Tuesday, September 2, 2008

90210 Premieres - Thoughts On The Premiere From A Fan Of The Original

The CW premiere party for '90210' in Malibu, California

The new version of 90210 premiered tonight. It should be pointed out that I grew up watching the original Beverly Hills 90210 and it is one of my favorite shows of all time. When the show ended back in 2000, it really was like a feeling of losing family that you had known for so long. I have gotten to where I am really nervous now whenever there is talk of a remake of anything that I loved. You just never know if the remake is going to be good or if it will leave a bad taste on what you loved about the original. That brought us to tonight. The network gave everyone nothing as far as previews. No advance screenings of the show and everyone would have to watch the show at the same time. I did get extremely nervous over the weekend reading some stuff about the show and a scene that was discussed from the first few minutes of the episode. My first thought was, oh no, they’re going to push boundaries and try to shock value this show. I was already concerned thinking that I’m likely to hate this. After watching the two hour premiere, I have to say that I liked it. I was saying that about halfway through the premiere. The show started new stories for the new fans but gave us old fans something to enjoy as well. They were able to introduce new characters, let us see the returning characters, and also hear news about other original characters not seen on the episode, and also able to tie the current new stars into the old show. I will be discussing spoilers so you may want to skip this if you haven’t seen it yet. The show immediately felt like 90210 from the first seconds with the way that the opening was done. Quick shots of Beverly Hills were shown with current mainstream music playing in the background. That was a huge part of the original. 90210 had such big mainstream music in it that it really added more personality to the show. So much that the music is getting replaced on the DVD’s but that is another ranting story. The focus of the new show is on the Wilson’s. Harry and Debbie move back to Beverly Hills from Kansas with their kids, Annie and Dixon, to take care of Harry’s mother. The original series, of course, focused on the Walsh family moving from Minnesota to Beverly Hills. Harry is taking over as principle at West Beverly Hills High. Annie is a theatre girl while Dixon, who was adopted by the Wilsons, is the star athlete and a very smart student. Annie and Dixon have a very good relationship and a strong bond. Annie is very Brenda like as far the first episode with her trying to fit in. They have to blend in as the new kids at a new school in a completely different world. Silver is a great tie between the original and new series. I put everything together quickly when she was introduced. She is called Silver but her name is Erin yet she doesn’t want to go by that. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who that was. Silver is of course the sister of Kelly and David in the original series and is now enrolled at West Beverly High. Just like her brother, she is into the video stuff doing video blogs but does more of a tabloid blog talking about her classmates at West Beverly. Nice scene with her telling her name that finished with Kelly walking in and taking some of her food saying “hey sis”. Insert the new Kelly Taylor, Naomi. Naomi and Annie hit off on a friendship (that sounds familiar). She has a complicated first episode that revolves around a cheating boyfriend, an embarrassment at school, and disciplinary problems due to a copied paper that she took from Annie. Navid is the head of the school’s daily newscast. Ryan is the English teacher that is interested in Kelly. Adriana is the theatre star with a lot of pressure on her. The problem is that she has a drug problem which makes her miss a big audition. Annie appears likely to be pushing her out of her star role in the chorus here soon based on the first episode. That brings us to the romantic story twist of the show involving Ethan. Ethan has ties to Annie from years past but also has ties to Naomi cause that is his girlfriend. Ethan cheats on Naomi which Annie catches in the act. Annie hits it off with another guy who takes her to San Francisco on a secret trip. Ethan is obviously interested in Annie as well. The grandmother? She is a very funny character. Her line of that she took out a SUV made me laugh out loud. More ties to the original series. I felt like such a nerd when I cheered at seeing Kelly, Brenda, and Nat in the same scene together. The thing that would have made that scene better with Brenda walking up behind Nat would have been if she was doing her "Laverne" voice. Some of you will get that reference. ha ha. Here is what we found out about our original characters. Kelly is now the guidance counselor at West Beverly. She has a 4 ½ year old son. No word on who the father is. Silver told the story of how her dad cheated on her mom. So, it sounds like Mel cheated on Jackie once again back when Silver was in 8th grade. He apparently cheated with Jackie's best friend. Silver and Naomi have bad blood due to the fact that Silver told Naomi the secret of the cheating but Naomi spread the secret everywhere. The cheating secret got back to Jackie and it sent her back to drinking. Brandon and Brenda are apparently roaming the world as Kelly told Brenda that she can’t keep track of where they are. Kelly said that she hadn’t seen Brenda since her son was born so the two were together for that moment. The Peach Pit is back obviously and is still the hangout. I noticed that the club was named “The Pit” which makes me think that is Peach Pit After Dark? Next week’s episode had a preview of Kelly confronting her mom saying that she wasn’t going to let happen to Silver with what their mom did to Kelly. Yep, Jackie returns next week. Nice little comments here and there given to us original fans as well such as Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez doing the school announcements. That would be the daughter of Andrea. She only had a cameo but we knew who she was and then we had the line afterwards of “she looks like she is 30”. An obvious reference to the age of the original cast members who played high school students. I picked up on the joke as I’m sure pretty much everyone did. Other thoughts. There was the scene that had been talked about with the girl in the car with Ethan. Yeah, that was pushing the envelope and concerned me that the rest of the show might be that. However, it wasn’t. I didn’t want the shock value and there wasn’t really a lot of that for the rest of the night. I don’t know if they’ll do more shock type stuff for episodes ahead. Very good selection of music used in the episode. Like I said, the original was known for being current and mainstream with music being a part of that. The new 90210 has that going for it too. I won’t go into all the spoilers and details on happenings on the premiere but I found it very enjoyable. I am definitely going to be sticking around and watching it. The show does a good job of mixing both generations of 90210 to where I think new fans and original show fans will be happy. All of us original fans have ties to it with the characters that we grew up with and also the next generation of those characters including Silver. If you’re a fan of the original 90210, I say give it a shot. You may or may not like it but give it a shot anyway to see what you think. If you missed the premiere, you can see the encore of it on Thursday night at 7pm on The CW.

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