As doyennes of reality TV, the Kardashians continue their reign as the 14th season of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ opened with a new episode last night on E! (Sunday January 14).
The new season kicks off following Khloe’s confirmation she and boyfriend, NBA star Tristan Thompson, are expecting their first baby. Meanwhile, Kim and Kayne West’s third child, this time by a surrogate, is thought to be expected any day now. Add youngest sister Kylie reportedly being pregnant, too - and Twitter buzzing with rumours she is her big sister’s surrogate - fans are in for a (literally) bumpy ride.
Of course they’re the epitome of social media junkies over-sharing yet editing their digital lives to glossy fake perfection. People love ‘em or ’hate ’em.
Well, shhhhh, ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ has been my guilty pleasure. But now I’m coming out of the closet – or should that be kloset?
Disclaimer: It’s not the Kardashians’ flash, brash lifestyles, extreme pouting or fame that intrigues me, but their sense of family. You can tell how much they love and nurture each other, putting family first.
So much so I reckon they’re The Waltons of the Snapchat age.
Now keep with me - I know The Waltons on TV in the 1970s depicting a wholesome family living in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains as they struggled through the Depression - sounds a different world to the Kardashians and their swanky California lifestyles.
And the nearest they’d have got to contouring was Daddy, John Walton, (Ralph Waite) planing wood in the family sawmill.
But the link I see between them is that sense of family. Not convinced? Well, consider the similarities.
There are a lot of them
There were seven Walton children: John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth and there are six Kardashian/Jenner offspring: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Robert, Kendall and Kylie. Both emotionally enriched by having multiple siblings and experiencing different dynamics
Strong mother figure
Mama Walton - Olivia (actress Michael Learned) was calm and gentle but she had an inner grit and ruled the roost. She was the heart of the family and an early role model for strong women. And Kris, although at times a tad bossy, clearly adores her children. She’s the ultimate momager and the driving force behind the Kardashians’ success.
Just as John-Boy and Mary Ellen sometimes tussled over being Alpha Sibling, Kourtney, Kim and Khloe lock horns from time-to-time.
The family that eats togetherstays together
Nearly every Waltons episode featured them around the big wooden kitchen table handing around steaming bowls of mash. The Kardashians may be more likely to be tucking into a chia seeds and kale super salad, but often eat and talk together – admittedly when they’ve unglued themselves from their mobiles.
The Waltons were ahead of their time and everyone was welcome to their home without prejudice. Similarly, the Kardashians are all-embracing. It was challenging when Kris’s ex-husband Bruce Jenner transitioned to Caitlyn, but the family have overall been supportive.
Right, so next time you sneer at someone for watching ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ – cue my teenagers’ collective eye roll – dig beneath the glossy nonsense for those Walton-esque family values.
All together now.. Good night John-boy, good-night Elizabeth.. Good night Kim, good-night Kendall…
Hell, I might even change my name to Karol.