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The Simple Life

TV review by
Beth Pratt, Common Sense Media
The Simple Life TV Poster Image
This show made Paris and Nicole household names.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 4 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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.


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


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.


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.


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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bykellie_v April 9, 2008

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 t... Continue reading
Adult Written byjumpinbini April 9, 2008
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." FO... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byElmoRock3113 April 9, 2008

OK show

I honestly like the show. I tune in every week to watch it. It is somewhat amusing to see rich, spoiled girls doing real work and living a normal life. These gi... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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