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Keeping Up with the Kardashians' impact on pop-culture is undeniable, but the show has felt behind the times in recent years

  • "Not only did it turn every member of the Kardashian-Jenner family (and some of their various significant others) into internationally recognized celebrities, it also shifted what 'celebrity' even entailed," Justice Namaste says in reaction to the E! reality show ending in early 2021 after 20 seasons and 14 years. "Over its years on air, the show spawned countless memes and pop culture moments, millions of arguments on the internet about cultural appropriation, and a small village of Kardashian/Jenner children. But in recent years, it was impossible not to notice that KUWTK had begun to feel redundant and behind the times. Not to state the obvious, but the way we interact with celebrities (and celebrity gossip), is drastically different now than it was 13 years ago. The prevalence of social media has dramatically changed the access that the average person can potentially have to the lives of the wealthy and famous, and the expectations of fans have shifted accordingly. Many of the show’s most dramatic storylines in recent years have been in the news as they’re happening in real-time, leaving KUWTK to try to find a way to make the events feel newly dramatic many months and thousands of news cycles after they’ve already been hashed out by gossip blogs and internet commenters. Think of the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating drama, or even about any of Kanye’s recent antics—odds are you heard about them on Twitter long before the show had the opportunity to talk about them. It seems possible the decision to shutter KUWTK at this moment could also have been influenced by the shifting societal views on celebrity and wealth. We are no longer in the days of MTV Cribs, when society was fascinated and awe-struck by extravagant displays of wealth. The U.S. is currently experiencing its second recession in less than two decades and is in the midst of a literal pandemic, leaving people with less and less interest in the attempts of the rich and famous to flex on the rest of us with their expensive cars and luxurious vacations. But regardless of whether you kept up with the Kardashians enthusiastically or reluctantly, it’s impossible to deny the impact the family had on not only reality television but on the entire landscape of popular culture." ALSO: KUWTK "gets a lot of unearned hate, but it’s a television classic as good as just about any beloved old-timey sitcom."

    TOPICS: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, E!, Reality TV