Photo: Tony Rivetti / ABC Family

The Mystery Of Mystery Girls Is That It Got Made

Sarah and Tara have watched the first episode of Tori Spelling's would-be comeback vehicle. Here's why you shouldn't.

Our Players

Hello, I'm West Coast Editor Tara Ariano.
Hello, I'm East Coast Editor Sarah D. Bunting.

The Talk

You did the very important work of watching and covering True Tori all season, and now it's finally time to see the project for which TT was a sort-of prequel: Mystery Girls, the ABC Family sitcom Tori Spelling has made with her former BH 90210 co-star Jennie Garth. Will this be Tori's comeback as an actual actress playing a character other than herself?
No.
Okay, ttyl!
The only thing coming back after this amateurish, unfunny piece of shit was my breakfast.
ABC Family sitcoms are not known for their subtlety, and even so, this was '80s-calibre corniness. You can't even excuse it on the grounds that it's for kids who've JUST outgrown, like, The Suite Life, since the series premiere revolves around A SEX TAPE. So I'm not sure whom it's actually for. If the idea is that BH 90210 fans will excuse its crappiness on the basis of nostalgia, it is...a bad idea.
No, you really can't -- particularly since it even looks like shit. The stripper-pink visual leitmotif that stresses how girly they are isn't helping, but even with earth tones, the lighting would make everyone look like they're in prison. Which they should be, just for the horrendously Catskills-y pacing; they stand back for a week from "punchlines" they really need to rush past. And for stealing a joke that wasn't funny when Sex & The City had Charlotte deliver it TEN YEARS AGO.
I spent so much of this episode feeling bad for whichever cast member happened to be delivering a line at the time. This poor gay kid is just psyched to have booked a TV gig. Jennie Garth doesn't really need this since she has Nurse Jackie alimony and is trying to hold on to her dignity in the Kate Jackson "serious one" role. And Tori Spelling is trying SO HARD to put it over; it's clear this is her baby, and that she's trying at last to become the comedienne she always thought she was during Bev Niner. But no. Honey: no.
Yeah, the acting is terrible, but you can't fault the ensemble, really: they get nothing of quality to deliver, and certainly they're making the effort. But I have to think about two thousand per cent LESS effort would make the show quite a bit more palatable. The concept is not terrible; Spelling is sometimes passably funny, in good material where she's not asked to do That Lucy Thing someone once said she could do but she in fact cannot. Maybe if she and Garth swapped roles, it would work better, but it's never going to be good. It's everything I hate about sitcoms.
If I found out that this episode was written by the same person responsible for that Punky Brewster we talked about on the podcast, I would not be surprised. It's THAT old-fashioned and hacky and weird.
It's what Spelling would have grown up watching, then "successfully" imposed on the writers' room, where nobody felt like they could say no to her.
There's also the matter that ABC Family had previously sent us the pilot, and then last week was like, "Just kidding, we're showing Episode 3 first!"
I accidentally started watching the pilot first and made a note along the lines of "no wonder they buried this steamer," but what they did choose to air isn't any better. I also made a number of notes about non-credible situations, but: what's the point.
So how many more episodes will you give this? Five? Or seven.
Literal lol. Try "how many days will I not speak to you for suggesting we watch this."
I deserve that.
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