House of Hawthorne

90210: The Wack Class.

Posted on: November 21, 2011

Yesterday I found myself with a decided lack of options for what television show on DVD to check out from the library. This is what happens when you don’t plan ahead with your DVDs. Sometimes it’s great, and you end up with a new best friend like Jillian Michaels! (see here) Other times, like yesterday, you find yourself in a black hole of time, more popularly known as the updated version of Beverly Hills 90210, 90210. Seriously, I looked up after watching the first episode of this show and physically felt the loss of two hours. “Oof!” my central nervous system cried.

Oh yeah! On the DVD, your first episode of 90210 is actually the first two episodes, “We’re Not In Kansas Anymore” and “The Jet Set.” In these two episodes, I learned that everyone but the people from Kansas are pretty much evil. Great! I think I can pack it in, viewer-wise. I have to say, the erstwhile Beverly Hills 90210 was completely outside of my comprehension as a pre-teen. Were they all secretly poor or rich? Secretly amoral or pure? I didn’t get it at all. And all Americans have gained, with hindsight, an appreciation that we should never have let Shannen Doherty into our lives. (Even though she pops up in episode 2 of the new one, yikes.) I suppose that as I was younger than 90210 The First’s target market, I find myself older than the update’s demographic.

But I can’t let the people involved with this 90210 off so easily. I don’t think I keep it a Virginia state secret that I basically love the show Gossip Girl. It can’t just be the fact that the cast of Gossip Girl is, to a lady and a man, at least 125% more physically attractive than the cast of 90210. I just highly doubt that I’m that shallow. I don’t doubt that I’m shallow, just not that shallow. So why have I happily consumed four seasons worth of DVDs of Gossip Girl but could barely make it through two episodes of 90210? And 90210 features Lucille Bluth from everyone’s favorite show, Arrested Development! She’s called something else on this show, and her drinking isn’t quite as amusing, even leading to a drunk driving accident in the second episode that is for some reason the fault of her granddaughter. Did the family move across country to keep a watch on the grandmother because of her alcoholism? Then why is it still supposed to be funny? Again, I don’t get it.

(Sidebar: why are grandmothers on television always drunks? Don’t they know that in real families this mostly causes deep-seeded pain, not laughs?)

I’m just worried about these two plucky young Kansan-Americans set at the center of the show. Will they be consumed by the all-consuming evil around them? Seriously, none of the people in their peer group are anything but evil. And not in an awesome way! Gossip Girl‘s Chuck Bass is skeezy but rad; Dan Humphrey is boring but adorable. The dudes vying for the young Annie’s heart are both boring and skeezy. I’m not rooting for anyone on the show, and that’s the problem.

I just don’t know if I can stand idly by and watch the moral demise of two small town kids. You know me and my moral compass. It’s my gift and my curse, Jay-Z’s Blueprint 2-style. (Did you think there wouldn’t be a Jay-Z reference in this blog? I feel like you know me not at all.) As the show is well into its fourth season, I guess my voice of dissent matters little. I just urge you, blog reader and probable friend of mine, to look elsewhere for your guilty pleasure. There’s no pleasure to be had here.


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