The latest rage in reality programming is the rich-fish-out-of-bottled-water plot. MTV's "Rich Girls" follows two spoiled 18-year-old super-rich kids, Ally Hilfiger (daughter of fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger) and aspiring singer Jaime Gleicher, as they flutter about shopping malls and fuss about their teen-age angst.
Noisier buzz has greeted "The Simple Life," a typically smarmy Fox reality show featuring waifish blonde hotel heiress Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, the adopted daughter of singing star Lionel Richie. They took these two pampered princesses and plopped them smack-dab in the middle of rural America -- Altus, Ark., to be precise. Watch the culture clashes unfold!
Both of these grasping girls brought scandalous behavioral records for Fox publicists to exploit. Paris had an amateur sex video that was being highlighted on celebrity showcases like "Entertainment Tonight" when people still had no idea who on Earth she was. Nicole has a rap sheet for heroin possession (and began taping fresh out of rehab).
In almost any zip code, these two would be branded as losers. In Hollywood, they're stars. The show is vile, an assault on decency and on the senses. These two idiots -- that is how they wish to be seen, no? -- laugh as the pie they were taught how to make is devoured by the family dog. They host a kissing booth and are soon taking money from boys who want to kiss their bare behinds. Last week, they laughed as they stole from the credit card of their boss, as if they needed cash.
Part of their calculated, crass, talent-free march to fame came during their turn as presenters on Fox's "Billboard Music Awards" on Dec. 10. Paris warned Nicole: "This is a live show. Watch the bad language." (See the bad joke coming?) Paris added it was great to be there, to which Nicole responded, "Yeah, instead of standing in mud and cow s--t." Fox bleeped that out. But then Nicole added, "Why do they even call it ‘The Simple Life'? Have you ever tried to get cow s--t out of a Prada purse? It's not so f---ing simple." Fox chose not to bleep those sentences out for the Eastern half of the United States, no matter how many millions of children were hit with it.
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