Tori & Dean.
I dreaded this assignment.
When I received gentle nudging from my editor to write about one of her favorite shows, Oxygen network’s Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, I joked that in order to get through this mission -- watching 10, hour-long episodes of the show -- I’d need some major margarita action. At the very least.
One of the reasons for my dread is that I’m not into reality programming. Hate it actually. Hate the self-consciousness. Hate that the line between how much is real versus how much has been manipulated by behind-the-scenes producers is never clear. Plus, as a writer, I like to watch shows that have been crafted by fairly paid fellow writers, not shows which exploit people whose antics are no doubt influenced by the fact that they need their programs to remain on air, and that the “stars” sometimes (oftentimes) ramp up their behavior to absurd lengths to snag must-needed ratings.
But, that being said, I did my duty. And sat. For hours. And watched Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott. And took notes. And, following my Tori & Dean-athon, found myself obligated to then drag myself to a local bookstore and buy Tori Spelling’s autobiography, sTory Telling, which came out this spring and was the focus of much of this season’s reality show because she had to promote it. I e-mailed my editor and told her this column would be a tad bit late because I had to devour the 271-page volume before I felt as though I could render a fair verdict.
Now I’m done with the book. I’ve viewed Spelling’s official web site. Her MySpace page. Her program’s web site. I did NOT go to the Home Shopping Network web site to glance at Spelling’s jewelry biz, but I did visit her mother Candy’s web site. (Spelling is estranged from her mother, about whom she wrote with brutal honesty in her book.)