Can you ever go back?

September 5, 2008

It is with great anticipation that I am awaiting the allegedly fast-tracked Aussie premiere of the 2008 version of 90210.  Last Tuesday the new series set at that old address debuted in the States.  To the relief of sweaty-palmed execs, itwas the most watched premiere in the CW’s history.  More people tuned in to see a new pair of fish-out-of-water teens than first watched Dawson’s Creek or Buffy and most stayed glued to the set for the full 120 minutes.

 

They say there’s no such thing as a new idea, but from the talk online, this is literally an attempt to fuse the nostalgic appeal of Brenda Walsh with Gossip Girl gloss.  Once again a family from the sticks moves to the big smoke and are overwhelmed by the sassy-ness of the city kids.   The modern twist is that the brother is adopted (made nice and obvious in the opening scene by his skin colour) and I predict a moment of sibling sexual tension down the track. 

 

In the 2-hour premiere neither Jenny Garth nor Shannen Doherty appear until the second half, but it’s sure to be worth the wait.  However, from the 5 minutes I managed to grab off youtube yesterday, the most masterful casting is Jessica Walters as the newcomers grandmother.  You’ll recognise her from her role as the Bluth matriarch in Arrested Development and we can only hope to see her boozier and brassier in this prestigious zip code.

Nat must be Peachy keen

July 10, 2008

 

 

Joe E. Tata (above) who played Nat, owner of the Peach Pit, for 10 years on the original Beverly Hills 90210 has been attached to the re-incarnated series.  According to IMDB he’s had one guest appearance on TV since 2001, so he must be stoked.  Unfortunately Tori Spelling has pulled out, but Shannen Doherty and Jenni Garth are both rumoured to be moving back to that special zip code.  

Airing between 1990 and 2000, 90210 was one of the first mainstream dramas to tackle controversial topics like AIDS, date rape, drug abuse and teen pregnancy.  In the wake of Gossip Girl and the OC, it’ll be interesting to see how far the stories will have to go this time to capture the audience’s attention. 

 

If this promo is anything to go by, those first few bars of the familiar theme song will have many of us suckered from the get-go.

 

Get Back

March 18, 2008

Brilliant news just in – there’s going to be a new Muppet Movie. Jason Segel, an actor from Judd Apatow’s alumni, has teamed up with the Henson puppeteers to make it happen. The great thing about reprising The Muppets is that they are timeless and ageless. No rapidly diminishing, juiced-up Sylvester Stallone jumping rope in tight too tight tracksuit pants, or Harrison Ford trying to pull off Indiana Jones moves while holding in his middle aged spread.

The value in any remake is that the people who previously loved the show come back and, hopefully, bring the next generation along. The challenge, however, is that the new audience have no knowledge of who the characters are and why they should care. Will today’s kids blindly accept Gonzo as the weird looking one who hangs out with chickens, without a convincing back-story? What will they make of the domestic violence that dominates the relationship between Kermit and Miss Piggy? Will Scooter finally come out?

Whatever happens, let’s hope it’s so successful that the weekly TV show returns. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed seeing cloth creatures until Puppet Up at last year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival. As the singing, dancing menagerie fill the stage a wave of nostalgia washed over the audience. Although much more adult-oriented than the original, the magic was that of childhood all over again. If you didn’t get to the show, take a look this made-for-TV version.

Speaking of forgotten magic, another gang being brought back to life are the beautiful high schoolers of Beverly Hills 90210. Long before Dawson and his Creek or the OC’s designer wardrobes, twins Brenda and Brandon were showing us right from wrong in the world of the beautiful people. CW in the States have committed to a new series. It feels soon, considering that the original only left our screens 10 years ago. But, considering how much older than their characters the actors were, it’s feasible that Kelly and Dylan could return as the parents of a clan of rebellious teens. Donna could make a guest appearance as the sex-ed teacher who preaches abstinence. And on the weekends they could all visit Andrea at the old folks home.

What else is it time to bring back?