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October 9, 2015

TV Squad Ten: Why you should give the new 90210 a chance

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Dec 19th 2008 3:01PM
90210When a spin-off is launched, people - and I include myself in the lot - are quick to criticize. "This show sucks!" "It's not the same as the original!" "Rip off!!!" Let's face it, it's not easy for a spin-off to live in the shadow of the show that launched it. One of these series is The CW's 90210.

When Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered in October 1990, I was a 13-year-old looking for a new series that would tackle issues teenagers like me could face. As a Canadian, Degrassi Junior High had been entertaining me and providing answers to questions teenagers ask since 1987, but Degrassi's quality made me crave for more of the like. Thankfully, BH90210 was launched and I never missed an episode during its 10-year run.

When The CW announced that it would revive the series by creating a spin-off, I was all giddy inside. Could Dylan, Brenda, Kelly and company be back? Would it be set at the same high school? Would it be as good as the original? Who? How? When? What? Why? Argh!!! My expectations were getting high. Too high.

As expected, I didn't enjoy the first few episodes of the spin-off much and found a lot of flaws in it. However, out of nostalgia, I stuck with the series and started to find reasons why people should give 90210 a chance. Let's see if you agree with my reasons.

1. Characters from the original series drop by. To our viewing pleasure, Kelly, Brenda, Nat and Jackie appeared in various episodes. Yes, Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth buried the hatchet long enough for them to appear in a few scenes together. There is also a possibility of more popping up such as Tori Spelling, who played Donna, as the actress resumed talks to guest star on the show. One of the teens is named Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez. Rings a bell? It should since her mother is none other than Andrea Zuckerman. This opens the door for Gabrielle Carteris to guest star. If the series is renewed for a second season, maybe other actors will be convinced to drop by for a 10-year reunion!

2. We get news about our favorite characters. I'll admit that I have yet to really get attached to any of the 90210 characters. Maybe it's because I've spent 10 years with the BH90210 characters and a few mere minutes with the 90210 ones? What I look forward to every week is if there will be tidbits about the Beverly Hills, 90210 characters revealed. Thankfully, the spin-off delivers the goods. Maybe not as often as we'd like but still, they do throw us a bone here and there. Of course we got news about Kelly, Brenda, Nat and Jackie since they all appeared on the series. But we also got tidbits about other characters such as Dylan and Brendan. Let's hope that we get more intel in the upcoming episodes because it does help in making me tune in every week.

3. Nostalgia. Even if there are episodes without mentions of the original characters, just seeing the current bunch walk the corridors of West Bev High and hang out at the revamped Peach Pit make me nostalgic. It makes me miss the old show and remind me of events such as people rallying for Donna to graduate. Memories, memories.

4. Lori Loughlin is back on TV. Most of us first got acquainted with Lori Loughlin when she starred in Full House. As it was the case for BH90210, I grew up watching Full House; therefore, the cast - especially the core couple of Jesse and Becky - was, in a way, part of my life. I also watched the entire run of Summerland and gave In Case of Emergency a chance because she was part of the cast. So watching Loughlin on screen now is like seeing an old friend. So far, she hasn't been given much material on 90210 except act as a really supportive mother and wife but the Sean drama will surely give her more to do.

5. We get to watch Rob Estes every week. I'll admit it, I drooled over Estes when he portrayed Kyle McBride on the first BH90210 spin-off, Melrose Place. You have to admit that Estes, now 45 years old, still looks hot! Just to watch him on screen and see his dimples when he smiles his worth giving 90210 a chance.

6. Lucille Bluth!!! Jessica Walter may not be starring as Lucille Bluth on 90210 but Tabitha Wilson is a close second. Walter plays an actress passed her prime who likes to drink, hang around her mansion and tell her grandkids how to live life. Sounds familiar, eh? As it was the case in Arrested Development, Walter just rocks when she appears in a 90210 episode. Sadly, she went from regular to recurring on 90210, meaning that we will see less of her in the second part of the season.

7. The chance to see AnnaLynne McCord be evil. Even if I had seen her in guest starring roles before, my first taste of AnnaLynne McCord's acting was when she played oh-so-evil Eden Lord on Nip/Tuck. She truly really scared me during her stin on the FX show to a point that I was afraid she would throw things at me through the TV instead of at the other characters! The actress may not have top notch acting skills but she was believable enough to make us totally despise her character and believe in her evil doings. Her 90210 character may not be as evil as Eden but it offers McCord a chance to continue to grow as an actress playing bitchy and evil characters. I look forward each week to see how low her character will go and what the actress will get to throw (fits, flower pots, etc.).

8. Bitchiness and backstabbing. If you are a fan of shows like Gossip Girl for the messed up relationships, backstabbing, evil plots, etc., you may want to check 90210 as it offers some of the same goods. I say "some" because 90210 scripts have yet to be written in the same quality that GG's scripts are but many of the storylines are the same: stealing boyfriends, catfights, rumors, etc. That's entertainment.

9. Storylines. Since 90210 is not the first series of its kind, it's normal to have some storylines be recycled. However, it's nice to see those storylines back in a West Bev High setting. As it was the case for the original series, 90210 tries to teach a thing or two to its viewers: the dangers of drug usage, going through a messy divorce, telling the truth, etc. One interesting ungoing storyline is that of Sean. Is the young man who showed up really is who he says he is?

10. Curiosity. You were a fan of BH90210 and have yet to tune in to the latest spin-off? Admit it, you are curious to see how lame or good it is, eh? How about letting curiosity get the best of you and watch a few reruns during the Holidays?

Do you agree with my list of reasons why people should give 90210 a chance? Are there other reasons that should be added to the list? Or should we forget about 90210 altogether? Why? Share your opinion in comments below.

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I enjoy the new 90210, although I will admit that I like the show a little better when one or more of the original characters makes an appearance.

As someone who also watched the entire series from the beginning and related so strongly to it because I was the same age as the characters though, I have to say that you, as a supposed 10 year devotee of the original series, should really know that the characters name was BRANDON and not Brendan as you called him in point number 2. I do believe you to be an impostor!

How's that for bitchiness, if not back-stabbing!

January 26 2009 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the old 90210 better then the new one but it still gets me interested in watching it they need to bring it back


December 20 2008 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love the new 90210 and I do watch it for the old 90210 nostalgia value... good list..

and backstabbing and bitchiness are always needed for any drama...

December 19 2008 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Ryan drama should be Sean drama. Ryan is the teacher; Sean is the new one. You have that error in your article twice. If it gets fixed, I'd like to link to it off my site, www.fansof90210.com!

December 19 2008 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rosalir's comment
Isabelle Carreau

I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote "Ryan" especially since I linked to my how "who is Sean" article! At least, I wrote the name of another character on the show.

Name is fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

December 19 2008 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

90210 is like a cheap alternative to gossip girl. i watch them both but gossip girl is 100x better.

December 19 2008 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C. Hernandez

Seems like half the list is nostalgia with slightly different wording. Seeing the old characters! Hearing about the old characters! Seeing West Bev! Seeing Aunt Becky! And yeah, all those things are good, but stretching it out into a 10-item list seems a little ridiculous.

And no. I don't think bitchiness and backstabbing is entertainment. More like dreck and drivel. But I do still like the show...mostly for Rob Estes both for the "pretty!" factor and for the character.

December 19 2008 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So your main reasons for watching the show is because of the old BH90210? Why not just watch the DVDs then.

December 19 2008 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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