The Kardashiad, Part 2: I Smell Unbreakable
Part 1 of the two-night Kourtney and Kim Take Miami premiere extravaganza is here.
Khloe says “My boobs hurt” to Mason, who is for the moment still a child, and a game of boobie-tag ensues on the Eden Roc balcony. Then it starts to rain, and Mason and Khloe frolic in the puddles, and so the Kardashian franchise’s unparalleled ability to pivot from squicky to delightful in the space of an eyeblink is confirmed.
Kim hangs out with Larsa Pippen — second wife of Scottie, former Real Housewife of Miami, co-star of the WE Network’s forthcoming named-by-indisputable-geniuses reality series Big Pippen — and Larsa’s daughter Sophia. “I’m her, like, honorary godmother,” Kim says of Sophia, which is weird because godmother is an inherently honorary title — I’m thinking there’s an actual godmother in the picture. I bet it’s real political. Anyway: Larsa compliments Kim on how great she is with Sophia and says, “I can’t wait for you to be a mom.” This is an example of a literary technique called foreshadowing and also a social behavior called ass-kissing.
Kim brings us up to speed on her hormones — she’s off the pill and waiting for things to rebound, reproductively. She reiterates that she wants to have kids someday, except evidently she doesn’t actually say that flat-out so the producers have to chop together a robotic sound bite of her saying “I. Wannahavekids. Some-Day,” like a GPS speaking phonetically about its hopes and dreams.
Khloe and Kourtney split a quesadilla in somebody’s room, because say what you will about this show, it’s unafraid to graphically depict the fact that women eat food. Khloe, who’s wearing a gold bindi, smells B.O. and then realizes it’s Kourtney and makes faces suggesting that Kourtney smells like a tire fire onto which week-old curry has been air-dropped.
Kim gets a call from her fertility doctor and we’re reminded that Kim, 31, has the “egg levels” of a 50-year-old woman, and I guess people who experience the Kardashians through no media platform other than this show feel the tension mounting, maybe?
Khloe talks to Scott about Kourtney’s B.O., and Scott cops to it immediately, like he’s been waiting for somebody to say something: “Yeah. She reeks. Yeah. Always. She doesn’t believe in wearing deodorant because she thinks it’s bad for breast-feeding or something.” There are probably about nine different not-weird ways this conversation could have ended, but instead it ends with Scott making Kourtney smell his armpit and Khloe saying “You’re so sexual with me these days, and it’s so weird,” which it is, but there’s a camera crew there so the inappropriateness of Scott forcing his musk on his sister-in-law is sort of defanged. We take for granted that reality TV people’s lives are weird because they’re never alone, or alone with each other, but isn’t part of the genre’s appeal that the people we’re watching sidle up to the edge of transgression are chaperoned, and therefore we know the proverbial “line” will generally be respected? Let’s put a pin in that for later.
Scott goes to look for office space in the headquarters of Merchant Services Ltd., a credit-card processing company that turns out to be run by a race-car driver slash entrepreneur slash accomplished suit-wearer slash straight-to-video Peter Gallagher replicant named Chapman Ducote, who’s pretty much a handsomer, more race-car-driverish version of Scott. Scott falls babblingly in love with him immediately.
Khloe makes a joke about how she doesn’t know how guys like Scott and Chapman wear suits all day in the Florida heat. Scott volunteers that he doesn’t wear boxers; Chapman says to Scott that he doesn’t, either, except what he actually says is, “We park our cars in the same garage,” and Scott says, “Let’s hope we don’t park ‘em together at the same time,” because they’re just two straight guys talking about how not gay they are, like straight guys always do, nothing to see here, moving on. Scott finds out that Chapman actually still drives race cars on the weekend and tells the talking-head camera that “Seeing anything that has to do with racing cars definitely gets my blood flowing” — pass — and jokes about leaving Kourtney for Chapman. “Not that I’m into guys, per se,” he says to Chapman, as if “per se” is Latin for “I’m into guys.”
Cut to Kourtney at the hotel sniffing her breast-pump suction cup suspiciously and not even pretending to care about Scott and his new race-car boyfriend, except when it’s suggested that Scott himself might drive a racing car, an idea for which Kourtney makes clear her disapproval right quick. If you’ve already guessed that this totally unplanned turn of events in which Scott just happens to meet a rakishly telegenic motor-sports dude who offers him the chance to do something that would upset Kourtney will lead to Scott doing something that will upset Kourtney, you don’t win anything. It’s not about winning.
Kim visits Jonathan Cheban in a yellow building and says, “Straight hair’s gonna be my new shit. I’m so tired of it looking all poufy.” She complains that ever since Kourtney had her second baby, she’s looked like a “slob kebab.” She calls Kourtney “Octomom” and mocks her throw-up-stained pajamas while Cheban’s reactions demonstrate the narrowness of the gap between Oh no you di-in’t–ism and a Napoleon Dynamite impression.
Kourtney and Scott go to dinner with Chapman, who looks like he’s been in a tanning bed since the moment we left him, and his ultra-blonde wife, Kristin “MK” Ducote. That’s “MK” in the E.L. James/J.K. Rowling sense, I think; as “M.K. Ducote,” Kristin has written a novel called Naked Paddock, a “wild romp” based on her personal experience of the pro motor-sports circuit and the “fistfights, lawsuits, love affairs, crashes and victories” that characterize life thereupon, and (via a Kickstarter suspended as of this morning) has raised $916 of the $20,000 required to self-publish it.
Here is what a photographer named “Z” says about Kristin and Chapman and the way they feel about one another: “So in fire, so in love, that is how, I, ‘Z’ will describe Kristin and Chapman and the way they feel about one another.”
Here is what Kristin says to Kourtney about Chapman: “If it doesn’t have wheels and the threat of death and dismemberment, he’s not interested,” and if Naked Paddock is made up of sentences like that, sign me the fuck up. Kourtney makes this face:
So, OK — Scott wanting to race cars is a dumb, meaningless little-boy form of rebellion. Kourtney not letting him is just spiteful. It’s hard to say who’s the worst person in this scenario. The big difference between Take Miami and Keeping Up With the Kardashians proper is that on Take Miami the worst-person-in-the-room title is perpetually up for grabs, whereas on Keeping Up the worst person in the room is always Kris Jenner unless she’s not in the room.
Scott goes to the racetrack anyway, and Chapman gives him a helmet with “LORD DISICK” emblazoned on the visor. Scott says his catchphrase “The Lord is back” in a way that demonstrates how genuinely touched he is by this gift. It’s revealed that Scott and Chapman actually went to the go-kart track together three days earlier, because you don’t just go straight to the naked paddock if you want a relationship to last. Post-karting, Chapman told Scott he had “natural ability” behind the wheel.
“I’m not blowing smoke up your ass,” Chapman says.
“You don’t look like a smoke-blower,” Scott replies, and somewhere in L.A. a crestfallen Mitch Hurwitz calls off production on the new season of Arrested Development, sending everybody home because this scene has just out–Tobias Funkë’d him. Scott tells us that hearing Chapman say he has natural ability “really gets my [bleep] tingling.”
They take a couple of laps. Scott says, “There’s nothing in the world that feels as good as this,” and then afterwards Chapman and Scott take off their helmets and slick back their hair, and Terri Nunn from Berlin walks by and offers to perform “Take My Breath Away,” but everyone agrees it would be redundant.
Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney look at some commercial spaces into which Dash could potentially relocate; evidently traipsing around muggy Miami has exacerbated Kourtney’s personal funk, and Khloe prances around spritzing perfume at her when she’s not looking. Sheiva, Kourtney’s assistant, correctly identifies the scent as Khloe and Lamar Odom’s unisex fragrance, Unbreakable by Khloe & Lamar, and says “I smell Unbreakable,” and then she and Khloe giggle over Kourtney smelling bad. Good loyalty, Sheiva. Let’s stop thinking about anything else that happens in this scene and watch Khloe and Lamar’s perfume commercial:
Back at the Eden Roc: Mercy studies a pretzel of feces in the litterbox while Kim makes Khloe take whimsical photos of her doing whimsical things. Sometimes you just have to unwind and be crazy and put the results on Instagram. I think Ben Franklin said that. Kourtney comes in wearing some kind of zip-up muumuu dress, Khloe says, “Oh, it’s zipped,” mock-impressed, but it isn’t. Khloe tries to help her zip it up while Kourtney says she’s trying not to wear sweats because Kim shamed her about her outfits. We see Kourtney’s bra and the cord of her lavalier mic for a second; it’s an almost unspeakable moment of vulnerability.
Kourtney says, “I’m just trying to wear a dress for you” to Kim — pathetic shading into passive-aggressive or the other way around, it’s hard to read. Khloe, fussing with the zipper, says, “Why do you care?” to Kim. Kim ignores her, says to Kourtney, “You’re just having babies — you’re obviously not back at your original weight,” to which Khloe, now fully coming to Kourtney’s defense, says “Neither are you!” You can tell from the halting cross-talk that this is probably a longer conversation boiled down to knife-fight highlights, but it’s still pretty crazy.
Kourtney gives up on the dress, says she’ll wear something else, but adds “thanks for the support” through her teeth, leaning forward and obviously trying to say it into a camera.
“But I love the — ” Kim says, clearly without the slightest intention of giving that sentence a subject.
“Shut up,” Khloe says. “You ruined it.”
“I love the — ” Kim says again, and Khloe says “Effort,” and Kim says “I love the effort,” and Khloe tells her Kourtney just had a baby and Kim should be ashamed of herself — and yes, Khloe should talk, what with the whole B.O. thing, but I’d argue that Khloe knows where the line is between just busting your sister’s balls and actually being cruel and hurtful, and Kim is deliberately crossing that line.
Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe go to lunch and talk about how to fill up the day. The idea of seeing a movie is kicked around. Khloe says she’s not generally a theatrical-release moviegoer, per se, “but I went and saw End of Watch.” Me too! I walked around for weeks telling people how great End of Watch was while doing an impression of Michael Peña in End of Watch: “End of Watch, bro. Bro — brobrobro! End of Watch bro. Bro,” etc. Fantastic movie.
Kourtney gets all passive-aggressive, saying that the only movies she’s seen recently are Brave, Chipmunks, and Happy Feet, and that she has to go home and breast-feed. It becomes a Thing, that she’s abandoning them to go hang out and be a mom to her kids or whatever, and then Kim says, “If mom-life is so torturous, I have a new perspective on how boring and miserable your lives are,” and Kourtney gives her the death-stare and Kim adds, “I would, like, DIE if I had kids right now,” and then, because Kourtney still hasn’t thrown her napkin at Kim and stormed out of the restaurant, Kim asks, “If you knew how bored you’d be, or become, would you still have had kids?” Kourtney throws the napkin, cut to commercial.
“Kimberly, you need to say something to your sister,” Khloe says, as they catch up to Kourtney between a white van and a black Suburban. Kim and Kourtney have a loud fight in the parking lot while blurry-faced pedestrians look on; Kim says, “You’re being ridiculous. I was joking and I called you boring. Get in the car,” and Kourtney doesn’t buy it for a minute but she gets in the car.
Kim goes to Larsa’s house. Kim lets Sophia put hair-things in her hair while she talks about how she can’t imagine having kids, and because Larsa is Edgar Cayce all of a sudden she says, “If you got pregnant, you’d be so happy,” adding, “Kanye’ll be your baby daddy — like, how cool is that?”
Khloe oh-so-casually brings Kourtney a bag from the drugstore containing makeup sponges, scrunchies, and “deode,” because who doesn’t need “deode” in this Miami heat, right? Kourtney reiterates that she doesn’t do chemicals while she’s breast-feeding — which, incidentally, is a totally not-uncommon practice that everyone on this show insists on talking about like it’s voodoo, no disrespect to voodoo. Khloe reads the propaganda off the side of the deodorant stick: “Works with your body’s natural chemistry.” Kourtney’s not having it. “She’s trying to be the best mom to Penelope and Mason, and I get it, but it’s really making her stinky,” Khloe says.
Khloe and Kim have iced tea and a conversation recapping stuff we already know about Kim’s egg levels, during which Khloe puts one and one together and realizes that Kim’s being a bitch to Kourtney because she’s worried she can’t have kids. Part of the reason Khloe’s able to solve this totally obvious mystery, I’m guessing, is that she herself has had a really hard time getting pregnant, a situation that isn’t acknowledged until after a commercial break, and even then it’s Khloe who points it out, because for Kim to point it out she would have to understand that other people actually exist and have feelings.
Kourtney and Khloe get a couples massage in a spa lit in Soderberghian blue and yellow; Kourtney catches Khloe warning the massage therapists about her body odor, and they argue and a super-dumb rapprochement follows, where the fake problem is unmasked and turns out to be Old Mr. Withers the groundskeeper in a fake-problem mask. Kourtney gets a call saying Scott’s crashed his car and he’s at the hospital, but he’s fine. There’s a somewhat-more-real-seeming and delicate rapprochement between Scott and Kourtney in the car on the way home from the emergency room, where Scott admits he shouldn’t have lied to her about racing and Kourtney agrees to go watch him race.
Kourtney and Kim go to lunch at the Palm. The guy brings the bread. Kim questions whether they even want bread and Kourtney, from between slumped shoulders, says, “I do, ’cause I’m a fat pig.” Kim cries, says of course she wants to be a mom someday, that’s what this is all about, but Kourtney’s expression doesn’t change — she’s not going to give Kim the satisfaction of crying with her, at least until the commercial break is over. Kim says it’s great because she has two sisters who’ve had very different experiences — Kourtney, “Who can sneeze and get pregnant,” and poor, barren Khloe, and either way she’ll have someone in her family who empathizes with what she’s going through. Other people do exist, in the sense that their experiences can act as a mirror for our own.
Next week: Kim’s psoriasis flares up and Scott drinks and falls in a pool.