If it weren’t for Kim Kardashian’s blown-up marriage, this would be just another Kardashian reality-show premiere.
But under the circumstances, the arrival of Season Two of “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” – premiering Sunday night (Nov. 27) at 10/9c on E! – takes on a whole new dimension as you attempt to spot clues to the irreconcilable differences that would later result in Kim quitting her marriage to basketballer Kris Humphries after 72 days and one high-rated wedding special on E!.
Thanks to E! – and our lofty position as TV columnist – we got a look at Sunday night’s premiere on a preview DVD. And, as is customary with these Kardashian shows, we were both fascinated and appalled (and really, isn’t that the formula for successful reality TV these days?).
What we look for in these things is this: All the touchstones that separate so-called “reality” television from real reality – or, to put it another way, the everyday lives you and I live, as opposed to those lived by the Kardashians. In this show, it’s Kourtney, boyfriend and baby daddy Scott, their little son Mason, Kim and Kris who have all moved together to New York.
The reason for moving to Manhattan: Kourtney and Kim want to check in on the clothing store they have in NYC called Dash. So, they take up “home-making” in a two-story suite in a trendy hotel that’s big enough for all five to live in. Well, there’s your first “unreal” thing right there – a hotel is not a home (especially this hotel – the glitzy Gansevoort on Park Avenue South), so the idea that they’re “living” in New York isn’t really holding water from the outset.
But we can excuse that because the irony of reality television is this: We know much of what happens on reality TV is not real in the “documentary” sense that things just happen and the camera crew just happens to capture them unfolding, like filmmakers in the African bush who just happen to stumble on a herd of migrating wildebeests.
We know that in many reality TV shows, a story is outlined and the participants are directed to fulfill that vision as closely as they can. In “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” the prevailing narrative – at least in the season premiere – is the friction in these two couples – Kourtney and Scott (no surprise there), and Kim and Kris. And so, the two pairs squabble. Otherwise, there’d be no show.
And we could just view the “friction” between Kim and Kris as the usual reality-TV put-on, except for the fact that, a few weeks after this episode was filmed, they were getting divorced. And suddenly, reality TV becomes real, for a change.
Or does it? We’ll leave that determination to you. “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” filmed after the Aug. 20 wedding of Kim and Kris and before Kim split, premieres Sunday night (Nov. 27) at 10/9c on E!.