The Simple Life 2: Road Trip

Of the million or so reality shows that the Fox network has cranked out, The Simple Life was one of its few true success stories. The original season, which aired about a year ago, centred on Paris Hilton and her pal Nicole Richie's month-long visit to a farm in Arkansas. After its success, Fox quickly needed an idea for a sequel season so they could air it before the hype died down. Out came The Simple Life 2: Road Trip, airing just six months after the original. The second season finds Paris and Nicole on a cross-country voyage in a large, pink R.V. They make numerous stops (each making up one of the season's ten episodes) and at each they live with a family and work an odd job. The creative team behind the show does a decent job of finding interesting things for the girls to do and work hard to highlight the show's key attribute: laughing at how stupid and spoiled the girls are. And sometimes you actually find yourself laughing with the girls, especially Nicole, who gives the impression that they might not be as stupid as the show makes them out to be. Generally, though, it's difficult to classify the show as "reality." Some of it seems so incredibly staged that you wonder if the girls are trying to memorise a script. Nonetheless, it's a fairly entertaining script. The extras on the DVD edition of the second season, which is really inexpensive compared to most TV boxed sets, are decent. There is a very long outtake reel that is about as entertaining as the series itself (except an overlong montage of the girls reciting their favourite catchphrase: "That's Hot"). And though we are also dealt an apparently "lost" episode from the first season, most of the scenes seem oddly familiar from the first season's DVD outtake reel. Either way, this is certainly a cheap and entertaining way to waste five hours of your life. (Fox)