With Episode Two of “BH90210” Fans No Longer Need “The Pitch.” We Get It. And We Love It.

When we’re younger (say in our late teens or early twenties) we don’t often think about what life will look like for us twenty or thirty years hence; we have more important things to deliberate upon such as why we can’t put on that extra five pounds, unruly hair follicles and whether or not going to Panama City with our buds for the fifth time this year should get in the way of asking out the kewl chick at the coffee shop this weekend. Of course, as we succumb to our thirties and – GASP! – forties, the real life lesson is that all of the above predilections wind up going in reverse as if in some sort of sick and twisted game of whack-a-mole brought to us by the latest pharmaceutical commercials.

The simply wonderful news is that, while the rest of us mere mortals might be getting older and not necessarily better (What the hell did happen to my once Vanilla Ice worthy coif anyways and why do I suddenly bare more than a striking resemblance to Telly Savalas?), the gang from Beverly Hills – or at least the actors who portray themselves portraying those timeless characters of our youth – Tori Spelling, Jennie Garth, Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris and the redoubtable Brian Austin Green – all seem to have lucked into either Doc Brown’s time travelling DeLorean or fallen into a secret stash of Bonne Bell Lip Smackers after tripping into a vat of L.A. Looks hair gel. Looking at them in the recent FOX meta-revival BH90210, I’m reminded of a quote from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: “You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.”

The second episode of BH90210 is titled The Pitch and rightly so: The old rollercoaster known as dramatic narrative picks up steam this week as Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling land a meeting with FOX executives and proceed to pitch them their idea for a Beverly Hills 90210 revival. The idea is quickly greenlit by FOX who assume that almost the entire original cast will return to reprise the roles that turned them into stars. Yeah, about that…

 After a court ordered community service all of the actors are required to perform because of Tori’s penchant for five finger discounts on old 90210 wardrobe (see episode one), Spelling and Garth attempt to sell their former cast mates on their plans for a reboot and the idea lands with a louder thud than MC Hammer’s sophomore album. But then things begin to percolate for each of the former teen idols as they realize that perhaps there are fates worse than being locked into a return to West Beverly High…

 Carteris sees in a return as Andrea the opportunity to explore her sexuality. Green misses acting and looks at this as a chance to come out from under the shadow of his successful wife. Priestley views a return as Brandon as an opportunity to flex his directing muscles. Ziering wants to rebrand himself after his wife stepped out on him. Garth wants to impart her own acting chops to her daughter who is vying to break into the industry. Spelling, meanwhile, just wants to get the whole thing off of the ground as a producer, something her husband seems skeptical of her doing. And during all of the handwringing and the Sturm und Drang, Shannen keeps busy dispensing advice to Brian (who now has his own stalker, naturally) while saving sea lions. Oh, and 90210 alum Christine Elise (villainess Emily Valentine) shows up at the party as a producer for this fictional revival. Who’s got the chips?

 This is a fun show and it was with some glee that I noticed some of the more dyed in the wool hardcore 90210 fans expressed confusion over the shows very meta setup after the premiere of the first episode.  I can suddenly see even that played for laughs somewhere in the final four episodes of this show. The only real rules of this show are that there are no rules at all; Recall that I prognosticated in my review for episode one of BH90210 that the show itself would not garner great ratings. BH90210’s premiere is now considered this summer’s highest rated show which goes to prove that you should never trust any critic who predicted a long and glorious life for After Mash and Coke 2. All of the actors are having a blast chewing up dialogue and are living proof of Thornton Wilder’s observation that, “people are meant to go through life two by two. ‘Tain’t natural to be lonesome.” It’s good to see that for now at least none of this brilliant cast will have to worry about being that. Welcome back you eternally beautiful teen idols.

About Ryan Vandergriff

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