Saturday, August 24, 2019

BH90210 S01E03: The Photo Shoot

 BH90210 puts the cast's fragile egos on full display
By Kim Tibbs-Krober

The flashbacks at the beginning of BH90210 continue to be among my favorite scenes, and this week's did not disappoint. It featured Brandon and Kelly in a black-and-white film noir fantasy at The Peach Pit, and it sizzled more than Nat's burgers. If only the rest of the episode could have matched this initial momentum. But alas, I believe this reboot fell victim to the mid-season lull in episode three of a six-episode arc.

The theme of the episode revolved around fragile egos on full display, both during the group therapy session with special guest star Carol Potter (Cindy Walsh from the original series) and thereafter. Jason confronted his wife about her obvious affair since he was unable to get her pregnant and temporarily moved out, while Gabrielle told her husband that she wants the freedom to explore her sexuality. Tori's husband felt threatened by her success and proximity to her handsome ex Brian, while Ian was seen spiraling out of control and drinking too much while facing his impending divorce. Jason also showed a fragile ego when confronting the writer who got his wife pregnant, though it was Ian who actually had the nerve to punch him out.

Tori began to question her skills as a producer when she was tasked to fire the show's head writer and had difficulty convincing Shannon to do the reboot. Jennie's ego was left feeling vulnerable in the wake of her divorce and the revelation that the group has a stalker. The cast made several jokes about receiving kinkier items from fans in the mail during the show's heyday, so it seems nobody but Jennie is taking the stalker seriously. Which is a shame because Brian has just handed him the keys to his kingdom after hiring him as an assistant/nanny. I'm still curious how the stalker story will play out, but if this episode was any indication, I have a feeling it's going to go out in a fizzle instead of an explosion.

The Me Too Movement finally caught up with Ian, or should I say his exaggerated version of Steve Sanders. After attempting to flirt with one of the writers by telling her she had pretty eyes, he was put in his place for objectifying women and making them feel uncomfortable. I'm not sure it was entirely fair based on this one compliment, as he didn't make any remarks about her breasts or anything that went that far. He pondered aloud about flattery being banished and not quite understanding why. I couldn't help but sympathize with him to a certain degree. Dating must be more challenging today than it used to be, but I wouldn't know because I'm now a boring married person.

I loved watching the cast recreate their iconic photo of them all lying together on the floor, and it was great to see Mrs. Walsh once again giving various cast members advice, this time as an actual licensed therapist. At one point, Jason made a snarky comment to the head writer regarding him wanting to reunite the gang at The Peach Pit, saying that's "groundbreaking stuff." Watch it, Jason! That is what I wanted from the reboot, not this convoluted mess that seems to be unraveling quickly at the seams.

It seemed like everything was falling apart on Tori this week, which felt like a metaphor for the entire BH90210 reboot itself. They have three more episodes to get it right and redeem themselves. Something more exciting needs to happen next week to hold my interest. Can the stalker kill someone? Preferably not a cast favorite, but maybe Shannon or Christine? '90210: The Zombie Years' is sounding more appealing to me by the minute!

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