Monday, May 19, 2008


I’ve been hearing about this new version of 90210 that is supposed to be coming out. Well today I stumbled upon an actual trailer for it on YouTube. I nearly choked on my Mega-Burger when I saw it. Here it is:

New Niner (Click "Back" when you are done to get back here.)

There is no sign of Jennie Garth, who I heard is going to play a guidance counselor at West Beverly. My God, if I had a guidance counselor that looked like Kelly Taylor, I would be seeking guidance all the time.

The only familiar faces in the 90210 trailer were not from the original show. They are Finola Hughes, the mother from Charmed and Jessica Walter, the mother/grandmother from Arrested Development. (Ms. Walter’s presence is the only glimmer of hope gleaned from this trailer.)

From the trailer, this show looks exactly like what I thought it would be; another one of the endless cookie-cutter CW shows about pretty teenagers. This one will just benefit from the brand equity of the original show’s name and legacy. Hell, it works. Just slapping on the name 90210 has gotten my attention.

Hollywood banks on name recognition all the time. Make a zombie movie and it goes straight to DVD. Set it in a mall and call it a remake of Dawn of the Dead, suddenly more people will see it. Take a pedestrian action movie script called Simon Says, make the main character John McClane and you have Diehard with a Vengeance.

Unfortunately, the same reputation that will initially attract viewers is usually the thing that eventually drives them away. There is no way to replicate the cheese and kitsch of the original 90210. They can’t win. We will tune in expecting a new Dylan, Donna and Brenda. We won’t embrace new characters and we will cry “rip off” if they try to clone the old ones.

I guess it’s not impossible to succeed with this kind of thing. Star Trek: The Next Generation managed to pull it off. They tapped into the same Star Trek universe and managed to take it to new and entertaining place. It’s the exception, not the rule. Does anyone remember The New Odd Couple? I didn’t think so.

Let’s face it. We the show we want is 9021-Now. What is Dylan up to these days? Did he marry Kelly, or did he leave her to continue his life-long battle with mobsters. Did Donna and David last? What’s up with the Walsh twins? How old does Andrea Zuckerman look these days? Is the Peach Pit still open, or is it now a Starbucks? Did Steve Sanders end up in jail? Put it on HBO so we can have swearing and nudity.

I smell a hit…. and a Mega-Burger.

Tata for now.

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