This weekend we watched HGTV's Selling Spelling Manor, a reality TV series in which Tori Spelling's mom, Candy Spelling, sells the obscenely huge Hollywood mansion where she lives alone and pretty much admits to being an upper class hoarder. Yes that is what we are building TV series on now.
Candy Spelling is the widow of Aaron Spelling, the TV mogul responsible for Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, Love Boat, 90210, Melrose Place, and a slew of other successful series. Their house, called Spelling Manor, is based on a French Chateau with a Gone With The Wind staircase. It took seven years to build and was completed 1991; The Manor has 70,000 square feet of living and storage space, 14 bedrooms, 27 bathrooms, sits on 5 acres, has a bowling alley, 3 gift-wrapping rooms, and pretty much anything else you can think of. This is not ostentatious at all....
Aaron Spelling died in 2006, his widow listed the manor for $150 million in 2009 and sold it in 2011 for $85 million.
This was a repeat of the first episode of this series, and it was guilty-pleasure junk food TV. Spelling sells the manor and has to vacate in 30 days, so we see her talk to the camera about how hard it all is, which might inspire more empathy if she actually worked rather than just whined about missing the showy TV-star filled parties, sitting there as armies of movers pack up her doll collection, art collection, leather bound TV scripts, thousands of pieces of sterling silver, and hundreds of antiques from European shopping trips.
It was absorbing TV, like a car-crash-I-cannot-look-away. I watched it all beginning to end. I am not proud of myself.
I saw a partial episode of Selling Spelling Manor a few weeks ago. I was downstairs on the treadmill, absentmindedly turning on the TV as I set my iPod to blast, and stumbled across a later episode which is pretty much about Candy Spelling being Candy Spelling.
That later episode was about Ms Spelling selling off her doll collection at auction for $800,000 and choosing rare pink marble for her downsized 18,000 square foot 2-level penthouse condo (which she dubs The Manor In The Sky). She whines about needing rosebushes on her windy skyscraper balcony and about missing her children, though we see no emotion in her face. Then again, her face appears more botoxed than Nicole Kidman's, so I don't think anyone sees any emotion.
I hate you Candy Spelling. And I might want to be you... but just for a weekend. Any longer and my head may implode.
This show is offensive in how it celebrates the rich shallow life of a vain, over-face-lifted, superficial mega-wealthy socialite. I can't wait to see the next episode...