have I ever sat down on my couch, turned on E! and purposefully tuned in? Definitely not.
When the show premiered almost 10 years ago, I simply had no interest in watching Paris Hilton's former assistant and her family live out their daily lives in Calabasas. Then, as the years went by and Kim & Co. reached cult status, I felt I was already too far behind to catch up. But I was so, so wrong.
The thing is, Keeping Up With The Kardashians is only a small facet of the gigantic gem that makes up the Kardashian empire. Thanks to social media, the public can follow a celebrity's actions in real time. The Kardashians were early adopters of Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, developing a wide cross-section of followers ready to lap up their every move. I am one of them. I know all about Kim's obsession with Snapchat filters, Kourtney's sexy nude Mother's Day shoot, and Khloé's endless workouts. I know what salads they like, how tall they are, and what shows they're currently watching.
But even beyond that, I can tell you all about that time Kim shot a music video half naked while Kris told her she was doing amazing. Or the time she was taking selfies while the family was driving Khloé to jail, the intimate details of her Paris robbery, and the exact wording of Taylor Swift's phone call to Kanye. I have spent more time than I care to admit theorising about Khloe and Lamar's relationship status. I can even name several of Rob Kardashian's Arthur George sock designs.
All of these moments have been touched on in various seasons of KUWTK, but that's irrelevant. I am aware of all these things because the Kardashians live their lives as constant performance art. Everything they do is reality TV, and that's how the media covers them. No tweet is off-limits, no quote too personal — their very existence is newsworthy. And that's not counting the hundreds of memes based on the show used every day to express very basic human emotions.
What started as a regular show has almost become a best-of reel for the things the family experiences every single day. As someone who lives and breathes Kardashian simply by working in digital media, watching KUWTK would feel redundant. 10 years down the line, there is simply no need to follow the show in order to keep up with the Kardashians. They are everywhere. And isn't that the point?