The latest spinoff of the popular reality series, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, premiered this past Sunday, scoring huge ratings. Based largely on the previously perfected formula of giving spotlight to hot ladies of questionable intelligence and combining that with entertaining antics and drama, Kourtney and Kim Take New York successfully transplants the Kardashian dynasty to the Big Apple.

Ostensibly, the glossy celebutantes have up and moved in order to oversee the introduction of the Kardashian clothing line, Dash, to NYC, achieving this by installing a sleek new boutique in Soho. Very original location, I know. And while it is unclear to me whether the producers want us to see right through their thinly veiled ruse – or maybe they really just don’t care – it is obvious enough that the Kardashians won’t be working too hard while they’re in town. Despite their unceasing complaints about the pile of work they will have to accomplish in the coming weeks – oh, yeah … god … there’s just so, so, so much to do … it’s going to be sooo hard, they gasp airily through skin so layered with makeup they can hardly breath, emoting more through the minute dilations of their doe-eyed pupils – their only trip to the boutique, which is the closest they ever come to actually laboring, involved pretending to stare at a set of blue-prints while actually gossiping about their love lives. A real efficient bunch of gals.

The boutique also served as a not-so-cleverly contrived venue to exhibit Kim’s friendship with rapper Kanye West, which was proven to be authentic to the audience through a series of photographs (probably snapped by the paparazzi) of the two hanging out. Hmm, not manufactured in any way, I’m sure. Kanye, for the most part, seemed like he had no idea why he was there. Kim claimed, since Kanye is all about fashion and all, that he would be interested in “checking out” the store. But why Kanye would want to see a completely empty space, before they’ve begun any design construction, before even a sliver of fabric is put on display, is anybody’s guess. Sure enough, pretty much anything but Dash was discussed: their interaction consisted of Kim hitting on Kanye, Kanye loving Kanye and the group shuffling around awkwardly trying to think of something TV worthy to say.

In other news, Kourtney’s creepy crawly ex-beau/baby-daddy, Scott, has apparently slimed his way back into his meal ticket’s good graces. You know you’re dealing with a real self-obsessed shmuck when Kanye is moved to give him a compliment. Yet he’s back nevertheless, despite his outrageously abusive behavior in last season’s Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami – which included lying to the mother of his child about work when he was really out partying, smashing mirrors bare fisted in a drunken rage and otherwise being needy, desperate and whiny. Well apparently, coming down from being Mr. Hyde never felt so good for Jekyll, who now describes his period of debauchery in Miami as the “lowest point of his life,” and that he is now a “calm easy-going guy.” Uh huh. The funny part is that nobody in this equation – not the producers, not the audience, not even Scott himself – believes all of his born-again mumbo-jumbo. But, though it hurts like battery acid on the tongue, the truth is that not one of us can’t honestly say we’re not at least a little excited to see what kind of disaster unfolds.

Another plot point revolves around Kim being newly single. Dumped for being too popular (ex-man toy Miles Austin couldn’t stand the heat – or the paparazzi), Kim spends the episode doing a combination of despairing her dating ineptitude and getting excited about her newfound single freedom. True to her character – and it is a character – her first foray into the dating world proves tremendously awkward. After being forced to step outside her comfort zone by Kourtney and Scott and ask out her latest dating interest, Michael Copon, Kim meets him for some desert. After foreplay, which began in earnest at the dessert shop and consisted of inappropriate back rubs, steamy looks and grunted compliments – you’re uh… cute – they end up back at Kim’s. In a surprise twist, however, Kim rejects Michael when he finally makes a move. Ouch. My guess, the producers gave her express instructions to do so, probably in an effort to make Kim – who is otherwise serially monogamous – both more interesting and more alluringly available. If so, we can look forward to a little more zest in Kim’s personal life in the episodes to come.

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