I’ve seen a few episodes of the original 90210 and I’ve taken the time to watch a bit of the newer 90210, and I’m ready to share my version of the truth on the matter: It’s different than the original. Surprised? I’m not either. It’s hard to explain, but the original show was interesting because the characters were so interesting – not really the story lines. (DJing the Peach Pit? Really?) But the new show has a similar plot, and interesting characters in its own right, but it’s not as interesting as the first time around.
In the original show, a brother and sister (Brandon and Brenda) came from the Midwest and were deposited in the glitz and glam of Beverly Hills. The rest of the cast was dynamic and fun. Drama, both on camera and off, ensued. Characters came and went over the years, but the central figures stayed tried and true – fashionable, full of angst, and occasionally backstabbing.
The new 90210 follows a similar plot. Annie and Dixon move with their parents from Wichita, Kansas to Beverly Hills. Immediately they are in the mix with Dixon making the lacrosse team, getting in a fight, getting kicked off the team and then getting back on the team. But not before he busts another guy for cheating on his girlfriend in his Escalade in the school parking lot. Oh, and his new best friend is the son of the largest producer of X-rated movies in the world, but he’s not allowed to watch the movies until he’s 21 – house rules.
Annie doesn’t fare much better in the overly dramatic department. In the span of two hours, she gets in the middle of a breaking up relationship, gets blogged about and then “moooed” at by the high school population. She gets a spot in the big musical, goes on a date with one boy via private jet, comes back in a rush to start reminiscing with another boy, kisses the first one and angers the second one. Whew! What happened to the good old days that made you wait for the action?
In fact, the action and language is one of the big differences between the shows from a decade ago and today. The original 90210 was sincere and clean, if edgy. There was illusion to romance and a few tantalizing scenes that made it clear how things would end, but the touchy-feely parts were kept to a minimum, if you know what I mean.
One of the first scenes in the new episode is a couple being a bit too friendly in a parked car in the school parking lot. In two hours, I probably counted two dozen naughty words as well – again, a big difference from the original.
For Better or Worse
Is it better? Nope. Is it worse? Many die hard fans of the first 90210 feel as though it might be. But I think we need to give the show a chance. It has some huge footstep to follow in and it will take a bit of time for the young actors
on the show to gain the experience and presence that the oldest high school students of all time already had the first time around. It’s definitely rated a “wait and see” in my book.