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If Tori And Dean Want To Pretend True Tori Is Real, They Have To Get Better At Acting

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Dean McDermott on True Tori season oneI'll admit it — I've watched the first two episodes of True ToriI'm a little ashamed, but not that ashamed. At first it was to get some background on why Dean McDermott cheated on his wife of eight years, Tori Spelling. But now that I've seen the staged nonsense that was the first episode, I'm gonna be watching every single one after that to try to figure out how much of it is real.

Some people are saying that the whole thing is fake, that Tori and Dean created the whole cheating story for publicity and to get a reality show, but I'm now feeling like that might be an exaggeration. I've seen how narcissistic these people are, and how poorly they communicate, so my new theory is that when the cheating happened (I think probably it did, given how many friends and therapists have weighed in on the situation at this point), Tori saw it as an opportunity to get on television, and may not have processed it on any other level.

At least that's what was suggested to me during last night's episode. She has such a clear idea of how she wants to be portrayed on the show, from how strict she is with her son Liam about how he's allowed to speak to her in front of the camera, to the whole bravery in the face of adversity act, to how insistent she is that she's doing the whole single mom thing, even though she's known to have three nannies and a personal assistant. Even when it comes time to talk to a therapist with Dean, Tori completely unravels when he mentions on-camera that he'd considered taking his own life.

That was the first moment of the series that actually felt real to me — the panic that I saw on Tori's face when Dean shared that detail. I'm no therapist myself, but watching her reaction to him spilling that detail was really telling. Up until that point, she'd really shored herself up from every angle to make sure she came off well from this series, that there was no chance anyone but her would end up with the sympathy. That's why he keeps offering excuses for the infidelity, from not getting enough sex at home to struggling with an overwhelming cocaine addiction. Those are all cleared topics, because they make it clear that Tori is blameless and that Dean was the one making the choices.

But when Dean brought up his suicidal thoughts, you could see the gears in her brain start turning, going, “How does this reflect on me? What does it say about the wife if the husband considers killing himself? Why did you say that why did you say that why did you say that, this isn't what we talked about.”

And when he goes on to say that he's been suicidal and unhappy for a while, you can see Tori on the couch in the background, sitting perfectly still except for her hands, which she's worrying against each other. I've never really had occasion to use that verb before, but it's the only one to describe the energy behind the way she was moving.

Most of the show is so fake that it becomes almost mind-numbing to watch, but I think I'll probably stick with it, if only for those little moments when Tori loses control of this production she's directing, writing, and starring in. At one point, she apologizes to him for his revelation appearing on ‘her show', and I couldn't help but notice that phrasing.

Was Dean appearing on the show and baring his guilt to the world so that Tori could appear blameless part of the deal? Is that something she demanded he do if he was serious about getting back into her life and her house and her s-TORI-line? I don't know, but against my better judgement, I'm totally hooked.

(Image: Lifetime)

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