Nostalgia watching might be our solace during lockdown, so much so that we have well and truly fell down the rabbit hole that is noughties reality TV. Best of the crop is surely none other than The Simple Life, the show that saw Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie thrown into the lives of humdrum folks to learn some lessons and of course, cause some chaos.
From the outfits to the sheer outrageousness of it all, every episode adds to a never-ending list of reasons we could binge this show forever. Don't believe me? Here are seven indisputable reasons The Simple Life is more than worthy of your lockdown binge list...
The drama is insatiable
The Simple Life wasn’t just your average reality show. Yes, the premise was very simple (pun intended), throw some spoiled heirs into the jobs and lives of regular working class people and see how they cope. But, when those heirs are both mega famous celebrities and best friends, it gets much more complicated…glorious unrivalled drama complicated.
If there’s one noughties feud we remember more than any other, it was Paris and Nicole’s major fall-out of 2004. Rumour has it the BFFs broke up when Nicole screened Paris’s sex tape at a party meant to celebrate her debut on Saturday Night Live. Nicole’s team has denied this accusation. But regardless of why they fell out, the drama made for millions of eyeballs on the reality show they were still under contract to do.
The feud led to them filming season four apart - instead of touring the US together in a bus doing odd jobs, they each spent a week in a different family house competing as to who could be the best housewife. The finale though saw Paris confront Nicole with a ‘we have to talk’ text before Nicole answered ‘so talk’ and the show ended on a cliff-hanger. Honestly, KUWTK could never…
Of course, the fall-out made for all the more better TV when Paris and Nicole rekindled their friendship for the fifth and final season with the duo still friends (although not BFFs) to this day. It’s a rollercoaster worthy of an Oscar as far as we’re concerned.
Seriously, 100% of it should be filed under ‘Burn it, but burn it in a sealed steel tank because it’s made out of such cheap material it would cause enough noxious fumes to suffocate us all’. From the diamante-encrusted denim and the satin-sheened tops to the polyester rah-rah skirts and Von Dutch trucker caps, it’s everything I tried to wear in 2003 and then some. The worst part is, it’s all designer crap. That flat cap Paris buys in the very first episode? $800.
Yes that’s right, we said characters. Because, contrary to popular belief, Paris and Nicole weren’t actually being themselves on the show. What?! A reality TV show with a distorted reality?! Never?! No, but seriously, Paris has confirmed on multiple occasions that producers asked her to play up to the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype for entertainment purposes.
It’s a character she continued to play for the public and while some may not believe she was putting it on, the fact she has managed to stay in the public eye for more than 20 years for being ‘famous for being famous’ and catapulted that fame into owning 50 retail stores and 19 product lines says a lot.
Our favourites include…
Sanansaaa sanansaa: An exclamation of joy for when Paris and/or Nicole are feeling happy and/or victorious. Echoed by both parties, its utterance is normally accompanied by a little dance.
That's hot: Usually drawled slowly by Paris and/or Nicole to express their droll amusement at something that's kind of cool but entirely unremarkable.
Loves it: Used to describe something that Paris or Nicole approve of. As in; 'You have a boner? Loves it.'
The glorious inappropriateness of it all
Unsurprisingly, putting rich celebrity teens among us common folk made for some pretty outrageous TV. From the time Nicole helped a toddler stuff her ‘bra’ to the time they told a pre-teen ‘let’s get slutty’ to the time they asked a little old lady how big her son’s dick was. It was enough to send Middle Americans to early graves.
Just take a look at some fan favourites for yourself..
The celebrity cameos
We may all be well aware that Kim Kardashian was Paris Hilton’s assistant back in the day, but that also came with some reality TV credentials before Keeping Up With The Kardashians was a thing. Noughties Kim can be spotted organising Paris’s closet and telling her that if she doesn’t cover her hair on a trip to India she’ll ‘get shot or something’. ‘That’s hot,’ Paris replies. Like we said, gloriously outrageous.
In season four, the girls were regularly joined by their celebrity friends. In one episode, Ke$ha even makes an appearance (we presume this was before the infamous throwing up in Paris's closet saga).
It’s so noughties it hurts (in a good way)
It’s not just the nostalgia of watching something you loved as a teen that makes The Simple Life so great, it’s the way it perfectly eclipses the noughties in a way like no other. From the outfits to the basic premise of the show, it gave us a raw glimpse into Hollywood you would never see now. No slick LA homes, no filtered personalities, in fact, Paris and Nicole would probably even agree that they were a little too raw on the show. Not that we’re complaining, as far as we’re concerned we’ll be bingeing The Simple Life long after lockdown ends…