When Kim Kardashian’s marriage dissolved after 72 days, I wrote a blog post about how it was likely to do serious damage to her brand.
Well, it’s true that she’s not as visible in ShoeDazzle ads as she used to be, Skechers has replaced her with a bulldog for their new ad campaign, and the comments sections of gossip websites are filled to bursting with requests to stop posting about this “no talent” family, but, sadly, ‘Kim and Kourtney Take New York’ just got record ratings this past weekend.
So perhaps the brand implosion hasn’t (yet?) happened. But why?
Because she’s using ‘Kim and Kourtney’ as an extended self-redemption commercial, and the editing is fantastic.
The Kardashian editing team has always been hard-core: In Season 6, Episode 12 (‘Trouble in Paradise’), they did a seamless job of editing Kim’s original comment of “When I married a black guy, my father didn’t speak to me for 3 months…” to the much less damning “When I married a guy, my father didn’t speak to me for 3 months…” (Watch the episode here: the comment happens about 5 minutes from the end.)
But the post-divorce editing has been inspired. The Kris Humphries reaction shots alone – yawning, staring into space, gazing hopefully at his smartphone while string theory is being discussed around him – are doing more for Kim’s erstwhile reputation than any soft-serve halfwit Barbara Walters interview could.
And this weekend’s episode had a nice setup scene in which Kim tells her mother she’s having ‘doubts’ about the marriage.
The scene is supposed to take place in Dubai, two weeks before Kim officially announces her divorce, but it’s happening in a car with darkened windows – it could have been shot any time. But watch closely: When the camera cuts away from Kim, they’ve inserted additional audio in which she sounds much closer to divorce, and much more ‘conflicted’ about the situation.
I’m sure there are all kinds of other creative editing tricks being used here – I don’t watch the Kardashian shows all the time, and these are just a couple of examples which struck me as the most glaring. But I continue to be kind of stunned that (a) no one else seems to notice this stuff and (b) no one on the Kardashian production team has had the kind of life crisis that prompts them to come forward and say, “You know what? I don’t care if I never work on a Ryan Seacrest production again. I just can’t be a part of this any more…” – and then spill the background details.