- Keeping Up With the Kardashians -How Kris Humphries Laid The Ground Work For Kimye’s Divorce Storyline
I bet you two SKIMS bodysuits (valued at $116) that I know exactly what Kim Kardashian’s “Kimye” divorce storyline during Season 1 of The Kardashians is going to be: the exact same narrative she used for damage control after her split with Kris Humphries.
When Kim announced her divorce from Kris just 72 days after their wedding, it was arguably the Kardashian's biggest scandal to date. And despite the initial visceral reaction, Kim somehow changed the public's perception that her and Kris were a publicity stunt used to pocket $2 million in media deals. How? With some well-curated producing on Kourtney & Kim Take New York Season 2 (her first aired appearance following the news of the divorce).
Within 10 episodes, the Kardashian Machine not only positively spun her breakup from Kris in Kim’s favor, but also protected the Kardashian brand. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — and that’s why I expect parallels in how The Kardashians narrates her official divorce from Kanye.
Drumroll please… here's the formula we can expect: Justify the divorce by highlighting Kanye’s personality pitfalls and how they are no longer compatible as partners, all while getting public sympathy for a heartbroken Kim who’s trying to move on.
$2 Million Ring? Yes I’ll Marry You!
Kris Humphries asked Kim to marry him in her bedroom, surrounded by rose petals and accompanied by a $2 million diamond ring. Later revealed to be a re-shot scene, we see Kim happily exclaim “Yes!”.
Cut to 90 days later, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians Season 6 taped their two-part finale which featured Kim and Kris’ 400 person wedding. At the time, that two-part episode set rating records for E!, as the network’s most-watched program to date.
The news of their divorce hit the public shortly after, and the media quickly jumped to blame Kim and the Kardashian’s for using the relationship to rake in media deals and drum up KUWTK viewership. With that being said, it wasn’t surprising that Kim’s first on-screen series appearance after the divorce announcement — Kourtney & Kim Take New York Season 2 — ended up being E!’s third most-watched program at the time.
Kourtney & Kim Take New York
I recently re-watched Season 2 of KKTNY, and if I didn’t know any better I could have sworn Britney’s "Dump Him" shirt was purchased and worn only after seeing Kim and Kris together.
Episode 1, titled “The Honeymoon Is Over,” started off very Housewives-esqe with headlines and news clips about Kim and Kris’ divorce flashing on the screen. Cut to silence and a black screen that reads “8 weeks earlier.”
In a nutshell, there were three main things done during the season that made the public see and take Kim’s side.
First, it was made beyond clear that Kim and Kris just weren’t a romantic match — for example, we see them at an awkwardly silent dinner where they literally couldn’t think of a single thing to say to one another.
Second, we quickly learn that Kris is kinda a jerk to Kim and her friends/family. He goes to Toronto with Scott without telling Kim (she found out from a tabloid article), breaks Kim’s nail during a play fight, yells at a yoga instructor (which Kim was horrified about), and questions Jonathan Cheban’s sexuality.
Third, Kim was edited so she received a lot of viewer empathy. Exhibit A is the iconic crying scene you’ve seen on TikTok, featuring Kim saying she was embarrassed for getting caught up in the fairytale and that she feels like she’s disappointing everyone who was part of the wedding.
How Kanye Will Get The “Kris Edit”
As someone with a PhD in Kardashians, I strongly believe Kim’s storyline in Season 1 of The Kardashians will include those three things above: 1) reaffirm that Kim/Kanye aren’t a match; 2) convey that Kanye is uncooperative and/or unpleasant; 3) make the audience feel empathetic toward Kim.
The one interesting twist here is timing. During the Kim/Kris situation, the divorce announcement came between KUWTK Season 6 and KKTNY Season 2. They filmed KKTNY Season 2 prior to the announcement, so Kris was physically part of the season.
Kanye is no longer filming with the family, so his “Kris edit” in points 1) and 2) above will come from narratives told by Kim and her family/friends. I actually think this timing situation is better for Kim, though, because her love story arc is extended from just the public feeling bad for her to them also cheering for her when she gets together with Pete Davidson. (Much like they did when she got together with Kanye the season after she split from Kris.)
You may be wondering… isn’t Kanye digging enough of his own grave on social media already? Why would The Kardashians need to address it further? Well, as we all know, the media and Twitter don’t need an excuse to hate both sides of the coin. Meaning, even if Kanye doesn’t have public opinion on his side, it doesn’t necessarily mean Kim does either! With that being said, it’s likely that Kim will leverage the show to further better her image and brand.
In a single scene at the very end of the final season of KUWTK, Kim gave us a taste of point three above. But this was before Kim officially filed for divorce and to remove West legally from her name, and of course before all the recent (and very public) outbursts Kanye has had. From co-parenting to Kanye’s uncooperative nature during the divorce proceedings (which interesting enough, was also something Kris was accused of), we have lots more Kanye content to hear about from Kim’s perspective.
I kan’t wait to see how it all goes down — Kim, Kris Jenner and the K’s are PR geniuses, and you just know Kim and her family will come out looking like stars no matter what.
Images: Kim Kardashian/Instagram, screenshot/Hulu