Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dispatch from the CW: Brenda Walsh, Michael Lee, Lucille Bluth and more on the new '90210'

Why is this man smiling? Doesn't he remember Dukie?

So Tristan Wilds and the rest of the gang from the new "90210" were just here at press tour. After the jump, some highlights, including confirmation about the return of Shannen Doherty.
  • Doherty will be back for several episodes as Brenda Walsh, who comes back to West Beverly as a special guest director for the school musical. (When last we saw Brenda, she was heading to London to study theater; the press release says she was successful as both an actress and director.)
  • I asked new showrunners Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs why they thought Tristan, last seen on the polar opposite of "90210" as Michael on "The Wire," would be right to play the lead on this new show. They admitted they were both huge "Wire" geeks, and that they spent most of their first few days working with him acting like they were on "The Chris Farley Show." ("Remember that time you were sitting on the stoop? That was awesome!") I could not get a satisfactory answer as to why they chose to leave Dukie behind.
  • The Peach Pit will be reimagined as more of a hip coffee house that the kids like to hang out at. Joe E. Tata was a very special guest at the CW's breakfast, but I didn't get a chance to talk to hm.
  • Jessica Walter, who plays Tabitha, the boozing ex-movie star mom of Rob Estes' character, was asked how Tabitha compares to Lucille Bluth. "Lucille enjoys vodka, while Tabitha prefers scotch."

13 comments:

domino87 said...

I will tune in, only for Tristan.

And you're kinda spoiling The Wire newbies with that second sentence, just sayin...

Alan Sepinwall said...

And you're kinda spoiling The Wire newbies with that second sentence, just sayin.

Good point. I trimmed it somewhat to make things vaguer.

David J. Loehr said...

Of course, in true Law and Order fashion, Rob Estes is playing a character other than his Melrose Place character, which was originally (somewhat) (kind of) (barely) a 90210 spinoff.

The fact that I know that scares me, because I didn't really watch either series...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Of course, in true Law and Order fashion, Rob Estes is playing a character other than his Melrose Place character, which was originally (somewhat) (kind of) (barely) a 90210 spinoff.

Someone asked Sachs and Judah about this during the session. They said they really wanted to cast Estes and would hope people don't really care.

Besides, if I remember correctly, Estes didn't turn up until very late in the run of Melrose Place, years and years after Jennie Garth's last appearance on the show in any way linked it to 90210.

Actually, just checked on IMDb. Garth only made a few appearances in the first season, the last sometime in 1992. Estes didn't become a regular until 1996... but he did make two appearances in 1993 as a completely different character. So universal consistency wasn't even a big deal within Melrose, let alone within the larger Melrose/90210 universe.

Why am I spending this much time explaining a show where they had all the characters but one repeat their junior year (at the same time that David Silver advanced from freshman to sophomore)? I have "Mad Men" interviews I need to be transcribing.

David J. Loehr said...

Yikes! Go, transcribe. Didn't mean to distract you so much...

I'm not really surprised about the earlier role. It's a very Aaron Spelling thing to do. (Just writing that phrase puts the idea of "A Very Aaron Spelling Christmas" in my brain; clearly, I watched too much Love Boat and Fantasy Island as a child.)

I was scarred by the same few episodes from the dawn of Melrose when visiting a friend at college that summer. His roommate was at home in Singapore when the show premiered, and they both loved 90210, so he taped the first episodes.

Well, the roommate came back unexpectedly the week I was there, and they decided to watch the tapes. And both of them promptly fell asleep.

And they did it again the next night. And again the next. I'm well versed in the "Billy takes Allison home and they pretend to be a couple for his parents' sake" episode even now.

But dear God, man, let it go and get back to Mad Men.

kat said...

90210! I can't believe this is being discussed when there are apparently "Mad Men" interviews (not to mention David Shore interviews) yet to be transcribed. Priorities! :-)

Anonymous said...

Alan, can you please erase the line about Brenda going to London?

That's a spoiler for us 90210 newbies.

Mark said...

Is there such a thing as a spoiler for a plotline that aired 14 years ago? At this point, I think that's gotta be considered fair game. Next thing you know, we're not going to be allowed to say who shot J.R.!

Anthony Foglia said...

What?! J.R. got shot?!

Pamela Jaye said...

internal spinoff consistency continues to commit suicide on Boston Legal - but what should one expect of a show whose predecessor referred to its sister show Boston Public as both a TV show and a real place whose employees could be represtented by the Practice in question?

it *is* annoying though. it would be lovely if producers could keep their fingers in the show's "bible" so as to not have things happen such as fans visiting the set make a chance "catch" to *not* accidentally rename the sister of a character (Al's sister, Quantum Leap) or have the writers have to go down to the stage door to ask the fans about a prior plotline (Dark Shadows) ;-)

Brenda came back at the end? I stopped watching a couple seasons in - actually it was when Tiffany whatever her last name is now showed up.

Pamela Jaye said...

also
ARRRRRGGGGHHHH NO! save me from having to watch the CW!!

(and now on to the HIMYM post)

Nicole said...

I didn't watch the last few years of 90210, but did watch the last episode and Brenda didn't show up for that one, even though her brother was maybe going to marry Kelly. Some really cheesy excuse was given, but it was clear that Shannen Doherty was not going to return to that show period.

Anonymous said...

Brenda never came back. The reason she left Beverly Hills was to act in London.