Do Tori and Dean stand a chance as a cross platform brand? Or should they isolate their brands? Should Tori keep it up with this stand-by-your-man reality narrative? Can Dean even pursue a brand outside of "guy who keeps getting Tori Spelling tattoos"?
The "reunion" episode of True Tori was conducted with the gravitas of a sit-down with a Presidential candidate, and I still don't understand why. There's no larger cultural reading to be taken from Dean and Tori's ups and downs, they live in a bubble. As for human interest, who among us can claim to relate to the frail scion of Hollywood Royalty and a guy who gets a detailed face on his bicep? They don't shed light on any underrepresented, morbidly fascinating niche, like say the Duggars or the Browns of Sister Wives.Who is this grim parade of human frailty for, exactly?
What we're told again and again is that True Tori is justified by the positive effect it's had on the actual couple. The show is for them, guys. It's helped them process. It helped Tori to finally find her voice. It's helped Dean, guy who keeps getting Tori Spelling tattoos, feel like a total jerk. It has saved their marriage! Dean is now under 24 hour video surveillance! Which he'd only object to if he was a cheater, ha ha ha nervous laughter!
LOOK: When one part of a couple shares their genitals with a third party the other person can walk away, that's allowed. Or they can choose to forgive their partner, they're allowed that. They can take a long time to decide what they want to do, they can rail and scream and lose their shit for a while, they're allowed that.
But I'm not sure if examining the other partner and the affair under a national microscope is allowed. I don't think having marriage counseling sessions with a camera running in the corner as you force your partner to talk about their depression and addiction is allowed. I'm not sure if making the most intimate crisis of your life performative is allowed.
Tori has betrayed Dean by making him endure this reality show, this show violates their intimate relationship more than any physical act he could have enjoyed in his 24 hours of Canadian decadence.
Unless of course, she wasn't exactly twisting Dean's arm to plumb the depths of his indignity in hours of onscreen therapy on True Tori. Maybe Tori and Dean loved every minute of being under this magnifying glass. Some have gone so far to suggest that the "other woman" was entirely fictional and the affair itself was a fabricated conflict to sell True Tori. I didn't think that was possible until the hostess of the reunion show confronted Dean about Erin Goodhand not appearing anywhere online and Dean answered, "People scrub their internet histories all the time."
Hahahah, what Ghost Protocol world do you live in, Dean McDermott, where people scrub their internet histories all the time? Do you have a gang of genius programmers living in a trailer they call "The Hive" out in the desert off the grid, hooked up to a generator, doing your bidding?
Anyway. If this histrionic suffering over Dean's affair is real and they are fighting to stay together, then they've made a huge mistake putting this all on tape. The phrase "time heals all wounds" came into popularity before reality TV reruns.
But if they wanted to refresh their mutual Tori & Dean brand, if they've hoodwinked us with a fake marital crisis, it's largely our fault for craving their pain more than their joy, and they've earned every penny of those reality TV dollars.
Regardless, Dean has tattooed 24 more inches of his body in tribute to Tori. So perhaps we should leave these two to, for better or worse, continue to spiral perpetually in their mutually absorbing relationship, like two snakes eating each other's tails.
[Image via Lifetime]
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