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Monday, September 08, 2008

Review: 90210 still charms


Premiere Date: September 2, 2008
Airs: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW

by Jennifer Squires Biller

There sideburns are gone and so is the brooding antihero. But, the typical teen crises facing a bevy of beautiful people in the infamous zip code remains. Cheating at school, silly jock pranks, and dating are still central themes in the do-over 90210 version of the beloved ‘90s TV show. If you like soapy teen dramas, then this is the new fall show for you.

It doesn’t have the slick dialogue and fast-witted humor reminiscent of The O.C.’s Seth , Gossip Girl’s entire cast, or Veronica Mars, but what it lacks in intelligence, it makes up for with nostalgia and simple story telling that should resonate with teens and young adults.

The show debuted with record ratings for the CW, and it’s likely it will continue to attract eyeballs, if the plots remain strong and the show execs rely on the former 90210 veterans for a significant portion of story. For me, one of the most compelling parts of the pilot was the mystery of Kelly’s son’s paternity. Is it Dylan, Brandon or Steve? I don’t think I’m alone in my sentiment for the vets, if the amount of press Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty have been getting is any indication. (Seriously, they look better now than ever.) And seeing Nat still toiling away at the Peach Pit, albeit a modernized version with a fancy cappuccino machine, warmed my heart.

I also loved Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes as the modern-day Cindy and Jim Walsh. I hope we see plenty of plots for these TV vets, too. (The O.C. didn’t relegate the adults to backburner status and it made that show all the richer.)

In this version of 90210, the Wilson family moves from Kansas to Beverly Hills, and just as the Walsh siblings did, Annie and Dixon work to fit in. It doesn’t take long, as Dixon finds his niche in the sports world and Annie befriends the popular girls. It doesn’t hurt that their father is the new principal at West Beverly.

Garth still shines as Kelly Taylor, but it’s Jessica Walter who steals the show, as Tabitha, the alcoholic grandmother of the Wilson kids. (And Linda Gray was a stroke of casting genius as Tabitha’s pal.)

Sure, the show had its unbelievable moments. Annie scoring a date with a guy who looks like Superman (Tom Welling), who flew her to a different city for dinner comes to mind. But, all in all, 90210 was a fun ride. It offers new life to the zip code and is a treat for those of us who grew up addicted to the original. Now, if we can just get Steve Sanders back, it would be almost perfect.


Roca said...

Hey Jenny!!! =D
How have you been? How's the baby?~

God, I miss The O.C., I just wish at least one of these "teens" were at least as good as Adam Brody as actors, and talking about adults, how can you top Peter Peter Gallagher right?! too bad we didn't get more seasons of those two.

But I liked 90210 too, I think they've done a pretty good job on getting us excited and nostalgic about the veterans and at the same time the show can hold it's own without having to depend on their appearances

tube talk girl said...

Hey Roca! Parker is doing well, growing fast. I'm still sleep deprived.

90210 is nowhere near as slick as The O.C. was or even Gossip Girl. I miss Peter and Adam, too. But, I think 90210 will work just fine.

lawgirl98 said...

In the pilot, did you catch that Andrea and Jesse's daughter also goes to West Bev now? I really liked Annie, Dixon and their family--hope they stay true to one another like the Walsh family did!!!! (No cheating, Dad!)

Also, I really like the actress who plays "Silver"--Kelly's baby sis. Alot of potential there. Is big bro, David, going to appear? Maybe as a hip hop mogul?

Alot of fun, but not as wicked or addictive (yet) as Gossip Girl!

Law Girl

tube talk girl said...

Hey Lawgirl, I did catch that. Where is Andrea? LOL

There was an interview with "david" promoting his new show Terminator, and my friend Dan asked about reprising the 90210 thing. He basically said he's trying to focus on other projects, if I recall correctly. He wants to focus on the new gig. (I'm betting though if the new gig gets canceled, he wouldn't turn down the work!)

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