Screen: Lifetime

House Of Buggin'

Parenting clashes, rogue implants, and squashing the toddlers in truer-than-average True Tori.

It got accidentally real last night, no? That spending time with his four kids under the age of eight is not his "first want" is probably something Dean wishes he hadn't said in the presence of recording devices; I think it's a way he wishes he didn't feel. But I also think it's a way a lot of parents feel, and hate themselves for feeling, and don't discuss so that it's not real if it's not said out loud: that they love their children more than anything, but find spending time with them a trial.

I get it; I don't judge him for that. I don't judge him for bucking Tori on micromanaging the how of his spending time with the kids, either; I mean, if you want everything done exactly the way you would do it, you...have to do everything, and you kind of don't get to be a martyr about that, then, if that's your choice. But the high-strung control-freak part of me relates to Tori, too.

Where they both lose me is several years ago, when they failed to have this conversation after...I'm going to say the second kid? Like, they have two two-year-olds in the house right now (I think the one Dean dropped the pumpkin on has since turned three) (aaaand we have our Sentence That Will Necessitate A Full Reimbursement Of Her College Tuition To Her Disappointed Parents Of The Week!), but it isn't the first time they've had two toddler terrors at once. You don't have this conversation then, during toilet-training? You don't have the other conversation, about...not having any more kids? Because as the silence-studded "date night" proved, they have no other topics. Okay, occasionally Dean's recovery or career or relative distance from the breakdown precipice, or one of Tori's headaches, but that's...it. Guys: read books. Watch shows you aren't on.

Or get divorced. ("I was thinking it." - Mehran.)

...You know what, they shouldn't listen to me; nobody should, because I laughed at "I hit Hattie on the head with a pumpkin by mistake." (In my defense, it's the "by mistake" that got me. As opposed to winging your kid with a squash in the squash on purpose? Hee. ...I don't know.)

So, yeah: it got uncomfortably truthy on TT in some ways, like the aforementioned Mehran grousing that he can't really buy that Tori's committed to getting back into their businesses when she's so focused on the division of child-rearing labor at their third partner's house. But how True was this week's True Tori?

True Tori-book Element Present?
Dean's "career" is treated as though it's really a thing Goddammit, CSI. Don't encourage the guy, even with a novelty guest shot. Dean's not wrong that the reality-show stuff has hurt him, probably, but I don't know that his assessment of what might have been is accurate. "People don't take me serious [sic] as an actor anymore." ..."Anymore"?
A super-phony moment accidentally reveals a truth Relative to other episodes, I didn't feel that most of the moments this week were "designed" by the production to get to or elicit a particular emotion or scene. The date-night/"don't talk about the kids" thing is a contrivance, but it's one couples therapists use frequently, I believe...and it purposefully revealed a truth when Dean asks, "What's something that WE can talk about?" and an anxious silence opens up. And just keeps going.
Recovery-speak Some therapy-speak -- "the dynamic that was created," e.g. -- but not much from Bill W. and friends.
Sure: horse around during sex ed instead of paying attention. That'll work out great A couple of neighborhood plays -- that Tori and Dean elected to keep getting pregnant instead of dealing with the division-of-labor (as it were) issues in the parenting part of their marriage; Tori's ongoing denial about her breast implants -- add up to a yes this week.
Who's the boss Dean's very sarcastic in therapy about saying that Tori thinks he's a slacker since she won't come out and say it herself. She's very proud of him for getting cast in CSI and seems okay with the eight-day shoot but also says at another point, "I feel so responsible for so many people." Dean gets pretty open about his discontent at her hovering/editing his parenting, but can't quite get to the real elephant in the room, the perception -- ours and his -- that he's on the payroll and better ackrite.
Spellings: they're not just like us, at all One of the tussles they have over Dean's parenting responsibilities is that he elected to send the babysitter to pick up the older kids at school instead of going himself.
Call me, Tori! Her Googling the significance of the praying mantis and delivering the Wikipedia entry in dramatic style, while occasionally interrupting herself with a "someone help me" as it settles in her bangs, is charming; her surgeon wants to talk about "where your boobs are at," and she wah-wahs, "They're on my chest," and I'm not proud of chuckling, but that's the exact thing I'd say.
Preach, friend/outsider Mehran clocking Tori's lack of focus on her business; Courtney noting of Tori's failure to take her ancient (and recalled) implants out that "this is a symptom of a much bigger problem" vis-a-vis Tori not confronting shit in her life.
…Henh? Nothing incomprehensible on the sentence level, but once it becomes clear that, yes, they're really going to have this marital fight in front of you and the cameras, if you're Jess and Mr. Jess, don't you feign an emergency text and bolt? Or are they just used to this kind of thing?
7 / 9
Final Score
78%
True Tori
22%
Halloween 90210
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