The Other Kardashians

I must admit, I rarely watch television. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t count Keeping up With The Kardashians among the shows I would view.

Just the thought of viewing the antics of a family that is famous for being famous is enough to keep me away from television forever. As a consumer of print media, I have the impression that the show consists of carefully scripted performances from a bunch of shallow people who are very conscious of fashion and image who have no clue as to what real life is like.

If I am wrong, please enlighten me. Somebody has watched the show for the past 14 years, but it hasn’t been me. Reality television has no appeal – in part becasue I doubt there is much unscripted “reality.”

This week though I discoivered a new “reality TV” family, not on broadcast television but on YouTube. I wasn’t looking for it, but I was visiting Syrian friends and episodes of Mezgin Life were streaming on the big-screen television in their living room.

At first I was fascinated. The Kardashian comparison immediately came to mind. Somehow though I don’t think the escapades of a Syrian Kurdish family quite compare to the Hollywood antics of Kim Kardashian and company.

I couuldn’t follow everything on the screen. My Kurdish is non-existent, but my hosts understood it. I asked some questions, but am not sure if my fractured German was understood – or if I understood the answers properly.

Supposedly Mezgin, Rupelin and their family are very popular in their culture. I wouldn’t quite describe the videos as viral, but in a year online they have received almost 10 million views. That’s not bad for someone from a relatively small people group.

These videos are the antithesis of Holywood glitch. I can’t figure out the appeal – but I am not Kurdish. The video at the top of this post, which shows the family playing what I was told is a traditional Kurdish game, was interesting at first, but I thought three minutes was enough. Which means it was almost 20 minutes too long.

What started my questioning was the cleaning video (below). Who has time to watch someone else clean their house? What is the appeal? Is it like watching paint dry? Yet the video has been viewed more than 50,000 times in the past couple of weeks.

I’m not quite sure if this is a mother with her daughters, or whether the women are sisters. Nor can I figure out the males in the program. I’d probably have the same problem with the Kardashians.

It seems that Mezgin Life focuses a lot on food. That probably has some appeal. After all, there are entire TV networks dedicated to food and cooking.

I must confess though that I don’t care about trips to the hairdresser or watching someone make pizza at home. I wouldn’t care if it was the Kardashians doing it either.

Maybe if I understood Kurdish it would help. Somehow though, I don’t think I am the target audience.


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