I regret to inform you that I won't be posting about this season of The Simple Life [link has audio], as it is a seething mass of suck. And not in a good way, either. Someone give Nicole her own sitcom and set me free from this disaster of bad set-ups and unfunny sound effects.
I just have to mention real quick how much I am still loving Nicole Richie on The Simple Life. Last night, when she said to the church family, "I'm black folk too," I cracked up enough to have to pause the show. But later, when she remarked to the baseball trainer, "I used to be a masseuse." "Really?" "Yeah. Twenty years ago, in Korea." - I almost fell on the floor. That girl is funny.
After watching last night's installment of The Simple Life 2, I have to say that my love for Nicole Richie is growing and growing. Watching her tell off that fat, funky-eyed, horribly-tattooed redneck James was a truly great moment.
You guys want to know something? Forget The Beverly Hillbillies and Gone With the Wind; the REAL South today is far closer to that awful family (the Skinners) that the girls stayed with last night. The directors and editors put it all out there: the nice-but-not-really house on a big plot of land, the horrible interior design, the above-ground pool, the "nice glasses" being bought at Wal-Mart, the instant dislike/resentment/suspicion of anyone from a different background, and--most of all--the loathsome dumb-and-proud-of-it James. Every third person you're going to meet down here is James (thank God for the other two). Kevin and I were watching it, and as each family member showed his or her true colors (blustering dad, stupid and bitchy mom, etc.), we just kept looking at each other and saying, "Oh my God--this is our world." The Skinners are the people who help the South maintain its place as the (sometimes justified) butt of jokes, who keep us at or near the bottom of the socioeconomic scale with their ignorant dislike of anything new or different, and who are to be avoided at all costs if you can possibly help it. These are the people that scare me because other than geography, we have nothing in common. These are the people that put Bush in office and want to keep him there because he's doing "God's work." These are the people in front of me and behind me in line at the store and at the movies and at the post office, yapping on their cell phones and parading their ugly haircuts and wearing their XXL sleeveless shirts and broadcasting their opinions about "damn liberals" and "stupid yankees" and "those fags" and--if you listen closely--anyone who's not the same color as they are. And these are the people who make me ashamed of being a Southerner a lot of times. They're heinous, and believe it or not, I'm glad they got held up for ridicule on national TV. Not that they can feel any shame, of course, but still... And I know that there are dumbasses everywhere, but I just can't imagine that they're as open about their dumbass-ness as they are down here.
Whoa--that was a full-on rant, wasn't it? I didn't mean to get so into it when I really should have been focusing on the funny sausage-making moments and Nicole telling a fireman to "make a face like you love it" and so on. My bad--I promise I'll never get this serious on here again!
p.s. Someone needs to tell Paris that Forrest Gump was from Alabama, not Mississippi. And if you ever hear someone from Alabama breathing a sigh of relief, we're probably thinking, "Thank God I'm not from Mississippi." It's the only state in the country that makes us feel superior. :-)
I've finally made my peace with The Simple Life. I used to like it, then it annoyed me, then I hated them both. This season, though, is different. I think I figured out why I've changed my mind. Don't think of the show as "reality." It's not. It's "unscripted sitcom." And therein lies the fun - Paris and Nicole are taking back control of "reality tv" and are running the show. They've taken the roles they figured they're expected to play and have run with them. Instead of complaining about how they "were portrayed" on the show, they're just portraying what they figure production wants to see, and it's entertaining. I don't know how much production nudges them into doing certain things, but I don't care. Last night, when they were supposed to be cleaning hotel rooms, and instead Nicole called room service and then ANOTHER MAID, I just fell in love with her.
I'm fully aware that I shouldn't spend this much time thinking about Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. My brain hurts.
I'm not convinced that the shows deserve separate posts (or if I can write more than a few sentences about each), so here's my take on the FOX prime time offerings last night:
The Simple Life (warning--link has sound): God help me, this show still makes me laugh. God help me again, I think Nicole Richie (who is probably an absolutely horrid person in real life, let's be honest) and her willingness to say anything for shock value are the best things about it. This season, the show seems to be making no secret about how utterly contrived it all it (it goes ahead and puts "reality" in quotes for us, you might say), so you can just sit back and watch the somewhat mean-spirited fun. (What was with that family who cooked breakfast in the trailer park for Paris & Nicole? Did they say they had been living there a month? That was really kind of sad.)
Quintuplets: I gotta be honest--I told myself I would watch this show (out of love for Andy Richter) if I could find one positive--or even sort of positive--review of it before it aired. Needless to say, I didn't watch the show. (And I looked at a lot of reviews, y'all.)
Method & Red: The weird, half-buried laugh track on this kind of ruined it for me. Well, that and the fact that a lot of the jokes weren't actually that funny and you could see them coming a mile away. I think Method Man has some genuine acting/comedic talent, though--maybe he'll get a role on another show after this one tanks.