90210 (Season 4)

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The famous zip code from the 90s comes back this decade as The CW re-launched a spin-off of the old TV show.  It’s still about a world of glamour and privilege with lots of dramas and scandal-filled storylines.  They have bipolar disorder, has-been starlets, drug addiction/rehab, gambling problems, alcoholism, unexpected pregnancies, secret relationships, fake relationships, Fatal Attraction-style cousins… you name it and they have it.

90210

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Beverly Hills, 90210 gets a facelift in this somewhat edgier teen drama sene through the eyes of Annie and Dixon Mills, whose father, Harry, has relocated their family from Kansas to Beverly Hills, to keep an eye on their grandma, Tabitha, a fading former TV star and graduate of the Betty Ford Clinic.

I wasn’t a big fan of the original show, so I’m not a big fan of this one as well.  The series feels like a soap opera with teens.  It has the soap opera requisite of shocking twists and turns (half-siblings turning up out of nowhere, hit and runs, hostage taking).  The characters also have so many on-again-and-off-again relationships that cross over to different people (like a crazy love pentagon, coz a triangle ain’t enough to describe it).  With all the hook ups and break ups, I had a headache trying to keep up.  They’re like playing relationship roulette, it’s, like, they ask themselves, hmmmm, who will get back together with, hookup or kiss this week?  If your into drama and intrigues, then this show is for you.

 

The Characters

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The series revolves around several students at the fictional West Beverly Hills High.

  • Annie Wilson – a teenager whose life has changed dramatically when her family moves to Beverly Hills (kinda like the original show with the Walsh’s moving to Beverly Hills).  She has a brother named Dixon.
  • Dixon Wilson – He was a star athlete and scholar in high school who had gambling problems.   He is adopted.
  • Noami Clark – a spoiled Queen Bee with huge trust fund.  She’s well-meaning but delightfully narcissistic.
  • Navid Shirazi – was the school’s newspaper head and is now an entrepreneur/owner of Shirazi Studios.  Shirazi Studios was his father’s who made porn films.
  • Erin Silver – a character from the original Beverly Hills, 90210, she is Kelly Taylor and David Silver’s half sister.  An outspoken free spirit, she is suffering from bipolar disorder.
  • Liam Court – 90210’s resident bad-boy who had an on/off relationship with both Naomi and Annie (kinda like the Brenda-Dylan-Kelly love triangle).
  • Adrianna Tate-Duncan – fallen starlet and a recovering drug addict.  She revived her career by becoming a pop-singer
  • Ivy– a surfer who later meets a cancer-stricken Raj.  The two get married.
  • Teddy Montgomery – Adrianna’s ex-boyfriend who struggled with his sexuality and eventually decided to come out to his friends.
  • Max Miller – was Naomi’s lab partner who helped her get back her money from a con man.  They developed a relationship and she’s now pregnant with his child.

Season 3 Recap

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So here’s where we left off in Season 3…  The gang graduated from West Beverly Hills High.  Max was accepted to a college in a different state and Naomi discovers that she’s pregnant with his kid.  While Annie and Dixon learned that their father cannot afford to send both of them to private schools.  But then Annie inherits the entire estate of Marla Templeton, an aging actress whom she was a personal assistant.  Templeton has committed suicide (so does this mean she can now afford private school?).  Liam decides he won’t be going to college and he takes a job on a fishing boat during the summer.  Adrianna is persona non grata after it was found out that she switched Silver’s meds.  Ivy and Raj’s have gotten married.

Season 4

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The gang has left high school… what’s next for them?  New showrunners Patti Carr and Lara Olsen has said that the aspect of college they are focusing on is the fun of it, the wish fulfillment, the things that kids look forward to.  So, there won’t be much academics but more emphasis on the social calendar (so I guess we’ll see keg and frat parties, college hook ups and drinking?).  They also stressed that they didn’t want it become a show about college but about these friends and their interactions with each other.

This is the part where they journey into adulthood, their lives heading in different directions, going to college, starting careers, marriage, figuring out their lives, navigating life after high school etc., etc., etc.  This is also the part where many teen dramas that have come before, struggle to continue with realistic story lines for characters (coz let’s face it, they can’t bring all characters to the exact same school for college.  In reality some people leave town, some start working and some just suddenly disappear from their social circles) without loosing then fan-favorite characters and their tight-knit connections to each other.

So what’s in store for the characters in Season 4? For those who will be going to college, expect them to be adjusting to a new campus, meeting to new people and there could be a possible drop in social status (like in Gossip Girl where Blair finds that she’s no longer a Queen Bee on the new campus).

Not everyone will go to college.  But the gang will definitely be facing responsibilities new to them as the step into the world of adulthood.  Like owning businesses, pursing a career and parenting.  Raj and Ivy will be facing a very grown up problem of dealing with his illness.   Adrianna will try to redeem herself and she finds out that it isn’t as easy as she thought.

Some relationships will end (not a big loss, it’s not like many of them were in a long-term relationships) and new ones begin.  With all the life changes, you can’t expect relationships things to remain the same.  And there will be new characters introduced… of course, with a new setting, they’ll be new people.

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Season 4 Premiere

September 13, 2011 (TUESDAY), 8/7c on The CW

Spoilers

  • It was announced that a major male character will develop a drug habit (hasn’t this been done already?).
  • Naomi buys an over-the-top mansion that she’ll turn into a sorority house where friends Annie, Silver Ivy and Raj will live… and, oh, the baby was a false alarm
  • Dixon will pursue a music career and won’t be going to college.
  • Marla’s family contests the will.
  • Annie will begin a new profession, she will be… a professional escort (of course).  So I guess Marla’s family got her estate back…
  • There’s a rich, powerful and very charming businessman who will fall for Annie.  He’s sorta like a young Mr. Big.
  • Liam will become a male model and buys a bar on a whim.  He has a new love interest, a mysterious young widow named Jane.
  • Navid and Silver will be forced to become parents and look after Navid’s sister, Leila, who decides to stay in L.A. when his family moves to Switzerland.  18-year-old Leila is self-absorbed and a troublemaker.
  • Navid will also be legitimizing his father’s porn company by using it to produce music videos, training films, shooting commercials.  He hires Silver as his assistant so that they’ll be closer to each other.
  • Navid’s uncle, Amal, will also make an appearance.  He is described as charming on the surface, but a bad guy and somebody you don’t want to mess with.
  • Teddy’s character won’t be around for long, he’s going to be only on the first 5 episodes this season.  He has a big story arc as he meets a gay rights activist.  They will fall in love and get married after attending his sister’s wedding.
  • There’s going to be Vegas wedding. No clue yet one who will get married.
  • As the kids transition to college and careers, there will be less emphasis on parents and other adults, so we won’t be seeing much of Annie and Dixon’s mom, Debbie and teacher Ryan Matthews.  Lori Loughlin and Ryan Eggold’s (who play the characters) contracts were not picked up for Season 4.
  • Additional new recurring characters introduced this season are:  Austin, a wealthy, charming and hunky cowboy and the son of a country music superstar; Holly, a super-wealthy, sorority-obsessed archrival of Naomi at California University; and Gabe, a friendly, outgoing and extremely communicative upper classman at CU who forges an immediate connection with Annie, but may have an ulterior motive.

Trivia

  • Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore will guest star in one episode as a celebrity (not as himself…I don’t think he’s exactly a celebrity) who gets involved in a high-stakes poker game Liam when the gang visits Vegas… Now, if they’d gotten The Situation, I’d definitely watch that episode.
  • Brandy (Moesha) will play Marissa Jackson-Lewis, a charismatic young politician running for congress in California against Teddy’s conservative uncle.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus will be playing Austin’s father as Judd Ridge.
  • Kellie Pickler will play the country-singing cousin Austin.

Starring

  • Shenae Grimes as Annie Wilson
  • Tristan Wilds as Dixon Wilson
  • AnnaLynne McCord as Naomi Clark
  • Jessica Stroup as Silver
  • Michael Steger as Navid Shirazi
  • Jessica Lowndes as Adrianna Tate-Duncan
  • Matt Lanter as Liam Court
  • Gillian Zinser as Ivy

Official Site

http://www.cwtv.com/shows/90210