What makes a good television show? A good cast? Good story lines? Good character development? So many of the shows that we think are the best shows on television have some major flaws. For instance, Lost was a beautifully crafted show, but the writers lacked the foresight to fully wrap up the ending (and even if they planned to n0t wrap up anything, which is my theory, because they wanted to make the show relevant forever, they cheated the fans of the show). Or how about a show like Friends? That also had some major flaws (Ross cheated on Rachel and they still ended up together. That just doesn’t happen). Even what is considered the best late night show ever, The Daily Show, has some flaws (Jon Stewart, a self professed Jew uninterested in the religion, uses his religion as a cheap joke whenever he deems it convenient. His closest connection to Judaism is the fact that he lives in New York). However, one show gets past major flaws and is, in my opinion, the best show on television: Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Let me preface my argument with this: I have not watched every episode of this show. In fact, I have only really watched this show twice. The first was when the show debuted during the time I was studying for the LSATs over the summer of 2008, when I was studying in my college town when no one was around to chill (I had also already gone through all of the seasons of Entourage and Scrubs… had I watched more mentally challenging shows, I may be at Harvard right now). The second was two weeks ago when there was a marathon on. Based on these experiences, which is a pretty good sample size, I can say with confidence that this show is the best show on television.
First, the character development on this show is phenomenal. When I first watched the show during the summer of 2008, we had three Kardashian sisters who were pretty immature and not really committed to anyone or anything. Now, two out of the three are married and the third has a kid and a long term boyfriend. They are more committed to their loved ones. Additionally, we have the emergence as the Kardashian mother, who first played a non-role, but now looks for drama and has become a true life businesswoman. Furthermore, the two youngest Kardashian sisters are starting to make a name for themselves.
Second, every good television show has polarizing figures, who people tend to strongly like and strongly dislike, and with the Kardashians, it is no different. The show pits Kris Jenner, the mother of the Kardashian sisters, against everyone. She has essentially become the bad guy, although she does tend to show heart and an emotional side (seriously, every episode I watched during this marathon she would get annoyed at something, have someone tell her she was a bad mother, and then she would cry and apologize). Another bad guy is this Scott Disick character, Kourtney Kardashian’s long time boyfriend (side note: I had to Wikipedia this stuff to get all the names correct). According to Wikipedia, this dude was a total dick to Kourtney for a bit. Now, everyone in the Kardashian family holds a long time grudge against him. I see him as a ridiculous rich kid who is pitted against 12 other people. He’s in quite a difficult situation, and for some reason, as if this show was a real show, I sympathized with him. You also have the super good guys. The main one is Bruce Jenner, who essentially gets pushed around by his wife, pushed around by his kids and just sits in the back of scenes and shakes his head at the ridiculousness. It’s pretty hilarious. You also have mixed bags in the actual three Kardashian sisters. It’s hard to empathize with these girls–they are rich, beautiful (well, for the most part) and well off. Their lives consist of going to photo shoots and swimming in pools of money. However, you experience a range of emotions with these people, something that only rare shows can pull off. Sometimes you feel angry at them (like when they don’t show up to business meetings) or even happy for them (when Lamar Odom won the bronze medal and married Khloe) or even feel bad for them (like when Kourtney was concerned that Scott was drinking in Las Vegas). Whatever feelings you have for these people, you actually have feelings towards these people, which is pretty remarkable.
Third, this show has some incredible longevity. The show has been on for a number of years, and I’m pretty sure the E! Channel churns out a different spin off every week for this show. In addition to Kim and Kourtney take New York or the Khloe and Lamar show, I have some ideas for spin offs: The Bruce Jenner Slowly Dies Inside Show, The Show About The Two Underage Kardashians Where There Mother Whores Them Out, Keeping Up With The Amount of NBA Players the Kardashians Have Slept With.
In conclusion, I have to find a better hobby. It pains me that I sat and watched this show a number of weeks ago for hours. And for whatever reason, I can’t stop talking about this family. As much as I think Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother are brilliant, the conversation about these shows usually starts and ends in about 2 minutes. However, I keep on talking about wasting roughly 10 hours of my life between 2008 to 2011 on this family. That, to me, makes it worth arguing that the Kardashian show is the best show on television.