Dear Chump Lady,
When it comes to “True Tori,” I’m wondering if the show isn’t actually a good thing for fidelity…?
You are 100% right that “True Tori” is pure trash, and that the disgusting protagonist (?) is just pimping her trainwreck of a family and sadly, her innocent kids, for a few more moments of fame and money. But, and this is where we may differ, I think that the show is actually important and groundbreaking for the infidelity discussion (even if badly acted), because it’s the only show I know of that takes a step back and shows an unbiased view of cheating. It doesn’t romanticize affairs, and it exposes what really happens in the long term when people cheat:
1. Cheating devastates families and kids.
2. Cheaters are total POSs (trust that they suck).
3. OWs (Tori) are not at all special. Rather, Tori is a dime a dozen of an OW, and also a total idiot/loser for signing up for a marriage with a known cheater.
4. Cheaters often had a good, loving marriage with a gorgeous, successful spouse (am talking about Dean’s original Ex here), yet they still cheat and lie about their marriage (because they’re entitled and they suck).
5. Cheaters turn their guilt around and, without any basis, try to blame the affair on their spouse (Dean tells Tori, “you’re so controlling, such a nag, etc.”)
6. The whole “soulmate” excuse is a total farce/ bullshit. “Soulmate” Tori gets the same shit sandwich that she helped serve Dean’s Ex-wife. Amen.
And I’m sure you could come up with many more lessons, too… Anyway, let me also say, the promo scene for the upcoming season, where Tori meets Dean’s ex-wife, is oh-so-validating for us chumps. The subtext is strong: Yes, Tori, you were morally wrong. Yes, Tori, you needlessly destroyed innocent people’s and children’s lives. Yes, Tori, you deserve what you’re getting. Yes, Tori, when we see you sitting alongside Dean’s Ex, it’s obvious that his Ex is so much better than you. Yes, Tori, you were used and played, and now you’re just a pile of shit.
It’s about time an infidelity program showed the true, full circle of what really happens when people cheat. Maybe it’ll help educate the public. And Tori might be making a few bucks, but really, I think it’s the producers and we chumps who are getting the last laugh…
Dear God, Sunshine, is Tori Spelling the best chumps can do for media representation? Seriously? A former OW is our poster child for How Infidelity Plays Out?
Sadly, I think you might be right. I can’t think of any other show that portrays what cheaters really look like. The Affair? Scandal? Those shows are cheater aspirational drama — sexy people doing sexy things and being terribly misunderstood as they fight the cruel forces of monogamy. This is how cheaters imagine themselves. It’s fantasy escapism.
True Tori, on the other hand, is pure schlock.
And isn’t that fitting? How many of us after D-Day say to ourselves, “When did my life become a Jerry Springer episode?” Infidelity IS schlocky. It is full of bad actors delivering ludicrous lines.
My favorite Stupid Shit Cheaters Say submission right now is: “I wasn’t buying strippers — I was buying self esteem. You spend money on things you don’t need!” Could anyone in Hollywood write anything that absurd? No! If you’re a chump, you know that shit is real because your cheater said something equally ridiculous to you. Infidelity is by its very nature farcical.
Hollywood trappings aside, McDermott and Spelling are the perfect examples of average cheaters — dim-witted, but consider themselves fabulous; obliviously narcissistic; and as shallow as a urine sample.
Mary Jo Eustace has done us all a public service announcement on the futility of confronting the affair partner. Many chumps sent me that video clip of the heart-to-whatever-it-is-that-beats-inside-Tori-Spelling. (Mexican jumping beans? Television ratings? Cyborg vapidity?)
I’ve said before, trying to speak meaningfully to affair partners is like trying to shame a doorpost.
Watch the remorse that drips from Spelling as Eustace says, “We were real people, a real family.”
YEAH. Given evidence of a love letter that McDermott wrote to her right before his affair, Tori doesn’t draw the obvious conclusion that she’s not special, NO ONE is special to someone like McDermott. No, she concludes that “he just changes so drastically.” She’s still retaining her belief that she is SPECIAL. It’s Dean that changed — so suddenly! I guess that must be because Tori’s so overpoweringly awesome as to obliterate the love he had for Eustace.
Spelling remains completely indifferent to the harm she inflicted on Eustace. Spelling tries to get in front of the whole “I told you so” narrative, waiting for Eustace to take the bait, but Eustace instead tells her how kickass she is (was that necessary Mary Jo? really?) and how horrible this must be for her children. A thought that surely didn’t occur to Spelling as she renewed a second season of True Trainwreck.
Eustace demonstrates that good character and charitable kindness are as impervious to narcissism as a chump’s pain. Eustace tries that tack too and tells Spelling about her D-Day. The humiliation, the isolation, how she told her brother to tell her parents. When Eustace gets to “my dad started crying” — you expect the apology. The oh my God, I am so sorry, I was so thoughtless, I was so selfish, I didn’t have a thought about your family and how this would hurt you.
But of course it never comes. Instead, Spelling directs the attention back to herself.
“So if there had been no me, what would’ve happened?”
If there had been no ME.
Did your father cry? WTFever. Let’s imagine I wasn’t there. This is like a triple word score for narcissism. She’s disassociating herself from the responsibility of destroying a family, while at the same time turning the conversation back to herself. ME!
“There would’ve been somebody else.”
Eustace again tries to speak truth to stupid and fails. YOU’RE NOT SPECIAL. If not you, it would be some other Hostess cupcake.
Leaving aside the whole issue that I would’ve pressed (because I’m a bitch like that), that it was you. You WERE the person who broke up my family and didn’t feel one bit sorry, and instead trumpeted your marital bliss with a reality TV show, which then blew up in your face because McDermott doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself.
But Eustace doesn’t go there. She just persists in helping Tori try to untangle the skein.
“He was determined.”
Meaning, he was determined to get some ass. To be a cake eater. To cheat no matter what situation he was in, because YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL.
“Are you insinuating that he went after me because of who I was?” asks Tori.
No Tori, she’s clearly telling you that he went after you because that is what he does and that is who he is.
“My dad didn’t leave me anything, so it has nothing to do with that… If that what he was looking for, a free ticket, it didn’t work out.”
Play for self pity! Your dad left you $800,000, which to 99.99 percent of the world is not nothing. It’s a fat inheritance. And you’re on the hook to inherit millions when your mother dies. I’m sure Dean did the calculus on that, and yes, found that you could be of use to him more than Eustace could. So he jumped ship.
All he has to do is gamble on your ability to keep believing you’re special. The price of admission is doing hammy faux remorse on the Saturday slot for a reality TV program no one watches. How long does he have to keep this shit up? Until Candi Spelling dies or some other stupid heiress falls into his lap.
They don’t make stupid like Tori Spelling stupid. Nothing will ever permeate the narcissism of Tori Spelling. A father’s tears, public ridicule, Dean’s parade of bimbos…
Nice try, Mary Jo Eustace.