This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
- Where has all the comedy gone?
- The Kardashian era komes to a klose.
- Still reeling from this cast bio.
- Important update on buttholes.
What happens when the TV show that, for more than a decade, was proclaimed the death of culture, art, and civilized society as we know it...actually ends itself?
Keeping Up With the Kardashians will end its run in 2021 after 14 years, 20 seasons, and the most insufferable discourse about television that I’ve had the displeasure of covering. Is there anything more annoying than the people who have criticized this show?
Congrats, professor, on your evenings spent brushing the lint off your tweed jacket while the rest of us not only entertained ourselves, but watched as this series and its family of stars changed reality TV, the entertainment industry, and our culture fundamentally. Complaining about their impact is as buffoonish as denying it. The truth is the ways and the speed with which they altered the landscape was—brace yourself for an insufferable turn of phrase!—legitimately hard to keep up with.
We’ll have a year to write and read our think pieces about their legacy. To cynically rank the most embarrassing moments of the show. To wax poetic on how the series birthed a new age of docuseries that normalized the injection of scripted narrative into cinema verite, and sutured together social media and digital influence with on-screen branding. That, with how Caitlyn Jenner altered the world’s perception of the trans community fundamentally, and, with the titular women, demanded—whether we liked it or not—incessant discourse and evolution on exploitation, sexualization, agency, feminism, family, and power.
They say the devil works hard but Kris Jenner works harder. There’s no denying the shrewdness of announcing the show’s end at this turning point in the genre. Is reality TV dead, or is it stronger than ever? It’s certainly different. Even as her show approaches irrelevance, Jenner is redirecting the conversation to why it matters. Her mind.
The Kardashians revolutionized the idea of a reality star as an accepted member of the Hollywood A-list, spawning a harrowing army of copycats craven for even a modicum of that success and recognition. Does that launching pad exist anymore?
It does in an earnest fashion, sprinkling 15 minutes each to the breakout athletes from Cheer, or the heartbroken Bachelorette of the moment. Notoriety will never go out of fashion, as Tiger King’s Carole Baskin is teaching us. But in the age of TikTok and influencer houses, can that impact and level of attention be attained through a Kardashians-like series anymore? You could say that the Kardashians both created and outgrew their own Hollywood path.
There’s still time to consider the 72-day marriage, the Khloe-and-Lamar arc, the Kanye West of it all, and what the hell is wrong with me that I’m still attracted to Scott Disick. As for now, I’d just like to memorialize this iconic Kardashian moment, which I either send in GIF form or as a quote at least once a day. It’s a mantra really.
No matter what demons I’m battling, petty gripes I may have, or earrings I may have lost in the pristine blue sea off the private deck of an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, “Kim, there’s people that are dying.”
I think I speak for many Bravo fans when I say I was, if not completely confused, then at least highly curious when it was announced that the first new Real Housewives franchise city in five years would be The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
In any season of the show, no matter where it takes place, there is an honorary additional cast member and that cast member is BOOZE, BITCHES! That the new season, which will premiere in November, would be set in a city known for its Mormon presence—and their no-alcohol policy—was certainly a different choice.
That said, the more we learn about this new franchise the more our fears seem to have been unfounded. Exhibit a) this wild trailer, that you can view here. And exhibit b) this biography of cast member Mary Cosby, which I implore you to read every word of, and then go back and read again three more times because, yes, you did have to make sure that you actually read it right.
“With a penchant for God, couture and only the finest champagne, Mary Cosby is a Pentecostal First Lady who inherited her family’s empire of churches, restaurants and more. The caveat in her taking over the family business was that she marry her late grandmother’s second husband, Robert Cosby Sr. They have since been married for 20 years and have one teenage son together. Small but mighty and always dressed to the nines, her unconventional past has made her guarded and she quickly finds herself on shaky ground with some of the ladies.”
So there’s this long story about the movie Cats and buttholes.
During production on the cinematic travesty’s visual effects, uncertainty over how anatomically realistic the CGI cats should appear somehow birthed a version of the film’s scenes in which the characters were singing to Andrew Lloyd Weber tunes while flashing actual anuses at the camera.
As a source who worked on the film bravely relayed to my colleague Laura Bradley earlier this year, “We went to call our supervisor, and we’re like, ‘There’s a fucking asshole in there! There’s buttholes!’ It wasn’t prominent but you saw it… And you [were] just like, ‘What the hell is that?... There’s a fucking butthole in there.’”
Thus confirmed the legendary existence of the Cats “Butthole Cut.” I guess the story wasn’t that long...
This is vital information this week, however, because a Twitter user who, unfortunately for her, has incredibly keen eyes was watching Cats and discovered that, while the Butthole Cut may or may not exist, the effects team failed to remove every single “starfish” from every frame.
So, uh, behold the Cats buttholes.
This weekend the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics is airing its first televised Dorian Awards show recognizing the best in TV, including appearances from Hugh Jackman, Regina King, Dan Levy, Laverne Cox, and...me! (?) I’ll be a talking head discussing this year’s nominees, winners, and erstwhile GAY THINGS on TV. You can read more about our little ramshackle first award show, in which I got tipsy off Prosecco at 2 pm on a Saturday and spoke weepily about Schitt’s Creek’s depiction of love, and how to watch here.
We Are Who We Are: Youths in Italy! Gorgeous! Fascinating! Terrifying!
The Great Pottery Throw Down: I know nothing about this, but the title suggests that doesn’t matter.
The Third Day: Mysterious Jude Law, a genre I am passionate about.
Dancing With the Stars: I mean, yes, I’ll be watching it. But that doesn’t mean you should!