Tuesday, September 09, 2008

90210, "Lucky Strike": This is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules here.

Spoilers for episode three (or two, if you prefer) of "90210" coming right up. Also, feel free to comment on the "Privileged" pilot here, as I'm not going to do a separate post.

I'm glad I've been reading Rich Heldenfels' flashback reviews to the original "Beverly Hills 90210," because they reminds me just how closely the new "90210" is hewing to the original not only in terms of tone, but in its actual plots. "Lucky Strike" was a riff on the original's "Perfect Mom," where Brenda was embarrassed to have such square parents until an encounter with Kelly's coke-snorting mom Jackie convinced her to be grateful for being part of such a functional family. Not only did we get that story again, but they even brought Ann Gillespie out of semi-retirement so Jackie could serve as the cautionary tale for a new generation. Fan service, baby!

Overall, my opinion on the new show hasn't changed much. It's slightly smarter and quite a bit better-acted than the original, but otherwise it's been almost shockingly faithful to the spirit of its predecessor. And that's only going to be interesting for another week or two.

Hearing Tristan Wilds -- who, on "The Wire," played the son of a dope fiend -- give a monologue about growing up in homes where his parents and/or foster parents drank and used was an odd nod to his previous gig. On the one hand, it reminded me how great he was on "The Wire." On the other, it reminded me of what a step down in weight class this show is. (Though, to be fair, former "Wire" fans are even less the CW's target audience than hardcore "90210" 1.0 fans.)

What did everybody else think? How much longer are you going to stick with it?

22 comments:

Sean said...

Hardcover "90210" 1.0 fans?

Josh said...

Honestly, I didn't watch the show, but I wanted to at least give my support for the blog title, even though it makes the show lamer by drawing a Lebowski connection that I know isn't really there.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Hardcover "90210" 1.0 fans?

That's karma striking me down for recently laughing at a colleague who told me her blog was edited.

That should have read (and now does read) "hardcore "90210" 1.0 fans."

Michele said...

I also thought the storyline where Naomi catches her dad cheating was a nod to the Color Me Badd episode where Donna sees her mom kissing someone who isn't her father.

After Dixon's impassioned drug speech, I doubt we'll get the equivalent of Brandon crashing Mondale anytime soon, though.

I'll probably stick with it for a couple more weeks, mostly to see who shows up from the original cast.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed last week's, but I thought this episode was a of a let down. There was very little plot advancement and what we got was pretty predictable and boring (Did anyone not think Naomi would catch her dad cheating? Or that the mom already knew? And did anyone care?) And as much as the adult actors claimed this show would be like The O.C. and the parents would be getting juicy storylines of their own, it already seems like they're struggling to figure out what to do with them--which would explain why Jessica Walter was completely absent. Also disappointing was that Shannen Doherty wasn't back this week and that Jackie's appearance was saved for so late in the episode. Jackie's behavior also didn't really comport with her behavior in the original. Granted, I think other than the "Perfect Mom" episode her character was clean for the entire run of the series, but I never got the impression she was abusive or belligerent with Kelly, just neglectful and out of it.

I'm going to continue to watch the show because I have so much affection for the original, but if it wasn't called 90210 (and by extension featured some of the original cast) I don't know how long I'd be in for. Hopefully it'll pick up next week.

marc b. said...

This episode was just awful. Where are the flashes of fun, creativity and specialness of Freaks & Geeks and Veronica Mars?

Larry McGillicuddy said...

Am I the only one that thinks the kid might be Steve's?

Having said that, I wish they'd quit with the pronoun game. It's already getting old, and they clearly don't have any idea on how to slip it in without it sounding so awkward. There's no way Jackie wouldn't have named the person in that scene.

I'm definitely on board for the Dixon/Erin romance, but the rest of the teen characters don't interest me much.

Kyle Wasko said...

This show kinda makes me sad. So much hype, so pro forma, so unnecessary...so downright dull. I may keep watching just to complain about it (see also: Hills, The), but maybe not even that.

Dan said...

I didn't watch the first episode (or two) but I figured I'd tune in last night. Ehh. I'll probably watch b/c I have an addictive TV personality...but I felt like sticking needles in my eye balls during every scene with Naomi. That storyline has to go...

Anonymous said...

One other thing worth nothing is that after seeing Jessica Stroup in the True Blood pilot a few days ago she is looking frighteningly skinny on 90210. Sad.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the kid is Steve's. He had a kid by the end of the original 90210, so it wouldn't make sense for him to be a deadbeat dad. Frankly, it doesn't seem like something Brandon would do either. Most likely it's Dylan. My guess, though, is that the real answer will come down to whichever actor they're finally able to lure back for a guest spot.

Anonymous said...

Funny you mention how skinny Jessica is---do any of the young women on the show weigh more than 105 pounds? Especially if the camera adds 10. Wow. Cute as some of them are, it's a shame they don't ever eat anything.

I assumed they're not naming the father because they weren't sure who they could get to do the guest starring role---or they think people will actually tune in to find out. Cliffhanger!

This episode was very "meh". I actually thought the pilot was only slightly interesting and was surprised by all the praise it got here. The show's not offensively dumb or corny or repetitive---it's just okay. I don't know if it will be worth watching much longer, but I guess I'll stick with it for a bit.

Anonymous said...

"There's no way Jackie wouldn't have named the person in that scene."

Yeah, that was the most awkwardly written line ever. Had she just said "Unless his father has decided to come back and actually be a parent" it would have seemed a lot more natural and still managed not to name names.

emeraldliz said...

Privileged- I can see why no separate post. When the best characters on a show about American Princesses are the hard working waiter boy and the fabulous black gay chef (is this and True Blood a step UP or DOWN from Mammy?), you've got issues. How exactly is the tutor better or any different than the girls she's teaching?

Anonymous said...

I thought the pilot -- the first hour of last week -- was quite good. But the next two hours have been really dull. The cast is likable enough but compared to the heights both the O.C. and Greek have hit in similar areas, I see no reason to keep watcihng.

Anonymous said...

The show is bo-ring. The actress who plays Silver seems a winner, though, and will hopefully go on to better things.

And while I appreciate them keeping it a mystery as to whether Brandon or Dylan is Kelly's baby-daddy, I can't say it's enough to keep my interest.

Anna said...

Re Baby-daddy

My guess is the writers don't know either. They are waiting to see who (or if) they can sign - Jason Priestly, Luke Perry or Ian Ziering for a few eps.

JFunk said...

In order to fully enjoy 90210, you need to watch it in a group - just like you probably did when you watched the original. This show was MADE for snarky comments. Like the fact that the teacher thinks that Kelly's kid is her only baggage. If he only knew...

I'm going to stick with this show until they bring Donna back. In a casket.

Neena said...

'What did everybody else think? How much longer are you going to stick with it?'

I thought this ep was ok but nothing special. I'll stick with it and hope that it improves.

TBH i don't think there is one character that i really care about. While i like Dixon, Grandma Wilson, the parents, Kelly's new boyfriend, Adrianna and Navid. I don't really know them as characters yet...too early.

It's good to see the acting improving. Ethan was less dull this week and Annie less annoying. But Naomi...oh dear...the less said about the actress who plays her the better. I felt embarassed for AnnieLynn McCord just watching her scenes.

My main problem is that they are still rushing everything. If they have an interesting storyline, then they should at least let it run for a few ep's and not solve it in one ep. Silver being homeless was resolved too quickly IMO.

Loved Navid in this ep; i definitely want to know more about him. Jackie was also very good.

Anyway i hope it improves and will continue to watch.

J said...

In order to fully enjoy 90210, you need to watch it in a group - just like you probably did when you watched the original. This show was MADE for snarky comments. Like the fact that the teacher thinks that Kelly's kid is her only baggage. If he only knew...

I'm going to stick with this show until they bring Donna back. In a casket.


JFunk OTM. Also, I'd add a high quantity of low quality malt liquor to the situation.

Donna Martin deteriorates! Donna Martin deteriorates!

Agent X said...

Dad can't be Brandon because they referenced him being a world traveler in the last episode in an exchange between Kelly and Brenda. If he was the daddy, he would not have been referenced as Brenda's brother but as whatever the kids name is father...

Anonymous said...

I preferred Privileged to 90210 this week.

I look forward to the relationship Megan and the grandmother (Anne Archer) will have.