Keeping Up With the Kardashians has been around for so long that it’s easy to forget the Kardashian-Jenners haven’t always been a reality show family. They weren’t exactly your typical family, either, what with Robert Kardashian as O.J. Simpson’s lawyer and Kim Kardashian’s infamous connections to Paris Hilton and Ray J. Still, it wasn’t like they were household names before 2007. For POOSH creator Kourtney Kardashian, filming KUWTK was “hard” to adapt to initially.
Ahead of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians series finale, Kourtney Kardashian opened up about the realities of filming reality television. She told the Emergency Contact podcast:
It's hard when you first start filming, because I would think about like, 'Oh my God, what did I say? What did I do?' But then I didn't realize how little of it is actually used, and that you also don't know how editors are going to edit it and make you look, or what the intention is. I think once we started seeing edits, I felt more comfortable.
Final edits in reality television are, indeed, something to legitimately be worried about. You don’t truly know in the moment if the show intends to paint you as a hero or villain for the purposes of entertainment. Kourtney Kardashian is not alone on that score. Everyone from Clare Crawley of The Bachelorette to previous Survivor contestants have conveyed how their final edit ended up being kind of disappointing.
As we look back on Keeping Up with the Kardashians over its nearly14-year run, however, Kourtney Kardashian’s “persona” as the dead pan, no nonsense older sister hasn’t disappointed fans. In fact, she’s cultivated somewhat of an Aubrey Plaza vibe that many truly appreciate. The “Kim, there's people that are dying” line will live on as one of the best deliveries in reality television history. And regardless of if her hilarious disdain for emotion and vulnerability was a bit or coping mechanism for filming, it continued even into the present – don’t we all remember that awkward professional cuddler episode?
Interestingly enough, despite Kourtney Kardashian’s claims that she got “more comfortable” with filming Keeping Up With the Kardashians and her edit over the years, it was obvious to fans that she also struggled with the nature of the job in recent seasons. Just last year, she had to take a step back after the slap fight with sister Kim Kardashian. At the time, she called the show a “toxic environment” and revealed that she would only film things that “mattered” to her in the future.
Kourtney Kardashian has certainly been on the periphery this last season. Meanwhile, allusions have been made about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s rocky relationship pre-divorce, and Khloe Kardashian has had to contend with the deep public interest in her social media pics. The end is coming quickly, though, for Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and I will definitely miss Kourtney’s brutal honesty most of all.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on E!.