I would have, of course, written a post sooner, but I have spent most of my free time in the shower over the last few days. See, I’ve been scrubbing my skin with coconut exfoliator from The Body Show and scratchy loofah mitts and with something that might have been rubbing alcohol, but I’m really not sure. I just know that it smelled potent enough to do the job of disinfecting me.
It’s taken me days to try to rid myself of the mental grime that was caused by closely following the tale of a Real Housewife sentenced to incarceration, and just when I thought I could handle the cruel world again, along came Tori Spelling with the next season of her show that I believe was pitched to the network with a high concept like this: Cameras will invade my home and the personal space of my young children while I fight to prove to the world that I can make my marriage work and also eat a sushi roll. And you know what? We’ll get to Ms. Spelling and her jutting clavicle in just a moment, but I’m gonna come right out and say that I no longer fully begrudge her the right to have snagged a financial opportunity out of a moment of real-life infidelity. Own it, lady – therapy for four kids will not be cheap.
But back to Theresa. Oh, Theresa.
An almost-evolved human specimen, Theresa has been sentenced to fifteen months in prison for all kinds of financial fraud. Her horrifying husband Joe will serve his time after her – years of time – and then risks deportation back to his native land of Italy, though I’m pretty sure that N.A.T.O. is already brokering a deal to stop that from happening.
Maybe Greenland will take him.
Anyway, into court walked this couple and many hours later their sentences were announced – and you know it was important world news because TMZ was on the scene in a prime spot.
Only a day later, Theresa and her husband appeared on Watch What Happens, a show that has overnight morphed into the top tier of television journalism, and I’m sort of not kidding. Andy Cohen, the host of the show and the creator of the Housewives franchise, is the being who brought these women into our living rooms and into our lives. He is the reason I can mention “Theresa” to my friends and easily 85% of them know I’m talking about a woman I don’t know personally who has a penchant for expensive purses and only half of a forehead. And the friends who stare at me with a quizzical expression furrowing their brows are people I have decided to spend less time with.
It’s so important that friends share interests, don’t you think?
On his show, Andy Cohen sat on the set that he calls his “clubhouse,” but this time was different. There was no studio audience and there was no bartender. The absence of both sent the perceptive viewer a message immediately: this shit was serious.
Theresa sat next to her beloved, a man she had married around the age of twelve, a guy who had been accused of cheating on her continually over the years, and the man who apparently walked her into this legal hell without telling her that any of the forms she signed on a weekly basis were illegal and could land her in a cell.
They held hands.
It was gross.
But I have to give it up for Andy Cohen, and I am saying that not at all facetiously. See, he asked real questions. He didn’t dance around the issues that these two people were fucking felons. He brought up the falsified documents and the lies they told the court on the day of their sentencing. He asked Theresa directly if she blamed her husband for what she was about to endure. He asked if she would be able to control the temper that once caused her to heave a ninety-pound table across a restaurant and then toss him, the host of the classy reunion show, into his chair with just one body check to his shoulder. And he had the decency to gaze upon her husband with disgust when Joe asked her, “What if a woman tries to touch you in jail?” because, even in the depths of emotional and marital hell, this piece of dogshit can still entertain a lesbian fantasy involving his incarcerated wife. That she didn’t gouge his eyes out in that very moment makes me think that maybe what she is claiming is true: maybe she does have her anger under control now.
I applaud your personal growth, Theresa!
But I think my favorite moment of the two-part special (don’t pretend you didn’t know that Bravo wouldn’t stretch this Very Special Episode out over at least two nights) was when Theresa was asked if she was surprised by her sentence of jail time, and she answered – in English so halting that I went online to see if she was born in this country, which she was – that she was stunned.
“But the terms of your plea listed very probable jail time,” responded a man made very rich and famous because he created a show that employs a lot of people who only have one or two moral fibers in their entire bodies. “How could you be surprised?’
And then Theresa explained how she thought her lawyers would get her out of it, that’s what lawyers do – they fight for their clients. The sentence took her about five minutes to say and it was like watching a seven year old with some learning disabilities explain what a lawyer did the day after going on an all-day field trip with her class to a local courthouse.
The stumped look on Andy Cohen’s face as he watched her struggle to form a sentence – one that might result in one drunk viewer somewhere thrusting her fist up into the air while declaring this poor woman innocent – was one of the finest moments of television I have ever seen, and I’m including that episode of Lost where we finally found out what the Dharma Initiative was.
All of this is not to say that, as a human being, my heart doesn’t hurt for her a little bit. She is going to prison. She is leaving behind four daughters. She is leaving them in the custody of a man who admitted to being a law-breaking alcoholic with more than one DUI under his belt.
That’s an awful reality any way you look at it.
Before I could feel too badly for her though, I found out that some of what she was peddling in her sympathy interview was probably just another lie.
“You know when Joe said that she had never even been to a closing that involved paperwork she signed? That’s impossible and illegal. She has to be at any closing that lists her as a buyer,” said one of my dear friends who, if you take a gander at his resume, probably knows about such things.
Still though, it’s a shame this all happened to these people because of the family dysfunction that is bound to be the result.
It’s a shame they claim to have never read paperwork that they signed.
It’s a shame that they maintain that all of this is happening because they are famous.
And it’s kind of a shame that they are famous in the first place since they have no discernable talent other than being fucking idiots.
Which brings me to Tori Spelling, a woman who once was famous for being an actress, even though her father, at one time the most powerful producer in all of television, produced the show that brought her fame. Regardless, this girl did manage to get cast in several shows and movies that had nothing to do with her famous father and developed a decent career for herself over the years until she made the choice – out of either sheer narcissism or sheer financial necessity – to make her career reality-based and turn her life into a public commodity.
I’ve been guilty in the past of watching her reality shows, but there was nothing to feel the least bit icky about for the first several years. The family – though it came together through a cheating situation – seemed pretty wholesome and I liked watching the zany Tori plan extravagant parties. It was from her that I learned the value of a dessert table, and really, I think that means that I can never adequately thank her for enriching my life in that manner.
But this show, True Tori, now in season two?
Oh. Dear. God.
Sure, sure: I said I wouldn’t watch it again. But I also said that I would never wear those shoes that made my toes bleed or disrobe in front of that guy again either. We all backslide, and if there’s one thing Tori has taught me besides that the desserts on the table should be labeled, it’s that a girl can make the same mistake twice.
Or twelve times.
Tori’s mistake, which she is televising to whomever is brave enough to watch such emotional carnage, is that she is in love with a man who is unemployed, paunchy, has issues with infidelity, is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic without a sponsor, and has more powerful sperm than any human being in all the world. He can knock her up simply by sliding his eyes across her nether regions, which is almost as bad as the fact that he now wears his hair slicked back in a way that would only work on a character from The Outsiders, and even then it only really worked on Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe.
But Tori and Dean have fallen back in love – hard. So hard, in fact, that they “have had sex like crazy,” according to the mother of four whose offspring should be prescribed Valium now. “We had sex sixteen days in a row,” said her husband during a therapy session where they wore microphones and cameras filmed them.
And that’s when I went and took yet another shower.
Remember that shower in Silkwood? Can I purchase some of those chemicals online? Does Amazon sell it? I’m a Prime customer – I can have that shit in two days flat.
We also got to learn that Tori is not pregnant again, which strikes me as rather good news since she claims to have no money, no acting prospects, and a husband who threatens to relapse every time the toilet paper runs out.
Is there a party you can throw because you have not been impregnated by mistake? I can already see the dessert table now.
And just when things were about to settle back to normal for me again – after the rush of pretend emotions and the swell of a real river of snideness had almost left me following these reality moments – it was then announced that Bethenny would be returning to The Real Housewives of New York.
Bethenny is coming back? The news was like a great big hug; the mother ship is coming home.
So you see, with such major events spiraling through my life, how could I possibly have written a post yesterday? A girl needs time to recover when important events happen to other people on television.
And a girl also needs industrial-strength aloe or something even more powerful to rub across her tender skin after so many desperate showers.