After 20 seasons, 10 babies, more scandals than anyone could count, and one $75k diamond earring lost in Bora Bora, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” is coming to an end.
Kim Kardashian West released a statement on Instagram:
“It is with heavy hearts that we’ve made the difficult decision as a family to say goodbye to ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians.’
After what will be 14 years, 20 seasons, hundreds of episodes and numerous spin-off shows, we are beyond grateful to all of you who’ve watched us for all of these years – through the good times, the bad times, the happiness, the tears, and the many relationships and children. We’ll forever cherish the wonderful memories and countless people we’ve met along the way.
Thank you to the thousands of individuals and businesses that have been a part of this experience and, most importantly, a very special thank you to Ryan Seacrest for believing in us, E! for being our partner, and our production team at Bunim/Murray, who’ve spent countless hours documenting our lives.
Our last season will air early next year in 2021.”
Some fans speculate whether Kim’s husband, Kanye West’s, mental health has something to do with the cancellation. Some argue it has to do with Kourtney Kardashian’s recent decision to take time away from the show. Fan theories aside, all of the Kardashians and Jenners can still maintain their social media following and levels of income without the show due to their numerous business ventures.
I was sad when I first heard this news because I’ve been a fan of the show since the first season. But when I come to think of it, KUWTK has run its course for many reasons.
And let’s be real, what’s the show without Kourtney’s famous one-liners?
How the Show Started
If you re-watch the first season of KUWTK today, you’d hardly recognize it. The show first aired in October 2007 on E Entertainment when Kris was 51, Kourtney was 28, Kim was 26, Khloe was 23, Kendall was 11, and Kylie was 10. The three eldest sisters were running a boutique in Calabasas, Kris was Kim’s modeling manager, and the Jenner sisters were in elementary and middle school. Kris was still married to Bruce (now Caitlin) Jenner, Kourtney was dating 24-year-old Scott Disick sans kids, Kim was dating NFL star Reggie Bush, and their brother Rob was a 20-year-old USC student. The premise of the show was that they were like any other family, only more entertaining.
The Kardashian family originally entered the spotlight in 1994 when their late father, Robert Kardashian, became famous as one of OJ Simpson’s best friends and an assistant to his legal team during the OJ Simpson murder trial. A scandal erupted in the family since his ex-wife Kris was one of Nicole Brown Simpson’s closest friends. Kardashian died in 2003 of esophageal cancer.
The family stayed out of the spotlight for a while before Kim’s sex tape with R&B singer Ray J was leaked in 2007. Shortly after the tape’s release, the show began filming and became one of the most popular reality shows of all time.
How It’s Changed
Though the Kardashians are known today for their millions of Instagram followers, the photo-sharing app didn’t exist for the first few seasons of the show. In 2007, MySpace and Facebook were the go-to social media platforms, and Twitter was brand new. Due to the lack of social media, the family became famous for their antics on TV before Kim "broke the internet" in 2014.
The show’s popularity led to numerous spinoffs like Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloe and Lamar, Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons, Dash Dolls, I Am Cait, Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian, Rob and Chyna, Life of Kylie, and Flip It Like Disick.
The show is also famous for its many scandals, mainly relating to the personal lives of the family. Some of the most famous include Kim’s 72-day marriage to former NBA player Kris Humphries, Khloe’s ex-husband Lamar Odom’s involvement in drug use and infidelity, Khloe’s boyfriend Tristan Thompson’s cheating scandal (which involved Kylie’s former best friend, Jordyn Woods), and Caitlyn Jenner’s gender transition.
The show has also changed in many ways, but one of the most notable is the 10 children Kris Jenner’s six kids have had since the show started airing. Kourtney has three children (Mason, Penelope, and Reign), Kim has four children (North, Saint, Chicago, and Psalm), Khloe has a daughter named True, Rob has a daughter named Dream, and Kylie has a daughter named Stormi. The children range from one year old to 10 years old.
The Rise of Influencer Culture
The Kardashians and Jenners are often considered to be the original social media influencers. Even their strongest haters can’t deny that they have had a strong impact on fashion, beauty, and popular culture. With their strong influence outside of the show, as well as the growing popularity of their business ventures, it’s a good time to end the show while it’s still on a high and focus on their businesses.
It’s Better for Women and for Culture That the Show Ends
Although the Kardashians and Jenners have legions of loyal female fans, the show ending is probably a good thing for women in our culture. The show glorifies bad behavior, and though it can be entertaining, the elder Kardashian sisters aren’t in their twenties anymore. All three women are in their thirties and forties, and as mothers, they shouldn’t be behaving the same way they did when they were single and in their twenties.
Additionally, while other celebrities can be attributed to the normalization of plastic surgery (like Michael Jackson’s many surgeries and Heidi Montag-Pratt of The Hills infamously getting multiple procedures in one day), there’s no doubt that the Kardashians have contributed to the rise of plastic surgery. The Kardashian and Jenner sisters (mainly Kim, Khloe, and Kylie) are infamous for their ever-changing faces. Kylie’s plastic surgeon credited her for the rise in popularity of lip injections after she started getting fillers in 2015.
The sisters have also glorified disastrous relationships. Kim’s infamous 72-day marriage (which was slammed by LGBT activists for ruining the sanctity of marriage) is a perfect example of how our culture no longer values marriage as a life-long institution. This is problematic because marriage is a strong factor in long-term happiness. Is that something we really want to be promoting to young women? The cancellation of the show could possibly help our culture get back to focusing on dating with purpose and seeing marriage as a lifetime commitment, instead of a big party and TV special.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been one of the most popular reality shows for 13 years and 20 seasons. With their growing involvement in the beauty and fashion industries, the sisters might as well finish the show strong and move on to other ventures.