After what felt like a millisecond off the air, The Kardashians is officially back on Hulu, with more quasi-spiritual bromides, skin-tight fashions, and baby-daddy drama to keep us fed for the rest of the year.
The second season of the Kardashians’ eponymous Hulu docu-series premiered today with an unusually somber episode focused on the news that Khloé’s serial cheater ex-boyfriend Tristan Thompson had impregnated another woman while the two of them planned to have a second baby via a surrogate. We spend most of the hour watching the third-eldest sister in a deep funk while her family tries to support her with the most galaxy-brain advice and throw the world’s most depressing baby shower. We also watch Kris Jenner do a bunch of soap-opera crying.
Hopefully, this is as dark as the season gets (although we can assume there’s plenty of Kanye drama ahead). For now, we tried to break down the most ridiculous and Kardashian-esque moments beneath the tragedy that is Khloé and Tristan’s relationship.
It turns out this family is extremely wonky even in the midst of a crisis.
Kyndall: Well, that was a super fun, light-hearted premiere! Just the kind of fluff we’re used to from our favorite TV family!
Coleman: I assume you’re being heavily sarcastic because that was a wallop.
Kyndall: Of course. This was maybe the most depressing hour of television I’ve watched in a long time.
Coleman: I honestly don’t think I’ve had less fun watching this family since the episode of Keeping Up where Kim talked about the Paris robbery. I missed these girls so much since last season ended two days ago, so I sat down on my couch with a literal bowl of popcorn. It was not eaten.
Kyndall: Oppositely, it made me want to stress eat. LOL. But let’s get into the Tristan Thompson of it all! In the Season 1 finale, we saw Kim break the news about his paternity suit to Khloé over the phone. And then we saw Kim take her off speaker and say, “Oh my god.” By then, we had known that Khloé and Tristan had hired a surrogate for their second child. But in this episode, we find out that Khloé had an embryo transfer only a few days before the news about Tristan’s not-so-secret child. Are we shocked at all??
Coleman: I will say, I was shocked. Which in itself was shocking. How this family can still manage to surprise me after what feels like half a century is astonishing. I knew the moment that we opened on a shot of Khloé set to somber stock music that we were about to receive something unexpected. And then, it of course took me five minutes of whiteboard math to figure out the timeline between last season’s filming-to-air and this season’s.
What did you make of Khloé’s conversation with Kylie? Kylie told her, “I feel like [this baby] is meant to be here with us because there’s just no other way that you guys decided to do an embryo transfer just days before the news came out.” Which, there is a way. It’s called Tristan not being pathological and lying to the face of his baby’s mother.
Kyndall: LMAO. I screamed. Like, I’m sorry. What? Historically, these women have had a hard time articulating just how shitty Tristan is because they all have this “we need to protect the dad” mentality, like all of his horrible behavior isn’t well-documented.
I’m also sick of watching Khloé receive the most bland, useless advice from her family and not a fucking therapist! Maybe she’s seen one at one point. But I feel like we would have at least heard about it. You have access to the best health care in the country! Stop seeking counsel from your 20-year-old sister who speaks in Instagram captions!
Coleman: This is the most “everything happens for a reason”-ass family to have ever walked the planet, and they’ve always been mystifyingly therapy-averse, which makes not a lick of sense. And speaking of Kylie, did you notice that in the first ten minutes, we already saw more of her than we did in the entire first season? It looks like the Astroworld tragedy is far enough in her rear view. So far, in fact, Khloé feels qualified to seek out her advice on a significant other-related matter.
Kyndall: Oh my god, yes. Her presence is so awkward, in addition to her just being an awkward human being with few signs of life. I doubt they’ll dig into the Astroworld stuff at all. And I don’t know if I want them to.
Coleman: Which I guess is “fine,” because instead, we get to see Kylie and Kris greet each other at one of their famous family meetings by rubbing noses and staring into each other’s eyes. Kris was really doing the work this episode, living out her best soap opera fantasy. She remains one of our foremost thespians, able to pull from whatever place she needs for the scene.
Kyndall: She squeezed out soooo many tears this ep! Good for her. But it’s interesting because I also feel like Kris and the sisters have enabled so much of Khloé’s current situation—not Tristan’s actions, per se. He’s a grown man in charge of his own decisions. But it goes back to what I said about them coddling the men in their lives as long as they get children out of them. We’ve never seen any of them try to talk Khloé out of this mentality that she needs to stay with him for True.
Coleman: Kim came remotely close in last season’s finale when she said, “If this isn’t the biggest sign not to have another child with him…” but by then it was years too late. The dynasty needs new blood. And Kris Jenner will do anything she can to get it out of them. In a way, we have to respect that! Is it teaching healthy lessons to her adult daughters that will benefit them after she’s gone? No. Will she continue to collect 10 percent from them and any business opportunities her grandchildren pull in? Well, that’s just business.
Kyndall: What do we think of Kim telling Khloé to let Tristan in the delivery room?
Coleman: First of all, that time jump was jarring and I’m still not sure why it was implemented. We skipped from Khloé’s baby shower in late winter/early spring to July’s delivery, I guess just to complete the bottle episode and move on to other things for the rest of the season.
But I thought Tristan’s presence in the delivery room was complicated. I can see both why she’d want him there and why she wouldn’t, but it certainly does not help that Khloé’s decisions are so influenced by her family, as we keep saying. Let her create her own healthy boundaries! Or do you disagree?
Kyndall: I had mixed feelings. I mean, it is his child. And if he’s going to be in the child’s life, he might as well be at the delivery. I just thought it was funny when Kim said something along the lines of “you wanna be able to tell your son that he was there” as if the child will give a fuck about that knowing all the horrible shit he’s done. But I kind of get it. Did anything else happen in this ep that you didn’t find completely heart-wrenching?
Coleman: Only a few, unfortunately. I liked seeing Kris’ fridge full of Dom Perignon, it was nice to see her lush tendencies haven’t fallen by the wayside. She even had Gaga’s special edition! I also liked Khloé’s makeup at her baby shower, because it looked like someone put blush and mascara on a McDonald’s hamburger bun. Just, like, goop on a smooth, monochromatic bread surface. She looked great for all of her endless suffering!
I’ll also say, please stop making me watch babies be born. It’s jarring enough as it is seeing a nurse tumble a baby out of someone by the umbilical cord like they’re unrolling a yo-yo for the first time. And it’s even more jarring to see them being pulled from the womb of a faceless stranger. I could’ve done without it! How about you, Kyndall? Any crumbs you could pull from this tragedy?
Kyndall: We got a lot of good Kris content. She’s been slowly morphing into Liza Minnelli in her mid-60s. And her boxy, red blazer and sparse bangs in her condo scene were definitely giving that! I also love a Kris shopping scene because she has to pick up every item and showcase it like she’s on QVC. I also want to point out her last big crying scene, where she says in a confessional, that she just “wants Khloé to—long pause—find her dream.” By “dream,” did she mean… a man??
Coleman: She absolutely did, and that was tough! I was ready to cast an Emmy in gold myself, because I was briefly very touched until she said that. But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she meant her “dream life,” with or without a man. But… not likely.
This was, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), a very Kourtney-sparse episode. Not that I was trying to see her and Travis spit bodily discharge all over each other in the name of boosting fertility, but it would’ve been nice to check in. But their Italian wedding will air this season, so there are plenty of antics to come after this dour opener.
Best Fake Normal Person Moment: This week’s prize goes to Kris Jenner pretending like she takes out her own trash. First, she tells Khloé that she throws it over the balcony and picks it up on the sidewalk, which makes me think she’s given at least 20 bystanders concussions. Then she pretends to take it out the correct way but instead hands it off to a producer outside her door. A+ work!
Most Galaxy Brain Quote: This week was a toss-up between Kylie’s bad advice to Khloé, and Kourtney’s sole confessional. Pondering her sister’s baby, Kourt says, “We were raised with a lot of faith. And I think that, like, knowing that… this is God’s plan? Like, babies in the Bible are always considered such a blessing.” Like, yeah! They are in real life too. Thanks, Kourt!
Strangest Sartorial Selection: We saw Khloé sporting a ruched cerulean mini dress and Malika showing up in a polo with holes all over it, but nothing was more wet and wild than Kim’s scuba suit confessional look. A lovely nod to Rose Byrne in Spy from our favorite cinephile.
Most Anticipated Moment in the Season Preview: It’s sad to say that it looks like the Pete Davidson of it all is being played down. So, without evidence of that relationship, we’re looking forward to seeing the cataclysmic fallout from Kim’s “Get Your Fucking Ass Up and Work” Variety interview, which the cameras captured live from a jarring new angle.
Strongest Sister of the Week: Kim definitely came off as the most emotionally supportive and empathetic to Khloé’s situation, maybe because she’s dealing with the dissolution of her own family. I found her tearful speech at Khloé’s baby shower kind of awkward, but she came from a good place!