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October 7, 2015

Why Tori Spelling thinks people want to be her friend

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 1st 2008 10:02AM
Tori, Dean and CoolioThere was one and only one reason why I wanted to speak to Tori Spelling at NBC's TCA party: No, it wasn't because of 90210, though I was curious about it. It was because of my girlfriend.

I'm serious. She's a big fan of the Tori and Dean reality series on Oxygen, and she's told me on more than one occasion that she thinks that, if circumstances allowed, that she could be friends with the semi-estranged daughter of late TV magnate Aaron Spelling. When I told Tori (her husband, Dean McDermott, was there but must have been grabbing some mac and cheese or something) that I only know the show because of my girlfriend, she understood. "We hear that a lot. It's OK."

The first two seasons of Tori and Dean took place at a bed and breakfast that the two of them rented and ran -- at least they ran it while the cameras were running -- which put them in contact with all sorts of fun and weird guests. This year, however, they've left the inn behind and moved back to Los Angeles. Spelling felt that was merely a bump in the road for the show.

"Moving from the inn was a personal decision," she said. "For the show, it was kind of like, 'This is what's best for us.' Because, you know, there was a personal investment in it, and we love the show and we're happy to be on it, but it was kinda like 'We're moving to LA; we hope you guys are happy doing a third season following us.' And Oxygen was on board."

Not quite sure what they had more of a personal investment in, though; the show or the inn. My guess would be the show; even digital cable money is better than innkeeper money. Anyway, why do people like my girlfriend think they can be friends with and Tori? What makes the show connect with women so strongly?

"I can only go by what I hear from fans, and it seems that they relate to us as a couple, which i think is great," she said. "I can't understand it, but obviously people think, 'Wow, I relate to you, you're normal.' I hear every day: 'You could be my neighbor.' I'm like, 'yeah, of course!'"

Admittedly, Tori and Dean does feel a little less "set-up" than other reality shows, though you can never be sure. Tori, though, thinks that the show's "truth" is what people identify with.

"When we decided to do a reality show, we said that 'this is our lives, we're putting it out there.' And when we put it out there, we put it all out there. It's really dedicated to putting the truth out there about our relationship. We didn't want anything set up. Just follow us, and people will either like us or they won't, and there's been a great response." When I followed that statement up by telling her that it does seem like a lot of reality shows seem almost as planned as scripted shows, she thought for a second and said, "Yeah, I feel you can tell when that happens, and you notice it."

By the time the questions turned to her guest spot on the new 90210, a few other reporters had joined in the fray. During the 90210 panel, the producers had made it look like they didn't have Spelling under contract to reprise her role as Donna Martin, even though she had agreed to do the role. But not to fear, she explained. "I have a deal with 90210. I've had it for a while. They've been really kind." Basically, the show started filming right when she was giving birth to her second child, "so they were kind enough to give me a little bit of time off. I'm definitely coming back later in the season."

When she was asked by another reporter about other old cast members coming back and if that might prove to be difficult -- a not-so-veiled reference to Shannen Doherty's return -- Tori was diplomatic. "I wanted to come back on this show for my fans. The fans were dedicated and loyal, and i thought we owed it to them for the original cast to come back. I think it's amazing, the more cast members they can get from the original series, (the more) people are just psyched. They have Jennie (Garth) they have Shannen." In fact, having Doherty return is a big deal to even Spelling. "The Shannen 'get' was huge for the fans because she's the original, she's Brenda Walsh!"

I guess Tori was in a forgiving mood that night, though Doherty was probably giving Tori's father most of the agita when she was on the show. No wonder why my girlfriend likes her so much.

Oh, and by the way, that's Coolio in the picture with Tori and Dean. I can't get enough of that Coolio, can I?

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Sonja Evans

Tori and Dean are awesome. What they have shown in their own lives to us is very touching and they have gone further than most couples to share so much with us. The last show with Stella's birth and having the camera to show us her birth was very touching. I admire Tori to allowing people to see such a sweet and special time. It was so scarey as she says. Not many would have the nerve to do this. I loved the song at the end and like it better than the remix. It sounds so much purer the way they first sang it. Keep up the good work. Thanks for allowing us to enter and enjoy your exciting lives. We feel like family.

August 08 2008 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

I will always have a soft spot for Dean because Constable Turnbull was such a great character in "Due South".

August 01 2008 at 3:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy. Once a cheater... They cheated on their previous spouses, so I wonder how long it will be before they cheat on each other. I give this marriage less than 5 yrs.

August 01 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love their show...I esp love seeing Dean so "normal" w/ the sexual innuedos and farting in the scene. Gotta love him. I esp love when he's talking to the camera....he's just so regular. It's amazing that someone w/ money and popular can still have a dog that can poop in your house, no matter how expensive that house cost!

August 01 2008 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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