Screens: Lifetime

The Courtney Of Public Opinion

Tori's parenting-control issues ruin a girls' weekend and Tatum O'Neal is kind of a sketchball on the latest True Tori.

First and foremost: butt out, Tatum O'Neal. You have no business at Hattie's birthday party in the first damn place, much less advising Dean to go get Tori to say hi to her mom "for the show." But since you've invited yourself along for publicity-whore reasons known only to you, you might consider not making quite such a big hairy deal about how you need to go change! Into just the slip dress! That's it! Only changing clothes! Not taking anything! (...I mean, right? Candy Spelling sighing that "she disappears" is just short of a sniffing pantomime, yeah?) Because it's really obvious. Also: comb. Pack of three for a buck fifty-nine. Get the knack...elsewhere.

I felt bad for Tori; of course she got a migraine. It's a three-year-old's party, just for starters, and then she's got Dean's ex-wife attending, her mother whom she only sees at the kids' birthdays (and given the number of kids in play, even that's likely too frequent), and her mother's neighbor, Tatum O'Neal, who feels right at home pulling her dress up and telling the man of the house how he should do for the cameras. THEN she finally agrees to go on a girls' weekend -- meaning a single night -- so she can work on trusting Dean with the kids, but she's two hours late, and almost immediately RehabNannyGate swamps the boat for everyone when Tori finds out Dean's pal from the program is over at the house interviewing for an auxiliary-babysitter job. Again. After Tori had already told him no like ten times.

I agree that Tori needs to let Dean parent, and to understand that if she wants everything done her way, it means she has to do everything, and she physically can't. I'd like to understand how this particular point of contention -- which does seem sincerely felt and argued on both sides -- took center stage when, last season, Tori kept talking about holding onto Dean as a father. If he's of no account as a husband or breadwinner either, the only reason she's still hanging on is to funnel as many seasons of TT as she can into the McDermottlets' college funds.

And on one level, gross. ...Okay, on many levels, gross, but...I don't know, you guys. It's gangster. I respect that.

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That's right, girl.

True Tori-book Element Present?
Dean's "career" is treated as though it's really a thing The CSI gig is kind of what leads to the whole babysitter-interview donnybrook, but here's my favorite Dean's-career moment: he's making Tori some sort of ginger-toddy thing when she has a cold, and he describes it (somewhat self-deprecatingly, I choose to believe) as "an old family remedy passed down from my manager." Hee.
A super-phony moment accidentally reveals a truth Tori and Dean's somewhat contrived talk about Mary Jo attending Hattie's party leads to a real-talk moment about how you don't laugh at your husband's jokes after years of marriage. When Dean's like, no, Mary Jo laughed at my jokes 'til the very end, Tori snarks, "Really." And I suspect Candy Spelling's entire appearance, including plus-one-ing that weirdo Tatum, is a production scheme...but Tori's sobbing breakdown about Candy and her terror of parenting her daughters the same shitty way she was parented is legit.
Recovery-speak "I'm doing the work."
Sure: horse around during sex ed instead of paying attention. That'll work out great My feeling that Tori should have done the "for every kid, that means another birthday party I have to invite that witch to" math at some point notwithstanding, not really.
Who's the boss Nonstop battles about the kids and the watching of same; an interview with the usually-invisible Laura, the kids' regular sitter, about the rehab-friend situation while Tori texts furiously from the wine-country party van and all her friends chew their limbs off mentally; Dean's attempt to pee on the situation by tearing up the friend's camera release. Again, I agree that Tori should unclench for everyone's relative sanity -- but not for nothing, she's the boss because dumbshit Dean thinks it's an awesome idea to hire a child-care professional who is not an actual professional or even a solid amateur, and then lie about it because it might look sketch, which therefore makes it look sketch. Come on, bro.
Spellings: they're not just like us, at all ...Candy. Enough said. Also, Hattie's full kiddie-pageant makeup for her party.
Call me, Tori! I adore her dark-fairy fake-lashes, her silk print top at therapy is adorbs, and: "Please let me put on my crown." Her micro-managing/boring everyone on the overnight to death with her iss-yews isn't defensible -- but it's relatable, at least to this regional-champ control freak.
Preach, friend/outsider The group overanalysis of the babysitter's use of the word "chick" (versus "girl" or "woman") to describe Dean's friend is hilarious, and Courtney's bringing it consistently with wiz like "life can happen, and...you can take a break" and "you have to learn to make yourself happy" and not get so wound up by Dean's choices; she also points out repeatedly that Tori gets mad when Dean doesn't help, then gets mad at how he does help, and that's no good. But it's Mehran's thousand-yard happy-place stare -- just one of a hundred screenshots of him and the others I could have clipped -- that's worth a thousand words, all of them variations on "uch."

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Spoiler: Mehran's attempt to give himself a Vulcan neck-pinch failed.

…Henh? I'll bet you ten bucks this is a Gravol-induced brain poot, because Tori's watching Candy and Mary Jo exchange digits and grumbling that Mary Jo probably thinks "she's going to get buddy with my mom" and "get money and stuff." The phrasing is drunk and the sentiment it (almost) conveys makes no sense in the first place.
8 / 9
Final Score
89%
True Tori
11%
Candy Dearest
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