From Tiny Farm To Mega Fame: An Oral History Of 'The Simple Life'

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From Tiny Farm To Mega Fame: An Oral History Of 'The Simple Life'

Welcome to Cultural Reset, where we uncover the origin stories behind groundbreaking TV shows by chatting with the masterminds who made them. We talk to creators, producers, and cast members about what went down behind the scenes, and share exactly what it took to reinvent pop culture as we knew it.

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have led ultra glamorous lives for the most part, but no one can say they never got their hands dirty. From 2003 to 2007 they tried all sorts of manual labor, held down jobs (usually for less than 24 hours), and always managed to add their own flair to the task at hand. Whether it was Paris shouting “Thanks, bitch, have a great day!” to customers at a Sonic drive-thru window or Nicole Richie critiquing a group of elderly women’s quilting saying, “You guys should make it, like, a little edgier, you know? Like, maybe add some cigarette burns,” they took each of their assignments to heart, and were always memorable, if not competent.

This wasn’t in real life of course, but on the hit reality series The Simple Life. It’s hard to overstate the impact the show has had on pop culture since its early two-thousands debut. For one thing, it was the first unscripted sitcom, and paved the way for a celebrity-focused reality TV subgenre that shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians would fall under soon after.

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