Appellate Judge Tom Becker has just been inspired to keep up with the Hemlock Society.
Our reviews of Keeping Up With The Kardashians: The Complete First Season (published October 9th, 2008) and Keeping Up With The Kardashians: The Complete Second Season (published November 11th, 2009) are also available.
Fame could tear them apart…
…so could a badger, but I wouldn't want to watch that either.
Someone really needs to clue me in about who the Kardashians are and why I should have a DVD with their mugs on the cover sitting on my coffee table.
OK, in the general sense, I know who they are. They're three young, rich women who wear ill-fitting clothes, and at least one has an arrest record. And they're related, but not by blood, to Brody Jenner, who is also famous for reasons I can't comprehend. And for some reason, they've got their own show on the E! Network.
The backstory, near as I can figure: a woman named Kris married a lawyer named Robert Kardashian, who was famous many years ago as a defense attorney in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. They had these kids that we're now "keeping up" with. She then married Bruce Jenner, famous Olympian and one-time star of Allan Carr's Village People epic Can't Stop the Music, whose surgically enhanced face makes me worry that he's going to try to take over Gotham City. They had more kids. We don't have to "keep up" with them because they're in middle school, and they're Jenners, not Kardashians, but they turn up every now and again, as does Kris' son, also a Kardashian.
I'm watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians because I have to keep up with my DVD reviewing, but it's tough going. Five minutes with these people and I want to join a monastery. Since this set is 264 minutes long, that means I've got more than 50 monastic fantasies ahead of me.
Wow, I just looked at the DVD case. Evidently, this isn't just Keeping Up With the Kardashians, this is Keeping Up With the Kardashians: The Complete Third Season, meaning this illness is chronic.
Why am I watching this? What am I supposed to get out of this? Why are they all acting so coy for the camera? Aren't they accustomed to cameras? Don't their lives revolve around cameras? Why can't they act "natural" in front of one? They're like your Aunt Lucy seeing a camcorder for the first time in 1988.
I'm into the second episode, and I still can't tell these people apart. So far, I know that one went to jail for a couple of hours, but she didn't get beaten by guards or traded for smokes. I'm happy for her, but bored, so onto the next one.
Now, one of them is going to be on the cover of some magazine I've never heard of. Topless? Is this like that photo shoot in Fame? Nope, onto Episode Three.
Damn, these people curse a lot. Where did they learn that, from the one who went to jail? And why, since this is DVD and not broadcast, are they bleeping it? So many bleeps, it's like the Emergency Broadcast System is back and malfunctioning. Makes me nervous…
OK, now the one who just got sprung from jail wants liposuction. Wouldn't not drinking solve this problem—and others—instead of a surgical procedure when she's, what, 23 or something? If she'd stayed in prison, they'd have done this on the taxpayers' dime, so it's good she's out. Oh, no, she's doing a naked photo shoot for PETA! Oh, no! They're going to put this on a big billboard somewhere. This is just…Oh, no!
Too disturbing. Before I start tossing red paint at people, on to Episode Four.
Great, one of them just got an emergency call to perform with the Pussycat Dolls. Yeah, that's how I toured with Van Halen.
In Episode Five, there's a crisis about perfume, and in Episode Six, the prison fish thinks she's adopted. I wish I were watching a show about poor people.
Episodes Seven, Eight, Nine, and there's nothing going on here. Oh, you know, the usual stuff, they're going to parties, having personal crises over nothing in particular—one of them is afraid her boyfriend is cheating, but since, like her, he constantly has cameras following him around, why would he? Ooops, somebody just had a food fight, that's socially responsible.
Mom's demanding that one daughter have an out-of-wedlock baby to satisfy her own empty nest fears and perhaps to harvest stem cells for the husband's next round of plastic surgery. The one who spent a few hours in jail is trying out her prison-seduction moves on her sister. Now she's threatening to lam it to New York. I just want to cry.
Episode 10 in Season 3 is sadistically named "Meet the Kardashians," which suggests facing a firing squad without a blindfold. If you've actually made it through three years of this, would you actually want to meet the Kardashians? Or the Jenners, for that matter? OK, they go camping with a bunch of strangers, and…what's this? Bruce is having more plastic surgery? And they're showing it?!?! EEEWWWW! I am never going in the sun again if this is what the future holds. PETA should be showing this on a billboard. Ah, the unveiling. Here he goes, slowly turning around in a chair, like Mrs. Bates. Voila! It's Eva Gabor!
The central conflict in Episode 11 is that a younger Kardashian—sorry, Jenner—age, ironically, 11, is growing up too fast, slathering on makeup and dressing like a divorcee in Vegas. Do I smell a spin off? Tonight, Bruce plays the Dagwood role while mom Kris essays the part of Miss Mona from the Chicken Ranch. Seriously, the kid's done up like Christiane F.—with styling courtesy of the Big Birdcage sister—and all mom can do is coo about her fashion sense. It's creepy.
Merciful heavens, it's the finale. And an easy recap: the girls find out their boyfriends are, in fact, cheating on them, so they flee to Miami. Nice that they got that whole First Wives Club thing out of the way so early. This also takes care of that whole spin-off thing, so we can all stop sleeping with one eye open.
The 12 episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians: The Complete Third Season are presented here on two discs in clean, widescreen transfers with stereo sound, so it's exactly like watching them on the E! Network. There are supplements, too. Disc One features Deleted Scenes—yes, the adventures were so wacky and plentiful that they actually exceeded the bounds of a half-hour program and yielded left-overs. Disc Two promises Episode Commentaries, only they're not. What we get instead are clips from various episodes, only instead of the Kardashians chattering inanely onscreen, we have the Kardashians chattering inanely offscreen, over the visuals. They talk about…hell, I don't know what they're talking about, I watched two of these segments and wanted to start eating cockroaches. Trust me, they're there, if you're interested.
I will never understand what compels people to subject themselves, their families, their children, their friends, and everyone else they know to the indignity of having their lives scrutinized for reality TV. I guess if you're broke or ignorant, it's a convenient way to pick up a couple of bucks or maybe have somebody throw you a wedding.
But the Kardashian/Jenners don't seem to be broke, and I don't know if "ignorant" is exactly the word for them, either. They're more like those dreadful Housewives on Bravo, smug, self-deluded, and somehow convinced their lives are so compelling we should take time out of our lives to watch them.
Seriously, no harm should come to the Kardashians, but neither should they be coming to our living rooms or DVD players.
I'm sentencing this unpleasantly blended family to psychiatric counseling and maybe an intervention someplace cameras aren't allowed.
Oh, and a vow of silence, please.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
• Episode Commentaries
Review content copyright © 2010 Tom Becker; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.