Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie once had a good TV thing going.
But, like their real-life friendship, which is kaput, so, too, is their television show.
Based on a preview of the first episode of “The Simple Life – “Til Death Do Us Part,” the executives at Fox come off like Einstein for passing on this junk. Yet, that says little for the folks at E! Entertainment, who figured there was still life left in “The Simple Life.”
Stillborn is more like it.
The series, launching June 4 at 10 p.m. EDT on E!, is a dreadful mess so devoid of any of the fun stuff that made the pairing of two rich girls engaging, when it aired on Fox in 2003, that it’s not worth watching – ever.
In 2003, viewers laughed along with – and at – Hilton when she asked dumb questions about Wal-Mart and squirmed when both women had to stick their arms up a cow’s butt. No one believed the socialites weren’t playing for the cameras – even Hilton admitted she wasn’t that stupid – but that didn’t matter; it had a fresh feel and was entertaining to watch.
Fast-forward to 2006 – which in Hilton/Richie years can be measured by multiple relationships and countless pages in Life & Style – and the show stinks. Or, put another way, it has the potential to last as long as the romantic relationship either woman is in now.
Because the two women aren’t talking in real life, the producers concocted a concept that has them separately filling in for a married pregnant woman with a young daughter.
“I’m the nice one; she’s the evil one,” Hilton tells the wife at one point of Richie.
The wife gives each of them a list of chores, ranging from taking care of the daughter to filling the dishwasher.
Richie, in full floozy form, asks if she should take care of hubby, too. “If you want me to sleep with him, let me know,” Richie says. “How am I supposed to be pregnant if I don’t sleep with your husband?”
The wife gasps. Viewers will, too, wondering why they stayed so long.
It’s also ironic that Richie plays the part of the temptress, since anyone can find Hilton’s videotaped sexual escapades on the Internet. Perhaps Hilton is attempting career redemption.
Nevertheless, the show goes downhill from there.
At one point, Nicole takes the husband to a strip club, and, oh, surprise, she gets the wife on the phone while he’s surrounded by flesh. She also straddles him during Lamaze class to demonstrate sex while pregnant.
And after ordering pizza for her Lamaze class, Hilton acts like she’s going to puke while watching a movie of a woman giving birth.
“This is a natural process,” the instructor tells Hilton, barely holding back a laugh.
The fact is, the instructor might be the only person to laugh at this show. Most people might feel like Hilton watching the birthing movie.