Displaying items by tag: Cooking With Paris

Review: 'Cooking With Paris'

04 August, 2021

I will acknowledge upfront that writing a review which is essentially "the show is exactly what you would expect" is not very clarifying. But that take is also an extremely accurate representation of the new Netflix series Cooking With Paris. Sight unseen, you might expect to see very little actual cooking taking place, juxtaposed with a lot of Paris Hilton being Paris Hilton. And sadly for all of us, your hunch would be correct.

I will admit that I was pretty amused by the first season of Fox's The Simple Life, which followed Paris Hilton and her friend Nicole Richie as they stumbled their way through everyday situations. I didn't have a preconceived notion of either of them before I watched the show and it was amusing trying to figure out how much of their lack of knowledge about even the most basic elements of American life was an act and how much was the consequence of having enough money so that you didn't have to know how to operate an iron.

But The Simple Life first aired 22 years ago and it is unsettling to watch a now 40-year-old Paris Hilton doing some odd cosplay-version of her public persona. She's smart pretending to be dumb pretending to naïve pretending to be smart and I'm getting dizzy from trying to keep track of the levels upon levels of self-referential commentary. Even worse, she still randomly stops and stares at the camera in that way that someone who secretly doesn't like her convinced her was was sexy. 

Each of the six episodes of Cooking With Paris has pretty much the same format. Hilton tackles navigating a small grocery store so she can purchase the items she needs for whatever meal she is making. She says a few dumb things as she shops and then comes home to cook a meal for herself and a celebrity guest/sous chef. And by "cook," I mean she stumbles through a recipe as she wonders out loud how to zest an orange. Or finds that making a dessert while wearing a pair of fashionable red gloves isn't all that efficient.

Of course, she has a group of party planners come in to redo her house to match each guest. And by "she has," I mean that Hilton has her Chief of Staff handle everything while she occasionally walks through the room holding her dog and saying helpful things like "This looks amazing, guys."

Maybe I'm not that target audience for this show and perhaps this is a universe where people tune in to watch a middle-aged Paris Hilton act like a clueless 18-year-old while chatting with guests such as Demi Lovato or her Hilton sisters. But Cooking With Paris feels like such a waste of time. Selena Gomez has proven that you don't have to know a lot about cooking to have a very entertaining show about food. Cooking With Paris only manages to show that we can look forward to a future where a 60-year-old Paris Hilton is still doing the same schtick, like some modern-day Mae West.

Cooking With Paris is now streaming on Netflix.