The CW’s Other Teen Show! 90210 Returns

Apparently The CW believes absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. After keeping Gossip Girl off the air for six weeks and watching it return with season low ratings, the network has done the same thing to their freshman non-hit, 90210, and is hoping for better results.  The fledgling teen soap returns tonight at a new time (9 p.m.) with a brand new episode that promises to launch the show into the stretch run before the season finale in May. We can’t say we actually like 90210, but considering that tonight’s episode is the first that newly anointed show runner Rebecca Rand Kirshner (Gilmore Girls) says she felt totally comfortable with, we’ll make a point to watch. If you haven’t been following the kids from West Beverly, here are some pros and cons to catch you up.

Pro: The nostalgia factor is awesome…

Even the most snobbish and above-it-all television viewer has to get some perverse kick out of seeing Kelly and Brenda (Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty, natch) share the screen together all these years later. That they both rival Blake Lively in acting ability matters not; their mere visages are warm and comforting reminders of a more simple time. Meanwhile, on April 14th, Tori Spelling returns to the fray as well, reprising her role as Donna Martin. We can only hope this means Brian Austin Green isn’t far behind.

Con: …but apparently it won’t last!

Just kidding! Ms. Kirshner has said that starting next season the stunt cameos will diminish greatly because the show needs to “emerge on its own”. That the show is still called 90210 seems to be lost on her, however.

Pro: Shenae Grimes and Dustin Milligan have great chemistry together…

Say what you will about the lack of memorable characters on 90210—we still can’t tell most of the cast members apart—but the central relationship between good girl Annie and jock Ethan has been the show’s one saving grace. Shenae Grimes might be a terror off camera, but on screen she exhibits her own brand of bitchy innocence that makes Annie both sympathetic and maddening. And as the dumb-jock-with-the-good-soul, Dustin Milligan has a laid-back calmness about him that just plain works. Together, they play a believable high school couple, always fighting about nonsense and making out in front of the lockers. It’s adorable!

Con: …too bad, Dustin Milligan got fired!

Unfortunately for Mr. Milligan, Michael Ausiello from Entertainment Weekly reports that his contract wasn’t renewed for season two. Oh well, we’re sure the relationship between “the blonde girl” and “that other dude” will pick up the slack.

Pro: The show is ready to embrace its inherent corniness…

Tonight’s episode features drag racing (Fast and Furious is so hot right now), a crazy stalker, and, the return of the show’s resident “bad boy”, Liam (he’s involved with the aforementioned drag racing). Meanwhile, on that April 14th episode when Ms. Spelling returns, superfan Diablo Cody shows up playing herself. You cannot get cornier than that!

Con: …but that might not be so smart!

Drag racing? Crazy stalkers? A “bad boy”? The cornier the show gets, the more it sounds like a Paula Abdul video. That isn’t a good thing. The CW’s Other Teen Show! 90210 Returns