Warming to '90120'

Warming to ‘90120’

By Roger Catlin

on July 19, 2008 9:56 PM

I have been assiduously avoiding the publicity train for “90210,” the overly hyped spin-ff of the old “Beverly Hills 90210” that seems to have been wholly built on hype. It seems every week there’s an announcment about who’s in it, who’s not in it, stars from the original shows that are signed up for brief returns, and those who have not.

Because I hadn’t seen a minute of the show, I refused to play along with the mindless endless publicity.

Well, today there IS more of that news, one that’s supposed to be the coup de grace:

Shannen Doherty will be returning to the show as Brenda Walsh, appearing in this new updated group at the old West Beverly High school to direct their upcoming musical.

She joins a couple of other original “90210” castmates who’ve agreed to return for some short multi-episoce story arcs – Tori Spelling as Donna Martin, who now owns an upscale botique, and Kelly Taylor, a West Beverly guidance counselor. In addition Joe E. Tata will return as Nat, owner of the show hangout Peach Pit, which is unaccountably as important to the new generation as it was the old.

Anyway, as much as I’ve been skeptical of the new show, partly because I hadn’t seen a thinng ecxcept the ads, it looked like it had some hope today since it’s being run by Gabe Sachs & Jeff Judah, the guys behind “Freaks & Geeks” and “Undeclared.”

And its cast includes Shanae Grimes, Darcy from “DeGrassi: The New Generation” as a newcomer to the neighborhood, AnnaLynne McCord, the lethal tease on last season’s “Nip/Tuck” and Tristan Wilds, so good as the troubled Michael in the last two seasons of “The Wire.”

Plus there’s Jessica Walters who sees a difference between her new character Tabitha Wilson and her last one, Lucille Bluth on “Arrested Development.”

“Lucille liked vodka and Tabitha likes scotch,” she cracked.

“90120” starts Sept. 2 on the CW.

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