I’ll be the first to admit that when MTV premiered the reality show Newlyweds featuring then-husband and wife Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, I was hooked. It was guilty-pleasure TV, sure, but that’s what made it fun. So when the show — and the couple’s marriage — ended a few seasons in, fans like me were left wondering what went wrong.
Well, our time has finally come, friends. A producer by the name of Sue Kolinsky, who worked on all three seasons of the show, just shared some truly illuminating behind-the-scenes intel about the series during an interview with Complex.
So let’s start with the question on everyone’s mind, shall we? Was the show, you know, all for show?
Newlyweds wasn’t nearly as scripted as people speculated, says Kolinsky. “It was a whole new genre. When it comes to reality TV, back then it was at its purest form.”
Hey, that’s refreshing to hear. The pair seemed really authentic. We, as the audience on a whole, were probably far less cynical back then too. Now we generally assume everything on TV is scripted, even when it’s being billed as unscripted.
Another lovely tidbit Kolinsky revealed is that Lachey and Simpson were in fact good together in many ways. “[Nick & Jessica] were perfect because they were polar opposites, they were beautiful, and without even realizing it, they were very funny,” she said.
However, the differences that made them work as a couple also created space between them that was often filled with friction.
More: Jessica Simpson Makes a Loaded Statement About Her Marriage to Nick Lachey
“You could feel there was tension between the two of them,” she explained. “They were very different people. He was a blue collar guy — he did a lot of things himself, like he and his brother would build things. He was frugal, and she had excessive taste.”
She added, “In the end, they weren’t suited for each other. The only thing they really had in common was their music. She was really young; I think he’s seven years older than her. He wanted a family, and her father thought maybe she was too young. Her father was very involved in her life.”
You can say that again! Fans of the show often felt Simpson’s father, Joe, came off kind of like a creeper when he over-inserted himself into his daughter’s marriage.
Whatever caused the couple’s marriage to come to an untimely end, Kolinsky doesn’t seem to think it was due to Simpson putting on any fake airs. Yes, even when it comes to the now-infamous Chicken of the Seas faux pas.
“I truly believe the whole ‘chicken & fish’ situation was accurate. She really did not know,” she said. “I remember there was a scene where there was a dead mouse by their pool and it had been dead for a while. Nick said, ‘It’s in rigor mortis’ and Jessica said, ‘Riga-what?’ I truly believe she didn’t know what that meant.”
But their divorce wasn’t the end for either of them. Simpson married former NFL footballer Eric Johnson in 2014. The couple has two children, daughter Maxwell Drew and son Ace Knute. Lachey and actress/model/TV personality wife Vanessa wed in 2011, and have three children: son Camden John, daughter Brooklyn Elisabeth and their newest bundle of joy, son Phoenix Robert.
Alas, all’s well that ends well.