I was rooting for Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna…until I watched their reality show

The tale of how Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna came to be will go down as one of the great love stories alongside Lancelot and Guinevere, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Napoleon and Josephine to be studied by generations to come. It’s a classic tale of mastermind levels of petty complete with a meticulously executed revenge plot against the Kardashian sisters. This story of two people finding love in a hopeless place ends with a baby girl, a tangled family web, a reality show, more fame and hypothetically, a happily ever after.

It turns out, perhaps not surprisingly, that the happily ever after part seems ill-fated at best. The couple’s E! reality show, Rob and Chyna, makes the future of their wedded bliss seem grim. Seven episodes in and it’s clear the pair have no chemistry, probably didn’t know each other well enough to decide to have a child together (not here to make people’s life choices for them; what’s the “right” timeline for having a baby, anyway?; etc. — they barely fucking knew each other), are actively and persistently dysfunctional, fight over the pettiest things, and seem to, in no real real, be compatible for the long haul.

OK, maybe none of this is shocking. Maybe this is what everyone expected. But I had hope for them, which might be my problem exclusively.

Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian were admittedly an odd pairing from jump: Rob isn’t anything like Chyna’s lanky rapper ex-boyfriend, Tyga, the father of her son; Their upbringings couldn’t be further apart. But once the social media affection, the baby, the engagement and the show weren’t going away anytime soon, we all came to accept they were a real thing. And maybe unexpectedly, I think a lot of us were cheering for these two antiheroes.

Here’s why: The petty in us rooted for them because we rooted for Chyna being so calculated that her baby father’s current girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, will now be her daughter’s aunt, as would her once-BFF Kim Kardashian. The lovey-dovey side of us was happy two semi-famous people found love in the chaos that is the Kardashian empire. There were plenty of reasons to want this to work, if only because so many marginally unlikable people would be put out by the couple’s success.

But with each episode that we subjected ourselves to, hoping something would change, that the tide would turn for the stumbling couple, as Rob & Chyna breezed through a quick, uneventful, and quietly depressing first season, it became obvious that there’s is not the love story we once cheered on.

To be clear, most of the shit that will be their undoing is Rob’s fault. Let’s just put that out there.

Chyna is the likable one here. She appears to have a good head on her shoulders. She seems to be sweet, a good friend, adventurous, fun, chill. She’s the kind of girl you can kick it with. Rob is cool, too, I guess. He’s romantic and seems to know how to have fun when he’s not being a recluse. Rob is also annoying, though. And self-indulgent and self-pitying to a comical degree. Together they are a dysfunctional mess. 

Even the romantic surprise dinner Rob cooked isn’t enough to keep Chyna from giving him that awkward church hug. There’s not been one time they’ve engaged in an act of affection where I’ve said, “Awww. They’re really in love.’” Speaking of chemistry, Chyna promises him “some booty” to do the smallest of tasks. If Rob shows up to this important commitment he already promised to attend, she’ll give him some butt. If he drives her to get her nails done, she’ll give him some butt. If he showers for the day, she’ll give him some butt. Exaggerations be damned, can Rob do anything without the promise of getting some ass?

Rob’s weight is an issue for him, and clearly so is depression since he seems existentially incapable of actually dealing with his weight problem (which his perennially self-fat-shaming family members have spoken of and treated like an aggressive and terrifying cancer for the last few years). Or maybe he’s just lazy. Whatever. Point is, he gained some weight and despite having access to all the personal trainers and healthy food that money can buy (literally), he won’t leave the house, doesn’t want to be around friends and family, and generally dodges his responsibilities as he withdraws from everyone.

Again, Rob sucks.

Still, Chyna understands all this shit he’s going through — but she doesn’t have the patience to coddle him. My theory is that Chyna will become frustrated with Rob because he has all the resources at his disposal to do something about changing his weight/life, and yet still refuses to do what’s necessary for him to feel better about himself. This would be an intolerable thing for almost anyone to deal with, but being that Rob’s squandered privilege is in such glaring contrast to how Chyna grew up, which was with pretty much nothing. She had to hustle her way from stripping to television with no resources and no father in the home; Rob grew up with a loving mom, dad and stepdad, in an upper-class upbringing. Chyna thinks there’s no excuse for him not to be able to get his shit together (not a damn lie spotted on this front), and this is where they bump heads.

Of course, Chyna will be criticized as a bitch, as women almost always are when they don’t baby a boy’s bullshit. What Chyna sees as tough love, some will undoubtedly see as her being cold and unsupportive. But how supportive would you be if you’re pregnant and your fiancé blocks your phone calls for five days? Chyna puts up with more than she should to be quite honest.

If he showers for the day, she’ll give him some butt. Exaggerations be damned, can Rob do anything without the promise of getting some ass?

If Rob couldn’t get himself together during Chyna’s pregnancy, will he ever? While he was scrolling through her phone (the reddest of all red flags!), fighting over french fries, going MIA for no good reason, he probably should’ve been going to therapy and getting his damn life together. Rob, this far, has not been reliable. Even he has admitted to missing out on most of Chyna’s pregnancy due to his issues. Chyna doesn’t deserve that. And neither does their future daughter.

When a black mom has to scold a man to do better by her daughter, you know the ship is sinking — fast. I won’t take it as far as Tokyo Toni, Chyna’s mom, who told Chyna to dump Rob and accept her fate as a single mother, but I will say what this love story quickly turned into a dull tragedy. Deep down, I’m still rooting for them — although, by “them,” I now mostly mean “Chyna and her baby.”