I’m in Los Angeles at the TV critics winter press tour, when networks hold large press conferences or panels so TV critics can ask questions, which a few pathetic journalists then pretend was a private or otherwise exclusive conversation. (Real critics and reporters get actually exclusive information from one-on-one conversations after or before those press conferences.)
When those panels consist of reality stars, the questions are often ridiculously dumb, like when someone asked an Animal Planet executive this question about the upcoming series Jockeys, which is, of course, about the men and women who ride horses for a living: “I suppose we’re all animals here in this room, but what the hell has this got to do with Animal Planet? Are you implying they’re in fact animals?”
So I decided to ask a dumb question of my own after it suddenly occurred to me during the Keeping Up with the Kardashians panel that the Kardashians are major reality whores–I mean, more than just for appearing on their E! show, which returns for its third season in early March. Look at the reality shows that just some of them have appeared on, and I’m not including game shows like their collective Celebrity Family Feud appearance:
- Bruce Jenner: Skating with Celebrities, I’m a Celebrity–Get Me Out of Here, The Apprentice 3 (episode), Pet Star (episode), Battle of the Network Stars, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- Kim Kardashian: Dancing with the Stars 7, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Sunset Tan (one episode), The Simple Life (one episode).
- Khloe Kardashian: Celebrity Apprentice 2, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- Kourtney Kardashian: Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- Brody Jenner: Bromance, The Hills, The Princes of Malibu, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
I asked, according to the transcript: “Bruce and Kim and Kourtney, you’ve all done like two, three, or more reality shows. Is there a point when you anticipate not living your lives not publicly? You know, just cut it off?”
Alas, the answer was no. Kim said, “I think I’ll do it forever,” and her mom, Kris, added, “and ever.”
Bruce Jenner then bragged about how he’s made a career doing reality TV for decades now, as the sort of go-to celebrity who’s probably more famous for these shows than his original career. “Actually, I’ve been doing reality television — my first television show I ever did,” he said, was “Battle of the Network Stars. Pepperdine University working with Howard Cosell. I had never even held a microphone, okay? This was right after the Games, and that was like the beginning of reality television. … And I’ve just based a lot of my career on people who ask you to do those type of things, you’re going to be doing them a long time. So, no, I enjoy them.”
He then defended the authenticity of their show, which once reenacted scenes during the episode about Khloe’s DUI. “I, honestly, I watch scripted sitcoms, you know. And sometimes it seems very scripted. Where ours, you know, it’s reality television. You know it’s reality. And it’s just very natural and it’s a lot of ways very believable.”
Speaking of believability, in response to another question, Kim said her boyfriend “Reggie [Bush] is an extremely private person. He hates being famous. He hates, like, the paparazzi. He hates the whole scene of it all. You will see him more on this season. He’s gotten a little more comfortable.” She said that when or if he proposes, “he would do it, you know, in a more private, intimate space, but you never know. I never want to say never.”
Despite Reggie’s privacy and the show’s authenticity, executive producer Jon Murray said, “I like that as a concept for an episode, though.”