“We All Fall Down” – 90210

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 12.01.14 PMOkay, we were wrong. We got nearly every single thing in our finale predictions absolutely 100 per cent wrong. But we don’t even care. Why? Because this was the perfect ending to 90210. Perfect. Well, perfect-ish. But mostly perfect. Oh god, the happy tears.

The action picks up right where the previous episode left off. Immediately, we learn that Annie and Dixon are fine. Navid was knocked out, but is also fine. Ade is trapped under the stage. Naomi, Silver and Liam each make their way to the venue. With all of the friends in one place, they each deal with the disaster in their own way. Dixon throws himself into the rescue effort, showing a natural flair for humanitarian relief work. Silver and Annie use it to distract themselves from the dramas in their own lives. Naomi throws a concert to repair her image. And Navid runs into the still dangerous building to save Ade. Silver does have cancer but, with Dixon’s help, makes the decision to fight it. Silver and Ade make up, Ade is rescued, then Navid is. Naomi and Jordan beat his mother and get to be together. Sydney tells Liam to read the end of Undressed, and he makes a mad dash to the airport, racing a plane to stop Annie flying out of his life forever. And then proposes! All the happy tears.

The episode wasn’t without problems. Some of it felt too hurried and too convenient. The Ade and Navid storyline is the one we felt was altered most in the change from season finale to series finale. Throughout the episode, it felt as though we were building to some disaster – either Navid or Ade was going to die, and it was going to be surprising and upsetting. The fact that they both survived didn’t feel like a relief, it felt like the writers had changed their minds last minute so they could go out on a relatively positive note.

This episode was clearly intended as a cliffhanger-ridden season finale and, in many ways, it still watches just like that. That could have been Continue reading

Advertisements

“Scandal Royale” – 90210

Screen Shot 2013-05-07 at 11.02.50 PMFinally an episode of 90210 that makes us feel that it’s all coming to a close. And so well, too. This was an episode that we actually enjoyed. The majority of the characters didn’t piss us off, there was a sense of momentum (rather than the sense of “it can’t be ending, it just can’t” that the writers have been peddling up to now), there was finally an air of winding up, and there was drama, tension and humor in appropriate amounts.

We feel as though this was the finale the showrunners would have aired had they been picked up for another season. What a cliffhanger. Naomi has sacrificed her privacy, her good(ish) name and, potentially, her career to save Jordan from his mother. Michaela has lost the baby and tells Silver the same day that Silver hears she may have a tumor. Liam’s decision is up in the air (though we think it’s going to be Annie, LA, and a ring), and Annie’s talking about a permanent move to Paris. Ade and Navid’s relationship is also up in the air, not least because one or both of them may have been flattened in the stage collapse. Dixon and Annie are separated and each stuck in a stampede-like crowd, trying to get to each other.

That would have been a fantastic finale, and one that would likely have drawn us back for a sixth season, against all common sense and better judgment. This potentially changes things for the real finale – we’re now anticipating Continue reading

“You Can’t Win Em All” – 90210

Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 10.16.24 PMNot quite sure what to make of this week’s 90210. It seemed a bit frenetic – the consequence of being mere weeks away from a (somewhat) surprise cancellation, we suppose – but also, for the large part, skipped out on addressing the one thing we were really interested in. If you had asked us after “The Empire State Strikes Back” what we most wanted to see from this episode, we would have answered with an unequivocal ‘Annie and Liam, then Mark in jail’. Mere moments into “You Can’t Win Em All” we no longer cared about either of those things. Suddenly, for us, it was all about the lump Silver found. And they buried it throughout the entire episode. There are oblique references to it – Silver has a hospital appointment, and later tells Dixon she has a lot on her mind – but, other than that, the focus of the episode is predominantly on Naomi of all people. Yes, it’s related to Mark and, yes, Annie and Liam featured, as did Ade and Navid, and Michaela, but pushing all of the other important storylines aside to focus on Naomi’s issues about her brother moving away seemed strange.

There were some other elements of the episode that, like last week, seemed too monumental to introduce so close to the end of the series, but which also intrigued us. Foremost among these is, obviously, Silver’s lump. Others include Jordan’s apparent shady dealings with his mom, Mark’s departure, Michaela skipping out, and Liam announcing that he wants Annie to buy the Offshore so he can move to Australia with Sydney (which made us lol. Oh, geography…). These latter two will probably be the issues that the final few episodes revolve around. We don’t see Liam actually leaving. This isn’t just about us being determined to be right about our finale predictions. We know teen drama – they don’t send away one half of a will-they-won’t-they days before the show ends for good. This is Lucas and Peyton, Summer and Seth. They will end up together. We’re just not sure what will bring them together in time for the finale.

Michaela’s departure really intrigues us, too, and Continue reading

“The Empire State Strikes Back” – 90210

The Empire State Strikes BackWe just can’t see how 90210 is going to wrap up in three weeks. As the writers add insane plot point after insane plot point, and create a sense of momentum (clearly building to a season finale cliffhanger and a sixth season that will never come), we have to wonder how they’re going to give each of these strands a conclusion within three weeks. Ordinarily – on a show like 90210, at least – each of these arcs could span months, let alone weeks. But they’re going to have to wrap them up, unless the showrunners expect their viewers to be satisfied with a cliffhanger series finale and a sense of incompletion.

The main stories to be dealt with in the coming weeks are relatively simplistic by the standards of, for instance, the HBO magnates but, given 90210’s proclivity for dragging out every ‘simple’ story to the point of annoyance, it will shock the system somewhat to see these tied up in neat little packages over a drastically shortened time scale.

Storylines like Naomi’s love affair with Jordan and Silver’s inability to make up her mind about Mark are sideline irritants at best. They will either be resolved by the season’s end or they won’t, and we don’t particularly care either way. While we’d like, in theory, to see Naomi finally happy, our natural inclination is to preserve ourselves from further hand wringing and plotting, so we will mentally distance ourselves from that arc – in part to save ourselves from the general buzzing annoyance that comes from her suddenly being thoroughly invested in a relationship that she, moments before, had said she didn’t want, all because the mother of the man may be a challenge. You said you weren’t ready for a relationship, Naomi. It was like two seconds ago. Have you forgotten already? Did you catch a glimpse of Jordan’s abs or something?

As for Silver Continue reading

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Call Girl” – 90210

feature_90210-featureThis was a strong return for the CW stalwart and, with only four episodes left in its run, it needed to be. It was relatively light on plot and drive but, in many ways, that was better. It gave the show a chance to sit back, catch its breath, and give everyone a little space to work things out.

After a month off the air, what few questions we had after the last episode were very largely forgotten, so we started off with a (relatively) clean slate. The arcs brought forward were easy to keep track of, so 90210 didn’t struggle with the same end-of-season brain-fuzz that strikes most of its compatriots. We got the feeling while watching that the show’s creators spent their downtime strategizing about how best to proceed with the very few episodes they have left. This felt almost like a complete rewrite. Having never seen the originally-planned episode, if there was one, we can’t be sure about that, but “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Call Girl” lacked much of the juvenile insanity that has plagued the series to date. It even self-referentially alludes to the need for the characters to grow up. This felt like a slightly more mature take on the show, with developments intended, yes, to stir things up, but also to get the major players to a place where they can come to terms with who they are and what they’ve been doing with their lives.

The most front-and-center of these was, of course, Annie’s struggle with her sordid past. This week saw the release of her book, and much was made of how successful her blog has been and how much everyone is looking forward to said book. Annie is still loath to come forward as Author X but, after a few home truths from Naomi (without her even knowing the truth about Annie’s involvement), she decides to come clean. Given the reaction of Liam, and Continue reading

“Dude, Where’s My Husband?” – 90210

       

There are, at most, five episodes of 90210 left. Ever. And I can’t for the life of me figure out how they’re going to wrap all of this up in five weeks. Not because it’s full of drama, or cliffhangers, or exciting, plot-twist ridden storylines. Just because it never seems to come to an end. One story is wrapped up and another ten sprout in its place. 90210 is the Medusa of CW standards. And even aside from that, and in spite of all of its many problems over the years, it feels like a show that is unfinishable. Like it’s not meant to stop. Obviously, the writers are going to have their work cut out for them, and the next few weeks are going to pass by at a rapidly building, breakneck speed. Things will be resolved and, unless the writers don’t know how to do their jobs, things will be wrapped up in a neat little bow. I just can’t see it now.

What I can see is an ever-changing final scene. I have now changed my vision of the series’ final moments to include a Naomi and Jordan (Robbie Jones, Hellcats, One Tree Hill) marriage, and a Silver and Mark committed-but-not-married loving family home. And I still don’t care about Navid.

This may all sound negative, but Continue reading

90210 Cancelled by The CW

Is it possible to be surprised and not surprised at the exact same time?

It has been announced that the current season of 90210 – its fifth – will be its last, as the CW stalwart has been officially cancelled. The move comes following a dismal year in ratings.

So what can we expect from the remainder of the season? Years of CW finales have taught us that the regular episodes will continue more or less as planned, though possibly with a little more urgency. Existing story lines will get wrapped up – Liam’s rage, Annie’s prostitution, Silver and Teddy’s baby drama, Liam and Annie’s (almost) series-long will-they-won’t-they – and few new strands will be introduced.

And then we’ll jump forward five years to see just how successful and wonderful all of the West Bev alums have become (because they will be successful – viewers are too fragile to allow for disaster). Annie will be Continue reading

“We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” – 90210

Guess it was 90210’s turn to do the ‘what would the world be like if I never…’ episode. Every show does it at one point or another. I usually hate them. I didn’t hate this one. Mostly because I can’t remember much about previous seasons of the show, so I don’t know if Annie’s presence in LA really made that much of a difference to anyone’s life. Or if her friends were such jerks back at the start that they wouldn’t have grown out of their asshole ways themselves, given time. But I guess it was a nice throwback to the way they all used to be. Like I said, can’t remember. Annie’s alt-verse contained: her fiancée, Jason (Chris Zylka, the latest Secret Circle alum to get recast in a CW franchise); Naomi, the impoverished realtor; Liam, the well-behaved preppy; Teddy, the closeted tennis superstar; Silver, the celebrity gossip queen (move aside Perez Hilton); Adrianna, the waster actress (move aside Lindsay Lohan); Dixon, the up-and-coming rapper; and Navid, Dixon’s lapdog. Of course, Annie’s presence in the alt-verse fixes everyone really quickly. And her surgery sort of fixed people too. Back in real-world, Dixon is nice to Ade, Naomi goes to find Max, and Silver tries to take back what she did with Teddy’s signature. Unfortunately for her, it’s too late. She made a mistake on the form, and the clinic called Teddy in. He now knows exactly what she tried to do. The episode ends on a melancholy note – while sparks are zinging between Liam and Annie, and while I think it won’t be long until they’re back together, Liam is showing signs of PTSD-related anger. It might be a while before he’s back to his usual, rage-free self. Annie’s going to have her work cut out for her. – K

Quoteworthy: “I just think maybe you would be better off if you hadn’t met me in the first place.” – Annie, to Liam, pre alt-verse

“Misery Loves Company” – 90210

image

I got really excited toward the start of this episode. Dixon was still being an ass but, in doing so, he demanded that Adrianna play a song called Scarlet Adrianna at his record label launch party. A new song! I hardly know what to do with myself… a new song! We never get to hear it – we’re never even sure that it’s played at all – but the mere thought of it is enough to carry me through another episode filled with baby drama. Though it was actually a pretty good episode, by 90210 standards. The baby drama was merely the least exciting or interesting aspect of a great effort from the CW standard.

First, I’ll address baby-gate. As it’s the most irritating storyline in years, I want to get it out of the way quickly. Unfortunately for my sanity, it’s not a storyline that’s going to die any time soon – the closing moments of “Misery Loves Company” ensure its longevity. This episode sees Silver continue to battle for her right to be a single mother. She calls in the help of Teddy’s uncle, predictably making things ten times worse. Teddy vows to never let Silver use his sperm, and ends their friendship. Not that she’ll let that stop her.

As Silver forges Teddy’s signature on the release documents, we’re reminded of something Dixon said early on in the episode: Continue reading

“The Things We Do For Love” – 90210

       Image copyright The CW (2012)

Most TV shows are content with one big pre-winter-hiatus reveal and/or cliffhanger. Not so 90210. The Christmas episode from our favorite televisual zip code left us with two major cliffhangers and two minor, and provided us a host of revelations and ‘oh my actual god’ moments.

I’m too baffled by the sheer quantity of plot to even contemplate going into too much depth here, so I’ll sum up as briefly as possible.

Liam’s stalker finally turns to blackmail, asking for $500k to stay quiet about that whole Vanessa falling to her ‘death’ thing. Annie lends him the money. Then Ade sees Vanessa in the hair salon and asks Ashley to tell Liam. Ashley freaks out. Pulls Liam over when he’s on the way to make the drop (which Annie said she’d record, to catch the stalker once and for all). For some reason Liam isn’t suspicious about how she knew where he was. Actually, how did she know where he was? When Liam doesn’t show at the drop, Vanessa and Annie get fed up of waiting at the same time (ruining my predictions, Vanessa was the one stalking him). Annie (nearly literally) runs into Vanessa. Meanwhile, Ashley has brought Liam to a dank, dodgy underground car park. She tells him Vanessa is back. He says he has to see her, and that he can sort everything out tonight. Ashley is unhappy about this so, naturally, SHE INJECTS HIM WITH SOMETHING! Of course. Vanessa and Annie head to the Offshore looking for Liam (and the money). He’s not there. Or is he? Pan down to the basement where he’s tied to a pipe (cliché) and gagged. But will they find him before it’s too late?<— major cliffhanger no.1

Not quite as major as that, but significant enough Continue reading