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by Walter Chaw As sociology goes, "The Simple Life" is not without cleverness. I'm not referring to the predictable meltdown of sticking Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton in the middle of the Ozarks, but rather the way in which our own prejudices about the extremes of class are manipulated with calculated cruelty. Every episode is preceded by the kind of narration that opens "The Dukes of Hazzard"--the show hates Nicole and Paris on the one hand because they represent absolutely every single evil quality that humans are capable of, and it hates the fine people of Altus, AR on the other hand because they're "simple." It's not a true test as reality shows go: after all, there are no stakes for the retarded heiresses asked to spend five weeks living the titular life who don't treat the stunt as an opportunity to improve themselves but as one to mess around at the expense of people for whom there is something at stake--like livelihood. The series would be a lot better if Nicole and Paris were threatened with being cut off from their inheritances should they act like crass, directionless, shiftless morons.