Who’s Afraid of Kim Kardashian?

Who’s Afraid of Kim Kardashian?

Kim Kardashian is an actress now, making her unexpected jump from unscripted to scripted with a starring role on American Horror Story: Delicate. Sorry, Patti LuPone! The anthology series, now on season 12, feels like a natural entry point for Kardashian’s acting career (if you don’t count previous turns that include Disaster Movie and four episodes of Drop Dead Diva). Ryan Murphy has a long history of turning non-actors into actors (Nene Leakes, Lady Gaga, Kaia Gerber), and Kardashian even appeared as a character in AHS’s spinoff, American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson. Who can forget David Schwimmer’s Robert Kardashian giving his children an on-the-nose speech about fame being hollow?

Delicate is based on Danielle Valentine’s novel Delicate Condition, and is written by showrunner Halley Feiffer (Murphy is a producer), who wrote the role with Kardashian in mind. Getting starring vehicles written just for you? Not bad for a girl with no talent.

Kim plays Siobhan Corbyn, a high-powered publicist not unlike her own business-savvy momager, Kris Jenner, who represents burgeoning movie star Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), who you already know is destined for stardom because she has three names. Though nobody — including Ryan Murphy sometimes — ever fully knows where a season of American Horror Story is going, Delicate is thus far focusing on themes of fertility, IVF, fame, and celebrity — all topics that are also covered extensively on Kim’s other show, The Kardashians, which is airing its fourth season concurrently on Hulu. (Previously, Keeping Up With the Kardashians ran for 20 seasons on E!)

Both shows, if you really think about it, are about a woman (Anna Victoria Alcott or Kourtney Kardashian, take your pick) newly in love and trying to focus on her uphill fertility journey, while Kim Kardashian encourages her to focus on being famous instead. But which Kim is the bigger villain: the reality star intent on going head-to-head with her sister at every turn or the demanding celebrity publicist who might have an ulterior motive? Here, we’ll compare both Kims week to week to see who’s doing amazing, sweetie, and who’s putting the “sister” in sinister.

How menacing was Kim?

Historically, Kim Kardashian is at her scariest when she’s targeting Kourtney, whether she’s screaming about her not having a business or throwing punches as her bob whips around. But by the end of season three, it looked like the pair, who had been going at it over Kim stealing Kourtney’s Dolce & Gabbana la dolce vita lifestyle, had reconciled.

The thing about reality television, though, is that the sisters had to relive that feud while approving the edit, and in the process saw everything that the other was saying behind their back. That of course brought all of those feelings back to the surface just in time for season four, which kicks off with a phone-call confrontation that gives Sidney and Ghostface a run for their money.

During the call, Kourtney once again accuses Kim of stealing her wedding concept for the Dolce & Gabbana campaign, but Kim assures her that she’d never do that because she didn’t like any part of the wedding. Kim delivers this line as if it’s genuinely reassuring and not as if it’s an insanely mean thing to say about your sister’s wedding.

In response, Kourtney calls her a narcissist incapable of being happy for anyone but herself, and Kim, in an attempt to prove that she’s not the problem, tells Kourtney that even her closest friends are complaining about her attitude. They even have an entire group chat called “Not Kourtney” where they all talk shit about her. “Your kids have even come to me with problems that they have [about] how you are,” Kim says. This is one of the lowest blows I’ve seen from Kim, and I once watched her call Khloé an “evil, ugly, little troll” just for waking her up. Kourtney has the last word when she ends the call with, “You’re just a fucking witch and I fucking hate you.” A line right out of AHS: Coven.

Kourtney, unsurprisingly, opts out of the family getaway to Cabo, which, as a result, is a much calmer affair. The only other menacing behavior happens when Kim revels in pointing out whales to a panicking Khloé, who is, as we all know, terrified of whales.

How menacing was Siobhan?

With only two episodes out, it’s still unclear who the villain of Delicate is, but everything is deeply ominous, including Siobhan, who is leading Anna’s Oscar campaign with the voracity of Kris Jenner leading a People’s Choice Awards campaign. For Anna’s part, she’s trying to juggle a career rebrand, undergoing IVF, being haunted by her calendar, peeling skin, being haunted by her husband’s dead ex, and escaping a stalker who might just be a hallucination.

But let’s focus on Siobhan, whom Anna met at an IVF support group — an encounter that Siobhan says was the only good thing to come out of her unsuccessful IVF journey. So is Siobhan jealous that Anna’s IVF is finally taking? No, Siobhan assures Anna that she’s happy for her. But do we believe her?

Siobhan, much like her portrayer, is all about work. She makes Anna autograph weird fan mail, including a creepy doll that keeps reappearing, and books her on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen as a solo guest, no less! (Did the show make that move for gravitas or because they couldn’t shell out for Heather Dubrow’s fee?) In this world, the booking is such a big deal that Anna postpones her embryo transfer to go, after facing pressure from Siobhan.

But for the most part, the premiere paints Siobhan as Anna’s best friend and confidante, who is working tirelessly to make her dreams come true. Only in episode two do the cracks begin to show, and things slowly start to feel off about Siobhan. It’s like watching Scott Disick slowly evolve into a slob-kabob. When Anna wants to quit Instagram because of the stalker, Siobhan rages, yelling that she has to put in the work to get this Oscar. Kim’s acting is so convincing that it makes me think the director was holding up a photo of Kourtney right over Emma’s shoulder offscreen.

After this tough love, Siobhan instructs Anna to take a red vial that she says is B12. When Anna questions if it’s safe for pregnancy, Siobhan says, “Would I ever do anything to hurt you?” For someone as paranoid as Anna is, she oddly has no problem doing whatever Siobhan says. To top it all off, after Anna’s breakdown at the Gotham Awards, she wakes up in a taupe California king (Kim’s natural habitat) with Siobhan softly singing “Rockabye Baby” and stroking her hair. The only way that could be more haunting is if she were singing “Jam (Turn It Up).”

Who did more terrorizing?

So far, Kardashians Kim is proving to be far more menacing than AHS Kim. Siobhan is still abstractly ominous, whereas Kim telling Kourtney that nobody in her life likes her is tangibly evil.

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