Friday, August 16, 2019

BH90210 S01E02: The Pitch

Maybe producing isn't genetic in the Spelling family
by Kim Tibbs-Krober

The second episode of BH90210 brought out the egos of everyone in full force. Tori and Jennie went to FOX to pitch their idea for the Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot, where Christine Elise (the original series' favorite recurring psychopath Emily Valentine) was a studio bigwig in a plot twist that didn't make a lot of sense. Jennie and Ian both found themselves in the midst of a divorce, while Jason struggled with the idea of pending fatherhood after learning he had a fertility issue. Gabrielle struggled internally with last week's forbidden kiss, while Brian found himself getting an acting gig because the movie's producers were interested in featuring his wife on the movie's soundtrack.

FOX was only interested in the reboot if Tori could get the entire cast to return, so the rest of the episode centered around her caving in to the demands of the others. Gabrielle wanted her character Andrea to explore her sexuality on the reboot, while Ian wanted product placement for a new line of health and beauty products he wanted to launch. Jason wanted to direct at least the pilot episode, while Jennie wanted them to cast her daughter in the reboot so she could take the aspiring starlet under her protective wings. Brian just wanted the chance to act again without fear of being in his superstar wife's shadow. These motivations seemed plausible, as everyone worked hard to come up with ideas to give 90210 "a facelift."

One of my favorite lines was uttered between Tori and her husband (portrayed by Ivan Sergei). He made a remark something to the effect of "Maybe producing isn't genetic," referring to the fact that Tori's father, 90210 creator Aaron Spelling, had the gift, but maybe the apple really did fall far from the tree this time. Since this episode felt very scattered to me, I'm having trouble finding the fault with that logic. I did enjoy watching Tori place 90210 dolls in a Peach Pit diorama she created, adding a doll every time she got a cast member to sign on for the reboot. It got me thinking about whether they really created a Peach Pit play set in the '90s, so my curiosity took me to eBay. It seemed Mattel did, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as the one Tori created. It seemed to retail for around $300 today (it must be rare to find a set with all the accessories still intact). My husband and I are avid toy collectors, so our thoughts always tend to travel in this direction. I also asked my best friend who was a die-hard fan of 90210 since day one whether or not she had a Peach Pit play set in the '90s. Sadly, she did not.

The next thing that left me feeling curious was the plot twist revealing the 90210 cast has a stalker who may be mentally imbalanced. At the end of the episode, he sent each of them a mutilated version of their character dolls. I think this was supposed to be upsetting, but it felt too cartoonish for me to take it seriously. I again took to the Internet to see if I could find any reports of disturbed 90210 fanatics over the years. As far as I can tell, this was more fictionalized drama created for the reboot. The most upsetting thing about it was how much a person could get selling an entire set of 90210 dolls on eBay today. What a waste of perfectly good figurines. How far will this stalker plot go? The train wreck continues to pique my curiosity with only four remaining episodes. One thing seems certain: Next week, it looks like they finally begin shooting the reboot, and that has me feeling excited!

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