The Kardashian Metaverse Has Finally Sucked Me In

You never forget your celebrity wedding twins—the famous people who happened to marry around the same time that you did. 2011, the year of my nuptials, gave us Kate Middleton and Prince William’s royal wedding in April (so thrilling at the time, I rose at 4:30 a.m. to watch) and its would-be American counterpart in August: Kim Kardashian’s Montecito “I do’s” to NBA player Kris Humphries. Or, as it was known to viewers: Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event—Parts 1 and 2. The back-to-back specials aired October 9 and 10, just before my and my husband’s wedding on the 22nd. By the time I returned from the honeymoon a week later, standing in the airport customs line, a TMZ email alert informed me Kardashian and Humphries were divorcing after a mere 72 days.

I’d seen but never truly been ensnared by the Keeping Up with the Kardashians enterprise on E! And yet, I tuned in during that wedding fracas; the sensational, real-life plot twists luring me to the show for more intel. This is how the sausage is made—or the performance art executed, depending on how you feel about the family—in the Kardashian metaverse. Real-life events (romances, babies, sex tapes) drive eyeballs to the TV version of the truth. Photos and People covers are fine, but the reality show teases the full, confessional download, and the show, in turn, fuels interest in the paparazzi post-dinner shots, the Instagrams, the headlines about business deals and family girlbosses (chief among them: Kim, with Skims, and Kylie Jenner, with Kylie Cosmetics). It’s a blur; a swinging door; a multi-media maze that, for anyone who pays attention to pop culture, is all but unavoidable.

After years of Kardashian agnosticism, recent events have, finally, sucked me into this vortex, just in time for this week’s premiere of The Kardashians on Hulu, a new “premium version,” per Variety, of the original series. It’s billed as a more grown-up, documentary-style look at the clan, including the “intense pressures of running billion-dollar businesses”; a lesser-seen angle in the original course material. Far more than the Kardashian-Humphries wedding—a single hook—the multiple overlapping tabloid sagas of the Kardashian sisters, I ruefully admit, have left me frothing.

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