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.

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