Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Simpleton Life

Somewhere, Jessica Simpson watched "The Simple Life" last night on Fox and thought, "I'm no longer the dumbest person on TV." That crown now belongs to Paris Hilton: "What does generic mean?" "What's a well?" And the piece de resistance, "What is Wal-Mart? Is that where they sell wall stuff?"

Watching "The Simple Life" last night made me vow never to let my daughter become a clueless ultra-rich party girl. That should be fairly easy. From now on, we'll just consciously avoid becoming ultra-rich. Oh, wait, that plan was already in place.

At the beginning of the show last night, Paris and her gal-pal Nicole Richie threw a going away party for themselves at the Hilton mansion. Paris was overheard saying she hoped that living on an Arkansas farm for a month would "make me appreciate my life here." Now there's a problem. She has every material thing she could possibly want, and then some, but doesn't appreciate it.

Blame that attitude on her parents, who apparently don't have a problem with what their kid has become at age 22, nor with her taking for granted the extravagant style in which she lives, simply by virtue of being born an heiress. Looks and acts like a slut? No problem. Hangs out with a heroin addict? No problem. Has the IQ of your average soccer ball? No problem.

I may be the only guy in America to admit this, but I don't find Paris and her "ho couture" style appealing. Yes, I've seen The Tape. She does nothing for me physically. I don't want to say she's thin, but she could hide behind Lara Flynn Boyle. She's slimmer than Dennis Kucinich's chance of becoming President. On next week's episode, she swallows an olive and everyone thinks she's pregnant. But, hey, I wanna tell ya.

So why watch? It's more than the fish out of water concept. There's something inexplicably fun about watching someone so privileged looking like such an idiot. Thus the "simple" moniker. I hope the show continues to play that up. But I'll drop the show in a second, along with many other viewers, if the producers make the mistake of having the show poke fun at the Leding family and their rural lifestyle. If they're smart, "The Simple Life" will continue to focus on Paris and Nicole's vapidity -- and make them try to define it, too.