“Cooking With Paris”
Paris Hilton, the ur-celebutante, returns to television. The six-episode series “Cooking with Paris” joins recent shows like “Amy Schumer Learns to Cook” and “Selena + Chef,” in which famous people who don’t really know how their way around a kitchen navigate one anyway. And yet, Hilton takes culinary dilettantism to a new and bedazzled place. In the first episode, which co-stars Hilton’s childhood friend Kim Kardashian, Hilton asks, “What’s a tong?” In the second, her utter inability to pronounce cotija, a taco night staple, becomes a running gag. Cereal, she says, is her favorite food group.
Hilton, one of the pre-eminent interpreters of the sexy baby voice, pioneered reality TV with “The Simple Life.” The kind of person who makes a word like “reality” wobble Jell-O-like, she dusts most dishes with edible glitter, feeds caviar to her dogs, leans over the deep-fryer in feathered cuffs. (“This is not the best outfit to cook in,” she says, as the fringe from her jacket skims flan.) The show exists mostly to trademark a new catchphrase — “sliving,” a portmanteau of “slaying” and “living” and the heir to “that’s hot” — and bring back gloves as an essential fashion accessory. It’s doubtful that either will catch on.
Throughout, the boundary between what’s authentic and what’s performative is as porous as a paper towel. Anyone expecting a more dimensionalized woman, like the one Hilton revealed in the last year’s documentary “This Is Paris” should probably just click on an early season of “The Great British Baking Show” instead. But Hilton remains a genius in giving the camera what it wants. Which apparently includes Frosted Flakes French toast.
By Alexis Soloski, sitting in for Margaret Lyons this week
This is from my daily “Watching” newsletter from the NY Times. Saves me trying to sort which films/new shows are available if I haven’t already decided to watch 2 more episodes of DCI Banks. [which is what I’ll be doing, tonight…starting Season 5]. So, no links…even though the newsletter has a bunch.