Thursday, August 22, 2019

Mega Burgers, Babies and Bodyguards

BH90210 Ep. 1.3 

This week’s BH90210 really starts over the weekend, when Ian Ziering took on a tsunami of blue, aquatic flesh-eaters in his the latest Syfy channel movie, Zombie Tidal Wave. Ziering is hoping to ride the wave of his Sharknado success with another low budget, b-movie franchise. As you can guess from the title, this time it’s zombies instead of sharks and tidal waves instead of tornados. Unfortunately, the film was sorely lacking in the humor department, and it really missed the goofy celebrity cameos that made the Sharknado movies so fun. Still, it was impressive to see Ziering keep a straight face throughout the entire film.

Let’s get into this weeks’ BH90210. It was all about Tori Spelling’s struggles as a producer as she tried to juggle the drama of the cast and the pressure from Christine Elise. Elise is no fool and has noticed that Tori has been very generous to the cast, like making Priestley the director and putting Garth in charge of casting.

Mega Burgers for everyone.
It’s in this boardroom scene that two amazing things happen. First Spelling, while complimenting Elise on her work as Emily Valentine, also mentions Chucky, referring to Elise’s role in Child’s Play 2. (Like I did last week.) Then, the magic really happened. Elise calls out Tori with a HUGE Nat reference“Have you reached out to Joe E. Tata yet? Maybe he’d like to be the CEO of Fox!”

It was a mega-moment.

Then the gang gather for a table reading and continue to bicker like a bunch of spoiled children. Garth and Priestley’s tryst is finally revealed to the group. This leads to a whole lotta “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me” moments and it kicks the tension between Garth and Priestley up to Kelly and Brandon levels.

We also learn that the gang likes to refer to Tori Spelling as T, like Tony Soprano, and Ian Ziering as Z, as in Zombie Tidal Wave.

Speaking of Z, Ziering shows up to the studio hungover from a binge inspired by his divorce. (Which seems to be moving faster than a zombie tidal wave.) He asks a young woman he believes is an assistant for some coffee and compliments her on her looks. He gets hit with a tsunami of #MeToo as he learns that his old shtick with the ladies is now considered inappropriate. In usual Steve Sanders style, he sees himself as the victim and later goes back to the bar to drown his sorrows with the boys. He even does a Bar Mat shot, where he pours of all of the liquid spilled onto the bar mat into a glass. It’s disgusting, and the most impressive thing he’s done since killing a flying great white shark with a chainsaw.

Z also punches the writer that Priestley hates. That lands the gang in group therapy where we get an appearance by Mother Walsh herself, Carol Potter. Apparently, she’s now a therapist. The session does not go well, as the gang continues to bicker and surprisingly downplay the murder dolls they all received. Except for Garth, who decides to get a bodyguard. Or booty-guard. 

Jennie goes home and adjusts to life with a hunky bodyguard and before you can say “Whitney Houston” they are flirting. This enables Garth to lighten up on Priestley and she encourages him to come clean with his wife and maybe give the baby a chance. Priestley takes her advice and tells his wife about Vegas.

However, he simply can’t work with the sleazy writer that knocked her up, so he goes around T and talks to Emily Valentine. Eventually T has to “Nut Up or Shut Up” as a producer, so she gathers her courage and fires the writer. He seems to take it well, but he does one of those faces to the camera as he’s leaving, so we know he’s got something up his sleeve.

Brian Austin Green ends up hiring Zach as his new assistant, mostly because Zach does not seem as enamored with his pop star wife as everyone else.  Unfortunately, Zach is his stalker, and he now has the keys to Green’s house.

Gabby’s husband is not thrilled with her new sexual awaking. She’s into women. He is not a woman. I can see his dilemma. I’ve got one word for him… or maybe it’s three. I don’t know, I don’t speak French, but the word is ménage à trois. Perhaps he should see this as an opportunity and suggest that Gabby bring home a friend. It’s worth a try.

It turns out that Christine Elise is very okay with the direction that Gabby wants to take Andrea on the show, and herself in real life. She encourages Gabby to embrace method acting and to do some research. This leads to Gabby using a dating app and suddenly we realize that Gabrielle Carteris just might make out with Emily Valentine sometime soon.

Finally, in a moment of desperation, Tori packs a bag and heads for Peru. There she climbs a mountain and finally makes it to a remote cabin where she finds the key to the entire reunion: Brenda Walsh. Shannen Doherty is finally convinced to join the show after T asks her to rescue her like she rescues all of those animals. How can she say no?
The episode ends with the gang recreating a classic group photo from the first season. Hopefully Luke Perry was looking down and smiling.

Next week… will it be a special Valentine’s Day for Gabby?

Tata for now.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Valentine’s Day in August

BH90210 Ep. 1.2 

Tori Spelling’s road to a 90210 reunion starts in a boardroom, where the FOX executives are surprisingly open to the idea, assuming the entire cast is onboard. Unfortunately for Tori, none of them are. Even if they were, they agree, you’ll never get Shannen. She’s too busy saving the seals.

This clearly is a fictional Shannen Doherty, because in our world, we have not seen much of her since she left Charmed and Scare Tactics. I think she’d be happy for the gig.

One of the executives is a longtime fan of The Niner and mentions that she used to have all of the 90210 dolls. Tori tells her she has the entire set, and then proceeds to pose them in a Peach Pit play-set as she assembles the cast for the reunion. I will refer to these as Chekhov's Dolls, because like Chekhov's Gun, they are showing us the dolls now, and they are going to fire the dolls later on in the show. Well, not literally fire them, but they’ll come into play in a significant way. You know what I mean.

The gang reunite at what seems like a red-carpet event, but it’s just their court date for their shenanigans in Sin City. What happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas, and now Tori owes $100,000 to the creepy fan that owns the dress she stole. After a lot of bickering, each one of our heroes turns down the opportunity of the reunion.

The highlight of this scene was a subtle nod to Sharknado that we’ve been waiting for, when
Ziering signs a poster for a fan. When this show first came back, I was kind of hoping that Tara Reid would show up as Ziering’s half-robot wife, like in Sharknado. I guess these writers just didn’t have the nards to go there. Missed opportunity.

Tonight was basically a series of scenes where someone was pissed off by someone else and then at the end of the show, they both apologize and reconcile. Also, Tori Spelling decides that indulging the demands of the cast is the fastest way to get them onboard with the show. Let’s take a quick look at how it plays out.

Jennie Garth and her daughter are at odds because her daughter is auditioning for parts and Jennie does not want her acting. This conflict is enough to keep Jennie from joining the reunion. That is until Tori decides to cast Garth’s daughter in the show.

If I remember correctly, Ian Ziering is hesitant to do the show because his impending divorce could cost him half of what he earns. However, he’s on board if Tori agrees to some kind of co-branding scheme and maybe some product placement. I don’t know. My mind was wandering. Just remember… Sharknado.

Priestley is still dealing with the actor that he punched. Gabriel, being part of the Actor's Guild, is able to negotiate a settlement. Priestley must play a super villain on a show and as a bonus, he gets kicked in the nards. But that’s not the last time he’ll get kicked in the nards. Later on, we find out that the new writer for 90210 is this shady guy who’s been blackmailing Priestley’s wife. Turns out he also is the one who got her pregnant. BAM! Another shot in the nards to our hero. (This time figuratively, but probably more painful.) On the bright side, Tori gets him to sign on for the reunion by allowing him to direct the pilot.

Gabriel is the easiest of them all. Not easy as in “She kissed the first girl that made a pass at her.” No, all she really wants is for the Andrea character to be exploring her sexuality. Gabriel also comes clean with her husband about her escapades.

Brian Austin Green bombs at an audition but still gets the part in the movie because his pop star wife promised to do a song for the film. He’s all pissy about it until he calls his best friend, Shannen Doherty, who reminds him that he’s being a schmuck and to lighten up, all while she’s saving a seal on a beach. So Green joins the show instead of doing the movie. Is there nothing Brenda can’t do?

Unfortunately, Green’s stalker is watching as he reconciles with his wife, and it is revealed that he has all of the cast members pictures on his computer. We all know that’s the universal sign for homicidal stalker, so now the fun starts.

It’s Chekhov's Dolls. If you show a doll at the beginning of the show, you must use it at the end of the show. Each of the 90210 gang gets a doll of themselves, one more mutilated than the next. It’s quite disturbing and it’s also a terrible waste, because you can get some pretty good cash for those things on eBay. But... did the stalker send the dolls, or was he a just a red herring?

Last but not least, let’s talk about the highlight of the show. “Holy Emily Valentine!” 

Hi Emily. Wanna play?
Yes, Christine Elise is back, and looking more like Brigitte Nielsen than ever. She showed up as a surprise executive at FOX. I’m glad she made something of herself. I haven’t really seen much of her besides 90210 and Child’s Play 2. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble she causes.

Next week, more Brenda. Please.

Tata for now.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Once Upon a Time... In Beverly Hills

BH90210 Ep. 1.1

Tonight we were treated to the premiere of BH90210, a “meta-reboot" of the series, where the original cast reunites, playing “heightened versions” of themselves. It’s a West Beverly take on the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, when the Seinfeld cast played themselves, reuniting to film a final season. Needless to say, 90210 fans could not curb their enthusiasm for this momentous event.

There was a lot to take in and I’m trying to remember everything that happened. Let’s see…

We open in the Peach Pit, now owned by Brandon and Kelly. David and Donna smooch in a booth as “I Want to Sex You Up” serenades them from the jukebox. Soon Andrea and Steve are at the counter. Suddenly, Tori Spelling awakens from a dream, screaming, much to the chagrin of her best friend, Jenny Garth. The real nightmare here for Tori Spelling may be that she is forced to fly coach these days. Apparently, times are tough in the Spelling household. 

All of our old friends are reuniting for a 90210 convention. Here’s where everyone is these days… forgive me if my facts aren’t straight. I was not taking notes.
·      Tori Spelling is working on her reality show and it just got cancelled. She also looking a bit like Joan Rivers these days, or maybe the Joker. Turns out, she’s a little nervous to see Brian Austin Green because he deflowered her back in high school.
·      My TV love, Jenny Garth, is heading into a divorce of her third marriage. (I may finally have a shot.) She’s a bit of a mess but looks great.
·      Sharkna-NO! Ian Ziering has just published a fitness book with his hot young wife. He has not aged a bit. (Also worth noting, there was not one mention of Sharknado. Sad.)
·      Gabrielle Carteris looks the same too. She looked like a grandmother when she was on the original show, and now she’s an actual grandmother on this one.
·      Brian Austin Green is not married to Megan Fox in this reality, but he does have a famous wife. She’s a pop star and he seems to live in her shadow. Ironically, in the “heightened version” of my life, I’m married to Megan Fox and she’s living in my shadow.
·      Jason Priestley is a director and recently got in some hot water for punching an actor on set. He hurt his wrist and possibly his career. He’s married to Vanessa Minnillo Lachey, who is his publicist or something. He also likes to wear hipster scarves.

After some awkward greetings, our heroes assemble for a panel at the Ninercon. It is here that a couple of key things happen. A fan reveals Jenny Garth’s divorce, which she was keeping secret. Another fan, who seems like a bit of a loner, asks Green a question and we’re pretty sure we have a stalker on our hands. Then, it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for…

We finally get a brief appearance by Shannnen Doherty when she surprise-Skype's into the panel. Looks like she’s some kind of new age animal rights activist these days. I’ll assume it is witchcraft and hope that a similar Charmed reunion is on the way.

After the panel, our heroes are rattled and naturally start drinking. That’s when the fun starts. Jenny Garth starts flirting with a guy at the pool. Gabrielle Carteris is approached by an amorous, female bartender and begins to question her own sexuality, as she admits to the ambiguity of Andrea Zuckerman’s preferences. And by questioning, I mean they kiss.

Speaking of kissing, Jenny Garth ditches the pool boy after he accidentally calls her Kelly, and she ends up in bed with Priestly.

At some point, a drunk Tori Spelling spots her old, puffy red dress from the show in a case and decides to break the glass and steal it. The gang retreats to Green’s private plane, where tensions between them start to arise. It doesn’t help that Ziering’s wife inadvertently butt dials and Facetimes him as she’s hooking up with another man.

The plane lands and the gang is arrested. Each once goes home to their own, private drama. Ziering starts looking at his pre-nup. Carteris awkwardly reunites with her husband. Priestley comes close to confessing his affair to his wife, but she interrupts him with the news that she’s pregnant. D’oh!

The arrest actually helps Green’s street cred and he starts trending on social media. Now he’s ready to get back in the game. Unfortunately, his stalker found his wallet and is now watching him through the gate. 

Finally, Jenny Garth stops by Casa Spelling, where Tori’s kids are watching 90210 for the first time. That’s when an idea hits Tori… almost as hard as Ray Pruit shoved Donna Martin against a wall. They should do a 90210 reunion show! Crazy? Yes. But it just might work.

So, there you have it. I did not know what to expect going into this, but I should not have been surprised by what we got. A very schlocky show that was fun in all the right 90210 ways. The cast seems thrilled to be working again and doing their best to flex their dramatic and comedic chops. Hell, Spelling and Garth seem to think they are the new Laverne and Shirley. 

Something tells me that someday, we’re going to look back on this a lot like many of us look back at those Brady Bunch reunion shows from the 90s and think; “Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Didn’t Bobby become a race car driver? And he was married to Martha Quinn from MTV? Yeah, I remember that now. Didn’t he end up in a wheelchair or something? I remember thinking it was a bit dark for the Brady Bunch.”

I’m really looking forward to seeing more Shannnen Doherty next week as well as the eventual return of Emily Valentine. I’m also holding my breath that we’ll get a cameo from some other old friends, like Vanessa Marcil, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Muntz and most of all, Joe E. Tata. I know he’s pretty old, but we want Nat! I’d also include Rebecca Gayheart, but her character was assassinated, so I guess that won’t work.

Undoubtedly, the best part of the night were the tributes to Luke Perry, who tragically passed away recently and was the cornerstone of the show.  They mentioned him a few times and even made a nice toast to him during the plane scene. Then they closed out the episode with a clip from the original show where Brandon and Dylan pull up to the beach and Dylan says “Welcome to paradise, man. Welcome to your dream come true.”

Tata for now.