LAST EDITED ON 12-09-03 AT 12:11 PM (EST)
The Simple Life – Episode 2 Summary
Welcome back to the totally real, not at all fake “reality” show starring (1) the horny Hilton hotel heiress, Paris Hilton, and (2) one of Michael Jackson’s former bedmates, Nicole Richie. When we last saw Paris and Nicole, they were
reading the script revealing their naivety. Now, on Day 2 in Altus, Arkansas, they’re going to get their first real job.
In a flashback scene to “zip code 90210” (from two weeks before the show), Paris and Nicole reveal that neither has ever had a job in her life. Not even clerking in one of the shops along Rodeo Drive – a job that would seem to be tailor-made for these two “fashionistas” while teaching them that there really is something else in life besides sex and partying. Parents of America, let this be a warning to you – let your kids idle the time away with their friends when they’re teenagers, and they might grow up to be like Paris or Nicole. Would anyone want his or her child lumped in with these two? Unless you could get your kid lumped into their trust funds, too?
Paris says she “feels bad” for people who have to work. Maybe that’s why she’s been making amateur porn films – noblesse oblige.
So, at 5:15, Albert wakes the girls up. We see a totally real, not at all fake conversation between “parents” Albert and Janet saying that they hope the girls do a good job at work, at “Danny’s Dairy Farm,” because it will reflect poorly upon Albert and Janet if they don’t. Right, like Albert and Janet are close personal friends of the Hiltons and Lionel Richie. And like there isn’t a camera crew tagging along to record Paris and Nicole’s every move. And like the producers haven’t promised to make up for whatever losses Danny suffers from giving these two nitwits another photo op.
Paris and Nicole primp in front of a mirror while getting ready for work, proving that they have no idea what working on a dairy farm is like. The narrator tells us that they’re exchanging their “fur collars” for “blue collars.” Right.
Albert hurries them up, and they finally leave for work at 6 – the time they were supposed to arrive at work. In fact, they don’t arrive until 7. Huh? If the drive was an hour, no one in Arkansas would have awakened them only 45 minutes beforehand. SO WHAT HAPPENED? Did Paris cruise the town square looking for hot guys? Did they get lost? Did they decide to quit the show? Did Paris stop off for a “quickie” with one of the camera guys? Who knows?
Anyway, when Paris and Nicole finally arrive, Danny takes them to “clock in.” Yes, he has a time clock and time cards. Uh, just how many employees does this farm have? Paris and Nicole pout over the smell. Paris asks Danny if you get used to it. He tells her that the smell isn’t nearly as bad elsewhere in the farm, and anyway, “It's not near as bad as that perfume you've got on.”
Danny puts them to work immediately, ringing bells to wake up the cows in the pasture. The cows do indeed wake up and race in to eat – one task accomplished. Hooray! Paris and Nicole are not completely worthless!
Just almost completely.
Danny brings them back in and tells the girls that they need to order the cows away from the food trough, and they need to be aggressive or the cows won’t respond. Nicole takes charge and succeeds again, swearing like a Hell’s Angel in the process. The cows, who have probably never heard such language in their lives, and Danny, who has probably never heard such language from a “classy” woman in his life, seem equally shocked -- but the cows moved, as required.
Meanwhile, in a series of clips, we see Paris’ tiny Chihuahua Tinkerbell receiving the royal treatment from four-year-old Braxton Leding, who thinks that a toy-sized dog is, well, a toy. First Braxton carries Tink to the kitchen table, then Braxton makes a cheese sandwich for Tink, who hungrily gobbles down the cheese. Then Braxton and Tink go out to play on a swingset. Tink ends up – with a few pushes from the boy of the house – going backward down a child’s slide, despite all four of her paws scrambling to stop the slide. Tink doesn’t seem to think the slide is any fun at all. Tink also doesn’t seem to like meeting the cows in the backyard any more than her owner likes meeting their cousins at the dairy farm.
Back at the farm, the girls have to clean the cow’s udders. Paris says she’s never drinking milk or eating hamburger again. (Not an atypical reaction from people who merely tour most working dairy farms, by the way -- and it would certainly be worse from someone who had to work in one. But we'll believe it when she gives up cheese, too) Nicole complains to Danny that a cow “plopped” on her arm while she was working. Danny helpfully tells her that it’s on her cheek too.
During a break, Paris makes a whiny call home to her mom, who fawns over her, on the dairy’s phone. We are never told whether Paris had permission from Danny to make the call, but Danny is talking to Nicole about her next job, “driving the Polish pickup,” during it. Finally, Danny has had enough of Paris’ constant whine to her mom about how hard her life is -- she hasn’t even had sex in two days and may be too tired after this! He walks over to the phone, and tells Paris that he’s going to unplug the cord in 15 seconds unless she finishes.
The “Polish pickup” turns out to be a wheelbarrow. Nicole’s job – a real job – is to fill the feed bins for the cows. Paris gets to wash the barn, apparently in the hope that the cow stench will overpower her perfume. Naturally, we get footage of Nicole actually doing her job, although the wheelbarrow topples to one side at one point. Naturally, we get very little footage of Paris doing anything.
photo op job for Paris and Nicole is filling milk bottles with unpasteurized milk. Paris asks if this is for people, and Danny answers that it is. Hmmm. I know that in most states, it’s illegal to sell unpasteurized milk (ever hear of undulant fever? No? Thank pasteurization); only people who actually own a share of a cow can “buy” it. However, I have no idea of Arkansas law on the subject – and the show couldn’t care less. Instead, we’re treated to Paris and Nicole s-l-o-w-l-y filling the bottles.
However, in a totally real, not at all fake scene, we see them spill milk everywhere, then start trying to pretend that they’ve done more work by filling the milk bottles with 50% water while they try to hide all the unfilled bottles, while Nicole jokes that this “lite” milk will be “less fattening.” We’d almost be willing to believe this “Lucy and Ethel work at the dairy” scene really happened, were it not for the fact that when we next see Danny pushing them to get enough bottles done for the delivery run, the table looks the way it did initially, full of bottles and with Paris and Nicole working s-l-o-w-l-y to get them filled. Can you say “fake,” boys and girls? I knew that you could. We’re starting to learn that the horny hotel heiress is very good at faking her reactions. Guys, take note.
Suddenly, Nicole whispers to Paris that Danny has a hot tub in his backyard, and they should go soak in it. Yep, I always bring a skimpy bathing suit to work, just in the off chance that my new boss has a hot tub at the office and will let me soak in it. Then, in another totally real, not at all fake scene, we see Paris and Nicole slathering suntan lotion on their bikini-clad bodies (suntan lotion, another workplace essential), while Danny sarcastically asks them if it’s OK if he goes on working while they relax. Yep, bosses always prefer to make sarcastic comments instead of ordering their workers to get back to work -- isn't that right?
Danny comes back inside his house to find Nicole and Paris resting on his couch – although they claim not to have been asleep. He tells them that he’s firing them, and that, although they have been at work 9 hours, they only worked for 6 – so they’re entitled to $42 each. (Apparently, the rate of pay at the dairy is $7/hour.)
On the way home, Paris and Nicole complain about how hard they had to work to earn so little – a thought that they should (but won’t) keep in mind with regard to their gardeners, maids, cooks and other servants back in Beverly Hills. Nicole whines that they didn’t even make $6/hour for their 9 hours at work. I guess she feels that sunbathing, hot tubbing, and napping should be considered to be part of their work activities, and so they should be compensated for them. Poor Nicole, learning life's lessons in front of a camera.
Then Paris and Nicole worry that Albert might be mad at them for getting fired. SURE they do. They also worry about world peace and the fate of the Iraqi people while discussing Nobel-prize-winning economic theory in their bedroom (hey, it's just as likely as their being worried about whether Albert is mad at them.)
When they get home, the Ledings are having a barbeque for all of Justin’s friends to meet Paris and Nicole. Naturally, Nicole, who is actually trying to live up to their deal with the producers, goes out to talk to the guys … although she’s bundled up like Nanook of the North, which seems like an effective metaphor to show how emotionally remote she is from small-town Arkansas. She tells everyone that she’s going to make an album; she discusses musical theatre, which she loves; she says Altus is boring (the locals say that the mountains are beautiful, though); she asks why everyone seems so tired and lifeless (answer: 45-to-50 hour workweeks); she makes conversation – perhaps tactless, but it takes a real effort nevertheless. In other words, she works. Paris, meanwhile, prepares to make her entrance. She primps, she changes clothes, she studies herself in the mirror from just about every possible angle, before she finally emerges in a stunningly skimpy look (despite the oversized hat she’s wearing). We hear the “plop” as all of the guys’ tongues hit the ground simultaneously.
Poor Nicole. She’s attractive, seems to be smart, and may well be talented. But she’s with a woman who is taller, prettier and much, much looser. There is no way that she can escape being the second banana on this show.
After the barbeque, we see Nicole and Paris asking Janet if Albert hates them. As this talk is going on, Albert shows up with a slice of pie for everyone. In a totally real, not at all fake scene, he tells the girls to “stay scared” of him but to “know that I like you.” Uh, what’s to like, other than their looks and the fact that you got another room added to your house for free by the show’s producers to accommodate your two houseguests?
Paris, however, is chafing. No sex! For two days! How is she ever going to achieve her goal of breaking Wilt Chamberlain’s “record” of 10,000+ different lifetime sex partners that way? So she and Nicole decide to sneak out. In a totally real, not at all fake sequence, they get all decked out in fancy clothes and high heels and ease out of the house at 12:46 AM – despite Albert’s midnight curfew for them, and despite the fact that they don’t seem to have any idea where they’re going (Fort Smith? Little Rock? Back to L.A.?). As they pull away in their pickup, we see Albert staring at them out of the upstairs window. A caption flashes on the screen, “27 Days To Go.”
27? Since we started with 30 days, that means that Day 3 was wrapped up in here somewhere. But where? Does the fact that it's 46 minutes after midnight mean that Day 3 is done with now? If they spent 9 hours at the dairy farm after arriving at 7 AM, that means they left at 4 PM. Was the barbeque that day or the next day? By this point, I really don’t care to try to analyze the events, because the show is the most “totally real, not at all fake” attempt at a reality series that I’ve ever seen – and we’re only through Episode 2. How much more can the producers milk out of it before the audience finally gets frustrated by the pretence of reality?
Next time: Paris and Nicole get jobs at the restaurant chain Sonic. They apparently put up a sign advertising half-price “anal wiener burgers,” and the manager is not amused. Too bad the manager didn’t know about Paris’ sex tapes ahead of time.
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