“BH90210” Fox reboot a hoot, tune in the finale’s fabricated reality fun

Gabrielle Carteris, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering

 One of FOX’s most memorable series, Beverly Hills, 90210, came back as BH90210. The all new, totally inventive incarnation has original cast members returning to the roles that launched their careers: Shannen Doherty (as Brenda Walsh), Jason Priestley (Brandon Walsh), Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor), Ian Ziering (Steve Sanders), Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea Zuckerman), Brian Austin Green (David Silver), and Tori Spelling (Donna Martin).

As producers, Spelling and Garth pushed the BH90210 project forward and made it happen–which is part of the storyline. The blur between the reality and the fabricated is a hoot.

 The reboot has the seven former teen idols playing fictionalized versions of themselves “with a healthy dose of irreverence” as they try to get the 90210 revival off the ground. It’s a comedic take on their complicated relationships and the pop culture show. It’s fun trying to figure out what’s real and what’s made up.

 The gang from the Peach Pit diner (their favorite hang out on 90210) were at the Television Critics Association’s summer 2019 press tour to talk about the FOX show with great affection and nostalgia.

 The idea to revisit 90210 had been circulating for years, but Gabrielle Carteris (the current president of SAG-AFTRA) said now was the perfect time to reunite 30 years after Beverly Hills, 90210 was first introduced. “This is an opportune time for a show that created such joy and memories,” Carteris mused. “I think people are feeling very stressed and disenfranchised, and need a place they feel like coming home to. I believe it makes an important statement about who we are and what we long for.”

 There’s a lot of silliness and self-mocking humor in the new show, but also a lot of heart, especially with the tribute to Luke Perry. He was the heartthrob Dylan McKay on the show. Perry, who was starring in the CW’s Riverdale, died suddenly in March at age 52, following a stroke.

Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry

 Shannen Doherty said she “definitely” wasn’t going to join the BH90210 cast, but when Perry passed away, she explained, “Things changed drastically for me. It felt like a great opportunity to honor him. We went on this amazing journey together, to sort of heal through losing someone who means the world to us.” She’s glad she reunited with everyone, and Doherty recalled an episode of the original series when her character had a breast cancer scare, which had an impact on viewers. That became especially meaningful for Doherty when she was diagnosed in 2015 with breast cancer and underwent surgery and treatment.

 Focusing on a group of high school students living the sweet life in Southern California, their friendships, angst, and romantic relationships for 10 seasons, Beverly Hills, 90210 was ahead of its time and also covered important issues for teens such as sex, abuse, alcoholism, drugs, and more. It was an Aaron Spelling production, and the mega-producer put his stamp on it as he did with all of his shows (which included Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, and Dynasty). 

 So this reporter had to ask his daughter Tori Spelling about the quality and the stamp that her father put on Beverly Hills, 90210, and did she see it reflected in the new version of it that she helped write and produce? 

 Tori told me, “Proudly, I do see it in this version. My dad had a way of just knowing storytelling, and his primary goal was to entertain people. He said people have a lot going on, with stressful lives, and they wanted to come home and have an hour to unwind, lose themselves in the television and connect as a family. And I think that’s what we have done with this project again.”

 Although BH90210 is just a six-episode series, Tori said she would welcome more seasons. “We would love to continue to work together. It’s been such an amazing experience. I liken it to high school when you hope for a do-over. There are things you know now that you didn’t know then. Now we get that opportunity to do things differently. As adults, we get to revisit our old selves. It’s come full circle and we have so many stories to tell.”

BH90210 airs Wednesdays on FOX. There are three more episodes remaining, August 28, September 4, and the reboot’s “The Long Wait” finale on September 11. Tune in.
(All photos courtesy FOX)

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.