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An old Russian pundit by the name of Leo Tolstoy once confessed, “I do not look, yet not looking is worse.”
No, he wasn’t talking about the Kardashian clan. But he might as well have been, as all of the pain and turmoil of entertainment’s first family ended tonight with a last look at many of the key moments of drama with a capital K that defined the reality series over 20 seasons and 14 years. None of it will change the world, but it was something that we needed to see, as anyone passing a car accident knows well.
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E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians was not the first reality series, but it certainly was among the most culturally influential, as it perfectly rode social media and reality TV’s rise since its October 2007 debut.
While never a critical favorite and loathed by many for its vacuity and materialism, it was a consistent ratings winner for most of its tenure, spawning numerous spin-off series and specials. There was always something to see, some new relationship to explore, some drama to be resolved, and the show religiously chronicled it all.
For its fans, its zeitgeist created equal measures of passion, envy and empathy, and they loyally followed its twists, causing the final segment tonight to definitely feel like the end of an era.
*** SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ PAST THIS LINE IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FINALE
It is, of course, impossible to wrap up such a long series in one show. In fact, considering the characters are still going to be alive and prominent, this final show almost felt no need to be definitive.
The door was even left cracked open for future specials, as the closing burial of a time capsule containing exit interviews promises a ratings bonanza in a decade.
The final show addressed Kim’s feelings towards her soon-to-be-divorced husband Kanye West, Khloe’s move to Boston to be with her wayward beau, Tristan Thompson, and Kourtney’s pushmi-pullyu relationship with ex Scott Disick.
All of it was punctuated with frequent hugs and celebrations among the clan, as they seemingly rejoiced at their liberation from constantly being on camera for more than a decade.
It also featured a lot of psychological babble, grand settings in Lake Tahoe for a family vacation and little thought about anything more than themselves. In other words, it followed the playbook that made the show a success, and there were few moments that extended away from the family bubble of photo shoots, appearances and relationship drama.
The show ended with a family photoshoot portrait and a few simple “thank-yous” to the fans who have kept up with the Kardashians and remained loyal throughout their rollercoaster lives.
We will see them again on the Andy Cohen-hosted two-part reunion special that airs June 17 and 20th on E! And undoubtedly, we’ll see them again and again and again in various media, with a rumor floating that they may do something in streaming.
After all, a world without Kardashians would be, for some, as gloomy as a Russian novel.
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