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Series premiere of "Khloe and Lamar" focuses on L.O.'s complex relationship with his father

April 11, 2011 |  1:13 pm

The series debut of "Khloe and Lamar" actually focuses on something substantive -- which can't be said of all reality shows -- as Khloe Kardashian unexpectedly meets Lamar Odom's father at a book signing.

Odom has warned his wife about Joe, telling her of his father's troubled history, which he says included being a heroin addict. But Kardashian is conflicted. She holds out hope that Odom and his father can have a stronger relationship, so she promises Joe that she'll take him to a Lakers game.

The show, with its extraneous wide-angle shots of the Odom-Kardashian residence, the city of Los Angeles and Staples Center, also has its less-than-substantive side. The episode looks at Kardashian's teenybopper-esque campaign on Twitter to get fans to vote for Odom for the NBA All-Star team -- it also looks at Odom's initial refusal to see Rob Kardashian play in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. But in evidence on this first show is the down-to-earth and considerate personality that Odom displays on an everyday basis. That's a quality that could have been lost.

"At the end of the day, he's got to keep it real with me," Odom, on the show, says of his father.

Odom goes to great lengths to persuade Kardashian that taking Joe to an upcoming Lakers game would be a bad idea. He soon talks with Joe, on speakerphone, who quickly asks for "a couple dollars, man," ticking off needs such as groceries, tickets and shoes. Khloe realizes her well-intended effort may not have been the right thing to do.

"My father is someone I'd do anything for," Odom says. "But he's someone I don't let get too close."

-- Mark Medina