The Kardashians: Billion Dollar Dynasty review – who knew that Kim was once the face of a toilet?
This talking head-filled two-part tale of fame for fame’s sake profiles the reality TV family – leaving plenty of space for cynicism when it comes to their more questionable moments
Who is Kim Kardashian? It can’t be a wholly ridiculous question, since it’s difficult to give a simple answer about what she does for a living, and in any case plenty of people really do not know. Kardashian is one of the world’s biggest celebrities, but she emerged at a time when social media and multichannel TV fractured and compartmentalised pop culture, making it possible to be super-famous without having an effect on those who don’t actively engage. A pithy primer might be needed, then, and Channel 4’s two-part documentary The Kardashians: Billion Dollar Dynasty provides one.
We start with the 16-year-old Kardashian in a home movie, proclaiming that she will one day be famous. This is a story of fame for its own sake. Kardashian isn’t a singer or an actor, and although she has had millions of pictures taken of her, she’s not a model – instead she’s one of those 21st-century celebs who is famous for being themselves. The template for that career was set by the hotel-empire heiress Paris Hilton, for whom a young Kardashian worked as a personal assistant: archive footage shows Hilton posing for paparazzi with Kardashian, somewhat more glamorous than the average PA, making sure she’s also in the shot.