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Television

“90210” Is A Guilty Pleasure That Delivers
Posted by LaDale Anderson on Dec 10, 2009 - 10:35:35 AM

HOLLYWOODThe anticipation for the CW’s revamped “90210” had viewers counting down the days until its premiere last year, but after the first episode I wasn’t that excited to keep watching.  Well what a difference a year makes.  Sometimes a show needs a makeover and with the right pieces in place a not so good show can become something sensational. 

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AnnaLynne McCord plays the sensational Naomi Clark on the CW's "90210." Photo courtesy of www.imdb.com

 

The second season picked up precisely where the last season left off.  Viewers discovered that drunken and humiliated Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes), who had been humiliated by her arch nemesis Naomi Clark (AnnaLynne McCord), had ran over a man with a car.  Instead of calling the police Annie drove off from the scene of the crime.  She has been dealing with tremendous guilt since the incident and hasn’t confided in anyone.  The innocent, good-girl Annie that audiences were introduced to last season no longer exists.  She has manifested into a rebellious teen and it’s intriguing to watch the chaos unfold around her.  Not only has she butted heads with her arch nemesis for supposedly sleeping with her ex-boyfriend Liam, played by Matt Lanter, but she’s currently dating a drug dealer.

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Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes) on "90210." Photo courtesy of www.imdb.com
   

 

The transformation of the characters and storylines in season two has been fantastic.  Naomi, West Beverly Hills High’s queen bitch is sensational.  McCord infuses a wrath, yet subtly into a character that should be hated by viewers, but instead is well-liked.  What’s so amazing about Naomi’s transformation from last season to this season is the level of sincerity in the character, she’s a bit more trustworthy to her friends, but she’s so naïve.  The fact that she just recently discovered that her older sister, Jen was the one who slept with Liam and not Annie, is mind-boggling, but the writers of the show knew audiences couldn’t wait for that revelation which didn’t disappoint.  We’ve already seen how vindictive Naomi can; do you remember that “sext” she sent to everyone in school about Annie?  Can’t wait to see what she has in store for her own sister.

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Jessica Stroup portrays Erin Silver on the CW's "90210." Photo courtesy of www.imdb.com

 

Then we have the ever unfolding drama of Nevid (Michael Steger) and Adriana (Jessica Lowndes).  He stood by Adriana as she battled with her drug addiction, becoming pregnant and giving her child up for adoption.  This season everything seemed to be great with the couple—that is until Teddy (Trevor Donovan), an old flame from Adriana’s past emerged.  The sparks between the two were noticeable from the start.  Nevid’s jealous side emerged and audiences saw him deal with intimacy issues he was having with his girlfriend.  Adriana has slipped back into her old habits and it appears Nevid may be the only one who can help save her from destruction.

 

The drama doesn’t end there, Dixon (Tristan Wilds) has been dealing with his own troubles this season.  His tryst with an older woman resulted in an “unwanted pregnancy” that was held over his head.  If that wasn’t enough he found himself battling with his distant sister, Annie.  While Dixon has taken a bit of a backseat this season it looks like a love triangle may be in the works with him, his ex girlfriend Silver (Jessica Stroup) and Teddy.   Silver, who is bipolar, has grown remarkably since last season.  She had to get over a broken heart, help her friends deal with their crises and face that her mother, Jackie was dying from cancer.  Through all the turmoil she found a friend in Teddy.  Furthermore, she’s become best friends with Naomi, who was her enemy last season; so much can change in a year.

 

While “90210” may be a drama about the turmoil and obstacles teens face in high school, the adults also have their fair share of drama.  Harry Wilson (Rob Estes) and Debbie Wilson (Lori Loughlin) have hit a rough patch in their marriage, especially after Debbie discovered her hubby has been spending more time with Kelly, the school counselor.  Will the sparks fly or will a marriage end? 

 

What has worked so well for the show in the aftermath of its makeover is that the characters are not one-dimensional.  With most shows characters seamlessly continue to embody characteristics that solely define them, but not here.  Naomi and Annie to some degree have switched places, Nevid has taken the role of a burned lover and Silver who was a bit of a recluse is now the center of attention.  The writing is intricate and intertwines itself without forcing the storylines to connect; they mesh naturally. The whole Jasper/Annie relationship and his connection to Adriana’s drug addiction and Nevid’s tragic accident are various elements that fall into place.  With only half the season over, I can only imagine what’s anticipated for February and May sweeps.  “90210” is proof that with the right makeover a show can evolve to a must-see guilty pleasure.  Catch it on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.



 

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