Breaking With Tradition
It use to be that the only people who talked about money, were the people who didn’t have any. But it looks like that is changing with October 27th premiere of Born Rich documentary on HBO, and upcoming TV shows like, The Simple Life (FOX) and Rich Girls (MTV). Based on the reviews, not sure a favorable picture is painted of these old money types, but I guess I’ll take a wait and see attitude.
Heir Heads: Reality TV is obsessed with people trying to get rich. But what about people who were born rich? You’re going to be sorry you asked. By Marc Peyser and B. J. Sigesmund, NEWSWEEK
Oct. 20 issue — The clingy dress, the Chanel belt, the denim mini-skirt—if they were cruising the clubs, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie would be stunning. However, the Beverly Hills bombshells just relocated to Altus, Ark. (population: 817), so the reaction is closer to stunned. “Well, their clothing is a little different than what most girls wear around here,” says grandma Curly Leding. You ain’t seen nothing yet, Curly.
INSIDE THE LEDINGS’ modest farmhouse, Hilton and Richie face surprise after nasty surprise. A single bathroom. A well. “What are wells for?” asks Hilton. “Water,” says mom Janet Leding. Richie is so bewildered, she needs to check her bearings. “Do you guys hang out at Wal-Mart?” she asks. “I’ve always heard that people hang out at Wal-Mart.” The Ledings look confused. So does Hilton. “What is Wal-Mart?” she asks. “Is it, like, they sell wall stuff?” Could anyone be this stupid? Thank heavens, yes. Richie (Lionel’s daughter) and Hilton (the hotel heiress) are the stars of Fox’s “The Simple Life,” which like all TV shows steals its concept—in this case, it’s “Green Acres” with two real “celebutants” filling the stilettos of one Gabor. “The Simple Life” debuts in December, and it already looks like the next reality-TV phenom. By then, we’ll be well primed by a slew of rich people behaving badly. Later this month MTV will launch “Rich Girls,” which follows Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter, Ally, and her spoiled friends as they navigate high school from the back of a limo. And HBO will air a documentary called “Born Rich,” in which Ivanka Trump, Georgina Bloomberg, magazine heir S. I. Newhouse IV and others discuss the burdens of inherited wealth. Though you don’t have to be an heiress to be a successful TV airhead. The reigning rich ditz, pop star Jessica Simpson, and husband, Nick Lachey, just signed on for a second season of MTV’s “Newlyweds.” Perhaps she wants a shot at atoning for the moment this year when she debated whether Chicken of the Sea is tuna or chicken. “I hate fish, so I didn’t understand why I liked this tuna,” Simpson tried to explain to David Letterman last week. “It doesn’t make any sense at all, I know.”