This is going to sound kind of random, but I encourage you to give the new "90210" (7 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW) a chance.
No, it's not as good as the original, but those are big shoes to fill. "Beverly Hills, 90210" is iconic, from the beach to the Peach Pit, from the Spanish architecture of the Walsh home to the grassy quad of West Beverly High, from Brenda's teeth-gap to Dylan's sideburns.
As I watch the reruns on Soap Net, I get warm feelings for the hippest show of the early '90s - when Brandon dons his 1987 Twins jersey, that just clinches it. "BH-Niner" was full of likable innocence.
But "90210" has some stuff to like, too, starting with a few touchstones - Kelly's a guidance counselor (although we never actually see her doing her job), Brenda directs the school musical and big-hearted Nat is still serving up peach pie.
Despite those callbacks, "90210" is a spinoff more than a continuation. The school and the diner have the old names, but a different vibe. The stories fall halfway between the issue-laden original series (steroids, gun control and used-car financing, anyone?) and the high melodrama of 2008's hippest show, "Gossip Girl."
The characters aren't as tight-knit as the old gang, at least so far. After botching a first date, main character Annie earns another by flashing an infectious grin to Ty, who gives in because she's "just so adorable." That's not even half as giggle-worthy as the romance between Dixon (Annie's brother) and Silver (David and Kelly's kid sister). Ethan (Annie's longtime crush) has potential, too, but I'm with the rest of the world in not caring about Naomi and her messed-up parents. I'd like to see more genuine friendships and less relationship drama, but overall, "90210" has a secure place in my DVR queue.
But those Soap Net reruns get a higher priority.
- By John Harness,