In late December, when a picture surfaced of Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, and Jason Priestly, together in public I was intrigued. And as the rumors started circulating about CBS shopping a Beverly Hills 90210 revival/reboot, I have to admit I was very excited.
Of course with Luke Perry and Shannen Dougherty not signed on, I was less excited.
Though now that the truth has surfaced that it’s not a revival at all, I’m actually kind of pissed that I was put in a nostalgia TV tizzy for nothing. This project is (deep breath) an hour-long mockumentary-esque dramedy with the former teen stars playing themselves (or a version of such) chronicling their efforts to get an actual 90210 revival going.
I mean honestly, would I even add such a thing to my endless queue, let alone watch it? Well, certainly not without Luke Perry or Shannen Doherty.
You know what got me to watch the 90210 revival in 2008? (Besides Rob Estes, Lori Loughlin, and a theme song by Liz Phair?) Shannen Doherty.
And the hope that her being on another show set in the same zip code would correct some of the continuity error/plot holes from the original series. It didn’t. (And for the record, there are many of these original series blunders that still keep me awake at night — especially those that effected Brenda and Dylan and their off-screen time in seasons 7 and 8 together in London).
I have zero embarrassment whatsoever when I tout my love for Beverly Hills 90210. I started watching actually after the first season when a co-worker lent me his (yes, HIS, and he was straight) collection of home videotaped episodes. I was hooked after being up literally all night watching the back 12 episodes of Season 1. Yeah, that’s right, I was binging TV shows before it was officially a thing!
Thursday nights in college were spent with my friend Betty (and her bong) ordering pizza from Domino’s (back in the day when you could write a check for the $10 two-topping pizzas and a 2-liter Diet Coke meal deal that wouldn’t get cashed for a couple days) watching the antics of the West Beverly gang. Obviously, that the series lasted ten years, I would have different apartments with more comfortable couches, better pizza, new friends to watch with, and eventually a husband to mock me while I watched it — but it was the most consistent date I kept throughout my twenties.
Ask any woman who was teen girl in the early 90’s about it. 90210 was as important a lifestyle fixture as scrunchies, Zima, and l.e.i. high-waisted and thick black-belted jeans. We only differed in which side-burned hottie lit our hearts ablaze. (Dylan, duh).
Knowing my backstory, you would think that I could look past bleeding Team Brenda enough to anticipate spending some screen time with the other alumni of West Beverly Hills High — or at least the actors that played them. But nope. I don’t have it in me.
I never watched So NoTORIous on VH-1 (its creators Mike Chessler and Chris Alberghini are doing this new show) and have a hard time remembering if I ever actually made it a point to watch anything these original cast non-Luke Perry and Shannen Doherty actors ever did. The parts were never as good as the whole.
Also, was Donna Martin anyone’s favorite character? I mean, sure, we all wanted her to graduate, but that was because we were anti-authority.
As for Steve, David and Andrea, no one even liked those characters. Ever. I want to punch something thinking about the hour of my life wasted on Brian Austin Green’s bad acting through that meth in the orange juice storyline.
But maybe that just attests to the power of that show. It’s like family you don’t particularly like, but you love out of loyalty (and not enough time in therapy). in a post The OC world, I am har-pressed to honestly say it holds up. Marisa Cooper’s continual bad, but beautiful, choices in Season 1 alone put Kelly Taylor’s ridiculousness to laughable shame. And I cannot even allow myself to attempt comparing BH 90120 to Gossip Girl, Friday Night Lights, or Buffy The Vampire Slayer. But…nostalgia has its pull and the Brenda/Dylan/Kelly triangle is the one thing I have faith in as the best teen primetime soap plot ever.
The actors surrounding this, however, do not even stand a chance. So, if this dumb idea ever comes to fruition, they cannot count on this diehard fan’s support.
Things I will be watching instead:
Shannen Doherty in Mallrats, the first season of Charmed, and posts about her and her real-life bestie, Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Vanessa Marcil (Gina Kincaid in Season 10) in any of her back catalogue, including poor quality YouTube videos of Sonny and Brenda on General Hospital. (This episode has not only has Vanessa Marcil, but also John Reilly the actor who played Kelly’s dad)
Tiffani-Amber Theissen (Valerie Malone — the wanna be Brenda in Seasons 5-10) as Kelly Kapowski in the Zack Morris is Trash Funny or Die videos.
Lindsay Price (Janet Sosna in Seasons 9 and 10) in Lipstick Jungle or as An Li Chen in early 90’s All My Children episodes.