Wednesday, September 03, 2008
90210 = South of Nowhere?
When I first read about the premise for the new 90210, the first thing I thought was, this sounds like South of Nowhere (a somewhat lesser known little show on the N that started back in 2005 and will be ending this year). And last night's premiere made the similarities even more obvious! I mean, let's see, family with teenage children moves to California from the Midwest (Kansas on 90210, Ohio on South of Nowhere). Annie is the sweet and innocent daughter, like Spencer, and Dixon is kind of a combination of Clay and Glen....like Clay he's the black kid adopted into a white family and like Glen he's the athlete whose talent rivals that of the star jock of their new school, Ethan/Aidan, who has a connection with Annie/Spencer, even though he's already dating Naomi/Madison, who's the richest, bitchiest girl in school. And then there's Silver/Ashley, the kind of indie alterna-chick who befriends Annie/Spencer. Of course South of Nowhere ended up going in a very different and kind of refreshing direction while 90210 seems to be on the predictable route for now.
I hadn't expected much from this show, because honestly the early seasons of the original were kind of terrible too. And we didn't really get much. It didn't have the punch that shows like the OC and Gossip Girl had from the very beginning and they tried to cram way too much into the first two episodes. So far I like Silver (which isn't a surprise since I really liked Jessica Stroup on Reaper) and Dixon and Navid seem ok. Naomi looks way too old to be a teenager and Ethan so far is incredibly boring (which is a shame because I kind of liked Dustin Milligan in the two minutes I saw of him on that failed show Runaway from a few years back). And Annie...I was never a fan of Shenae Grimes as Darcy on Degrassi and I'm finding her to be similarly grating here. I wonder if they're going to have her character bring out the claws like we saw with Darcy. I also kind of wonder what's up with that drama chick...the character/actress was not featured at all in any of the promotional materials but she had her own little subplot. Are they setting her up to get written off the show so Annie can get the lead in the musical or something?
As for the non-teenagers...of course it was really fun seeing Kelly and Brenda and Nat again, and there was the name-dropping of Brandon and "Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez." The English teacher/Lacrosse coach, Ryan, is kind of cute (as obviously I'm now old enough to be crushing on the adults of a teen show), but I get a creepy feeling there'll be something going on with a student coming up. The parents are eh, whatever. Rob Estes is alright and Lori Loughlin is always the same. I am not a fan of the son-he-didn't-know-about storyline. The grandmother is hilarious, though maybe not as awesome as Lucille Bluth.
So it wasn't great. But it wasn't as awful as say, Secret Life of the American Teenager, so I'll keep watching it. Compared to the original 90210 though, the cast seems kind of lacking in eye candy. The girls are all way too skinny and none of the guys are exactly Luke Perry...