Since the Kardashians’ meteoric rise to fame, no family has come close to replacing their reality television reign. In a vintage effort from 2010, Alexis Haines, former member of the Hollywood robbery heist the Bling Ring, had a one-season stint with E!, chronicling her modeling gigs and life with her woo-woo actor mother, Andrea Arlington. More recently, the D’Amelios tried and failed, delivering instead a somewhat depressing depiction of TikTok fame.
Out of left field, now, prances former Miss Universe, influencer, and storied jersey chaser Olivia Culpo, positioning herself and her family in contention to fill the Kardashians’ Balenciaga bodysuits with their new reality series, The Culpo Sisters. The weekly show, which chronicles the lives of Olivia and her two sisters as they hang out on yachts and attend influencer events in LA, is set to premiere on TLC and Discovery+ next week on November 7. While I’m not sure these sisters have enough silicon in their bodies or pizzazz in their personalities to take the throne as America’s next royal reality family, they’re certainly attempting to follow the Kardashians’ original mold pretty damn closely.
For starters, Olivia, the middle and most famous child and the sole reason for the show, has 5.2M followers on Instagram, has modeled for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, and is dating NFL player Christian McCaffrey. Olivia, obviously, is the family’s Kim. Just as Kim shot to notoriety with the leak of her sex tape, Olivia went from “being a small town girl from Rhode Island,” as she says in the show’s trailer, to being an overnight sensation in 2012, when she took home the world’s biggest beauty pageant crown. The next year, she began dating Nick Jonas, and subsequently dated a bingo card of athletes including evangelical idiot Tim Tebow. To me, Olivia has always been on the cusp of real celebrity—at every event, on every red carpet, but just sort of there, not unlike Kim assisting Paris Hilton.
Aurora, the eldest, is a “wellness junkie” who likes “conscious brands” and, according to a press release, someone who is considered the “family boss” and “always says what’s on her mind for better or worse.” According to her Instagram, Sophia, the youngest, has a B.S. in Nutrition, loves food, but says food doesn’t love her (okay?), and is a self-proclaimed gut health enthusiast. Sophia “considers herself to be the most zen as she shies away from confrontation and tries to play peacemaker.” Like her sister, Sophia is also a jersey chaser, dating Braxton Berrios of the Jets. So, basically, Aurora is a combination of Khloe and Kourtney, and Sophia is Kendall Jenner.
“With their larger-than-life personalities, the Culpo sisters take LA by storm,” another press release about the show says, although their personalities as showcased in a promo released earlier this month seem roughly the same size as life. “They use small-town charm and playful antics to stand out in the ultra-competitive world of content creation while also navigating love, heartbreak and fierce sibling rivalry.”
Like the Kardashian-Jenner brood, the sisters are already capitalizing on the moment, taking on brand collaborations and hocking their businesses. Sophia and Aurora have conveniently launched signature scented candles with a brand called Wakeheart in the two-week lead-up to the show’s premiere. And Olivia lists in her Instagram bio an overwhelming amount of random projects that range from being a co-founder of Rhode Island restaurants offering “American craft food” and “creative coastal comforts” to allegedly carbon neutral and gluten free vodka and tequila. She also seems to have started a company called More than a Mask, which apparently used to sell masks but now sells jumpsuits for some reason (with every purchase, the company donates six months of period supplies to Period Movement, nice!). I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this random assortment of businesses on the advertising vehicle, I mean new reality series, next month.
“We’re all super close, even though sometimes we wanna kill each other,” Olivia narrates in the promo. Reminiscent of the opening credits for the first season of E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Culpos are shown taking a coordinated family photo in their backyard. Olivia even seems to have taken on the role of chronically heartbroken sister (which, arguably, could be any of the KarJenner sisters, depending on the year), as she discusses an ex-boyfriend doing “really horrible, horrible things.” (Her exes are Nick Jonas, Ryan Lochte, Tim Tebow, and another NFL player, Danny Amendola—we’ll see which one wins). The only thing that’s missing is an abrasive mom-ager. Instead, Olivia’s parents have “no idea” what she does. “They call Olivia an influencer, but we don’t know because we’re not influenced by it,” her mother says, throwing masterful shade at her daughter.
I’m not sure we need another Kardashian family on TV. But then again, I don’t watch reality shows for intellectual titillation; I watch them to take pleasure in doctored pretty people making dumb decisions and then groveling for the public’s forgiveness. “In our family, there’s no boundaries, there’s no filter, and no shortage of drama,” Olivia says in the promo, despite obviously using an unseemly amount of filters in her own photos.
I hope the Culpos find their groove. But I’m not convinced they will, and frankly, I’m already bored.