I was going to wait until tomorrow to weigh in on the new 90210—taking my time, really mulling it over—but I just can’t. So here I am.
First off, I liked all the little in-jokes, like Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez, and the crack about how she looks 30 (ouch, Gabrielle Carteris!). But some stuff just rang really weird to me. Like the fact that NONE of the Wilson family looked like they came from Kansas, especially Lori Loughlin. (Edit: it has been brought to my attention—rightfully so—that the previous sentence could be seen as disparaging. For that, I am sorry. It is not at ALL how I meant it. I meant that Lori L. et al already looked VERY Californian to me when they arrived, which kind of took away from the “whole new world” vibe they were going for, especially in the opening scenes. I mean, remember how Cindy Walsh stuck out from all the other BH moms? That’s what I was getting at, although not very gracefully, clearly.)
I watched the show with my friends Courtney and Dana, both SERIOUS 9er fans from way back, and because we were chatting and reacting I missed some stuff, so I went back and watched the first hour again this morning while chasing/feeding/cleaning up after the baby. One thing that bothered me and Courtney: that picture of Kelly Taylor and the principal, back in their own high school days. HELLO! I have seen EVERY episode of 90210. Twice. If she dated him, wouldn’t we have known it? Dana pointed out that Kelly, at least back in the day, got around a bit, so maybe not. But it seemed kind of inserted to me, although I understood why it was necessary.
Overall, pilots are hard anyway. They’re always trying to introduce the characters all at once, and it can seem a bit jumbled, which the first hour did to me. I have to say that the original handled the whole fish-out-of-water thing better: Brandon and Brenda really DID seem like they were from Minnesota, whereas these new kids blended in pretty darn quickly in terms of attire, hair, etc. Gotta say that the girl that plays Naomi does NOT look like she’s in high school, but Gabrielle Carteris WAS almost 30 when she was on the show, so I can’t really be picky about that. And to have the woman playing the grandmother be the Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development was a mixed bag. She’s a great actress, but I kept expecting her to be funnier. Not her fault, but there it is. And I liked how they wove in the old characters, especially Brenda and Kelly and whoever it was Kelly was on the phone with—-dare I even guess? Or hope?
I have to say, though, I liked it better on a second viewing, and I plan on watching the second hour again tonight. All in all: I will add it to my season pass, I will keep watching. I am intrigued, especially by the appearance of Jackie Taylor (looking very Botoxed!) in the preview for next week. But I think the challenge they have ahead of them is finding a balance between the old and the new: just enough older stuff to hook vets like me, but enough new so that people who weren’t even BORN the first time around don’t get bored. Not an easy thing to do, for sure.
Oh, and one last thing. That scene in the parking lot, when Annie walks up and sees Ethan in the car—ahem—with that girl? Seemed like a total play for press to me. Very Gossip Girl-esque. Although I did like how it made Courtney shriek and flap her hands in shock, the way she did pretty much all the way through the Sex and the City movie.
Okay, okay, enough. I know those of you who care NOT ONE WHIT about this show are rolling your eyes. I’ll return soon with your regularly scheduled blog posts about other zip codes. Promise!