‘90210’: Diablo Cody’s plea to Brenda-fy it!
As regular readers could have easily predicted, I’ve been watching the new 90210 (or as I like to call it, 90210 2.0) religiously. And by ”religiously,” I mean that I don a ceremonial cloak before tuning in to The CW. This is seriously huge for me. When it comes to 90210, I’ll gladly cop to Phantom Menace levels of fanwankery.
But, you may ask, is the new show any good? I’m certainly enjoying it. I actually wept the first time Shannen Doherty appeared — Brenda may be older and wiser, but she’s still totally gangsta. Lori Loughlin, as a displaced Kansan, is as ageless and likable as ever. And sherry-swigging Jessica Walter is simply reprising her brilliant role as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. (I mean that as a compliment.) All the BH-90 elements are in place: wholesome Midwestern family, rich kids, sleek insectoid sports cars, establishing shots of Rodeo Drive. Yes.
However, like any devoted (read: hypercritical) fan, I have my beefs. First, I’m glad they chose to introduce Navid Shirazi, a character of Persian descent, since real Beverly Hills teens aren’t lily-white (or, in this case, Kelly-white). But Navid never really got to do anything cool until this very last episode. Give us more Navid! He’s the smoldering Seth Cohen of West Beverly! And on that note, Tristan Wilds should take his shirt off more often.
Secondly, I demand that the theme song be retooled to suit my sluggish, Gen-X sensibilities. One need only watch MTV’s True Life: I Pop Adderall Like Mentos to know that today’s teens are all zooming on goofballs. And modern credits sequences have followed suit. Sure, the ”new” 90210 theme song is built around that classic cheddar-melt guitar riff we know and love, but it’s so fast, so mega-spliced, so self-consciously cool. (Besides, I miss Brandon’s famous ”air punch,” perfectly timed to the drum hit.) Remember the leisurely pace of the original main titles? The camera lingered on Tori Spelling’s high-tech cleavage, Shannen’s knowing smirk — hell, they even took the time to recognize Joe E. Tata’s contributions as Nat, lovable burger-flipper. Now? It’s like anime, what with the seizure-inducing cuts and clubby music. (Remember playing Super Mario Bros. on the classic eight-bit NES? You know how when the clock wound down to its final seconds, the music sped up disconcertingly? I get the same effect from the new 90210 theme song. Like, DEATH IS IMMINENT.)
NEXT PAGE: ”Kelly Taylor is the school guidance counselor, which means any student who becomes addicted to coke, has a nose job, gets caught in a fire, or pretends to be a lesbian will have a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.”