It's not about the house.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Are You Smarter Than Tori Spelling?

Aaron Spelling made a load of money making a load of steaming TV. He took some of it and built a cartoonishly large house - well, I suppose you could call it a house - and he raised two children there. Children who have told of taking food to bed with them at night in case they couldn’t find the kitchen in the morning. Aaron Spelling died last year, wisely having protected the torrid details of his will behind a trust, and now his daughter is following in his footsteps. Not in death, I mean, but in the steaming load department…

Tori’s got a reality show. I’ve never seen it – in all honesty, that's only because we don’t get the cable channel that it plays on, otherwise I know I would be glued to it On Demand like I am to “The Girls Next Door” and “Breaking Bonaduce” and all the other stupid crap I would never admit publicly to actually watching. Oh. Oops. Well anyway…

Ms. Spelling’s show is called “Inn Love,” and it’s just been renewed for a second season. The premise is that pregnant Tori and her second new husband are sinking her entire (albeit relatively meager, considering the source) inheritance into the purchase of an old (also relative, considering the location) four-bedroom house, renovating it, and turning it into a bed and breakfast.

Now, let’s forget for a second that this B&B is in LA -- not exactly a place that pops to mind when one imagines snuggly weekends spent passing pots of jam or plates of buttered scones to overly friendly strangers who’ve come to table in their stocking feet. Forget also, while we’re at it, the fact that those stockinged feet are going to be attached to Tori Spelling and her freakishly not-handsome, John-Corbett-on-a-bender, central-casted husband. And forget that you’d presumably have to sign a release and agree to be on television before they’d let you pay the (actually relatively modest) sum of $150 to spend the night there.

Forget all that.

Concentrate for a moment on the pure fact that this is what Ms. Spelling chose to do with every last cent of the money that her daddy left her. And, though the specific details were kept private, we all know that it was ugly. Aaron “Jiggle TV” Spelling died – Aaron “’Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘Love Boat’ and ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘Dynasty’ and all the other shows you love to claim you never watched” Spelling died – and, depending on which report you read, Tori got somewhere between $260,000 and $800,000. That's not a typo. Of course, most of us would not consider either of these sums meager by any stretch of the imagination, but still, relatively speaking…

And so – rather than investing it, rather than socking it away, rather than piling it all in Mommy’s gift-wrapping room and lighting it on fire – Tori chose to buy a fixer-upper and put herself on TV. Maybe she is her father’s daughter after all. Maybe that’s what he bequeathed to her instead of all that cash. The instinct to know that the one thing everybody wants to see – next to grown women wrestling in a wishing well or Farrah Faucett running in slow motion, of course – is some bleached-blonde silver-spoon throwing all she’s got into one great big chicken-counting expedition and suffering just like the rest of us when some of her eggs refuse to hatch. Daddy would have gotten it on a network that everyone could watch, of course, but Tori’s new at this yet. And hey, at least she put it out there.

Except she didn’t.

The Times reported yesterday that the house vying for screen time with Ms. and Mr. Spelling on “Inn Love” is actually still up for sale – for 2.6 million dollars! Not only did she not buy the house that the promos and commercials and press and everything say she sunk her birthright into, she couldn’t have afforded to buy it if she tried, not even with three times (or ten times, depending whom you ask) what Daddy left her. She’s leasing it, for an undisclosed amount, with the first option to buy. Except, if it’s still for sale and she’s still leasing, methinks she doth have no intentions of acting on that option. (The article doesn’t say whether Tori really ponied up for the renovations that they’ve done, though mesuspects perhaps the cable network may have paid a share…)

Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t I keep my inheritance (okay, in my case it was lottery winnings, and relatively meager ones at that) and why didn’t I just rent – excuse me, lease – some suck-ass property? It’s what I was doing in the first place, anyway! I’d still have two-thirds of my money in the bank even if I did pay for my own renovations – except I wouldn’t have had to pay for them, because it would not be my house! If I could have, on top of everything, figured out a way to sign a contract with some suck-ass cable network, I could have maybe even come out ahead – except, oh, right, that would mean I’d have to be on television. Not easy to do, when you're not from as auspicious a gene pool as Aaron Spelling’s. Plus I'm not sure I want to go parading my too-big-for-my-face cheeks all over the airwaves.

But I digress…

The point is, maybe Tori Spelling's smarter than the rest of us. She got hosed by her father, hosed by her mother, hosed by Hollywood and – well, let’s just say it – hosed by her inauspicious gene pool. But in the end, she hosed them all. She has this house she didn’t pay for. She has a tv show picked up for its second season. She has (for now, at least) that re-new husband. She has a whole new tiny bundle of Jiggle TV genes. And she still has every cent of her inheritance.

So I’m just saying, when it comes to realty/reality: are these chickens we’re counting, or is it fish? Maybe Tori, after all, is the only one who really knows.

Relatively speaking, I mean.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

This was a great post. I love that you know about the gift wrapping room, too. (The Ebay room was always my personal favorite.)