At some point in the first episode of The KardashiansSaint, second child of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, punches the camera that is filming a routine family skit (or almost: there is a famous sex tape involved, that famous sex tape). Villozza from Los Angeles, her mother Kim and her cousin Reign (son of Kourtney and Scott Disick) sitting around the table, and Saint who, in fact, no longer wants to be spied on, and then hits the room, and her mother tells her: ” You can not!”.
Saint He can not, no one in there can. Saint was born in front of cameras and, above all, inside the eye of smartphones. Mom Kim and the whole clan were also born, publicly, in front of the camera. To see the new The Kardashianswhich is in fact the same as the old one Keeping Up with the Kardashians (from us Keeping up with the Kardashians: as if men had never counted something, in there), the first effect, and certainly the most alienating, is this: where once there was only television (or almost), now there are social networks.
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But the Kardashians cannot give up on TV, to the extent that TV cannot give up on them. And therefore, if the old reality-series had started in 2007 on the very gossipy E !, the new one is produced by Hulu, that is the high, very high quality TV (but bought by Disney and therefore with a wide eye, very large audience: Disney + is distributing it directly from us, starting April 14). And this is the most obvious sign that everything has changed, and everything has remained as it was.
Ooo, cat eyes, nay Leopard. The three sisters who made a pact (plus a matriarch, plus two half-sisters still quite absent, at least in the first two episodes) seem to be written by Tomasi di Lampedusa. They built their kingdom, and in the years – years in which the global relationship with the public and private image has changed, in which the administrations in the United States have changed, in which scandals and movements have erupted that have transformed the so-called representation ( what a bad word) – that kingdom they had to keep. To do so, they still have to be placidly Bourbon.
The fiefdom, in the narrative layout of the new series, is threatened from all sides: someone, I said, exhumes the old sex tape (what a stroke of genius!) That made the fortune / misfortune of Kim, the one who invented everything. Kim who, in the meantime, still has to manage, more medically than intimately, the after-effects of the divorce from Kanye, and is therefore in search of the so-called repositioning (another very bad word). She tries, and succeeds, with the monologue of Saturday Night Live (again the old, indispensable television), for which she asks advice from Dave Chappelle (!) – and which will become the occasion for her to meet her new love, Pete Davidson.
Everything is the same as before, even if everything is new: new homes, new businesses, new marriage proposals. And Khloé still complaining about hers body not anymore shamed. And Kourtney who still plays the role of the hen who thinks about enlarging the nest. Everything is immutable because we are the first to want it to be so. Kim Kardashian is the genius who changed America; the reality star who for the Obamas was a “bad model” and who then ended up in the White House, as the companion of that difficult husband when she was still presentable; the celebrity of make-ups and ballets (her ruinous performance a Dancing with the Starswhen it seemed that only that was destined, as if she were any vip gieffina) who is now discussing prison reform, who is interviewed by David Letterman, who takes selfies with Miuccia Prada.
Everything has changed, everything is the same. Above all, there remains the illusion, brilliantly produced by them on our synapses, of making us believe that we are always witnessing the very topicality – theirs, at least – even if we are faced with events dated months and months before. The world – theirs, at least – has changed, there are eighteen thousand Instagram posts involved, other open companies, other billions of ground, other Kanye maddens, yet everything is still there, perfectly crystallized in being eternally present, and eternally relevant.
The pact of the three sisters – but above all of Kim and mother Kris, the diarchy that actually administers and governs the kingdom – is always the same, always intact: to act and react calmly Buddhist and Luddite to everything that happens around them, and meanwhile, produce change. Even if that change is almost never seen.
And, when it happens, say to one of the newcomers to the clan: “Punch the camera, pretend you don’t want to be filmed”, knowing full well that it’s a more staged of those written on purpose to be recited. And then, with the cameras off: “You young people cannot understand these things, because for you death does not exist, it is something for the use of others”. The latter is a phrase of the prince of Salina, but Kim could easily pronounce it. That she will never die, because she is the only one who has understood how she lives and truly survives in her, in our world.