Reality Romance: TRUE TORI, Episode 1 Recap
Just before Christmas, US Weekly broke the story that Tori Spelling’s husband (and father of her four children), Dean McDermott, cheated on her with a twenty-something woman while he was away in Canada filming the TV show Chopped. Whatever has happened between the couple since then has been the source of constant tabloid speculation.
I will happily admit that I’ve read all of Tori Spelling’s memoirs. All of them, starting with Stori Telling six years ago. Love them. The perfect guilty pleasure. And so yes, I feel invested in Tori and Dean, and their whole domestic set-up. So last night, I gave into another guilty…something. Not sure pleasure is the right word. But I watched TRUE TORI.
The show is billed as the following: “In a unique television event, Tori Spelling has made the courageous decision to allow the audience to witness the most difficult and unpredictable period in her life. Intimate, raw, emotional and completely real, Tori will tell her story for the first time as it should be told—by her. Since viewers will be seeing events almost immediately after they occur, nobody knows how the drama will unfold—not Tori, not Dean—and only time will tell if Tori and Dean’s marriage survives.”
Unlike most reality shows that are aired months after they tape, the first episode of this three-week show was recorded in the beginning of April. Tori talks to the camera, confession-style, about the day she heard from he publicist about the cheating scandal about to break. At first, Dean denied it. But a week later, when the woman came forward with her name and all the details of the weekend affair, Dean came clean to Tori. He went into a treatment facility, not for sex addiction like the tabloids claimed, but to deal with alcohol addiction and other demons he’d been battling for years behind the facade of their “fairy tale” marriage.
The show follows Tori around during an average day as she struggles to keep it together as a single mother of four young kids (two of them are under the age of two). We see the paparazzi stalking her. And we see her girlfriends counseling her that she is better off without Dean. But Tori isn’t anywhere near making a decision about the ultimate fate of her marriage. She has not seen Dean in months. But mid-way through the episode, she visits him at the treatment facility for the first time. As she’s driving there, she admits that she misses him, and says she can’t help it, even if that makes her seem weak.
When she walks into the room where he’s waiting with his therapist, it’s super awkward. They don’t embrace or touch in any way. Dean apologizes to her, and she doesn’t seem to know how to respond. He admits that he’s been “lying my whole life” and she says that when she met him he was one way, and then she started seeing another side of him and felt like she’d been “sold a bill of goods.”(If you’ve read her books or watched her other shows, you’ve probably noticed hints of this.) Later, he tells her he’s ready to “come home.” You can see she’s conflicted. She wants to say yes, it’s easier just to say yes. But she tells him that if he comes home, things will never change. He’ll just fall back into old patterns. She starts to cry and he goes to hug her and she says no.
You can’t help but feel for her. She tells the camera that her fear is that they won’t “grow old together.” She also expresses confusion and worry about the idea of raising four kids as single mother. She doesn’t know what to do. As a viewer, I can’t see either option as a good one.
What do you think? Would you take him back?