Sunday, November 25, 2007

Guilty Pleasures on E! - Keeping up the Kardashians and Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane

I love reality TV. I love it and I don't pretend that I'm above it. Why? Because I'm not.

This weekend, I finally caught a few episodes of two of E! network's newest reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane. While I can't really say which one is "worth watching," seeing as they don't really add a lot to society, nor your outlook on the world, help in the fight to stop global warming, etc., I can definitely say that Keeping is by far a better show.

First, what kind of drove me crazy about the shows was the fact that I didn't find their lives to really be all that outrageous. Sure, they have a lot of money, but when you live in Los Angeles (like I do), I think that so much of this spoiled craziness just becomes normal to you. While I watched Kimora Lee go shopping for multi-million dollar homes in Beverly Hills, I watched her do so while knowing that I've been to people's houses in Beverly Hills that weren't that far below on the "fab scale" to what Kimora was shopping for. Of course, this is after I've lived in Los Angeles for six years and have been to a red carpet event or two, but it was definitely weird for me to realize that I wasn't so shocked at many of the things on Fab Lane and Keeping that would likely be "out of this world" for many of the shows viewers. Just a side thought, but it was weird.
Not that fun

Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane is kind of like watching a gender-flipped Diddy-centric episode of Making the Band without the singing, cool fellas, and house drama, except that Diddy is a lot more fun to watch. Honestly, I just didn't really understand what the point of the show was. I know that it's supposed to follow Kimora's life as the CEO of Baby Phat, but it was more about the work that the people who work directly with her have to do for her while receiving very little direction from the show's main diva.

The show just isn't very fun and while it's over the top and very "fabulous," it's lacking the drama and excitement that normally makes a reality show a "can't miss" reality show. I tried to watch a marathon, even with hottie assistant Mallory helping glue my eyes to the screen, but just found myself getting annoyed with the scatterbrained organization of the show. There are very few ongoing story lines that make you want to keep watching, but I feel like the main problem is that you don't get to know the people well enough to really care about any of the struggles that they're going through. As a result, you don't like anyone enough to really care about the story, nor care enough to tune in again.

It's "just ok" and I will not be watching the show ever again. Actually, even just thinking about how "ok" the show was right now really annoys me.

That brings us to Keeping up with the Kardashians, a Ryan Seacrest production.

If you haven't caught this guilty pleasure yet and you're a fan of The Hills and The Real World, this one is a keeper. Going off the "visual" post, let's start out by saying that the show gives you an excuse to look at the beautiful Kim Kardashian for 30 minute periods at a time.

Say what you will, but she is hot.

So while the Kardashian klan (plus Olympian Bruce Jenner and his son Brody Jenner) is pretty spoiled, at least they have a store that they run, so it creates the illusion that this is where all the money comes from. The Kardashians are of course, the family of the late-Robert Kardashian, best known for being one of OJ Simpson's lawyers back in that trial that no one heard about a little while back.

Clearly, the family has a ton of money and Kim caused quite the stir for the family after being seen with friend Paris Hilton out and about on the Hollywood scene and making the obligatory sex tape that showed her hooking up with R&B has been and Brandy's lil bro Ray-J. Put it all together, mix in Lauren Conrad's ex-squeeze Brody Jenner, and throw in some Ryan Seacrest production muscle, and what do you get? A really entertaining 30 minutes of reality TV.
And yes, you get to look at Kim Kardashian

The show features Bruce Jenner having otherworldly patience, Kim being incredibly hot, Khloe and Kourtney being spoiled and less hot than their sister, Rob being normal, and mother Chris Kardashian pretty much disobeying anything that her husband Bruce asks her to do (thus, the patience). What's great about the show is that all of the Kardashians have very distinct personalities and the Real World-like confessionals give viewers the opportunity to get to know them a little more. While it's obvious that a lot of the confessionals appear scripted and are likely not shot at the most relevant time, the show is well-edited to give the appearance of real-time and despite the lighthearted nature of the show because of all the Kardashian silliness, it still has heart.

From never dodging the effect of Kim's sex tape on the family to watching the family discuss whether Kim should be in Playboy or not (and she is in the December issue NSFW), the show is fun, but doesn't seem too scripted for a family that is as over the top as this one is.

Perhaps the best episode I caught was the episode that was filmed on the anniversary of Robert Kardashian's death. The episode had some very honest and very touching confessionals by each of the family members who were recounting the memories they had about their father.

It was legitimately fascinating to watch the family look back on home videos they had with their late father and see what their lives were like in simpler times, before the sex tapes, celebutant status, and Hollywood scene took over their lives. I was really impressed with this episode, along with the preceding episodes that followed Kim's struggles with posing for Playboy magazine because of the relative honesty of each of the characters and exceptional editing that make the show work.

Keeping Up made it onto my DVR and but Life in the Fab Lane definitely did not and I recommend that you pass on that one too.

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