The Reunion – | Review Score – 3/5
The Pitch – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Photo Shoot – | Review Score – 3/5
The Table Read – | Review Score – 3/5
Picture’s Up – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Long Wait – | Review Score – 3.5/5
When I first heard that the original cast of Beverly Hills 90210 had agreed to do a revival, I was pretty intrigued and excited to see how this would pan out. I still remember having my bedroom walls covered in posters of the iconic 90’s show and I couldn’t wait to catch up with some of my favourite characters from my teenage years.
The premise of the show is pretty unique and meta; the actors of the original Beverly Hills 90210 return for a revival but play fictionalized versions of themselves. 20 years after the show ended, the story here sees the original cast reunite for the anniversary of the series. It’s here Tori comes up with the idea of a reboot and tries to get everyone on board. However, things are not as simple as they first seem, as past tensions and unresolved emotions resurface, while the various members face their own difficulties and issues back home.
The 6 episode narrative progresses through the usual ups and downs you’d expect from a show like this, with a stalker sub-plot thrown in for good measure. All of this builds up to a cliffhanger at the end of the finale
Amidst the number of sequels, prequels, remakes and revivals out there, BH90210 takes this idea and spins it into a pretty original concept. Playing exaggerated versions of themselves actually works quite well here, especially with the multitude of references to the original 90’s drama and the actors making fun of rumours that have surrounded them over the years. Unfortunately, if you’re not a fan of the show, jokes might not always land as BH90210 relies heavily on knowing the background of the actors and what they’ve been up to in the past. However, fans of the original show should be pleased as the actors still have great chemistry between them.
For me though it’s the girls that really steal the show. Seeing old rivalries resurface between Jenny and Shannen as well as Gabrielle being her usual serious, controlling self brings plenty of enjoyment and entertainment to the meta-revival. There are also a lot of funny moments here too, especially between Tori and Jenny who remain best friends after all these years. BH90210 also manages to include little nods to other shows and one joke in particular about The Handmaid’s Tale stands out as one of the highlights.
The premise of the original show was always to present us with real life issues and how teens and young adults would deal with them. This time the reboot manages to touch on some more up to date themes including Tori’s crippling debt and Gabrielle trying to explore her sexuality. These are implemented in the story quite well and never feel too forced on the audience. The first episode also mentions the absence of Luke Perry too which is a nice touch.
Stylistically, each episode starts with a very similar dream sequence, always taking place at the Pitch Pit and each time with a different character. This was nicely implemented, showing how much the original show was part of their lives and how it affected them after all these years. The opening credits also use the same music from the original and watching the actors recreating the famous original scenes from the 90’s, does well to play on heavy doses of nostalgia.
BH90210 has really been a pleasant surprise. Given how much I loved the original show, I was dubious whether I’d enjoy this revival but it certainly grew on me as the episodes ticked by. I’ve said this a few times across the episode recaps but the series should please fans more than newcomers, especially given the multiple nods and jokes we received based on the original series.
Still, the actors have excellent chemistry on screen and some of the character drama was pretty good across the episodes, although at times it could have done with being fleshed out a little more. With fans already petitioning for a second season, I’ll be hoping this one gets renewed too and fingers crossed we’ll find out sooner rather than later what the fate of BH90210 is going to be.