BH90210 Pilot: too smart? 

Duana Posted by Duana at August 9, 2019 17:46:26 August 9, 2019 17:46:26

Look, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Lainey and I have complained, kind of a lot, about the fact that people don’t read. Not you, of course, you’re here reading this and tons of other word-related content but… people. They don’t read. 

And obviously they don’t, I dunno, watch any social media or anything else either? Because the outcry about how BH90210, as it’s being styled, disappointed fans by being about Jason, Tori, Jennie, and Ian, as opposed to Brandon, Donna, Kelly, and Steve – it’s kind of baffling to me. 

Look, Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth, the co-creators of the series, have been out here promoting this for months now, and specifically saying the show would be a mockumentary about a ‘heightened version’ of the actors – closer to Curb Your Enthusiasm than, say, the Murphy Brown reboot. 

Which is GOOD! Which is smart! First of all, nobody cares about middle-aged Brandon having political conflicts, and Andrea Zuckerman is way, way over caring what some meangirls think of whatever bikini she chooses for the pool party. Plus, lest we forget, there already was a 90210 reboot circa 2008. How quickly that faded out of cultural conversation, huh?  

Far more interesting is the glimpse into the lives of these people, the first supernova superstars of our time, who were catapulted into the spotlight as basically teenagers and whose off-screen lives trained us to care about celebrity culture in the first place. 

I mean, Shannen Doherty… just think about all the things you know about that person, inside and outside this cast. 

Then everything else that’s really true is what they skewered in this pilot! Brian Austin Green’s wife is way more famous than he is! Tori Spelling absolutely has a passel of children, a million reality shows, and – as they literally wrote in the script of this pilot! – inexplicably has money problems despite being the daughter of the most successful TV producer in history! Gabrielle Carteris is the president of SAG-AFTRA and would theoretically be annoyed at her former costars screwing around on set. Jennie Garth – yes, three marriages – which you know, because you remember reading the profile of her and her husband Dan in that Sassy magazine, right? 

These people have lived in the spotlight for long enough that they’ve heard everything you’ve heard about them. They’ve made their peace with it all being out there, and they’re ready to have a little fun (and make money) at it. I think it’s so smart, and I’m shocked that there are people who don’t want to relish it. 

Plus – let’s think about those moments where they remember Luke Perry. Would you really want those to be about ‘Dylan’? Explaining away where he is, or worse, having the character pass away off-screen, would be trite and diminishing for the man that we all mourned just a few months ago. 

I am shocked – shocked! – that I seem to be in the minority in unequivocally loving this, and I think the show’s only going to get better given that they had to do a lot of setup in the pilot. When they get the idea to do the onscreen reboot (I assume) we’ll have even more of the original gags about exchanging eggs and too much sexual chemistry between siblings, but the added elements of the lives of Tori and Jennie and Ian (who, by the way, has really come into his own, looks-wise) is what makes it more interesting, and watchable …why doesn’t everyone else feel the same way? 

Like I said a few weeks ago, Aaron Spelling was a genius producer, and I’m fully behind the idea that he would think this was a spectacular use of our 90210 stars – and he’d be proud they were clever enough to see that, too. 
 

Photos:
Vera Anderson/ Amy Sussman/ Michael Tran/ Gregg DeGuire/ Getty Images

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