Is Paris Hilton really playing a character—and more importantly, is her new cooking series worth watching?

The reviews of Paris Hilton’s new Netflix series Cooking With Paris are in—and they’re as disparate as the reality TV star’s love of Chanel and Taco Bell. In the early 2000s, Hilton’s cultural influence could not be overstated, though it exemplified a level of privilege and a kind of proud ignorance that many viewers now find abhorrent and intolerable. But part of the heiress’ new narrative—highlighted in the 2020 documentary This Is Paris—is that her vapid persona was merely a character and as a young woman in the limelight, she was misrepresented by the media. According to one review, Cooking With Paris simply builds off the absurdity of the reality show The Simple Life that made Hilton a household name. The evidence presented by Variety’s chief TV critic, Daniel D’Addario, is damning. In an episode where Hilton prepares a taco dinner, D’Addario writes that Hilton mispronounces the names of Mexican ingredients “past the point of amusement” and that the dinner culminates with Hilton greeting a taco-shaped piñata by saying, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” The Cut on the other hand published a rave review, citing the series as an example of “a woman in the public eye who is finally harnessing her power as she goes into the next phase of her life.” Given her incredible wealth and inexplicable staying power, chances are Hilton will be just fine whether the show is a success or not.

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