Why won’t anyone listen to Kendall Jenner?
Sunday night’s episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians focused on the overwhelmingly obvious revelation that Rob and Blac Chyna are not meant to be as a couple and that they also shouldn’t be filming a reality show about the innards of their toxic relationship. This is what Kendall has known all along for Christ’s sake and wishes everyone would realize. Can I go shoot my problematic Pepsi commercial now? she seemed to secretly be thinking throughout the episode.
“The fact that we’re talking about a show is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” says Kendall, in absolute disgust.
What’s key about this episode is the rare fourth-wall breaking—the conversations about filming a show while filming a show. Reality TV makes it a point to actively avoid ever acknowledging, on air, that what we’re watching is a cast of people doing a television shoot. In last night’s KUWTK episode, though, the family repeatedly references the Rob and Blac Chyna spin-off—helpfully referring to it as the show over and over—during a series of intimate discussions about who is the worst person: Rob or Chyna.
“Rob and Chyna got into a big fight,” Kim begins to narrate, setting the timeline for what we’re about to witness. “Rob started Snapchatting his thoughts and his feelings and that’s really not like him.”
Cut to a series of Snapchat videos in which Rob explains that Chyna left and took the baby. Kim and Kris Jenner’s chaperone Corey now have to visit Rob’s home because everyone’s “worried” about him again. “It’s gonna get way worse,” Corey predicts, hauntingly. “Way worse.”
“It’s so clear what this relationship is and that they’re just not meant to be with each other,” says Kim, playing her meditator role and placing equal blame on both Rob and Chyna. Khloe meanwhile reminds her brother that he has his own brain that presumably functions and thus he has the power to leave Chyna if he so desires.
(Pause for an unrelated quote, from Kim to Kylie: “You have psoriasis! Welcome to the club!” They hug.)
In a previous scene, Kylie had just explained that Chyna broke a television in her home. Kylie thought they’d squashed their issues (as related to their boyfriend-in-common Tyga) and so Kylie “wasn’t here to block anyone’s blessing.” Still, she says, “It’s really hard to support a relationship that’s really unhealthy.” In a subsequent scene that suggests there’s a chance he’s delusional, Rob insists, “I’m very happy with Chyna and I feel like I contributed to this whole misunderstanding that isn’t that serious.” Again, he says, “Chyna does make me very happy.” I’m starting to believe him!
Too bad this relationship is killing everybody slowly, most notably KENDALL, as we’ll see later. Nobody wants them together, as evidenced when the sisters are on the phone with Rob in another scene and Khloe tells him, “You’re staying in something so dark and toxic?” Kylie says, directly, “He’s so delusional,” noting Rob’s weird social media habits.
Finally, the discussion comes to ahead at dinner. A family-meeting-slash-intervention has been called to talk it out with Rob, and it’s a scene that couldn’t have possibly been better rehearsed. It’s the reason any of us watch this show. “Rob and Chyna are about to start filming the second season of their show,” Kim says in the set up. “And no one feels that they can fuel this bad, unhealthy energy by filming another season of their show. Ultimately, everyone just wants to protect Rob.”
Khloe thinks Rob has his head “so far up Chyna’s ass” and again calls their situation “a toxic relationship,” adding, “We all don’t think it’s a good idea that they film this show.” Khloe feels like Chyna only cares about fame, for some reason, and takes advantage of Rob.
“Do you know what Rob does all day long? Call her names,” Kris chirps at the dinner table, declining to outwardly acknowledge that she’s a major reason the Rob & Blac Chyna show exists, as well as the one we’re watching. In the most impressively chill fashion, Kylie addresses the elephant in the room, with an internal smirk: “So why would you want to put them on a show together?”
Here is where the entire Kardashian-Jenner existence gets explained by none other than Kendall the Pepsi drinker, who keeps emphasizing that we’re talking about a show, while she’s on a show. Kendall, livid, says:
“A show should not be coming out of anyone’s mouth because that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. The fact that everyone’s lives revolve around a show and to make someone happy with a show is the most sad. depressing. thing.”
Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, a group of singing parrots, all chime in with the exact same convenient response to Kendall’s cry for help: “But it’s a job!” Kendall continues not caring, referring to Rob and Chyna, “Get your head together! Get your shit together!” Though she could be speaking to any of them.
“Sometimes the show helps you do that,” Kourtney reasons.
Kris, realizing she looks bad, points out, “The show is what got him out of bed.”
No one hears Corey saying, “Kendall makes sense.”
Kourtney, disagreeing with what she just said, thinks the show makes Rob too conscious of other people’s opinions. (She actually doesn’t care about any of this.)
Kim brings the discussion together in her stating-the-obvious confessional. “I think my brother is trying to hold onto the show because it’s, like, his way of holding onto Chyna,” says Kim. It’s “too much.”
What we have here is the Kardashians actively analyzing, in their own piecemeal way, what drives them as a family. They think filming the show is a job that occasionally provides some sort of catharsis in their real lives, but that in this case, it’s only making Rob worse. We already knew this, but it’s telling that the sisters’ collective response was to treat the spin-off as a work fulfillment. That is the priority and even when they’re conspiring to explain to us that they care about each other’s emotional development, as they did here, it’s all under the mechanics of the show, their priority.
Toward the end of the episode, there’s yet another conversation about Rob between Kourtney and Scott, who thinks that the decision to film a second season is Rob’s, although we know the decision is really up to a combination of Kris, producers and viewers who care. In the direct-to-camera, Kourtney repeats the question the producer just asked her and then answers it: “I personally just don’t think shooting Season 2 of Rob & Chyna is the best decision because I don’t think that it would be the best, like, for them to feel like they have to see each other all the time, they have to film this TV show together. So. I don’t think it’s a good idea.” At last, someone gets it.
Is this the show’s way of teasing the second season of the show? Whatever happens is allegedly up to Rob.
Scott hilariously sums up the whole debate, reminding Kourtney, “I mean, there’s not a ton he wants to do.”