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You already know it wouldn’t be an episode of the 90210 reboot without a dream sequence opening! This is the finale, there’s no tricking us anymore, so when the episode opened with Ian Ziering talking to his younger self at The Peach Pit, there was no surprise. This was definitely the most boring of the dream sequence collection, and after a couple of words of advice from old Ian telling young Ian that he needs to cut his mullet, stop wearing crop tops and start a family, he wakes up (in a face mask, no less) fresh and ready to start the day!
He gets to set and expresses to Brian that he’s sick of doing this whole no-strings-attached thing with the boring writer, whose name I still haven’t bothered learning. Brian complains about how many strings he’s stuck with, what with his super hot wife Lala Anthony and their three beautiful kids. Ian goes to the nameless writer and tells her he can’t do this whole NSA thing anymore! She tells him she can’t ever actually date an actor, explaining that her mom is an actor, so it’s just a bad association for her. Ahhh, so now it makes sense how a writer with no credits got such a baller-ass job. Ian says something stupid about appreciating her honesty and agrees to continue the NSA relationship. (For the record, with me, even if we only ever kissed, strings have been attached. I shoot strings from every pore in my body.)
The cast is all celebrating wrapping shooting for the pilot, with the exception of Jason who is on an island getaway with Vanessa Lachey to work through their marital issues, the way only rich people can. Sidenote—Jason is inexplicably hardly ever in the show, and even when he is, it’s usually through FaceTime or some bullsh*t, so I don’t know what’s going on there. Anyway, they decide to divorce because they’re sick of trying, which I get. Who cares anyway; I’m just sad that Vanessa is going to have to start auditioning for things again.
Three weeks later, the cast is all still waiting to hear if they’re getting picked up by Fox, their biggest concern being a reboot of The OC that’s competing for the same spot. In an act of desperation, Tori tricks Emily Valentine’s assistant into sending her the feedback from the people who watched and reviewed the pilot, and forwards it to the whole cast. They all start spiraling out of control when they find out what everyone thinks of them, which isn’t even bad, and Brian and Tori find bizarre ways to flirt as though they’re not both still married.
Shay, Brian’s wife, tells him that she secretly had his “son” Zack’s DNA tested, and it turns out he’s 100% not his kid. Brian, being the typical man that he is, is obviously mad that his wife is more successful than him and freaks out on her for going behind his back. We’re left thinking their marriage is definitely on the rocks, but to be fair they both kind of gave up on acting in this finale, so it may just be that leading us to believe their relationship is crumbling. The next day, Brian confronts Zack about lying to him, and poor Zack says he really thought Brian was his father and it’s not his fault! Which like, fair, it’s not his fault, but also we were led to believe Zack was a psychopath killer for the bulk of the season, so it’s hard to now have empathy for his crazy ass. After some counseling from Shannen Doherty, Brian tells Zack he’ll still be a father figure to him, which is f*cking insane because they’ve known each other for a month and a half—it’s not like Brian raised him from childhood and then found out he wasn’t his biological father. But whatever, live your fantasy Brian, just please live it with your shirt off.
Across town, Tori and her husband get home from a long day to discover they have no electricity. They argue about how hard life is while Tori’s phone rings over and over again from someone trying to garnish her wages, and maybe it’s only because I’m poor as well, but I get it Tori! Hang in there! Also her marriage is doomed.
Meanwhile, Gabby’s relationship with her sweet husband is in trouble when she introduces him to Emily Valentine at the wrap party and he immediately can tell that they’ve had sex. After a quick conversation on the couch at Jason’s fancy club, he casually says “I don’t know how long ‘I don’t know’ will be good enough Gab,” and she replies “I know…” before they share a romantic kiss and we’re all left wondering when exactly the f*ck Andrea Zuckerman started getting laid on the regular!?
Speaking of train wrecks, Jennie is still dating the brainless, hot bodyguard who is obsessed with the way beer is brewed—which just like…I don’t care. In her defense, he is super hot, so I understand why she’s dealing with him talking about malt and hops all the time, but then he reveals his new chest tattoo: the initials “JG.” As soon as Jennie realizes that they’re her initials she runs for the hills, leaving her relationship with boring, hot bodyguard in the rearview, and bumps into her daughter, Kyler, who’s also unbearable. Nepotism runs in the veins of 90210, so it’s no surprise when Kyler complains constantly about only having one line. She finally relents after being told by Shannen that you have to pay your dues. During their little heart to heart, Shannen reminisces about a time 20 years ago that they all showed up in the same red dress to an event and didn’t speak for weeks, naturally. Kyler becomes obsessed with Shannen and starts downloading meditation apps and talking about rescuing roadkill possums. This does lead her and Jennie to have a little conversation that makes us believe everything will be okay in their relationship, a welcome result after the first episode where Kyler was filing for emancipation.
Emily Valentine, who’s just the absolute worst, announces that they’re heading to NY for upfronts! They did it! Upon arriving, Ian bumps into an old friend, Real Housewife of Beverly Hills and acting legend Denise Richards. Before long they’re in her hotel room “catching up” and licking each other’s necks. The next day, Ian excitedly introduces the boring writer to Denise and emphatically tells her what an amazing job she did on the script, with a smirk Denise says “Well of course she did a great job! She’s my daughter.” JAW DROP. Only not actually, because from the moment I saw Denise I knew she was boring writer’s mom. We wouldn’t have gotten that little foreshadow of her talking about her actor mother if she wasn’t going to be a quasi-famous guest star.
They all get in their outfits for the upfront presentation, obviously all wearing red, leading them to a multi-scene argument about who’s going to change. Emily Valentine comes in and lets them know the harsh reality of them being picked up to series: they have to move to Canada where it’ll be cheaper to film, and they can only afford to keep six out of the seven of them on as series regulars. “But we’ll save that conversation for another day!” Emily the nutjob jokes as they all walk out onto stage hand in hand to the classic Weezer song “Beverly Hills.”
As credits roll, we’re left with handfuls of questions. So that guy they arrested for being the psycho killer was actually the psycho killer? Is Jason actually Zack’s father? Why did Brian get worse at acting throughout the series? And most importantly—why the f*ck hasn’t Tori Spelling been asked to be a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills? Some questions are meant to go unanswered I suppose, and go unanswered they will…because if there’s a season two I will be completely gagged.
Images: FOX; Giphy (4)
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Aaaaannnndddd we’re five for five when it comes to dream sequence openings, but this time we get Brian Austin Green shirtless and putting out a fire with his t-shirt, so I really didn’t want anyone to wake up. Unfortunately, Brian does wake up, and we’re brought back to the harsh reality of this 90210 reboot.
If you’ll recall, the last episode ended with the entire set burning down, but we somehow still have The Peach Pit set, so filming must go on. Of course, the very first scene being shot is a love scene between Brian and Tori, leading me to believe that Tori is full-on still in love with Brian in real life and created this entire reboot to be able to kiss him again.
Brian tries to buddy up to his new-found stalker-turned-son, Zach, offering him a job on set as a production assistant, and then quickly telling him it would be okay if he wanted to call him Dad, which was so cringeworthy I wanted to throw my TV out the window. Zach tells him it’s weird…because like, duh, especially because Brian has yet to tell anyone about Zach, including his wife or other children. Brian acts all embarrassed, but he’s so cute it doesn’t matter and I immediately forget about how awkward it was. Frankly, if Brian Austin Green asked me to call him Daddy I would jump at the opportunity.
Before they begin filming the Tori/Brian sex scene, Emily Valentine reappears like the loch ness monster rising from the sea, and announces that the production has been shut down, yet again. They can’t film because they’re uninsured, and nobody will insure them until they find the stalker, so naturally the cast decides to take things into their own hands and go find the stalker themselves. Emily Valentine tells them if they don’t find him by the end of the day, they’ll all need to clean out their trailers—that they’ve all fully moved into. Tori Spelling has all six of her children, a big screen TV, a dog, and a literal f*cking live chicken in her trailer when she’s supposed to live a fifteen-minute drive away, but it’s better than the weird mountain-yurt-esque trailer Shannen has put together.
Gabrielle is still confused, receiving flowers from her poor, sweet husband while also navigating a sexual relationship with snake-woman Emily Valentine, who demands she sign a release saying she won’t sue over anything to do with their relationship. Gabrielle doesn’t want to sign it because she’s not out to anyone, and doesn’t want her coming out party to be signing a piece of paper, which like, calm down Andrea, it’s not that big of a deal.
Jennie has started dating her bodyguard who, despite being super hot, is boring AF. She starts pretending to like whatever he likes and we’re quickly given insight to her three failed marriages. She then debates whether she and hot bodyguard should sign a sex contract like Gabrielle and Emily Valentine, and there’s an uncomfortable joke about #MeToo and how they all miss the 90s.
As they’re all heading out of a meeting discussing the hundreds of people that hate them and could be their stalker, Tori falls down the stairs and is suddenly reminded of Ray Pruit, who in season six pushed her down the stairs, and in doing so accidentally destroyed his whole career. Fans literally ruined his career and sent him tons of hate mail as though he had pushed real-life Tori down the stairs, and this, the whole gang decides, is why he’s now going after them. They find him singing in a dive bar and he tells them he’s now a passionate fire fighter who would never set a fire! He fights them! Ah, yes! Logic! Also, depressing! As they’re apologizing for accusing the failed actor of being obsessed with them, they get a call from Jason saying they caught the real stalker: a bizarre-o super fan who owned the dress they stole in the pilot episode.
Now that we’re all safe and insured, the pilot can finally start shooting again, and Tori explains to the girls how she’s super nervous about the sex scene and doesn’t know if it’ll be better if Brian gets a boner or if he doesn’t…what’s a girl to do!? Tori spots David walking to the craft services table and follows him quicker than I follow any dog account anyone sends me. “SO, DEEP THOUGHTS, DONNA AND DAVID, HOW HAVE THEY MAINTAINED THEIR RELATIONSHIP THROUGH THE YEARS!?” She screeches at a quiet, forlorn David, who’s simply trying to learn his lines. “Well, their relationship is imaginary…” he answers, ignoring her while also being crazy hot.
They try filming the scene, but Jason won’t shoot her from the right side, so she refuses to continue and runs off set using a comforter as a towel. She tries again the next day but freaks out when Brian, who’s preoccupied with the fact that he has a new child, is acting distant. She decides to hire an “intimacy coach,” who comes on set to make sure everyone’s comfortable and happy. When they start getting into the scene and Brian brushes up against Tori’s boobs, the intimacy coach calls a cut, activating Tori screaming “THIS IS LIKE THE HANDMAID’S TALE!!!” She has literally been waiting twenty years for Brian to brush up against her boobs again, and the disdain and disappointment in her eyes is the best “acting” she’s delivered so far.
Meanwhile, Ian and the new writer start dating and keep asking each other to “Netflix and chill” like preteens. They act super dramatic about it the whole time, like somebody, anybody, is going to care, but it just doesn’t matter,q and their storyline is by far the hardest to get invested in. I mean, I don’t want to say Ian could be removed from the show and nobody would notice but….Ian could be removed from the show and nobody would notice.
Jason decides he can’t raise someone else’s baby and wants to leave Vanessa Lachey, but Jennie tries convincing him not to, because now that she’s in a committed relationship with her bodyguard she believes in love again…oh, and she’s also become completely insufferable. Gabrielle announces to the cast that she’s not straight and doesn’t know exactly how she identifies, Shannen calls her gay, and Tori wonders out loud if Brian is gay too, and that’s why he’s not into their sex scene. Ah, Tor…so sad, so delusional. Brian, inspired by Gabrielle’s announcement and desperate for attention, takes the moment to introduce Zach to the rest of the cast as his son. Shannen eats a sandwich, and through her lackluster attitude and subtle bitchiness, she has quickly become my favorite character.
Tori and Brian finally get through their “sex” scene, which is literally just a soft makeout where we don’t even get any tongue, and Tori is very pleased when Brian pops an accidental stiffy. Jason calls cut for the day and announces they’ve finally shot one scene, only 46 remain before the pilot is done! As they leave for the day to their apparent live-in trailers, Gabrielle meets the detective who’s investigating the case they allegedly solved, and we watch him pick up a water bottle that had been tossed in the recycling by none other than….Brian’s stalker-turned-son Zach!
The episode ends with Shannen kidnapping Tori’s chicken in her brand new car, and I’m left wondering how they’re going to wrap this whole thing up in only one more episode. Next week is the season finale, so I’m going to re-up my Xanax prescription and snuggle in for what is sure to be an episode even more confusing than the pilot.
Images: FOX; Giphy (6)
Okay kids, last night Beverly Hills, 90210 got the reboot its fans have been hoping for, and it turns out it’s true what they say: be careful what you wish for. Opening with a bizarre Tori Spelling dream sequence about Kelly and Brandon owning The Peach Pit and quickly turning into a depressing mockumentary about what happens if you don’t save your money when you’re a teenage actor, the entire show felt like a psychedelic mushroom trip that made me want to swear off shrooms for the rest of my life.
In no way is this reboot reminiscent of the 90210 that we remember from the 90s, but instead it’s a show about the cast and where they are now, only scripted. Confused yet? Same. With a bumpy intro they reveal each cast member’s current lot in life, and the audience (me) is left feeling kind of depressed at the peak behind the curtain and hopeful that it’s all exaggerated.
While it’s no secret that Tori Spelling’s had more financial trouble than anyone whose father was worth literally $600 million ever should, the episode seemed like a long PSA to Venmo her whatever I could spare. From multiple “jokes” about her reality shows being canceled to her on-screen husband not having a job, the entire thing just made me feel uncomfortable. Also, I’m no financial advisor, but it seems like she has plenty of money to blow on collagen injections and botox, so maybe she could save some green by not getting work done on her face seemingly every single day?
With so many similarities to the cast’s real lives, I kept finding myself Googling whether things were true or not, for example:
“Did Ian Ziering’s wife really audition for The Real Housewives of Orange County?”
“Has Jennie Garth been divorced 3 times?”
“Is Gabrielle Carteris actually the president of SAG?”
And my personal favorite, “Does Shannen Doherty own a tiger sanctuary?”
The answers, by the way, are no, yes, yes, and very unfortunately not. Those questions don’t even put a dent in how many things came up that left me scratching my head wondering if Brian Austin Green actually owns a private plane and if Tori Spelling actually made her father cast Jason Priestley all those years ago.
I’m sure a lot of things they’re supposed to be experiencing in the show are simply exaggerations of what the actors have experienced in real life, and in a way it’s admirable of Spelling to be so open about her financial issues, Garth to make light of her failed marriages, and Priestley to be so vocal about feeling like his best years have gone by, but the packaging of the pilot was simply too much. I found myself thinking, “is it too late at night to take Adderall” multiple times while using a red marker and a white board to try and connect all the floating nuggets of information being thrown at me like free T-shirts at an indoor football game. (I think…never been.)
To put it as simply as possible, the new 90210 is a reboot about a reboot. It was created by Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling, who have clearly maintained their friendship over the past 30 years.Spelling’s on-screen children call Garth “Aunt Jennie” to further the audience’s knowledge of their close relationship. (I also know they’re still friends because they guest-judged a recent episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race. Apparently sometimes being gay can come in handy while watching Fox.)
There were brief moments of humor, like the entire cast smashing the enclosed glass around Spelling’s iconic red dress from the Spring dance and forcing a stranger to Instagram live it, and Priestley knocking out a young actor for calling him a has-been. Overall, though, it was very clunky and rushed and needed to contain about half of the scenes that it did. Garth and Spelling maybe should’ve chosen whether Gabrielle needed both a heartwarming scene of her and her husband becoming grandparents and a scene of her making out with a female bartender. Or whether the show needed not one, but two former MTV veejays to play the wives of Priestley and Green. Or whether Garth really needed a scene in a velvet dress sitting by the pool flirting with a self-identified pig farmer who she ultimately ends up rejecting for calling her Kelly.
I don’t know if it’s because the show ended with a heartwarming scene of Garth and Spelling cuddled on the couch together talking about how doing this reboot is the answer to all their problems, watching a clip from the original 90210 where their fallen cast mate Luke Perry—who died suddenly earlier this year—says “welcome to paradise, man, welcome to your dream come true,” but I’m really rooting for them.
Was it completely insane? Yes. Will I tune in again next week, yes.
Images: FOX; Giphy (5)