”Ab Fab meets Scooby-Doo” — that’s how Tori Spelling pitched ABC Family on Mystery Girls, which finds her and fellow Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Jennie Garth playing former costars of a popular ’90s detective series (also called Mystery Girls) who decide to solve crimes in real life. (Naturally.) We spoke with the actresses about their reunion.
Your characters, ditzy Holly [Spelling] and no-nonsense Charlie [Garth], reunite after a murder witness will only talk to them because he believes they’re their TV characters. Do you have fans who still think you’re Donna and Kelly?
Tori Spelling I’ve literally had someone ask me — and this is within the last six years — ”Do you still live with Kelly at the beach apartment?” I felt bad, so I was like, ”Oh, no, not anymore. I’m married now with kids.” I didn’t know what to say.
Jennie Garth They’re so attached to those characters that it’s kinda heartbreaking. You don’t want to burst their bubble.
Spelling There’s one episode that is a direct tribute to a very famous episode of 90210 that we’re doing later in the season. So yeah, we always try to get our little 90210 references in because fans love it.
You’re exec producers on the show, involved with everything from sets to wardrobe. What are you like in the writers’ room?
Spelling We tend to go kind of broad. We think of these scenarios — like we love the idea of going undercover. We’ll be like, ”And then we go undercover as lounge singers.” And everyone’s like, ”Mmm, maybe not.” We do go undercover at a biker bar. I go undercover at my own funeral.
Garth We love to do flashbacks. When we were famous from the original show, Holly did an exercise video.
Spelling We’re in wigs and spandex. Anytime we can wear spandex, we’re happy.
The show sounds like it has a lot of physical comedy.
Spelling That’s what we both like to do. We’re sore each week. I don’t know if we anticipated that.
Garth We’re realizing that it’s not as much fun to run in heels as it used to be.
Spelling [Laughs] We’re jumping on bad guys and taking them down, and doing a lot of crawling under things. Two weeks in a row, I’ve done an Army belly crawl across the floor. I haven’t done that in years! So I’m definitely paying for that.
Jennie, you’re used to filming in front of a live audience from your time on What I Like About You. What advice did you give Tori?
Garth I was like, “Mess up. They like it when you mess up.”
Spelling Tape day, I still get a little nervous. But then it is so nice when you mess up and you see that they’re laughing and they don’t care how many times you do it. You’re like, ”Oh, it’s gonna be okay. They’re supportive.”
Are you surprised at the risqué jokes you can do on ABC Family?
Garth If it’s a little older humor, it goes over the kids’ heads, but the adults love it…. Boob jokes.
Spelling Nipple reconstruction.
Garth The semen joke in the pilot: ”Lay it on me. Not on me, next to me.” I love that joke.
Spelling We had it in the script and we said, ”Oh, we’ll see if it gets through,” and [the network] loved it.
Garth We have a lot of weed jokes.
Spelling [Quickly] In reference to the ’90s.