Growing up in the 90’s, I quickly became a fan of Beverly Hills 90210. I couldn’t wait to finish school and get home to watch the adventures of Brenda, Brandon, Dylan and the rest of the gang. This coming-of-age series followed the friendships and relationships between the characters while tackling a lot of important life issues. After multiple spin-offs, the cast returns for a 6 episode reboot, one where they play heightened and dramatized versions of themselves.
The first episode begins with the gang meeting in their old hangout, the pitch pit. However, we soon see this is actually Tori Spelling’s dream, who is actually on a plane on her way to a 90210 convention with Jenny Garth. It’s here that we’re given some backstory for both of them: Tori, mum of 6, has accumulated a lot of debt and is counting on the convention to clear some of her bills; Jenny needs some time away as her husband has just left her.
We then see glimpses from the lives of the others: Brian Austin Green is a stay-at-home dad, married to famous singer Shay. Ian Ziering is married to fitness model Stacey and wants to promote her fitness book while he is away. Gabrielle Carteris is the President of the Actor’s Guild of America and has recently become a grandma. Jason Priestley is a struggling Director, trying in vain to get his Indie movie on the map.
As they all arrive at the convention and begin their emotional reunion, we quickly see past tensions resurfacing between some of the actors, especially when we see Jenny being relieved that Shannen won’t be coming. The convention starts and questions get fired at the six actors, some more personal than others. Suddenly, it’s announced that Shannen will be speaking via video call, much to the dismay of the group. However, as it turns out her video appearance is nothing more than a free promo shot for her animal charity.
After the emotional interviews, they all decide to go drinking. It’s here that we delve deeper into our gang’s troubled personal and professional lives. We see that Tori is not happy with her husband failing to hold down a job and ends up having shots with Brian. Jenny, unhappy that people only sees her as “Kelly”, decides to have drinks with Jason and despite the animosity she has against him, ends up sleeping with him. Meanwhile, Gabrielle meets a girl who is a big fan of the show and the two share a kiss.
A drunk Tori then sees her iconic prom dress from the show and decides to steal it, breaking the display in the process. The gang then all get on Brian’s private jet and Tori gives them a heartfelt speech before Ian receives some bad news: his wife is cheating on him. He takes his anger out on his friends by pointing out their flaws which creates more tension between the six friends. Just as they land, we see that the police is there waiting to arrest them for destruction of property and theft.
Back home, they all try to get back on with their lives while dealing with the aftermath of their Vegas trip. Jason is feeling guilty but just as he is about to come clean to his wife, she announces that she is pregnant. We also see a boy from the audience lurking at the gates of Tori’s house and the episode ends with Tori talking to Jenny, suggesting a reboot of Beverly Hills 90210.
When I first heard of the reboot, I thought BH90210 was going to be a revival of the show with the story picking up 20 years after it ended. However, this is not the case. BH90210 is a series with the recurring cast playing fictional versions of themselves in a mockumentary format. It’s worth bearing this in mind, as fans expecting a straight-up reboot may be left disappointed here.
With cinema and TV inundated with sequels and remakes, BH90210 tries to break the mould and come up with a different take on this concept. Some of the stories are inspired by real-life gossip but also the real lives and relationships surrounding the actors. The chemistry between them all is still present though and this is ultimately what carries the show. Jenny Garth and Tori Spelling have some fun scenes and the few emotional mentions of the late Luke Perry add some touching moments too.
With only 6 episodes, it’ll be interesting to see where the show will go from here. In the meantime, BH90210 brings some originality and nostalgia to make it an easy to watch series, even if it’s not quite what you’d expect from a reboot.