The Kardashians had a mere 30 seconds of screen time during Episode 2 of FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson, and yet, in true Kardashian fashion, they milked it for all it was worth.
The incredulous, albeit entertaining, scene played out like a wonderful fever dream. Halfway through the episode, which saw O.J. Simpson embark on his notorious Bronco chase through Los Angeles, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob's afternoon TV time was interrupted by their dad's now infamous press conference. "OMG, it's Daddy," young Kim Kardashian shouted, before turning the volume up.
After a incredibly cringe-worthy "new phone, who dis?" moment between the reporters at the scene and Robert Kardashian, in which they failed to understand his Armenian last name, Kim, a true provocateur in the making, spelled it out for them (and undoubtedly the world). One thing lead to another and before we could even register what was happening, a celebratory, and strangely catchy, Kar-dash-i-an chant erupted among the children.
Sure, co-creator Ryan Murphy was most likely just trolling us -- a Kardashian ~ insider ~ has already refuted the insane moment to TMZ -- but it was an effective scene.
The People v. O.J. Simpson succeeds at weaving multiple narratives. It is as much a case study into race and gender politics in 1995 as it is an origin story for the 24-hour news cycle. In many ways, the O.J. Simpson trial, dubbed "The Trial of the Century," gave birth to our ravenous, 24-hour news consumption, which in turn set the precedent for reality television. The Kardashians are emblematic of this.
Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob are there, chanting their now-famous surname in childish excitement, not because it was factually accurate, but rather, because of its harrowing emotional impact. That scene, much like all of the mini Kardashians moments in The People v. O.J. Simpson, alludes to who the Kardashians will someday become in this world -- the idea that they would one day reap the benefits of this media circus. And it all started with that moment.
Their finite fascination with fame and celebrity can be pinpointed to that very moment, watching their father read O.J. Simpson's suicide note on live television, which in all likelihood probably happened. (Kourtney and Kim were teenagers at the time, and this press conference was the first time the public was made aware of O.J. Simpson's indictment for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.)
But the larger impact of that moment, and what it might have done to the impressionable minds of the Kardashian kids, was not lost on Murphy -- nor was it lost on us.