BH90210 (FOX) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 20th, 2021  


FOX, Wednesdays at 9/8 Central

Aug 07, 2019 Photography by Brian Bowen Smith/FOX Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share

The true genius of Beverly Hills, 90210 is not appreciated until you look back at it through an almost three-decade lens. The breakout show, which made a destination out of a zip code and instant superstars out of its eye candy cast, was gagging for a reboot. Fox has given it one, as BH90210, and gone one better by keeping the remaining castbarring the departed, and deeply missed, Luke Perry.

The series premiere starts with a far too upbeat flash forward (or is it fantasy) sequence at the Peach Pit, which quickly dissolves into harsh reality. What we're looking at is not the Beverly Hills, 90210 characters, but the actors who portray them. The gang is headed to Las Vegas for a reunion for the show and none of them are happy about it, or about their personal and professional lives.

What we see of the actors' lives is an exaggerated, thinly veiled fiction version of what their real-life lives are like. Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor) is on her third divorce. Tori Spelling (Donna Martin) has six kids, a husband who won't work, a cancelled reality TV show, and money management problems. Jason Priestley (Brandon Walsh) is a low-rent, hothead Hollywood director who is getting blackballed by actors a fraction of his age. Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders) has a perfect marriage on the surface, until his wife butt-FaceTimes him in the middle of having sex with someone else. Brian Austin Green (David Silver) is married to a pop star who eclipses him professionally while he portrays the ultimate stay-at-home dad to the public. Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman) is a grandmother and finally coming in touch with the lesbian side we all knew she had. Shannen Doherty (Brenda Walsh) is seen through Instagram Live saving the animals of the world and easily the most popular of the cast in the fans' reactions to her. If Perry were around, it's doubtful Dylan would have made more than the odd cameo appearance, if at all.

The love/hate relationship between the actors feels like watching a celebrity having a public breakdown on a tabloid show montage compiled from bystanders' phone-shot videos. This is pretty much what happens in the hotel where the reunion is taking place. In fact, the series feels like reality television.

Everyone could benefit from a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot but the only person who wants one is Tori. After she gets everyone arrested for helping her steal her famous red hooped dress, and awards them with community service, she convinces the cast, one by one, to agree to the reboot, each one of them gaining a much-needed favor in return.

While Donna was arguably the most annoying character on Beverly Hills, 90210, Tori on BH90210 is a hoot. The glue that is holding both the characters and the concept of the show together, she has all the goofiness and blindingly bright fashion sense of her characterwe see you knotting that community service vest under your boobsbut she has a sharp sense of humor and on-point comedic timing. (Side note: I started re-watching all the original episodes on Hulu before this reboot was announced and realized that Brenda and Kelly are solely to blame for all my fashion faux pas of the '90s, of which there are far too many.)

The rest of the cast fall neatly into place, behaving as befits both their actual mid-life crisis age, and as actors who will forever be strangled by the iconic roles they played in Beverly Hills, 90210. Also, Jennie and Ian look insanely amazing.

"Meta" is the word used most to describe this strange take on a reboot, which in its very weirdness will have viewersall of whom will be those that watched the original series when it aired in real-time, none of whom will be fans that aren't the ages of the actors/characters as it will make absolutely no sense to them. (

Author rating: 6/10

Rate this show
Average reader rating: 3/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.