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'90210' Premiere: College Life Comes With Lots of Changes (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 14th 2011 2:44AM
'90210' season premiere - 'Up in Smoke'['90210' S04/E01 - 'Up in Smoke']

'90210' (Tue., 8PM ET on The CW) got itself a couple of new showrunners this past summer, and it looks like the plan is to make it as much like a new show as possible. With the kids transitioning to college, it's a perfect time for a facelift, but this one included some abrupt changes from where we left things.

Probably the most abrupt was the about-face for Naomi herself. When we left her, she was pregnant and looking to make a go of it with Max. Suddenly, she's not pregnant after all, Max was too relieved and now she's single and ready to ogle a cowboy.

Austin -- what a clever name for a cowboy! -- was the shirtless guy Naomi's drooling over, but it looked like someone beat her to him by the end of the episode. He's a rich son, though, which means he can hang with the cool kids, but he comes with some trouble. His parents owned the mansion Naomi bought, and she got him into trouble for growing pot there after he tricked her into paying more for it.

So, suddenly Naomi's living in this big new mansion with Annie, Ivy and Raj and decided to throw a huge party. She's determined to be the big girl on campus and thought this will do it, so hopefully this mansion is at least near the campus. Otherwise, she's just the loud partygirl the neighbors have already called the cops on.

By the time the raid happened, Austin was at the party -- naked, for some reason -- and Naomi only then decided it's time to throw out the pot ... by tossing it into the fire. After she ratted him out to his parents for the pot, Austin returned the favor by saying it was hers, so Naomi got arrested. That's not exactly an even swap there, cowboy.

But Austin's going to be sticking around, as he's Dixon's new roommate. The new showrunners had Navid play a practical joke on him by changing his gender on his dorm application, so now he has no place to stay in college. A point rendered almost immediately moot when he decided to abandon his college aspirations and focus on his music career anyway. Apparently the execs are worried that too many of these kids actually in college will be boring.

Adrianna returned as well, and while she didn't find forgiveness in Silver, she did find Austin's shirt to wear after she bedded him at Dixon's beach house. Silver and Navid, meanwhile, took in Navid's sister so the show will have a surly, ungrateful, wild high school girl again. And then there's Ivy and Raj, who look too sweet. Nothing's changed yet for them, but they do have Raj looking pretty sick and weak.

The episode wrapped with possibly the most bizarre new direction. Liam came back with a fat check from his summer of fishing, but rather than talk to Annie he decided instead to propose to her ... twice! Neither time worked, so he drowned his sorrows at a tiki bar on the beach, and then apparently bought it.

I know these actors all look like they're in their 20s, but aren't the characters still teenagers? How did he buy a bar?

If you're wondering about Teddy, he's apparently too boring for the new showrunners, so his storyline is being shunted to the side before he's written out altogether. This week he had a few scenes lamenting telling his father he's gay, and then did it in a voicemail while riding on a plane. The actor is under contract for four more episodes, but if his scenes are going to be as "meaty" as this one, why even bother?

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Ba Ba Bauf

it was Navid that played the practical joke on Dixon, not Raj. And I believe the law states that while you can't legaly drink until age 21, you can work in a bar at age 18, so that might be how Liam is able to buy the bar.

I will say, though, that the opening scene where Naomi isn't really pregnant was a BIG TIME cop-out by the new showrunners, clearly trying to rid themselves of the storylines from the previous regime. They pretty much succeeded in that....Naomi is not pregnant, she and Max broke up, Dixon is not going to college, Annie is not going to Carnegie Mellon, Liam and Annie have broken up, Teddy seemingly is leaving town, and so on. All the stories from last season are practically gone in just one episode. Not sure how creative that is, but is seems the new showrunners have what they wanted: a fresh start.

September 14 2011 at 4:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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