Friday, July 29, 2005

"Simple Life" Fourth Season Promises To Gloriously Kick Ass

Way back in the spring of '05, Paris Hilton announced that she and Nichole Richie were officially "no longer friends." As adorably second-grade as that was, it left UN Spacy's most beloved brazenly-stagey and perpetually just-short-of-brilliant reality program, The Simple Life, trembling somewhere in limbo.

There was never doubt that Paris, clearly the show's star and biggest draw, would continue for a fourth season. Paris suggested this season might be set in Maui and incorporate more bikinis ("No more pants," she vowed). But who would be the giggling sidekick to her well-honed glazed-over performances? By the end of the third season, Nicole had proven herself to be a vital component to the show, and an imposing celebrity force in her own right (see, for example, this).

The co-star speculation that followed was as incredible as it was, well, incredible. Tara Reid's name was kicked around. Lindsay Lohan was breathlessly fingered (as it were). There was even talk of a revolving cast of companions - one episode with an Olsen twin, another with sister Nicky, maybe one with panties.

These days of dreamy fantasy were shortlived, as Paris began campaigning for Kimberly Stewart as Nicole's replacement. At time of posting, UN Spacy is deeply unimpressed with Ms. Stewart. Aside from a backhanded attagirl to Jennifer Aniston (Stewart admiringly called her "homely"), Stewart's cloying Paris-aping has done little to recommend her. Sorry Kimbo, but unless you can show us coke on the table, we just can't make this case.

Then came word mid-July, like a burning bush, that maybe, just maybe, Nicole would come back for another bleach-slinging season. With no end in sight for the girls' rivalry, sources close to the show intimated that the fourth season might follow Paris and Nicole separately as they prepare for their respective weddings to Paris Latsis and DJ AM. Equal parts bridezilla bedlam and celebutante face-off, this was exciting news indeed. At the time I proclaimed that this promised to be the best season of any program Fox has ever aired. I've not once had cause to regret that statement.

Now, after UN Spacy's repeated assemblies of 8,000 chanting blind orphans, I am deliriously thrilled to announce that our hopes and dreams have, in fact, become reality television (doubly relieving, as our Plan B involved ritual self-mutilation). The Seattle Times reports that both Paris and Nicole have been renewed for the fourth season of The Simple Life. MSNBC quotes Fox President Pete Liguori saying, "Both have been picked up, both will be ready for work, and we’ll work with it." And the cherry on top? No Kimberly Stewart.

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