I don’t normally watch reality TV shows. I have dabbled in competitions shows, watching a season of Project Runway here, a season of American Idol there…recapping three seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. But for the most part, life is too short for me to watch people behaving badly—especially when I have an office job. Overkill, you know?
But Friday night, I needed something mindless and entertaining. It’s been a rough year so far, and I wanted more than anything to turn my brain off. Enter Kimora: House of Fab. This Style Network reality show about Kimora Lee Simmons and her House of Fab fashion company plays like a reality TV show satire scripted by Tina Fey. Think Queen of Jordan without the self-awareness.
For instance, it seems as if Kimora Lee just showed up at the office with a camera crew one day and didn’t bother giving anyone a heads up. Employees are constantly looking directly into the camera. While the over-the-top gay man (who tells cameras in all seriousness that even though he’s fabulous, he has feelings) rants about his new desk, a co-worker warns him sotto voce, “They’re filming you.” Later, he snaps at another woman, “Really? In front of cameras?” No one seems to have thought through the process at all; frequently, they stop themselves and ask the camera crew, “Is anyone going to see this?”
The result is something like a deconstruction of reality TV, and makes one yearn, more than anything, for a spinoff that follows the office the morning after an episode has aired. I would never recommend tuning in, but if you find yourself tired and depressed, there are infinitely worse things you could relax into. At least here, people are actually doing work.