Unless you have been under a rock for the past couple of months, you must have at least heard about the Bruce Jenner situation. The former Olympic stud and member of the Kardashian family has been in the news for his desire to transform into a female. This news has likely disturbed a lot of people and confused even more. I’m sure many people wonder “how could a guy want to be a woman,” much less a guy that was macho enough to be one of the best athletes in the world at one point. I certainly don’t understand it myself, but there is plenty in this strange world that confuses me.
If you have read much of anything from me in the past, you’re likely to know how I despise reality television. I don’t try to hide that fact and take jabs at this “genre” of entertainment whenever possible. I am proud to say I had never seen an entire episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” before the two part “About Bruce” episode. Reality TV just isn’t for me, and I believe the United States is dumber and worse off as a result of the success of these type of shows.
By the way, how much fucking money do these people have? The beachside scenes are incredible. And I wonder how much Khloe’s Zorro hat cost and would like to see the price tag of the wide angle lens that was able to capture that headpiece.
All that said, I have to admit these two episodes covering Bruce Jenner’s conversations with his family about his upcoming change of gender kinda hooked me. To be clear, I am not going to watch another full episode anytime soon, but this Bruce Jenner story was interesting enough to gain my attention.
Part one started out with Khloe, the most annoying Kardashian in my limited knowledge of the crew, checking out some of Bruce’s high heeled shoes. That set the tone for the shock value that the series wanted. But then the show shifted with the daughters and stepdaughters telling old stories about how great of a dad Bruce was to them all. Kendall, the most authentic person from what I can tell, made it clear that she “could not have asked for a better dad.” She had seen her father years before dressed as a female at 4 am in their house, but didn’t approach him. She felt sad that he had to sneak around in the wee hours of the morning in order to do the thing that made him happy.
The dramatic part of the series special was the fact that Bruce was not being upfront about his intentions to completely transform into a woman, sooner rather than later. Khloe made a point to keep harping on this fact. No reality TV show can keep viewers watching without some immediate “conflict.” The crab boat is running out of time before the storm, gold miners need $350K before noon, and Khloe Kardashian has to act indignant. I can see how Bruce would be less than open about all of his plans after keeping all this stuff buried deep for so many years.
The biggest concern his family has is the fact that Bruce will be gone. I had never thought of it in that way, but it is a legitimate concern. The man who was first in line to pick his daughters up from school will not be there in the same way once his transformation is complete. “He” will be replaced by a “she”, and his kids are not sure what to expect. Who could be prepared for such a thing? Kendall is especially scared that her father will be no more.
Bruce Jenner was a fascinating person to watch during this process. It would take a cold hearted person to say they were not moved as he talked about being around ten years old and feeling like he was out of place as a boy. He said “there was no help for me with these issues.” He was in fact alone with his struggles. Sports were used as a distraction from his innermost feelings. A distraction….and the guy was at the top of his game on a planet wide level!
Kim Kardashian got plenty of face time, as well as side boob time, as I imagine is the case on most every episode of this series. She is impressed as Bruce shows her his handy work on his pink toenails. I don’t know if she is more shocked that he has painted toenails or the fact that he did this menial work himself. She is told about the Diane Sawyer interview as her step dad opens up about how soon all this will take place.
Bruce’s wife Kris is handling this pretty well according to Bruce, but as she lays on her bed covered with the pelt of what looks to be a woolly mammoth, she seems uncertain. She has known about these “tendencies”, but her husband’s full blown transformation into a female is not so easy to swallow.
As a side note, I would love to know where the Kardashians got that animal that appears to be half dog and half miniature kangaroo. Also, Kim reported that her hubby Kanye West was supportive of Bruce’s decision to live his life as a woman. It’s good to have the support of the entire family, but I doubt encouragement from one of the worst people ever to remain alive is of much help to Bruce Jenner.
After watching part one of this special, I could not help being moved by the daughters’ love for Bruce, especially Kendall. I have little use for Khloe and only care about Kim as long as she keeps her looks. Bruce really impressed me. His main concern was that his decision would not hurt his family. He also felt like going public with all this transgender talk could help someone who is struggling as he did as a younger man. When the man told his children how proud he was of all them, his voice totally cracked, showing his deep love for them.
Making his life transformation on a reality TV show may not be the best way to go about this for Bruce Jenner and his family. But as he stated, “There is no doing it right. There is no manual for this kind of thing.”
As I head into part two of “About Bruce” I found myself paying attention to the preview of the next episode. All previews are a waste of time when you are already going to watch the next full episode. That exposes me as….very interested in what happens next.
To read Part 2 of Shane Mclendon Takes on Bruce Jenner, go here.
To read all the articles in our six-part series, go here.