On the laurels of her appearances in Nick and Jessica: Newlyweds, Jessica Simpson’s younger sister, Ashlee, landed her own reality show on MTV in 2004, entitled The Ashlee Simpson Show. Considering Ashlee Simpson had never before released any material and had only been known vaguely as “the girl on 7th Heaven,” this was quite a coup.
Her charismatic, effervescent nature was the large draw of the show, though she didn’t seem to have nearly as many implausible “blonde moments” as Jessica did on Newlyweds (see: Chicken of the Sea). Perhaps what kept so many people watching for those brief two seasons was the earnestness of someone just starting out in her career. Through the highs and lows of wanting to be “taken seriously” and not transformed into a Hilary Duff type (it was 2004, remember?), it was easy to see that Simpson was determined to make something of her career.
In the wake of her Saturday Night Live gaffe, Simpson was more adamant than ever about salvaging the fast-moving wreckage of her credibility. Her acid reflux issues seemed to be the primary source of blame, but, in spite of this viable excuse, very few were willing to let her forget her mistake.
Regardless of the negative publicity, Simpson’s debut album, Autobiography, charted at number one, cementing her as a viable contender against her sister. The fact that The Ashlee Simpson Show aired right after Newlyweds was yet another overt way in which the sisters were lovingly pitted against one another.
Though the show was a hit, it would have been foolish to continue it beyond the making of Simpson’s first album and subsequent promotion. The records that followed Autobiography, I Am Me and Bittersweet World, didn’t possess the same spark, the overt chutzpah. Had the show continued, it would have been a decidedly bleak glimpse into her relationship with Pete Wentz and her pregnancy–and the inevitable divorce. No, no, The Ashlee Simpson Show was perfect in its place and time, for those breezy two seasons of simplistic, frothy drama.