The World According To Paris

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all good – and ready for the summer TV season.

Today we’re starting a new strand at Remote Patrolled called 101 Ways To Make TV Better, in which I’ll be weighing in on some of the changes I would make if I could take control of the entire TV industry (insert evil laugh!)

For our opener, where else to start but with Paris Hilton, the scourge of the reality TV scene! Sure she’s an easy target – but let’s be honest, wouldn’t the industry just be better off without her?

As you may have seen Oxygen has just launched The World According To Paris, a deliciously vacuous slice of Paris’s life, following the heiress as she performs her ‘work’ and travels the world. Sounds fascinating doesn’t it. And so current. If this were 2007.

Look, I’ll be honest, when The Simple Life premiered years ago on Fox I was a fan of Paris for the first few episodes. Initially the show didn’t seem too contrived and had a goofy, slapstick quality that was actually quite funny. But as the series rolled along the producers’ hand grew heavier and before you knew it The Simple Life had become a semi-scripted – and not very funny – sitcom.

By the time Paris returned in 2008’s My New BFF on MTV, all the Hilton mannerisms had been well honed – the little girl voice, the rampant materialism, the utter shallowness. And most disturbing of all was that Paris became a role model for young girls across the world. What a sad statement on contemporary society that someone with so little to offer can be held in such high esteem.

Paris Hilton – My New BFF

I obviously don’t know Paris personally but I’ll wager there isn’t really that much to get to know. I personally have an issue with anyone with great wealth who didn’t work their butt off to earn it. Hilton was born into privilege and yet always comes across as so ungrateful for the great hand she was dealt. Plus she doesn’t seem to do anything of value with her money. Going on shopping sprees is simple. Using your money to really make a difference in the world requires a lot more thought and passion. Sadly Paris has influenced a whole generation of young girls into thinking that the shoes you wear and how you dress your dog is of crucial importance to their lives. Just revolting…

I also have a problem whenever I hear someone like Paris telling us how hard they ‘work’. Photo shoots and nightclub appearances aren’t exactly in the same league as coal mining and sweatshop labor. Next thing you know she’ll be telling us that ‘shopping’ is also hard labor.

From a TV perspective, Paris has been influential in the ‘greed is good’ mentality that’s infected far too many TV networks. Nowadays it seems that anyone with money is worthy of their own TV show, regardless of what they have to say or if they actually have anything to offer. E! and Bravo are the two main offenders – slavishly worshipping at the altar of wealth in a way I find quite distasteful (a real shame on the Bravo front as the network also has some good shows that get lost amongst all the Real Housewives).

Paris also played a key role in the ‘over-producing’ of many of the reality shows we now see on our screens – shows that are so fake you can barely believe a word of what’s unfolding before you. As I’ve long said here on the site, ‘fake’ reality comes about when your subject matter isn’t very interesting in the first place. They didn’t need to fake The Osbournes as Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly and Jack all had tones of personality. But when all you have to offer is a credit card and a glitzy house no wonder show runners get desperate and start scripting.

To be honest I thought Hilton’s stock had by now diminished and networks knew better than to hire her. But of course I was wrong! Oxygen clearly think there’s some juice left in the Paris brand and maybe they’re right. The World According To Paris may garner the network some great ratings. But let’s be honest – it’s not exactly going to be earth-shattering TV. We’re not talking Mad Men here are we…

So if I were running TV, Paris would be banished from our screens for good. And honestly, I don’t think there would be all that many people who would miss her. Would you?

But what do you think? Am I being unfair? Are any of you out there actually Paris fans? Start weighing in everyone…