At the end of September, Rob Kardashian got mad at his sisters and posted the phone number of one of those sisters, Kylie Jenner, on Twitter. (Chyna did the same to Kardashian a few days later). Kardashian has seven million followers—making his actions all the more petty and immature. It’s been reported that he did this in retaliation for Blac Chyna not being invited to a baby shower thrown for him. She was not invited because the two had apparently "broken up." Excuse me—they’re said to “not be in a good place,” though he’s still Snapping shots of Chyna’s pregnant belly. He’s also gone back to liking Kim Kardashian’s pictures on Instagram, if that means anything.
Who knows what will happen next, but when it comes to the foundation of his new reality show and looming new life as a father, one wonders: Will we ever learn the real foundation of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s relationship?
There are timelines going around, but there’s nothing specific about what actually got those two together and has him back in the public eye. Most onlookers have assumed that Rob, who has admittedly gained a significant amount of weight due to depression, and in the past, has taken public shots at siblings like Kim Kardashian, found a perfect partner in Blac Chyna, whose friendship with Kim went sour once her then teenage sister, Kylie Jenner, started dating her ex and father of her son, Tyga. That assumption is totally plausible, and for Chyna’s sake, many have saluted her for doing to the Kardashian clan what the sisters are often criticized for doing to others. But while the couple has more or less trolled and frustrated the Kardashians in the past, now both sides are selling us reconciliation, and through the spinoff, Rob & Chyna, a happy ending.
However, now that we’re a little over midway into Rob & Chyna’s first and short season (and likely only), the question of what exactly brought these two together matters more because from the looks of the show, they may have their baby, but they just might not make it as a couple.
Whatever the outcome, for Chyna, she ought to be fine. From what we gathered via social media, but more noticeably in the TV medium, she is confident, acts with purpose, and is quick to let you have it if you wrong her in some way.
Then there is Rob, who acknowledges that he continues to struggle with his confidence. He more or less behaves like Eeyore on the show. On the first episode, we see this as questions Chyna about people texting her—assuming she is communicating with other men—only to later learn that it’s him who is talking to other women. On the second episode, he bails on plans to travel with Chyna to a hosting gig abroad. Rob doesn’t feel comfortable in how certain clothes fit on him and he does not want to be met with a barrage of photographers, spreading images of himself to the world that he struggles with witnessing in the mirror. On the third, he goes with her to her hometown, but wallows in self-pity up until he lands there.
As far as Chyna goes, I’m glad she is gaining in notoriety. I love that she’s on the E! network having conversations about unseasoned chicken, referring to Kris Jenner as “Ms. Kris” as so many of us Black folks were raised to address our elders, and showing off more Black women than the Kardashians ever have (despite consistently playing off Black vernacular, Black woman’s aesthetic, and so on). I’m elated to see that her mom, Tokyo Toni, and all that energy will be a fixture on the show. For her, this show—already a ratings winner—is an unabashed win.
Rob’s fate is far less certain. The last time the Kardashian family gave us a quick romance themed spinoff, we ultimately learned that one of them, Lamar Odom, was struggling with his own demons—which the heightened fame only appeared to magnify. In a lot of ways, Khloe & Lamar was the pregame of his public decline.
One can’t ascribe that fate to Rob based on a few episodes, but Scott Disick is not Dr. Drew, Dr. Phil, or Iyanla Vanzant. He’s nobody’s life coach. He’s just a somewhat amusing, well dressed supporting character.
Still, we have to judge with we’ve been offered thus far. What we’re seeing is Rob met a girl who just so happened to also harbor some resentment towards members of the Kardashian family. From there, a romance started but has since been fast tracked to a new family. However, for all the credit Chyna received by some of Rob’s own siblings for motivating him, we’re bearing witness to its limitations. See his Twitter timeline ‘bout a week ago.
Maybe, just maybe Rob Kardashian will sound less pitiful by the conclusion of the series. Perhaps he’ll truly do as he says and motivate himself to be more vibrant and active for the sake of his daughter. Ideally, he’ll refrain from sharing the phone numbers of family members just because they made him mad.
If that doesn’t happen, it won’t be surprising. Chyna herself has appeared to reach the conclusion that only Rob can fix Rob. Rob just comes across broken and lost. Like someone who probably doesn’t need to be on television right now. He could stand for a social media detox, too.
The Kardashians are good for taking any issue be it good, bad, or chaotic and serving it up under a glossy filter for our consumption and their bottom line. Such is their right, though as entertaining as this show can be (because of Chyna), if Rob is indeed sinking further into depression, this show is showing us all the reasons why.