Five lingering questions from the Kardashian reunion

After 20 seasons, we’re no longer keeping up with the Kardashians – well, at least not on their unfailingly popular E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which came to an end in early June. To close things out, the famous family sat down for a two-part “reunion” special with host Andy Cohen, which aired on Friday and Monday. Here are the big takeaways and lingering questions…

From left, Kendall Jenner, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian, Andy Cohen, Kris Jenner, Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner during the Keeping Up With the Kardashians reunion special. Credit:Foxtel

Does Kourtney really hate her family?
Eldest Kardashian daughter Kourtney has had what seems to be a pretty fraught relationship with her family and the show over the past couple of years, describing it as a “slightly toxic environment” in the reunion.

“But you were nominated for best fight,” momager Kris Jenner counters, referring to an infamous physical fight between Kourtney and sister Kim that won an MTV Award in May.

Kourtney and Kim have since repaired their relationship but the sisterly teasing remains: Kourtney, sitting next to Kim, later mocks the way Kim says she and friend Paris Hilton are “super back cool” and on good terms after drifting apart. Body language experts, this is your time to shine.

How much did they control the narrative?
Kim reveals that in order for something to feature on the show, everyone had to agree it was OK. This caused tension – Kourtney refusing to have her relationships covered on the show, for instance, made Khloe and Kim resent that she wasn’t keeping up “her end” of the deal.

Interestingly, the same criticism isn’t levelled at younger sister Kendall Jenner for keeping her relationships private, a decision she made after seeing how being so public impacted her sisters’ private lives. The family was also supportive of youngest sister Kylie Jenner’s decision to keep her entire pregnancy a secret.

Sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner said rewatching their fights on the show would cause tensions to kick off all over again.Credit:AP

As for the dramatic scenes we did see on the show, Kylie shares that they’d allow everything to be filmed freely, thinking they’d never actually let the footage go to air – but more often than not, by the time the dust had settled, they would agree to most things being shown. It wasn’t without consequences — the sisters say rewatching the footage months later would bring up old emotions, and often caused them to fight all over again. Just normal family things.

What happened to Rob?
Despite appearing on Keeping Up With the Kardashians in the last season after a long absence from the show, the sole brother in the family was noticeably missing from the reunion.

“I think he’s just stronger and feeling better to be around,” sister Khloe says about Rob coming back from his break, before adding that he still wasn’t ready to open himself up during this special. Which is understandable, to be honest – one of the questions Andy Cohen asks is about Blac Chyna, the mother of Rob’s 4-year-old daughter Dream, suing his entire family. “None of us make him feel bad about it,” Khloe says, earning an affectionate pat on the leg from Kris.

Rob Kardashian, pictured here in 2012, was noticeably absent from the reunion special. Credit:AP

What about their love lives?
This is the juicy goss we’re all here for, right? Here’s the short version (*deep breath*):

Kris is on “OK” terms with ex Caitlyn Jenner and very happy with partner of six years, Corey Gamble. Khloe is back with NBA player Tristan Thompson (but still not talking to Jordyn Woods, the former friend he cheated on her with) and the pair are trying to have another baby via surrogacy. Reports since the reunion was filmed say they’ve split again.

Kim admits she went through with her 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries because of the pressure of being on the show, and wishes she was only married once. She puts her recent split from husband Kanye West down to “general differences of opinions” but remains on good terms with him.

Khloe Kardashian was back with partner Tristan Thompson when the reunion was filmed but the pair have reportedly split again. Credit:Foxtel

Kourtney would have taken Scott Disick back if he had been able to maintain sobriety, but is now happy with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and has Scott’s blessing. Kendall is dating NBA player Devin Booker but won’t say any more, while Kylie, who looks to have rekindled her relationship with Travis Scott, would like to get married someday but isn’t in any rush. Whew.

Do the Kardashians actually know how privileged they are?
Short answer: lol, no. They pay lip service to being “lucky” but aren’t able to reckon fully with the implications of their place in the world – at least, not in this two-part special.

When asked if they promote unattainable beauty standards, Kim protests, saying they all work really hard for their appearances, ignoring the fact that they’ve promoted products (waist trainers, diet tea) that suggests the opposite.

Kylie smilingly accepts the “self-made billionaire” title, detailing how a boy commenting on her small lips inspired her to get into makeup, which then spawned her Kylie Cosmetics empire – without touching on the pre-existing money and fame that actually built her business. Kendall acknowledges the “platform” she had before becoming a model but says it made it harder for her to get jobs, before noting how hard she works.

There is no doubt the Kardashians work extremely hard, and it’s impressive the way they’ve managed to turn a TV show, which launched by addressing Kim’s leaked sex tape, into a multi-billion dollar empire. But it’s probably a good thing their reality show has finished. Their own connection with actual reality – the one most of us live in – ended long ago.

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