As always, the Kardashians’ lives don’t unfold with a great sense of urgency, devoting the first two episodes to the preparations for Kim’s “SNL” stint, while eliciting fairly obvious exchanges like her marveling, “This will be live. Live.”
There is also a subplot involving Kim’s concern about the potential release of more footage from a years-old sex tape, although that wrinkle makes this seem a bit more like a reboot than anything else. Any crisis is a source of drama, perhaps, but this feels like playing the oldies, a cut off the greatest hits collection.
Obviously, the Kardashians have built their personal lives into a lucrative cottage industry, which includes turning everyone — exes, kids, you name it — into part of the ensemble. That can create some awkward and even queasy moments, but at this point, nobody in their extended orbit can plead ignorance about the rules of the game.
What remains striking is that the Kardashians frequently talk about the demands on their time and lack of privacy as if it isn’t or wasn’t a choice, implying that they are bystanders in this three-ring circus as opposed to its ringmasters. Indeed, one of the most honest moments comes when Kim says, “I hate talking about myself, but…,” ending the thought amid off-camera laughter.
In that sense, the Kardashians’ fundamental relationship is with fans (or simply curious gawkers) who follow their exploits — a bond that explains why Hulu would be eager to add the show to its streaming arsenal. Because the family doesn’t know how to quit us, apparently, any better than a lot of us know how to quit them.
“The Kardashians” premieres April 14 on Hulu.