Paris and Nicole's Simple Road Gets Bumpy

01/26/2005 at 08:00 AM EST

Paris and Nicole's Simple Road Gets Bumpy
Jacqui Wong/Admedia
While Paris Hilton awaits word from prosecutors on whether she'll face misdemeanor charges for allegedly swiping a copy of her sex video off a West Hollywood newsstand without paying, her FOX reality show, The Simple Life, returns for its third-season premiere Wednesday.

Perhaps worse than what the prosecutors will have to say are what TV writers are dishing out.

"After just 20 minutes on the phone with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, you can actually feel your brain's cells vanishing," opines Sarah Kennedy of the Calgary Sun, who is assured by Hilton's costar, Nicole Richie: "We consider ourselves to be regular people."

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As for the show, New York Daily News critic David Bianculli calls The Simple Life 3: Interns "calculated" and "contrived" and its premise wearing thin.

He writes: "It's as though Paris and Nicole have read their own press, accepted their assigned personas and decided to act out the roles of 'Paris' and 'Nicole.' And they're not good actors."

As for what transpires in Wednesday's episode, the two celebutantes visit a bakery, a zoo, a plastic surgeon's office and a local TV station in Baltimore, where Paris announces the weather.

When they begin their first internship, in a New Jersey garage, they soon spill gobs of oil, take a joy ride in a police car they are meant to be servicing, and crash one car into another.

They also bond with the New Jersey family with whom they're temporarily staying, even buying them a pair of Great Danes – though they stick their hostess with the $4,000 bill from the breeder.

In other words, business as usual.

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