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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Ashlee Simpson, manufacturing families into pseudo-celebrities and the world's laziest cable network

Author: liquidcelluloid-1 from
15 July 2005

Network: MTV; Genre: reality, documentary; Content Rating: TV-G; Perspective: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Season 2 (of 2)

Wow. I mean, wow. "The Ashlee Simpson Show" is something to behold. A star vehicle at it's most self-indulgent. A network pimping out a product at its most transparent. You watch it with your jaw dropped, strangely unable to change the channel in disbelief, because it is like watching a snake digest a rat and you are paralyzed. "Ashlee" is a reality, documentary following the day-to-day life Ashlee Simpson as she practices with her band, goes on tour, does promotional interviews and hangs out with her family and dead-beat boyfriend (and he is a dead-beat) - all the things that a young pop/punk princess with famous family ties, the ear of a cable network and the resulting record deal would do.

Given that I'm not an 11 year old girl, I - like most people - had no idea who Ashlee Simpson even was prior to this show. Simpson had been coasting safely under the radar among a thousand other like-sounding pop/punk princesses until her publicly embarrassing performances on "Saturday Night Live" and then again at the 2004 Sugar Bowl. As we pick up with the series, the 2nd season becomes one of damage control trying to squeal the bad press from both these events. It becomes an apologist's forum (and arguably authentic at that) for the Simpson family, MTV and Ashlee's fans as they scramble to prove that their self-made star has any shred of legitimacy. "The Ashlee Simpson Show" probably didn't last more than 2 seasons, not because people didn't watch, but because MTV was getting exhausting with trying to chase around covering for her every mis-step.

Most TV networks are out for power and control, and if we're lucky ratings and money. MTV, I am much more suspicious of because they appear to want an active roll in shaping behavior - of viewers, consumers, their youthful audience. The network formerly known as Music Television has reinvented itself to be a manufacturing assembly line for pseudo-celebrities. If someone goes on TV and someone else says they are a celebrity - bam - it becomes true. In fact, TV at large has a dark side that goes in this direction. I would make the same point if I where giving the time of day to NBC's "I Want to Be a Hilton". Certain networks are whoring themselves out to elevate certain families to celebrity status in the eye of the public. The thing is, nobody cares who Cathy Hilton is, just like they don't care what Paris Hilton does, just like they don't really care if Ashlee Simpson lip-syncs or not.

Oh, Simpson has fans. As she tells us time and again, she does (and ignores) everything "for her fans". Little girls actually think these people are cool enough to watch their show and buy their products. So Simpson blows off her criticism by basking in her "win" at the Billboard Music Awards and MTV has helped to breed a consuming public that embraces mediocrity and doesn't know they are settling.

There is a larger issue here. This manufacturing of high profile families into celebrities is an odd phenomenon with 2 interesting elements. First, I know it is a common argument to say that these people exist now because nobody is talented anymore, but I don't believe this is the case. From a network standpoint, talent is demanding. People like Ashlee Simpson are easier to control. Secondly, the networks are getting away with this stuff because the public does openly embrace some celebrities families. Why? Because the frantic and isolated pace of life has reached a point in this country where we know more about The Simpsons and The Hiltons then we do our own neighbors - and Hollywood knows this. We decide to see or not see movies or TV shows based on our opinions of the stars personal live - which is ridiculous. People don't watch "The Apprentice" because they don't like Donald Trump. We care more about the latest celebrity breakup then a recently divorced family across the street. Our friends are on TV.

As the producing force behind both this and "Newlyweds", Joe Simpson also deserves a heavy helping of the blame. In that regard, it is probably for the best. Where it not for MTV, Simpson would probably be pimping his daughters on a street corner. The production of this show is hackneyed beyond common sense with an abundant use of slow motion close-ups on Ashlee that only a father - or your local unregistered sex offender - could love.

You can't just build a show around who somebody is. Reality shows are based on the false belief that real people are inherently interesting anyway, but "Ashlee" is also based on the false belief that Ashlee Simpson is interesting because she's Ashlee Simpson. "The Osbournes" worked not because Ozzy Osbourne is Ozzy Osbourne, but because he is interesting and there is something inherently funny about him. Ashlee Simpson has so unbelievably little to say. Her mind is shallow, young and lacks any wit or insight about anything - which at her age is exactly what you'd expect. The flaw here was with MTV (officially dead in the creative department) and Joe Simpson, who gave her the podium and thought anyone would want to here what she has to say. You don't watch this type of show, you gag on it.

0 stars / 4

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29 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Pure Crap.

Author: LecterVariations from Mexico
20 January 2005

This show is pure crap. As simple as that, I had the misfortune of watching it a couple of times, and I have to say I was horrified when I saw that Jessica's Simpson sister was having a reality show of herself. I just have one question: Why, lord? Wasn't Newlyweds enough? Why?

What's up with all these "new" really shows depicting the life of pseudo talented people? I know I'm sounding too mean with the show, but it definitely deserves my anger, it lacks innovation, original content, talent, and most important for us, the audience, fun.

Context? The "show" features the empty life of Ashley Simpson on her quest for the meaning of life, in the same boring dumb line of her sister show. Don't expect too much entertainment, philosophical content or simple pure fun entertainment. Go watch the cartoons.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Ashlee Simpson and Jennifer Morrison....friends?!!

Author: Shelbi Hayes from United States
22 April 2006

I personally like Ash's music and she CAN be pretty cool.... but Jennifer Morrison is HER friend??!!!!!! Jenny is so sweet and awesome and talented. I know Jen tends to see the good in people, but, note to Jennifer: Hun, you are WAY ABOVE Ashlee Simpson. In my opinion (like I said) Ash seems really cool, but she DID lipsynch, and that wasn't fair to the people who were expecting to hear Ashlee for real. I know that Jenny would never be fake, if she couldn't do something, or she couldn't make an interview or appearance, she'd be truthful and let people know. I really support Ashlee in doing her own thing, but like I said, J.Mo is way above Ashlee. But, best of luck to both of them, and Jenny, I'll be Seine' ya in Hollywood, ma gurl!!!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Harmless Escapism

Author: from Hertfordshire, England
23 February 2006

This show and its artist seem to get a lot of negative press and in response to a recent review which claimed that Ashlee is shallow I'd like to ask, what harm is she causing?? Admittedly, reality TV is taking over somewhat and shows like this one, Newlyweds and The Osbournes are certainly not breathtaking masterpieces, but they do have their place in the TV world. Ashlee Simpson may be shallow but she is also first class entertainment for a specific audience. Youngsters have had posters of their idols on their walls for years and years, the difference now is that they can lose themselves in the life of that idol for half an hour a week. Where is the harm in that? Ashlee Simpson is a young girl, making her way in the 'pop' world and growing up as she goes. Who cares if she makes mistakes? Who didn't make a fool of themselves when they were teenagers? I think it is time we looked at these reality shows as they are meant to be looked at. The Ashlee Simpson Show is a mixture of PR and entertainment for her fans...and the best thing about it is that she doesn't pretend that it is anything else. If you don't like it then don't watch it! If on the other hand, you fancy half an hour of pure escapism then this is perfect. You don't have to be a genius to work out the intended audience for this show, so if it is not your thing then switch over...for the rest of us, sit back and enjoy!

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Ashlee Simpson show

Author: robbie2141 from United Kingdom
18 September 2006

i love the Ashlee Simpson show and me myself think it is a very good show. it delves into the music industry focusing on writing and releasing a album don't listen so some of the other comments people have made like oh shes a lip-syncer because if they watched the show they would know what happened and how sad Ashlee actually was by not being able to sing live. the show portrays the singers home life as well just being a typical nineteen year old girl living her life and her dream, balancing her family, social life and boyfriends while writing and recording. a* Ashlee Simpson, so it you want a real fun reality show you found it

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Oh dear

Author: drwordsmith from Liverpool, England
28 April 2007

I can see a lot of people writing reviews of this program saying how rubbish it is, how they hate it and the like. I would have to say something positive about it then, since there are many more worse programs out there are there is nothing to dislike about this. Granted, its a while since I last watched it, but at the time I remember thinking it would be a really rubbish show, just more crap reality TV being churned out, but after a while I did in fact enjoy watching it. I guess its just a comforting program, watching Ashlee every week, and granted you can get that with every reality TV/sitcom out there, but there's nothing that makes this one any worse. If you have the time, its worth a try.

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4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It's a great depiction of her life

Author: soulstrong from Baltimore, Maryland
11 September 2005

People, you'll like it if you like who it is about. This show is called "The Ashlee Simpson Show" - Don't watch it if you don't actually like Ashlee and/or don't care for any of her work. Ashlee is a singer, actress, and a dancer. She's been in many productions, and has been on the radios more than once. She has a right to act, sing, dance, and anything else she wants to do. If you don't like her, then don't watch her. This show depicts her life during creating her first album and its follow-up. It shows what battles she went through, boys she went through, and what it takes to work a tour and everything else involved in a professional, successful, music career. If you like Ashlee, you'd like this show. If you don't...then why even bother watching the show to comment on it?

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11 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

The Simpson's (Jessica, and Ashlee) are all over T.V!

Author: elsalsero1
19 June 2004

This show is about the journey Ashlee Simpson has to go through in her life, with now starting her first album, acting, and everything in between. It premiered on MTV on Wednesday, and I have to say it wasn't half bad. The better part about it is a reality- based show, and so everything is supposedly happening naturally. I liked it because she seems to be taking her album and acting very seriously, and not just getting a free ride because of her famous sister, like some people would think. Not to mention that most of her music doesn't just seem to be ordinary pop fluff, she's writing pretty all of her songs, and there coming from the heart. Take a look at the show, and you can decide for yourself.

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1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The Ashlee Simpson Show

11 September 2005

I think the show helps understand what goes on behind the doors of a celebrity,most of the people i talk to think what she done on "snl" was wrong but seeing the show, i understood what happened and don't think there is one wrong thing about it. The show also takes a look while she is at work and at home, any normal girl her age wants to have fun with her girlfriends and with all the work that she does i think the only time she has is her free time. Remember the show only shows you like 2 hours a day and is most likely edited. I really like this show because she shows that being your self and believing what you want to believe in is a good thing, Ashlee really inspired me after "snl".

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6 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

The only one with talent?

Author: from Chicago
18 December 2004

I agree with the fact that the Ashlee Simpson show is awful. Her reality TV show is almost as bad as her live singing. However for you to say that Joe Simpson is the ONLY one in that family with any talent I have to disagree. Granted Ashlee Simpson can not sing if her life depended on it, but have you listened to the new Jessica Simpson CD? If you're telling me that that girl can not belt it out like no other then half the pop singers out right now should not be there because she can sing better then most pop singers with recording contracts right now. Her style of music might not be the kind you like but the girl is very talented when it comes to her singing.

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