You guys can keep your conventions and your football (okay, actually I'm DVRing the football), we all know tonight's main event is the first episode of 90210, the remake/update of Beverly Hills, 90210, both the greatest and most terrible show of all time, and also a cultural touchstone of particular importance in this Barrelhouse editor's life.
Admit it: you're curious about this shit, too.
9:00 -- opening credits. Oooh, Coldplay. This show is automatically 48% less hip than The O.C., which featured music from bands so cool they didn't even exist yet.
9:01 -- There's a black! OMG! And he's not playing basketball! Actually, he's being ferreted into 90210 Land by Aunt Becky and that dude From Silk Stalkings, a show that always seemed like it should have boob, but then never had boob.
9:02 -- Apparently Rob Estes (the dude from Silk Stalkings) is the principal of the school, which is why they're moving to Beverly Hills. No explanation of how he and Aunt Becky had a black child, though I suppose that's coming.
9:04 -- Lucille Bluth is playing the new kids' grandma! And she's a drunk!
9:05 -- the music is a little more O.C.-like now, with MGMT accompanying the "look at all the nice cars in the school parking lot" montage.
9:06 -- Hanna Zuckerman-Vasquez! And one of the teachers makes a joke about how "she's, like, 30"! Which is funny, see, because Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman in the original 90210) was almost 35 by the time her character was graduating from high school -- she was wearing Mom jeans, for God's sakes -- and so her daughter is, like ... well, actually the joke doesn't make much sense, but points for effort, I guess.
9:10 -- Kelly Taylor! She's, like, vice-principal or something! And probably going to do it with Rob Estes. Because why wouldn't she? Then she'll start doing a bunch of blow and join a doomsday cult and then clean herself up, get a mom haircut and wear baggy clothes when she needs to hide her pregnancy.
Holy shit, I just realized this crap is two hours?!? Even John McCain won't go on that long!
9:15 -- I can already tell one problem with this show will be that all the characters look the same. Does this just mean I'm getting old, and all the kids look the same these days? Or is it that even the "alternative" kids (like some chick named Silver, who's clearly meant to be the Disturbed Youth) have the same exact blandly attractive appearance of Abercrombie models?
9:17 -- Nat's back! And wringing comedy from not knowing how to work an espresso machine, which makes sense, given that espresso machines were just invented one week ago.
9:20 -- apparently "lacrosse" will be filling the role water polo filled in The O.C., which is the role soccer filled in The Karate Kid. The black dude is apparently awesome at lacrosse, which I guess is maybe refreshing, in a breaking-with-stereotype way, though also feels pretty calculated, in a breaking-with-stereotype way. It would have been more awesome, actually, if the black dude (who seems to be the only black dude in the entire school) had walked in on a basketball practice where a bunch of skinny crackers were doing the Hoosiers-style bounce-pass drills, stolen the ball and started doing a bunch of ridiculous 360 dunks.
9:27 -- The Peach Pit After Dark still exists, though now it's just called The Pit. So far this show has a pretty high nostalgia-per-minute ratio. At this rate, by episode 2 they'll be forced to bring back the dead body of that geeky kid who shot himself in the face.
9:37 -- "That's what blogs are supposed to do, cause problems." Exactly, Silver. Exactly. (also, Silver is apparently Kelly Taylor's sister, which is sort of weird since, if I remember correctly, that makes her the daughter of Mel Silver, and maybe her name really is Silver Silver?)
9:40 -- I'm having trouble buying Rob Estes as principal. He only has two facial expressions: I'm Undressing You With My Eyes, or I'm Going To Murder You Via My Abs.
9:41 -- The kids are doing a production of "Spring Awakening," a real Broadway play about teen angst and Jesus or something. I don't know. I'm too lazy to do more than a cursory Google search.
9:45 -- Every third commercial is for some kind of hair product. I do not have hair. Why is 90210 mocking me?
10:00 -- One of the characters is apparently cheating on one of the other characters. As a defense, I think he could just plead confusion: maybe, like me, he can't tell one character from another.
10:01 -- Beach party! Because it wouldn't be a teen drama without one. Someone should tell this Ethan dude not to hit on Elizabeth Shue or the badass karate guys will kick sand all over his radio and then beat him up.
10:04 -- Someone vandalized the school. It was their "rival," Palisades Hall. Also, apparently kids are still doing that popped-collar thing.
10:05 -- the new girl's boyfriend from back in Kansas or wherever broke up with her. Oh, tortured high school romance! Luckily, she just met some other dude with giant teeth who likes to sing. The Wheel of Fate turns quickly in Beverly Hills.
10:10 -- Apparently "blogisode" is now a word, according to Silver Silver. For Barrelhouse's next blogisode, I will film Aaron Pease sleeping on an air mattress in my study. Will he snore? Will he drool? Does he sleep in the nude? You'll have to tune in to find out!
10:15 -- "I just have to come up with, like, the dopest prank ever, kid." The black dude is bringing the streets to Beverly Hills.
10:26 -- Kelly Taylor has a grad degree, and a kid. Did Brandon knock her up? Dylan? Donna?
10:28 -- Shannon Doherty! Apparently Brenda is in town "doing a play." Brandon is in Belize, for some reason. And maybe involved with Kelly, since he's been calling her at 3 am. Or just a crazy stalker? When the producers figure out no one cares about this new crop of kids, maybe Brandon and Dylan will both come back and lay claim to fatherhood of Kelly's child. That is, if Luke Perry's not too busy making TV movies and Jason Priestley's not too busy racing cars and being the last remaining fan of The Barenaked Ladies.
10:42 -- Again with the popped collars. Seriously? The original 90210 brought us such great fashion trends as Cross Colours, long-ass sideburns, weirdly pleated jeans, silk shirts, mock turtlenecks. And the best this new version can do is popped collars?
10:48 -- I'm pretty sure the teacher who looks like the poor man's Jake Gylenhall is in some future episode going to sleep with the student who looks like the poor man's Anne Hathaway. Which would be more of a scandal if the actors playing those roles weren't pretty much the same age.
10:55 -- "Don't worry, I'll be here for a while." Don't be so sure, Shannon Doherty.
Final thought: Listen up, 90210. I knew Beverly Hills, 90210, and you, sir, are no Beverly Hills, 90210.