Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tori & Dean

My apologies for not updating sooner. Being unemployed is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, it gives me more time to write and pitch work, which is fabulous, but on the other hand, some days it gives me the time to watch Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen.

I was ashamed, at first, to even admit that I watched the show. For those of you who might not know: Tori Spelling is the daughter of Aaron Spelling, creator of 90210 (in which Tori starred as the virginal Donna Martin) and several other successful television shows. Since her father's death, Tori's relationship with her mother has deteriorated, and she has largely retreated into her marriage with Dean McDermont, and into motherhood: they have two kids, Liam (22 months) and Stella (7 months). This is their reality show.

Tori, who is a mediocre actress and a likely anorexic, has never been much of an interest to my passion for all pop culture. The fact that she and Dean were both married to other people when they met, fell in love, and decided to divorce their partners (even though Dean's wife was pregnant at the time) is also not exactly model behavior. But, they have been married for four years, and have two beautiful children.

On the first episode I saw, Tori's best friend, and his boyfriend, the "guncles" annouced their decision to marry sooner rather than later, because they want to adopt a child. They ask Tori and Dean for help with the wedding and to be their recommenders to the adoption agency. Tori is clearly overwhelmed by emotion and tells them that she doesn't know any other couple more suited to be parents, and that she always feels totally confident when she leaves her children with them, and that she couldn't be happier for them.

Dean's also a kind of a babe, and maybe the best husband ever. After the motorbike crash, he feels so guilty for worrying Tori that he sells his bikes, renounces the hobby, and buys her a huge ring. When she gets home, he has a bubblebath, roses and champagne waiting. It's an old school romantic gesture, but the real sacrifice is giving up the hobby because he knows it drives her crazy, and it puts his life in danger. He also flies to New York from Calgary so he can be with Tori on Valentine's Day. And he's constantly telling her what a hot ass she has and how beautiful she is. Did I mention he has her painted on the side of his motorbike and a Tori tattoo? (Yes, I find these sort of things romantic).

With her father dead and her mother estranged, Tori has no other family outside the one she's created with Dean. Her desperation when he leaves to go on vacation, or when he crashes his motorbike, it completely heart-breaking for several reasons. Aside from the clear indicators of co-dependence, it's obvious that Tori and Dean really do love each other, and that their number one priority is their children. That's a beautiful thing.

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