Thursday, September 04, 2008

Living in a different zip code

Someone please, please tell me it has not been just eight short years since the decade-long Beverly Hills 90210 stopped airing. Huh. I really thought the series was a lot older than that.

Holy smokes. Wow.

Anyway, yesterday I watched my DVR’d copy of the premiere of the new, modernized and more-simply titled 90210 (which premiered this past week on the CW) that now features a cast of all new teens with a few cameos from the older generation of the original series. Either I’m way off on my memories of the original—especially the early years—or I’m getting old. Probably the latter. Or both. Anyway, I didn’t find the new version all that engaging. Instead, I found myself wanting much more of the all-too-brief scenes featuring Kelly (Jennie Garth) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty) and holding back an itchy finger from fast-forwarding past the rest. Not that those scenes were all that great either.

I suppose my memories of the original series are mostly from the earlier years (1990-94), and that probably makes it feel far more ancient than it is. When the series first began airing in 1990, a good friend kept trying to get me to watch it, but I was skeptical. Then, near the end of the first season, I finally caught “It’s Only a Test,” where one of the teens finds a lump in her breast and goes through the testing to find out if she’s got breast cancer. Serious subject for a teen drama. And it caught my attention. Yeah, moments like those were few and far between in the otherwise soap-opera drama, but they were enough to garner the series nominations for four Golden Globes between 1992 and 1995 and an Emmy in 1995. Anyways, I was hooked for the next couple of years, but I only watched periodically after Doherty left in 1994, catching up during the ensuing years through occasional episodes and magazine articles.

So, maybe I was holding the new 90210 up to a slightly higher bar than most. But the new series got mixed and at best lukewarm reviews from critics, garnering 46% at Metacritic. Personally, it didn’t make my DVR's “record all episodes” list. Please understand, I’m not dismissing the relevant themes in the series (especially those touching on drug addiction and the sexual realities that teens must deal with these days); but this series just doesn’t engage me the way past series focusing on teens have (like, for example, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Joan of Arcadia) or move me like more recent films (like Juno).

But then, that’s just my .02 worth. And then again, maybe I'm just getting old, heh.

(Images: CW and CBS)

3 comments:

SolShine7 said...

I watched the first ten minutes of the new 90210 and I wasn't impressed. Like you, I have fond memories of the original and the best part was when Jennie Garth came on screen. The one element that I do like is that they have a black character in a main role. But I think it would have been been even cooler if it was centered around an interracial couple with two mixed teens.

SolShine7 said...

*correction* I meant to say the best part of the new series is when Jennie Garth came on the screen. I didn't stick around to see Shannon Doherty.

Carmen Andres said...

solshine, i should of turned it off 10 minutes into, too, heh. you were the smart one. thanks for stopping by!