The World According to Paris
Paris Hilton’s new reality series, the imaginatively titled The World According to Paris, is supposedly billed as a candid and honest look at her life. The Millionairess and self-anointed queen of all that’s hot is about to turn thirty and wants to focus more on being a grownup than a dizzy blond party girl. Well, she has a lot of work to do to put that image to bed, especially considering just how much of her new series she swans around acting alike a 15-year-old ditz with more money than sense.
I’ll just say this out front: I don’t get the enjoyment out of reality shows that most people do. I’ve only seen a handful of episodes of Jersey Shore, a touch of Kendra and very little of either Real Housewives or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. So I’m not really sure how big of a grain of salt I’m supposed to take this show with. Are we really getting an insight into one of pop culture’s biggest punchlines? Or is this just another grab of everlasting fame and yet another tragic illustration of the sad truth that the days when you actually had to be famous for something are but a distant memory?
Let’s assume it’s a little bit of both. Hilton is not really glorifying herself, nor does she appear overly preoccupied with masking her flaws. That said, the Paris in The World According to Paris still has a lot of growing up to do, especially when it comes to issues pertaining to jealousy. Watching her barrel through issues surrounding her best friend Brooke’s other best friend Kristin, or with her equally jealous boyfriend, Cy, induces the kind of face-palming exasperation on the part of the viewer that this show is doubtlessly going to provide again and again. But then I guess that is the point, isn’t it?
Indeed, it is not long before Hilton commits the most heinous crime in all of reality television - claiming to want nothing more than a little privacy and time away from the public eye. Well then, Missy, why exactly are you starring a show about your life set to be broadcast on national television? Anyone else and we might cry foul. But when it comes to Paris Hilton there is a little bit of you that can’t help but believe she genuinely feels that the best way to get out of the limelight is to make a television show declaring that she desperately wants out of the limelight, all without a hint of irony or a shred of self-awareness, obviously.
That said, while Hilton does her level best to undermine her own alleged intentions at every conceivable opportunity, there is a genuinely attempt her to take a more serious tone. While there are some light comic moments (like when she and her assistant Lexi paint over some graffiti as part of community service), there is more focus on what passes for problems and drama in the life of an absurdly wealthy and pampered socialite. Very admirable, except that all the time she complains about ruining her favorite pair of Louboutins while doing community service Paris does makes it kind of hard to root for her as either the protagonist of a pseudo-reality show or as a person. When she rejects Kristin’s proverbial olive branch, it just seems bratty.
The supporting characters, including Charlie Sheen’s ex-wife Brooke Mueller, don’t seem to be quite as vapid as Paris Hilton seems to be. In fact Brooke’s story, because of her relation to the Sheen media circus as well as her being an alcoholic in a group of partying twenty/thirty-somethings, is far more interesting. Lexi the assistant is also quite a character, in no small part because of her past as a porn screenwriter, but that thread seems to have been closed in this first episode. Less interesting is Cy, mainly because he comes off like a jerk and Paris is a babbling schoolgirl around him. Boring! But then again, if this were a drama series we would probably be really into it. What’s not to love about a spoiled sod learning to be an adult? Isn’t that not at least half plot of every romantic comedy in the last ten years?
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