The upside of being a reality star is that it's possible to monetize every move you make, no matter how mundane or common it may be, especially if you're a Kardashian. The downside is that it means that every move you make is also fodder for intense public speculation, especially if you're a Kardashian. That family has televised and cashed in on so many aspects of their lives that it's now hard to tell just what their aim -- and sincerity level -- is following the news that Kim is divorcing Kris Humphries, but as the symbols of a new evolution (devolution?) in entertainment, it's certainly worth speculating about.
Following a day of "insiders" insisting to various news outlets that Kim is indeed upset about her divorce, and that her marriage was in no way a sham, Kim took to her blog to explain herself and express authenticity. Having let that marinate overnight, she's just given her first interview about the split, again promising true heartbreak.
"I don't think I'm ready to go into, you know, the details of what went on in my marriage," she told the interviewer. "But I do want to make clear that I would never marry for a TV show, for money, for anything like that. I think that's really ridiculous that I have to even defend that... I guess, you know, that comes along with when you film your wedding for a reality show."
Here's the thing: the interview took place at a radio station in Australia, where she flew yesterday to promote one of her many clothing lines. Not accompanying her on the trip? TV cameras from E!, the network that airs all of the Kardashians' programming. The executives at E! are allegedly in a bit of a state of panic; on Monday, they continued airing repeats of the highly successful wedding special that first broadcast on October 9th; according to the New York Times, the network had planned on ramping up repeat airings, with a graphic noting the impending divorce, but changed course at the last minute on Tuesday.
Still, the network defended their airing of the wedding at all, with network head Suzanne Kolb saying, "The program model of television doesn't exactly keep up with the life model of real people."
That's for sure. Later this month, they will be airing the next season of "Kourtney & Kim Take New York," which was filmed in September and October -- or, during the transition from Honeymoon period to breakdown.
How will those episodes do in the ratings? Will people tune in to see what went down, or will they be disgusted by the whole saga and avoid it? And going forward, what will E! be allowed to film? Without a doubt, they'll want to continue making new Kardashian shows (it is a shared lifeblood for the family and network), and so they'll have to capture some divorce proceedings. How real will it get?
As of now, Kris Jenner, Kim's mom, is on a book tour and talking with the press about the split; she was on the "Today Show" earlier on Wednesday defending her daughter once again. But for the most part, Kim's famous sisters haven't been tweeting about the situation -- Kourtney spoke on Tuesday about a luxurious pedicure -- but with all their public events, something will have to give.
Just how closely will this all be broadcast? Will keeping it off the air make people believe that Kim is actually hurt, or make people cynical that the wedding was a sham in the first place? Or will broadcasting it make fans think they're exploiting the split for more cash?