Although it seems that their television run sits comfortably in perpetuity, I haven’t had the urge to watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians in a very long time. They’re lovely people — well, if we’re speaking solely from the space of exterior anyway — but I’ve felt their schtick became stale. They’re essentially the television equivalent of the uncle in the club doing the same old two-step.
However, I could not miss About Bruce. The Kardashians serve their purpose as television personalities, but they’re not exactly known for thought-provoking or remotely challenging programming. This special was different, and in many respects, refreshing because it forced them all to discuss an issue that could not be storyboarded to death. They were human without varying filters.
But before we get to that, allow me to highlight the obvious shift in aesthetic for this program.
Clearly this special is serving as an preview for Bruce’s forthcoming reality show — meaning Bruce’s team handled this. There were so many flowers, loads of soft music, and a hefty amount of California sunshine. It looked like the wedding scene in the conclusion of a Lifetime movie that didn’t end in tragedy. Or anything on OWN on Sunday morning.
As for the special itself, it immediately became apparent that they would be discussing Bruce’s transition as bluntly as possible. As Bruce made clear, it’s a transition for the family, too. Although Khloé is seen early on buying Bruce a bunch of overpriced heels that will likely wear his ankles smooth out, she still struggled with feelings of losing the man who raised her. There was also a very "How could you do this?" tone to her critiques. Moreover, she was very adamant that the family be told everything with respect to the transition, including when Bruce will "be gone."
Kim was equally supportive, and similarly questioned why other people know more about what’s happening with Bruce than she does. It’s a fair critique as far as doing national television interviews with prominent journalists goes, maybe not so much in others. That said, Kim, who admitted to keeping her secret of previously seeing Bruce dressed as a woman for 12 years, handled it much, much better than Khloé.
What I noticed during the Diane Sawyer interview was that many people were harsh on members of the Kardashian and Jenner families, wondering why it "took them so long" to voice their support for Bruce with the chorus of other people online.
This special reminded me of how unfair that was. Kris Jenner is not a terrible person for being conflicted on how to process her former husband’s revelation. Kim Kardashian is not awful for loving and wanting to be supportive of Bruce, but being ultra protective of her mother’s feelings. Khloé was kind of terrible tonight. Very rude, bratty, and typical of the baby in the family (as a middle child, I just don’t have the patience for such antics).
It is one thing to love someone unconditionally, but it’s another to expect someone who knows someone personally to immediately be completely fine with this level of change. It’s easy for people to be politically correct and progressive from the comfort of their cell phones and lack of personal attachment.
Honestly, what I saw last night was a close knit family dealing with a difficult situation in the best of terms. For Bruce, he could do himself a world of good if he were as forthright with his family about what’s happening. That is easier said than done; he has carried this secret with him for much of his life.
So even when I winced during some of Khloé’s line of questioning and her seemingly somewhat selfish take on what’s happening to someone else, part of it was understandable. She could stand to sip some chill and stop being so damn self-involved, but lift her in prayer, y’all. Meanwhile, round of applause for Kim and Kendall, who without even trying to remind the masses as to why they’re the winners, did an excellent job of doing so anyway.
And for the record, for all of the Kris blasting, Bruce did say, “The love and acceptance I’ve gotten from Kris is absolutely overwhelming.” But we’ll get more into that after part two airs.
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