‘Beverly Hills 90210’ Cast Reunite to Make Fun of Themselves in ‘BH90210’
19 years after the original “Beverly Hills, 90210” signed off after ten seasons, diehard fans were left wondering what had become of their favorite characters. Did Kelly (Jennie Garth) and Brandon (Jason Priestley) find their way back to each other? What did the future hold for Donna (Tori Spelling) and David (Brian Austin Green)? Alas, they’ll have to be satisfied with the half-hearted attempts to tie up loose ends that were made in the CW’s spinoff, “90210,” as the new revival, “BH90210,” is something else entirely, with Garth, Priestley, Spelling, Green, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering and Gabriel Carteris reuniting to play heighted versions of themselves.
Although none of the main cast of “90210” ever achieved movie star success, they haven’t really strayed far out of the public eye, either. Spelling in particular has seen her life become tabloid fodder, and this somewhat fictional Tori isn’t much different, as she’s barely staying afloat with six kids and an unemployed husband, despite having been born to Hollywood royalty. Like the real Spelling, the viewer has conflicted emotions when it comes to this version of Tori, because while she can be endearing at times, as she really does seem to care about those closest to her, she’s prone to bad decisions and temper tantrums.
Garth, meanwhile, has a more basic storyline. Heading to Las Vegas for a “90210” reunion panel in the first episode, Jennie’s grappling with going through her third divorce. After an attempt at being a cougar, she ends up in bed with Jason, who’s now a TV director. He sleeps with her despite his being married to Camille (Vanessa Lachey), a publicist who seems more interested in her husband as a client rather than a lover. In real life, Garth’s third husband called off the divorce, but she’s never had sex with Priestley, as far as we know.
Green, like Spelling, doesn’t shy away from making fun of himself, as here he’s a stay-at-home dad whose marriage to pop star Shay (La La Anthony) mirrors his real-life union with Megan Fox. Ian, meanwhile, is as tacky as ever, hitched to Stacey (Jenna Rosenow), an aspiring “Real Housewife” with whom he has written a fitness book, and a running joke here is the desperate lengths they go to peddle the thing.
Surprisingly, it is Gabrielle who has the most intriguing storyline thus far. Already pushing 30 back when she was cast to play Andrea Zuckerman, here she’s a new grandmother. Just like she is in real life, she’s also the president of SAG-AFTRA. Quite fittingly, Gabby’s the one in the group expected to play Mom when her former co-stars find themselves in chaotic situations, such as when Tori decides to steal one of her old costumes out of a glass case, a move that sees the whole gang spending the night in the slammer. However, there’s another side of Gabrielle that we see when she’s left alone in a dark bar with a lesbian admirer.
Something else that is done well in “BH90210” is its subtle tribute to Luke Perry, who died unexpectedly of a stroke shortly before the start of production. The gang remembers him with a simple champagne toast. Later, he is shown briefly on Tori’s TV as Dylan in all his “Beverly hills 90210” glory.
Shannen Doherty, meanwhile, who was known in the nineties for her bad girl antics both on and off the screen, is alive and well, much to the annoyance of her former colleagues. While she doesn’t make it to Vegas, she does materialize via satellite from India, as she is nursing baby Bengal tigers back to health, a rescue mission that is viewed by her past co-stars as a ploy to rehabilitate her image. It’s only a matter of time before she torments everyone in person, hopefully injecting some much-needed wicked fun into the show.
The first episode, which focuses mostly on set-up and some spectacle, proves that this 6-episode revival might be less of a hit and more of a miss. One thing that cannot be denied is that there is this underlying feeling of desperateness, as the whole idea of all these people coming together for money and publicity doesn’t seem to far off from reality.
“BH902010” premieres Aug. 7 and airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.