By Jill Murphy,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Spelling finds her niche in slapstick -- teens OK.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Tori has flashbacks that pinpoint her mom as the root of her problems today; Tori is on the hunt for a man who won't use her for her fame; characters have casual sex; Tori's mother is rich and neurotic; the Spellings' African-American nanny/maid is treated like a second-class citizen by Tori's mom. All derogatory/negative social behavior is intended to be funny.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexually charged humor; Tori's roommate pretends to be a gay man trying to "break free" by sleeping with a lot of women; commentary on Tori's breasts (and whether they're fake or not); one episode includes scenes set in a sex-toy shop.
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"Damn," "hell," and the occasional "bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Brand names, including Prada and eBay, are mentioned. Tori's parents live in a vast mansion filled with possessions; Tori herself lives in a relatively fancy condo, wears designer clothes, and drives a nice car.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some casual/social drinking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this series is loosely based on the personal and public life of Tori Spelling -- rumors included. The humor is mature and sarcastic, and the dialogue is sexually suggestive. Tori and her peers have typical bored-little-rich-kid syndrome (long lunches, lots of possessions) but they bring it to life and poke fun at it using slapstick humor. Teens might be interested, but the material is adult.
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
SO NOTORIOUS stars Tori Spelling as -- who else? -- former teen actress Tori Spelling, star of Beverly Hills, 90210 and daughter of TV mogul Aaron Spelling (90210, Charmed, Melrose Place, Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island). Tori plays a fictitious version of herself, blending her personal life with the rumors spun by tabloid reporters, and surrounds herself with a bevy of sitcom-ready characters. Her roommate, Pete (James Carpinello), is supposedly only living in her apartment until he finishes med school, but dating distracts him easily; her best friends, Sasan (Zachary Quinto) and Janey (Brennan Hesser), are diligent about getting Tori some action, quick to assure her that she's a national icon, and even quicker to encourage her to use her family connections. But Tori is determined to do things on her own -- which includes winning roles based on her talent, not her pedigree (she stars in an F-movie -- "like Lifetime, but worse" -- as a "plucky melanoma survivor who solves crimes while battling hypoglycemia and a sex addiction."). When Tori visits her parents at their infamous mansion, we only hear her father over a loudspeaker (a la Charlie's Angels); her visible family includes her emotionally challenged mother, Kiki (Loni Anderson), and her childhood caretaker, Nanny (Cleo King), who constantly comments on Tori's figure, sighing, "Damn girl, look at those boobies. They get bigger every week -- that can't just be the bra."
Is It Any Good?
The series' antics are painfully humorous but done in a lighthearted tone. Bottom line? Tori's character is fighting against a stereotype, and as co-executive producer of So NoTORIous, Ms. Spelling is having the last laugh.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the effects and consequences of fame. Is it fair to get work through a family member or friend of the family? Why or why not? Is Tori responsible? Does her character live up to her real-life reputation or dispel it? How much do you think TV Tori is like real-life Tori? How would/does your teen deal with popularity (fame)? Is it a struggle or a goal?
- Premiere date: April 2, 2006
- Cast: Tori Spelling, Zachary Quinto
- Network: VH1
- Genre: Comedy
- TV rating: NR
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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