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September 02, 2008

CW '90210' critic reviews

90210_castThe early verdict: Most critics had such low expectations due to the CW refusing to send out a screener that they're pleasantly surprised the network has cobbled together a solid-if-tame update ...

>> "The stage is set for a slick and sharply crafted teen soap that pays homage to the first '90210' without wallowing in past, uh, glory. Moreover, Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty reprise their roles from the original without leaving us worrying that they might be shooting their career in the proverbial foot. For one thing, they look terrific and do fine; for another, better to be typecast than never cast at all." -- Ray Richmond, THR.

>> "A perfectly competent and reasonably seamless revival that understands what made the original tick (and tick and tick), while being infused (occasionally suffused) with enough contemporary touchstones to remind new viewers that this isn't their parents' (or at least older siblings') trusty fave. Fellatio, designer drugs, vendetta blogs, text messages -- yeah, everything's up to date in West Beverly Hills High." -- Newsday.

>> "Neither trainwreck nor masterpiece, the new '90210' was exactly what nobody expected it would be: remarkably faithful in tone and spirit to the original adventures of Brandon, Brenda, Scott Scanlon and company. Outside of the oral sex gag in Ethan's SUV, it was remarkably chaste. The one kid who seems to be using drugs is heading for a Very Important Lesson." -- Alan Sepinwall, Star-Ledger.

>> "What higher praise could "90210" aspire to? It didn't screw up!" ... The most delightful moments of the '90210' opener were courtesy of Jessica Walter." -- AP.

>> "Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth generated a lot of buzz by reuniting in the spinoff of "Beverly Hills, 90210." But their scenes in the Tuesday premiere of "90210" were flimsy and forgettable. You know the routine: a lot of promotional heat precedes a tepid program ... Everything seemed more extravagant and less believable the second time around ... I'd give it about a year." -- Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel.

>> "The show overall is a decent mix of Mean Girls, The O.C. and Gossip Girl, but isn't quite as charming as any of them. I'm not blown away, but it wasn't quite the suckfest it had the potential to be." -- TV Squad.

>> "You have to have stones to launch your '90210' sequel with the words 'this sucks.' It could be cheeky, it could be ironic or it could be a warning for people who do know the capital of Kansas and not the name of the little guy in 'Superbad.' Either way, it’s right." -- Seacoast Online.

>> "The producers went to the trouble of bringing back original stars Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty and stranded them with little to do. Their reunion scene frosted up the screen, a product of the actresses’ stormy off-screen relationship. Of all the alleged teens, Wilds and Grimes share the most chemistry, which must be driving the producers crazy, since the two play adopted siblings." -- Boston Herald.

>> " All of it just screamed “unbelievable” to me. The 15- and 16-year-olds appeared, spoke and acted as if they were at least a decade older; the new, “poor” kids from Wichita, Kan., live in a mansion with their gorgeous parents" -- MSNBC.

>> "...seemed to take forever to set up some remarkably bland plotlines -- stories that might have seemed dull even back in 1990, when the original series premiered" -- Boston Globe.

>> ""We wasted a lot of time over the last few years," squeaked Doherty's Walsh, in a line meant to resonate with Doherty's and Garth's real-life fights. Just made me realize how much time I'd wasted waiting for this moment." -- TampaBay.com.

UPDATE: "90210" ratings are in, premiere sets record for the CW


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