1. Her father called her Kiki. Can you actually imagine anything more condescending than that nickname? Especially when you’re still drinking your first cup of coffee and he mocks your bagels.
2. She was a good person. AKA she was boring and straight edge. Nothing brings excitement to character like alcoholism. We watched with trepidation thinking ‘poor Sandy, poor Seth, poor Ryan!’ and at the same time ‘oh Kiki! Look at her trippin’ all over the party in her Gucci dress, how Newport of her!’ In order to really love herself and appreciate how great her life was, she just needed to hate herself for a while first.
3. Ryan’s mom was an alcoholic. It was only right for his progression as the down-on-luck kid from Cino that his new mom would become one too because we all saw how trouble had a way of following him around. While feeling responsible and as though it was all his fault, he was the one that could help her overcome it all and realize she’s not the only one out there that finds things a bit too hard from time to time. And there’s no problem that a stint in rehab can’t fix (Sheen we are looking at you).
4. Her father married Julie Cooper. Caleb ‘Cal’ Nichol had a lot to answer for in poor Kirsten’s demise. The marriage rendered her with a step-mother that was not only the same age as her, but also the tackiest woman in Newport. Julie did not fit in with the decor of the Cohen house, she auctioned off her dead mother’s tea set and made her order male strippers for the bachelorette party. She also wore the worst wedding dress ever.
Remember this episode?
Kirsten is about to find out that sixteen years ago her father cheated on her beloved mother and fathered an illegitimate child, whom is now dating her adopted son. And it’s Chrismukkah!
5. Her younger coke loving sister started sleeping with her first love. When Hailey whirled back into town she decided to begin an affair with Kirsten’s first love, Jimmy Cooper all sorts of emotions ran wild. Jimmy was also their next door neighbor, Marissa’s dad, Julie’s ex-husband and the town felon. And he’d also kissed Kirsten like two episodes before when she was helping him recover from his life falling apart. Marriage or no marriage, that Jimmy Cooper (Tate Donovan) is toying with a woman’s affections.
6. Carter came to town. Carter was a no-rules writer with a penchant for long stares, short sentences and just happened to be one of Sandy’s literary heroes. Trying to launch Newport Living meant long hours at the office with no one else around except unhappily married Kirsten and recently divorced Carter. As bread winner, mom, wife, daughter, step-daughter, aunt, editor, only real blonde left in Newport (but not really) it’s no wonder she needed something to help her out of bed in the morning. Between yogalates classes and organising another coming of age event for the teen gang, where would she have time to catch up with the local shrink?
7. She had to live through Seth and Summer; Ryan and Marissa. It was okay for all of us at home that could yell at the TV, wear t-shirts emblazoned with our couple of choice around the mall, yell that Ryan looked like an Aryan Sonic the Hedgehog, but poor old Kiki Dee had to live through it patiently and understandingly in a way that only a mother can. She also had to listen to Sandy sprouting advice every morning and realise that given her upbringing and lack of emotion due to too much botox, she had none to offer to anyone other than Marissa.
8. She had an abortion when she was a teenager and never told anyone. Like hello, she opens up to Theresa the maid come bakery assistant that was carrying a baby that was never Ryan’s anyway, but not Sandy, to whom she tells everything. Repressed emotions anyone?
9. She knew roughly six million people were watching her each week. That’s a lot of pressure for one career mom with an ever changing home life. Some people do not deal well with that much pressure on their shoulders and it was clear the Kirsten is one of them. Josh Scwartz and the crew really should have laid off a little and written her in a summer abroad.
10. She lived in Orange County. Remember coming home wasted and knowing you would have to explain yourself to your parents using a lie like “everyone else was doing it” or “I think someone must have spiked my drink because I really didn’t have that much, I swear.” If you were really desperate you could always cry and admit that there was just too much going on right now and you needed to stop thinking for a while. But we all learnt that those excuses only work so many times no matter where you live. And lucky for Kirsten, she married a wised up Jew from Brooklyn that wouldn’t let anyone spin him a lie, especially not some trust fund princess he made his wife.