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First Impression: 90210
As TeenDramaWhore.com devotees no doubt remember, I objected to "90210" (or, as I often call it, "nu90210") virtually from the moment it was announced.
I viewed, and still view, "Beverly Hills, 90210" as something so iconic that its legacy should be untouched, not marred by a spinoff of sorts that bastardizes its characters and ruins its storylines.
But personal feelings aside, I of course count "90210" as one of the main teen dramas. I couldn't possibly justifiably exclude it. And apart from being a viewer, my behind-the-scenes connections to the show formed pretty early on, months before the first episode even aired.
I met and interviewed the cast of “90210,” including Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210), at The CW Upfront in 2008, which I attended as an intern for People magazine. The following day, the young cast visited the People office for a more intimate chat than the red carpet the day before allowed. The group was nice enough, with AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi) particularly standing out as one to watch going forward.
Months later, however, when “90210” premiered, my worst fears were confirmed. Sure, I could appreciate the show’s spin on twins Brenda and Brandon, making Annie’s brother Dixon not a true twin but a Black boy whom the Wilson family adopted. And what a way to introduce another main character: in a car outside of West Beverly, receiving oral sex from none other than Meghan Markle. THE FUTURE MRS. PRINCE HARRY!
But what gave the show the right to break up Kelly and Dylan? To nearly separate Donna and David? To have Kelly and Brenda again have their friendship challenged by a man? TO KILL JACKIE TAYLOR?!
I will be elaborating on my issues with nu90210 in a much lengthier post next month, but suffice it to say, my first impression — and my lasting impression — was not a good one. Still, I covered the show on TeenDramaWhore just as I did “Gossip Girl” and “One Tree Hill,” live-blogging new episodes and interviewing cast members.
But when TDW went on hiatus, I fell behind in my viewing and didn’t have the desire or motivation to get caught up. I know bits and pieces of what took place after I stopped watching, and given that the show lasted for five seasons and surpassed 100 episodes (the amount of episodes considered to be a milestone in the TV industry), some consider it a success. I… well… I disagree, at least according to my own standards.
Now that I’ve shared my “first impression” of each of the six teen drama series I consider to be the genre’s core, we’ll start diving deep! Stay tuned, folks. This is just the beginning!
90210 (September 2, 2008 - May 13, 2013)
Favorite Seasons: None
Favorite Episodes: None
Favorite Characters: None
Favorite Couple: Annie and Liam