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August 25, 2008

'90210' party report

For reasons left unexplained, CW's "90210" party was held in Malibu, 90265. The online confirmation page of the email invite played the "nah-nah-NAH-nah" theme song. My companion and I showed up late, thrown into disarray by the invite's dress code description "beach chic."

Beach chic ... what the hell does that mean? A frantic email to a publicist resulted in the clarification "nice dinner attire" which sent us scrambling back to our respective apartments to change. Once at the event – a white-on-white open air, beachside party space that successfully conveyed wealth without great expense – it seems that we weren't the only ones thrown. Lots of guys in white slacks and sandals, looking like young Ricardo Montalbans, talking about the challenges of marrying "chic" and "beach" without looking like a tool.

The "90210" theme song, mercifully, was not played at the actual event. Guests received "90210" branded beach sandals and a gift bag (contents detailed after the jump).

An actual conversation that occurred on the back patio:

"Is that real sand?"


"Is that a real ocean?"


The show's new actors were in attendance, but few cared. This was about returning stars Shannen and Jennie, who maintained entirely separate orbits at the party. I did a brief interview with Doherty - see video – but shied away from the gossipy stuff.

CW and some CBS executives were in attendance as well. It almost goes without saying, but doesn't quite since I'm saying it anyway, that the network has a lot riding on this show. Stated stronger: There many not be another time in television history that a broadcast network had more riding on one show than CW has on "90210." Some have pinned the very viability of the network to producing a big hit this fall, and one imagines CW employees will be holding a candlelight vigil the night of the show's premiere. (And wouldn't it be funny if "90210" flopped, yet "Stylista" became a massive breakout success?)

Nobody is willing to say what sort of rating will make "90210" a "hit." Few seem to know what a successful rating is for the CW at this point. It has to be, most agree, something above and beyond the normal trading range for CW programming.

For those interested in this sort of thing, here's a list of the gift bag contents: Gray "Live by the Code" T-shirt; "Peach Pit" color nail polish; Secret-brand deodorant; A deodorant remover to take off said Secret from clothes; The Doherty-free fifth-season DVD of "Beverly Hills 90210;" Black-and-white knee socks; Kinara astringent; Something called "hot cloth polish" from Liz Earle; Gift card, $25, from Lucky Fish (best item in the bag); A coupon for 50% off a haircut from Tanja at Epitome salon. The coupon also notes this is a $130 value. So that's basically saying they're going to charge you $130 for a haircut with somebody you've never heard of.


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