Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Newest Guilty Pleasure: "90210" [Part I]

Yes, that's right! This is going to be "Part I" of my review of The CW's re-vamp/spin-off of popular '90s primetime soap, "Beverly Hills, 90210": "90210". "Part I" will essentially be my reasons for actually watching "90210". I tell, not to make a justification for why, but to help me understand why I did. "Part II" will actually be my review of the 2-hour premiere of the show.
Shockingly, it isn't as bad as I assumed it would be...

Reasons I Checked Out "90210":
The pilot for the spin-off was written by three writers - two writing teams - whom I have come to really like in the last few years.
The first team, the executive producers and head writers of "90210", are Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs. This team held supervising producer credits and wrote two episodes - "I'm With the Band" and "The Garage Door" - of the geek-loved, cult TV show "Freaks and Geeks". They also developed the 2004 teen drama series, "Life As We Know It" - which started off well, but floundered in the latter half of the series' only, 13-episode season.
The third writer of the pilot, entitled "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" (will explain later), is none other than the creator of one of my all-time favorite series and favorite teen drama, "Veronica Mars", writer Rob Thomas (not of band, Matchbox 20). Most likely, since Rob Thomas is working on so many other television projects - including a re-vamp of his first created series, "Cupid" - he will not be returning to write anymore episodes of the series. At least, not this season.
In addition to the series' writing staff, what got me to tune in at 8pm on Tuesday was childhood memories. "Beverly Hills, 90210" was one of my mother's favorite television shows when I was first discovering the world that is primetime television. One of the things I always liked about my parents' view on first-time child rearing (I was the first child, a.k.a. the test subject) was that they did not like a lot of the public broadcasting children's shows. My parents hated "Barney", and so did I. They liked "Sesame Street", though. So, I ended up growing up on primetime television shows. Shows like "Seinfeld" (anyone who knows me knows that), "The Cosby Show", "A Different World", "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", "Cheers", "Fraiser", "Full House", "Murphy Brown", "NYPD Blue", "Law & Order", etcetera, etcetera. Now, I also watched a lot of Saturday morning cartoons of the early-to-mid-1990s, but those shows are meant for another post. One of such shows was "Beverly Hills, 90210". Unlike most of the shows on the list, I didn't complete the show to its final airing. It started when I was just two-years-old, but I watched whatever was on TV at the time. That theme song is as grained into my memory, as was the "Seinfeld" theme and Where Everybody Knows Your Name from "Cheers".
And, while I watched "Beverly Hills, 90210", I ended up becoming increasingly attracted to Shannen Doherty. Why? I don't know. Besides the fact that Brenda was hot as hell, Doherty was also a bitch. One of the many reasons why she was written off. So, when I heard that she would be making a short episode-arc return on "90210", I had to tune in! I mean, I watched "Charmed" for 3 seasons. You know, until she was written off for being a bitch...

Surprises That Came While Watching "90210":
Many shocking revelations came to me while watching "90210". And not a one of them came from the plot.
I did not know that Jessica Walter - Lucille Bluth, or Gangy, of "Arrested Development"- and Lori Loughlin - Rebecca "Becky" of "Full House" - would show up on the show!
Also, Shenae Grimes - who played Darcy from my summertime guilty pleasure, "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (Danny showed me that Canadian melodrama is fucking hilarious) - plays the main character, Annie Wilson (more on her later).

"Part II" to come soon...

1 comment:

Danny Djeljosevic said...

When the boys and I were watching it the other day, we predicted the revamp was doomed.

The new 90210 continues the old pretense of being about a high school--a.k.a. the thing that Degrassi does better--of course, but it feels kind of... old-fashioned, like a direct continuation of the original show. Aside from the blow-job at the begginning of the episode, there is little fucking, but lots of teen drama. Dunno if it'll fly considering the hottest show right now, Gossip Girl, is exclusively about young people fucking.

Also, the slam blog that's causing so much drama feels like vintage Rob Thomas.

The best part of the series thus far is Jessica Walter, whose direction must have amounted to "be Lucille." All that talk of Ricardo Montalban cracking an egg on her ass had me in stitches--that and the head injury I received earlier that day.