The Simple Life

Common Sense Media says

This show made Paris and Nicole household names.

Age(i)

2
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5
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While the girls are occasionally gracious to their hosts, they're more often rude and snobby ("This car is so ghetto" "I could never imagine living here -- I'd die"). They break rules, swear, smoke, give the finger to children, complain constantly, and more.

Violence

Chicken plucking and killing ticks is as bad as it gets.

Sex

The girls wear very revealing clothes (Paris's low-rider jeans were so low that her backside was pixilated). In an early season, the girls made out with local boys and joked about having a threesome with their host family's teen son.

Language

Words like "bitch", "hell", "ass," and "sucks" are common -- and although words like "f--k" and "s--t" are bleeped, it's clear what they're saying.

Consumerism

The show glamorizes the socialites' extravagant lifestyle. From private jets to shopping sprees at Dior (where Paris once dropped $1500 on a dog carrier without blinking an eye), the girls obviously subscribe to the "more is more" philosophy.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nicole smokes, and there's drinking as well.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that stars Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie can be self-absorbed, snobby, and rude. Their behavior and attitudes are atrocious. Yet the portrayal of their actions in the fish-out-of-water scenarios they're placed in is so over the top that these socialites seem like caricatures.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In a reversal of The Beverly Hillbillies, reality show THE SIMPLE LIFE follows socialites Paris Hilton (heir to the Hilton fortune) and Nicole Richie (daughter of singer Lionel Richie) as they find themselves living the country life with a hosts family in tiny Altus, Arkansas.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

On one level, teens will love seeing two spoiled girls being forced to do ordinary things such as going to the grocery store, sharing a bathroom with others, being interns, or taking care of someone's house. Their exaggerated reactions to everything from pig's feet to a pickup truck are funny.

But parents might want to talk with their kids about the way all of the characters are portrayed here. Are the show's producers combating stereotypes or furthering them? For example, the host family laughed when Nicole said she heard that people in the South hang out at Wal-Mart for fun (which appeared to dispel a myth about rural life), but producers cued Deliverance-type banjo music every time the family was shown working on their farm (which promoted the "country hick" idea). Bottom line: This show may be a guilty pleasure for older teens and adults, but unless you want your younger kids imitating the socialites' bratty behavior, you're better off avoiding The Simple Life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the behavior of these young ladies. Is it appropriate to treat people the way they do? Do they play up their behavior for the cameras? They cheat, lie, and steal, yet the show has been successful. Are Paris and Nicole role models? Do teens think that these women are truly this vapid, or is all clever editing (and possibly even some scripting)?

TV details

Cast:Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton
Network:E!
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Simple Life was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

as a young adult (22yrs) i can sit back and laugh at this show knowing the kind of stuff that girls this age do to get attention and to "have fun." FOX has the worst reputation for putting trashy shows on tv. the girls basically live on a farm and wreak havoc in this little rural town in Arkansas. Probably because they grew up surrounded by media, money, and no restrictions. my question is, are people actually surprised that these girls act like this? most should take into consideration what they were surrounded by while growing up. kids should not be allowed to watch this show, it's a horrible example. i gave it 2 stars because as an older viewer, i must admit that it was a guilty pleasure and from it, i enjoyed shock and comedic value.

Teen, 16 years old Written bymc2004 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Hilarious but very raunchy

"The Simple Life" is a very funny reality show on Fox. It is about two unbelievably spoiled and rich girls, Paris Hilton (great-grandaughter of the man who started the Hilton Hotels) and Nicole Ritchie (daughter of pop singer Lionel Ritchie). Sex is a huge issue, as the girls wear skimpy clothes and innuendos (some mild and some so explicit they have to bleeped) pop up regularly. The clothes can be so skimpy that the the producers sometimes pixilate their breasts/ butts. There is a lot of language, ranging from hell and damn to sh** and f*** (which are bleeped). The girls love material possesions. They are also horrible role models because, although they are occasionally very nice and polite, they are usually rude and raunchy. They even steal in one episode. In conclusion, "The Simple Life" is only suitable for teens who understand that the behavior demonstrated by Paris and Nicole is only acceptable in "the simple life".

Adult Written bykellie_v April 9, 2008
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Horrible...should be removed from TV

Pretty sad that we have to have trash like this show on TV. I am disappointed in FOX for even offering it as entertainment.
I WOULD NOT let my children watch this show!!

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