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The Simple Life 1 - Episode 1 Summary

'Do They Build Arks in Arkansas?' By Bebo
Original Airdate: December 2, 2003

We first meet Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie as they’re being interviewed on the red carpet for their new show, “The Simple Life”. For those folks who don’t read the tabloids 24/7, we’re given a brief snippets on each girl.

Paris: Model…Jet Setter…Tabloid Target…Heiress to the Hilton Hotel fortune.

Nicole: Singer (um, OK)…Daughter of Lionel Richie.

In other words, unlike most reality show contestants, they’ve earned their 15 minutes the old-fashioned way…through Daddy.

I’d just like to point out right now that my parents sent me to a crappy school. We never learned about cool professions, like Jet Setter, Tabloid Target, or Daughter of a Famous Person. We just learned about trivial career fields, like medicine. I just know I would have kicked butt in the Jet Setting classes if I had the chance.

We’re then given the premise of the show. 30 days with no money, no luxuries, and no clue. In other words, the life that most people live every day. How will these angels survive? According to their interviews, quite well…at least, as long as they can be posing for boudoir photographs in their lingerie. Nicole says that some of their friends don’t think they can do it, and those people can just f*** off. Say it with me, peeps – with friends like Little Miss Pottymouth…

Now we’re, ahem, treated to the theme song. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good song parody as much as the next person. I guess that’s why I hated the song. Let’s just say it has all of the twang of the “Green Acres” theme song but none of the appeal.

To add insult to injury, we’re now, ahem, treated to a redneck narrator. Note to producers: this hasn’t worked since Waylon Jennings treated us to a story about two good ol’ boys never meanin’ no harm. We do learn, however, that rich girls handle a difficult situation the way most girls do. When the goin’ gets tough, the tough go shopping. These girls are hitting the stores to make sure they have the essentials for their trip. Nicole grabs a $2,000 pair of shoes that will be perfect for the barn. Actually, they’ll be perfect for ho’ing, but not the type that typically occurs on a farm, ifyouknowwhaddamean. And of course, they needed a $1,500 carrier for Tinkerbell, Paris’s…well, I’m not sure what that is. It looks like a kidnap victim from “Queer Eye for the Straight Pooch”, or maybe a clown Shrinky-Dink.

Reason #1 to be grateful to this show: I have two small dogs. Mr. Bebo now appreciates the fact that I don’t, nor would I even consider, dressing them up like circus clowns.

Next, we’re off to a bon voyage party for the girls and a hundred or so of their closest friends. Note to friends: Some of you (if not all) were included in the group that Nicole told to f*** off. But where are Paris and Nicole? Making a grand entrance by helicopter, of course. (Their ability to make an entrance is a recurring theme in this story.) As Paris’s parents make a toast, Paris comments that this experience will make her appreciate her life more once she gets back. I’m sure Mommy and Daddy are thrilled, you ungrateful wretch. I had to turn away from the screen at the blatant display of affection between Paris and her mother. I mean, when Paris went for the air kiss, she almost brushed her lips against her mother’s cheek!

The friends show their depth of thought through comments like, “I’d rather give up food for 30 days instead of my cell phone.” Go for it. I’m sure your caviar and champagne budget would feed a third world country or two. And you’ll be able to squeeze into the latest fashions without liposuction – that would probably bankrupt your plastic surgeon.

Ack! This is going to be harder than I thought. It’s one thing to skewer a show when you can point out the ridiculousness of the situation, but pointing out the ridiculousness in this show is like pointing out that Michael Jackson is scary. Some things just speak for themselves.

The girls get into the limo to take them to their private jet, and the butler makes them relinquish their money, credit card, and cell phone before leaving. He then taps on the window to remind Paris that he meant her cell phone too. While on the jet, the girls try to figure out where the hell they’re going (their words, not mine) while wishing that the jet would just take them to Paris. No such luck, girls.

Their jet lands in Arkansas. As they step off the plane, they notice a whole lot of nothin’. No paparazzi, no red carpet, just an old blue pickup truck with a note welcoming them and offering directions to the farm.

Driving to the farm should be easy, right? After all, we saw Paris tooling around LA in her Porsche earlier in the episode. Well, a truck is definitely not a Porsche. For one thing, Paris couldn’t find reverse. For another, she could find drive. Nicole, who doesn’t drive, was having more success figuring out the vehicle than the one with actual driving experience. Drive in a circle, stall, start the truck, drive in a circle, stall. It brought back horrible memories of winters in Florida, watching the snowbirds attempt to drive. Ew. A sign indicates that they have now entered Altus. Population? Two too many now.

Meanwhile, we meet the Leding family. Mom Janet says that she doesn’t like stuff lying around. The boys say they’ll be nice if the girls are, but if the girls are snotty bitches, then paybacks are, well, you know.

Show of hands…who’s expecting to see some serious paybacks?

We also meet the grandparents, Curly and Richard. Curly is working on dinner, and that includes plucking the chickens. The grandparents wonder if the girls are going to stay. Cut to Paris freaking out over the fly-infested roadkill. Something tells me we’re in for some interesting Paris and Nicole meet nature adventures. (OK, they may not be interesting, but work with me here, K?)

The girls arrive, flying down the road in the pickup truck. We’re treated to the awkward introductions and comments about the girls’ clothes and luggage. Then it’s time to show the girls where there room is. Mom warns them as they walk into the room not to step on the well. Paris asks, “What’s a well?”

See if you can help Paris out by answering her question. Pick the correct answer from the following choices:

a) A well is where water comes from.
b) A well is what most people, even those living in the South, DON’T have inside of their houses.
c) A well is where paybacks occur for snotty bitches.

A clock in the bottom corner of the screen lets us know that it’s only been 5 minutes, yet the girls hate the place. Of course, the worst part is…there’s only one working bathroom! Aaaagggh! The horror! The inhumanity! How are they supposed to spend hours a day in the bathroom if there’s only one????

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