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September 3, 2008 |

By Stacey Nosek | TV | September 3, 2008 |

I actually had no plans whatsoever to either watch or review the new “90210,” since I was never a fan of the original, and therefore deemed myself unqualified for such an endeavor. (Although strangely enough, I couldn’t get enough of “Melrose Place.”) But after how much coverage I’ve been giving it over on Webster’s, I figured it was at the very least my duty as a pop culture blogger to give it a shot. Plus, you know how I loves me a good trainwreck. And “90210” did not disappoint. Of course, by “did not disappoint,” I mean it did not disappoint me by not sucking ungodly amounts of ass. As predicted, this show is horrible. Everything: the acting, writing, casting; it’s all downright atrocious. Do you like expository dialogue? If so, then this is the show for you! Since either the writers were apparently too lazy to craft any kind of meaningful backstory, or else the numerous studio rewrites commanded it, almost everything we learn about the characters in the premiere comes by way of cloyingly heavy-handed expository conversations. And yet, it’s atrocious in a Lifetime movie or daytime soap way, so that despite the all-encompassing suckage, I was still able to sit and watch the entire two-hour premiere. But I’m not gonna lie; half a bottle of cabernet sauvignon probably didn’t hurt, either.

The new “90210” is centered around the Wilson family, because even the last name of the main characters apparently had to be bland and uncreative. Patriarch Harry Wilson, (played by “Melrose Place’s” Rob Estes) along with his boring-ass wife Debbie (“Full House’s” Lori Loughlin) decided to move their family from Kansas to Beverly Hills to help out Harry’s mother, aging television star Tabitha (Jessica Walter). Based on the premiere, I’m guessing this was mostly for the reason of being able to make umpteen “not in Kansas anymore” jokes. That’s even the name of the first episode: “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore.” Gah. Harry and Debbie’s daughter is Annie Wilson, played by Shenae Grimes of that “Degrassi” show. I know some of you out there are fans of “Degrassi,” but because I’m thirty-one and don’t know any little people, I’ve never seen it. So if you have a problem with what I’m about to say, you can kindly suck it — because Shenae Grimes is easily the most annoying young actress ever to grace my television screen. She is completely unable to do any kind of emoting without overdramatically shutting her eyes, bobbing her stupid neck and tousling her stupid fingers through her stupid hair. Annie’s older brother is Dixon, played by Tristan Wilds, otherwise known as the token black kid you’ve probably seen in countless promos for the show. That’s right, even the token black kid on the show has a white family. Now I’m the last person to try to read too much into things looking for something to get offended over, but this just seems… Insulting? Regardless, Dixon, like a teenage version of Al Roker or Wayne Brady, is just as boring as the rest of his whitebread family.

After moving to Beverly Hills from someplace which is obviously very different sociologically, Harry is naturally crowned Principal of West Beverly Hills High for no other reason than that they needed some kind of half-assed contrivance to tie all the adult actors of the show in together. Oh, because despite having been gone for two decades, Harry still runs into people he knows around every corner! Since, you know, Beverly Hills is a quaint little town like that. Like Kelly Taylor, (Jennie Garth) for instance, who is now a guidance counselor at the high school and allegedly an old high school friend of Harry’s, even though he wasn’t on the original “90210.” It should also be noted that the fact that they were old friends, even though Ron Estes is not reprising his role from “Melrose Place” (which was a spin-off of the original “90210”) confused the living shit out of me. So if I were grading this show, I would also take points off for that. Anyway. Kelly Taylor’s teenage sister, who goes by “Silver” (Jessica Stroup) also goes to West Beverly Hills, filling the supposedly “edgy” badass type of role. In yet another dumbshit contrivance, Silver has a blog which she uses to skewer her classmates and is supposedly viewed by a half a million people per day. That’s a pretty substantial readership for a student body, huh? Also, Silver’s “blog” consists of cutouts of her classmates heads on animated bodies which dance around and talk, because God forbid they give us a realistic portrayal of internet technology in two thousand and fucking eight.

The rest of the cast includes the excessively stereotypical, bitchface alpha female Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord), whose flaky mom apparently has a bastard lovechild with Harry Wilson, and her dullard, generically attractive boyfriend Ethan, whose grandmother is friends with Annie Wilson’s grandmother. Get it? Because everyone knows each other. So convenient! You wouldn’t want to save juicy revelations like these for later in the series when you can blow ‘em all in the premiere! Also, Shannon Doherty shows up at some point with her butterface that looks like silly putty hit with a sack of bricks (thanks to the miracles of cosmetic surgery!) but I’m not quite sure what she’s doing there, outside of stunt casting. Oh, right: stunt casting. That’s the entire reason. In fact, the only bright spot in this whole tedious bullshit is Jessica Walter. I’m also not exactly sure what Jessica Walter is doing on this show either, but whatever the reason, I’m grateful for it. Pretty much every time Ms. Walter appeared in a scene (playing basically a diluted version of Lucille Bluth), I almost forgot what a stupid, awful show I was viewing. Then again, she’s so damn enjoyable to watch I think I could be entertained by her reading a bartender’s guide.

Again, I really can’t stress enough how bad “90210” is, but it’s so bad that I would actually kind of recommend watching it in a “look how bad this is!” sort of way. If “90210” were on Fox, it would be canceled by the earliest, already, and at the latest, next week; but since it’s on the CW it just might have a chance to limpdick along for the rest of the season before being unceremoniously not renewed next Spring. So for those of you so inclined, enjoy this crap while it lasts.

Stacey Nosek is the world’s most articulate idiot, and a television columnist for Pajiba. You can also find her ripping on celebrities at Webster’s Is My Bitch.

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