Fox's new 'reality' show, The Simple Life, is unwatchably offensive. I had some hope: fish out of water is a good formula, I find Paris Hilton strangely compelling, and it's always fun to laugh at rich airheads. But the show is just mean. It's not making fun of the rich girls who volunteered to be in the show; the butt of the joke is hard working people in rural Arkansas.

Watch Paris and Nicole show up an hour late to milk the cows and spill the milk everywhere. That's OK, they'll just 'work' at the fast food place tomorrow! Watch the well-meaning Sonic manager try to train the rich girls for a wage slave job. Watch the rich girls ridicule the job behind the manager's back. That's OK, they'll just 'work' somewhere else tomorrow, and after the show is over they'll go back to being rich.

After 'the girls' are back in their vapid lives the farmer is still going to be working his ass off trying to make a living with dairy cows and the fast food manager is still going to be working as hard as she can at $7 an hour to make ends meet. And that's going to be the rest of their lives. Rather than sympathizing with the hard and honourable realities of being lower middle class in rural America, the show turns it all into a cheap disrespectful joke.

  2003-12-17 16:35 Z