A lot went down this year.
The Kardashians can always be relied upon to bring drama and emotional rollercoasters to our daily lives, but 2017 was a particularly crucial year.
Over the course of the past 12 months, the family have navigated family sagas, negotiated television deals, imposed limits on social media and orchestrated a global buzz around three pregnancies.
Not only has a lot of their 2017 behaviour been unprecedented, but they've also signalled that this drama is far from over. Here's how.
This was the year that Keeping Up With The Kardashians turned ten – a pretty monumental milestone.
October 2017 marked an entire decade since Keeping Up With The Kardashians first appeared on our screens. In that time, they've shot 15 seasons and almost 200 episodes, meaning that E! has now broadcast over 200,000 total minutes of KUWTK and has enough footage to air the show for 150 straight days. Kim Kardashian's wedding to Kris Humphries remains the most-watched day in E!'s programming history, and KUWTK is now the longest-running reality TV show of all time. Not bad for a family who assumed their time would be up after one season.
And, as if to mark their permanence in the public eye, the family also signed a new deal with E! worth $150 million, extending the show for five more seasons.
Kris Jenner once revealed that the show is the central piece of the Kardashians' business model, providing them with a base from which to grow their other ventures. At the current rate of production, this new deal means that the family will be on our screens – and therefore very much in our lives – for at least another three years. Take that, haters.
Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images
Things kicked off in April when Caitlyn released an autobiography containing many less-than-complimentary passages about both Kris Jenner and the Kardashians.
Among other claims about Kris, Caitlyn alleged that she had “known” about her desire to transition for their entire marriage, had hoarded the family’s money and was the reason for the breakdown in the relationships between Caitlyn and her four children from previous marriages. Caitlyn also claimed that she was the reason Keeping Up With the Kardashians was green-lit but believes she “sold out” by appearing on the show, and stated that she'd deliberately omitted any mention of the Kardashians from her coming out interview with Diane Sawyer.
What ensued was several months of back and forth between the two camps. Caitlyn defended and reiterated her claims during TV interviews to promote her book, while the Kardashians gave their side of the story on KUWTK.
But it seems the final straw was Kim learning that passages from Caitlyn’s book had been omitted from the preview copy she’d been given.
These sections detailed Caitlyn’s gender reassignment surgery – which she hadn’t told her family about – and also a claim that the late Robert Kardashian “believed OJ Simpson was guilty” when he worked on his defence team. After hearing these claims, Kim declared that Caitlyn was a “liar” and a “bad person,” and the family agreed they were “done” with her.
Now, all of this is important because this feud was completely unprecedented.
While the Kardashians have navigated familial spats in the past, they’re usually resolved within the timespan of a 40 minute episode. They also have an unwritten rule that any rifts within the family will be resolved as privately as possible. Both of these traditions were flouted in the length of this feud and the fact it unfolded so publicly. This raises questions as we enter into 2018. Will the family continue to air their issues so publicly again, or was it a one off? Will they attempt to resolve relations with Caitlyn next year? Or will she become the first and only family member to be disowned? Whatever happens, next year will be interesting as heck.
October marked the first anniversary of Kim’s robbery in Paris – an incident that has radically altered her use of social media.
Prior to the robbery, Kim's social media usage was uninhibited, amassing her hundreds of millions of followers. However, court documents revealed that through tracking her social media, the robbers were able to plan their heist in its entirety. Not only could they see the jewellery she had with her in Paris, they were also able to monitor when she was physically vulnerable based on her Snapchat location. For example, she posted the above two photos from her apartment just hours before the robbery, announcing that her friends were going out and leaving her home alone.
Since then, Kim has changed both how and what she posts. Whereas she once shared countless photos of her expensive jewellery and possessions, her feed now predominantly consists of family photos and promotion for her businesses.
Furthermore, whereas she once posted in real-time – that is to say, directly from whichever location she happened to be at the time – she now saves and shares her content later so that her whereabouts cannot be traced.
But the biggest and most important effect of the robbery was that it catalysed Kim’s decision to have a third child.
After the robbery, Kim revealed that she felt an “urgent need” to expand her brood. Speaking during an episode of KUWTK, Kim explained: “After what I went through in Paris, the urgency to have more kids is even greater. It made me realise that if, for some reason, I left this Earth sooner than I would have wanted to, then my kids would have a support system at home, and I'd know that they'd be OK.”
Which leads us to the next important Kardashian moment of 2017 – Kim deciding to use a surrogate to have this child.
Many people inaccurately assumed that Kim's decision to hire a surrogate was born from vanity. But in actuality, she'd experienced two life-threatening conditions – pre-eclampsia and placenta acreta – during both of her pregnancies. Kim was told by several doctors that she risked death if she carried a third child herself. So, it seems fitting that a week before the anniversary of the Paris robbery, Kim announced her surrogacy news.
And she’s allowed this process to be documented on KUWTK.
Kim has been open and honest about her fertility struggles in several seasons of KUWTK, and her decision to chart the experience of surrogacy is just as important. So far Kim has revealed that it took over a year to find a suitable surrogate, and that the whole experience has been much harder than she imagined.
The pregnancy and birth will likely be charted throughout season 15 next year, and it’s also pretty damn significant that Kim is so openly discussing and de-stigmatising fertility issues for countless other people.
Oh, and then came the news that Kylie Jenner is pregnant too!
In perhaps the most unexpected Kardashian news of all time, it was revealed back in September that Kylie Jenner is pregnant with her first child, although she's yet to confirm the report. The news came as quite a shock considering her stratospheric rise this year. Not only had she scored her own spin-off reality show, Life of Kylie, but her cosmetics brand was announced as being on course to become a billion dollar company by 2022. And, given that in the past she's admitted that she'll delete social media and retreat from the public eye entirely after having children, it'll be very interesting to see whether she follows that plan through in 2018.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
AND THEN came the news that Khloé was also pregnant. This means that not one, not two but THREE Kardashian/Jenner sisters are expecting babies at around the same time.
Khloé hasn't yet confirmed her news either, but I am willing to bet that having three sisters expecting babies at the same time will provide some of the most dramatic and compelling scenes we've ever seen on KUWTK.
And this staggered pregnancy news has been a masterclass in media manipulation and an example of precisely why they’ve been so successful for ten years.
Not only did the news of Kylie, Kim and Khloé's pregnancy break just a week before the 10th anniversary of KUWTK, but since then not a single member of the family have commented to either conform or deny the reports. Instead, they've stoked months of speculation, with fans analysing any trace of social media postings for “evidence” of pregnancy, and people the world over discussing their antics.
And it appears from this teaser trailer for the second half of season 14, that the pregnancies will be announced on KUWTK, as per the family’s tradition of saving news for the screen to guarantee huge ratings.
But until the moment of confirmation comes, the buzz and anticipation surrounding the family has arguably never been more intense. It’s proof, as they embark on their next decade in the public eye, that people just can’t help but keep up with the Kardashians.
Here’s to an even more eventful 2018.