By Jake Perlman
July 17, 2014 at 03:00 PM EDT
Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Nicole Richie is many things: a celebrity daughter (her dad’s singer Lionel Richie), a mother of two, a fashion designer, a socialite, a former reality TV star… and, now, the center of VH1’s Candidly Nicole, an apparently unscripted comedy based on Richie’s delightfully honest Twitter feed. At a dinner in West Hollywood Monday night, Richie celebrated the show’s upcoming premiere with friends, family, and other “online influencers,” proving that she’s just as unfiltered when the cameras are off.

A sample quip: “I was a little nervous about tonight,” Richie admitted while sitting down. “When you’re told you have to have a dinner with a group of bloggers, you expect a bunch of ugly people sitting behind computers all day. But you guys are cute!”

It’s been more than a decade since Richie launched her career with The Simple Life—an experience she says she barely remembers at this point, since she was struggling with drug addiction at the time. Now, though, Richie can laugh about her checkered past and her DUI arrests—or at least she does when her father gives her a parallel parking lesson on the show.

Richie says that on Candidly Nicole—a show that’s sort of like a younger, hipper, skinnier Curb Your Enthusiasm—she’s got more creative control than she did on her first foray into reality TV. The series also gives her a chance to show off her comic timing and screen presence. Each episode sees Richie tackling a different issue, like helping her friend Erin Foster delve into the world of online dating, or investigating the emerging (and annoying) trend of people who wear fake glasses. Initially, Richie thought she’d have an eye exam on camera, then insist on getting a pair of specs even though she doesn’t actually need them. But after visiting the eye doctor, she was surprised to learn that she didn’t actually have perfect vision. In fact, her left eye was significantly weaker than her right. “I’m convinced it’s from years of wearing side bangs, you guys,” she told the assembled crowd. (For the record, it’s a joke she also makes in the show’s trailer.)

Observations like those are what keep Richie’s fans flocking to her popular Twitter account—and she plans to up her interaction with them even more throughout the show’s run, tweeting with them as it airs and chatting with them for man-on-the-street style segments about each show’s topic. All in all, Candidly seems a perfect fit for Richie’s personality. The bottom line: “Can you believe I get paid to be in a room with a blow-up version of me doing a belfie?” she asked the room, raising her glass for a toast. (A belfie, of course, is a “butt selfie.”#JustBeingCandid.)

Candidly Nicole premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on VH1.