9-0-2.0: Malibu Beach Party
August 25, 2008 3:03 PM
Got the press release last week describing a party on the beach in Malibu to celebrate The CW’s revamp of “Beverly Hills, 90210." Umm, hello? The Daily Blink was so there to take in the sights, sounds and gossip on Saturday night. And to see just how one “lives by the code.”
The Daily Blink, with photographer in tow, descended on the picture-perfect town of Malibu to be shuttled over to a patch of sand and rock just off Pacific Coast Highway. This random lot—usually filled with trash and boulders, surfers parked and changing into their wetsuits, waves crashing—had been transformed into a magical Hollywood wonderland for one night, to celebrate The CW’s latest effort to capture those elusive teen viewers.
The impressive show CW put on, coupled with all the recent buzz surrounding the new “90210,” got the Daily Blink thinking back to the original series premiered in 1990. The Daily Blink was just starting seventh grade—junior high! “90210” was the big show that season and Fox made sure we all knew about it. The network handed out “90210” posters and book covers at school (so we could plaster our textbooks with the cast members’ faces) as the Daily Blink discovered the world of high school along with the characters on the show. The revival makes us look back on the series with a fond nostalgia, which is exactly what The CW is banking its future on. Without a doubt, there’s a lot riding on this series.
And let’s get this question out of the way: Absolutely no footage, other than the promos we’ve been seeing online, was screened at this event. Saturday night was all about spectacle and flash.
The calm before the storm. The Daily Blink got to the party early, so we could check in and document the behind-the-scenes of pulling off a huge endeavor like this. By 6 p.m. the photog lineup was already getting insanely packed on the red, er, sea foam carpet. The heat from all those tightly packed paparazzi was warming up the tent.
We headed on into to the party to look around. White, white, white … guess it was one of those Labor Day end-of-summer blowout white parties you always hear about. So those really happen outside of the Hamptons and the season premiere of “Gossip Girl”—who knew? The party planners obviously were going for an ultra-modern environment. Here’s the salad bar complete with a fountain that had ice dangling from the top. You could smell the clean modernity of it all.
What was essentially just an elaborate tent, built out over an empty city lot off the freeway, was decked out like a gorgeous beachside mansion, complete with sprawling dance floor, glowing sculptures, chandeliers, temporary patios looking out over the setting sun of the Pacific Ocean … Wow! The Daily Blink was impressed … and that’s saying something.
Buckets of sandals ready for the buzzing partygoers to take to the sands—clever marketing or practical party favor? At first the Daily Blink thought these CW-emblazoned flip-flops were strictly for novelty purposes, but then we thought The CW was really on top of things by making these available for guests wanting to traipse on the Malibu sand. Then we noticed there was no place to put your shoes while you were off getting all sandy.
The Pacific Ocean and fireside beach cabanas to get your private party on were stunning.
In addition to the elaborate party setup, there were various platforms and carpets leading out to beachside interview opportunities for cast and execs. Talk about “media event”! That metallic structure streamed promotional video of the new “90210” on its sides all throughout the evening and also served as some sort of gateway to entertainment show-interviewing hell. The crane was there to capture the epicness of it all, we assume.
It was time for a drink. The Daily Blink didn’t even realize the bar was made out of ice until we set our camera down on it to snap a shot and realized the slick surface was soaking wet and melting fast.
Back over at the carpet, there was incredibly heightened tension in the air. The anticipation for the arrival of the new “90210’s” cast was huge. And at last, the newest crop of teen drama stars slowly make their way onto the carpet.
The first guests begin arriving. The CW obviously paid a pretty penny to create an exciting environment to introduce the new “90210,” but ice sculptures and mod white furniture’s got nothing on the sun setting over the Pacific.
The party venue’s design provided countless photo opportunities. Those huge numbers on the sand, the red carpet backdrop, various ice sculptures, and the ubiquitous lights reflecting against the white tents really brought out the cameras.
Don’t all parties have dangling-ice fountains and Steadicam-equipped TV crews making the rounds?
It’s camera flash warfare on the photo line. It was fascinating to sit back and watch the nonstop, insanely bright flashes across the ceiling of the tent as the cast arrived. Leaning over, we asked series co-creator Gabe Sachs if any of his shows had ever received this sort of press attention. Looking like a proud parent somewhat surprised and absolutely in awe of the tightly packed and screaming throngs of photographers, he answered with a long, drawn-out, “Um, no …,” his eyes wide taking in the insanity the cast arrivals quickly were becoming.
Photographers fight for a shot, and Sachs, with his own camera, gets right in there with them. He has mentioned in several interviews and again on the carpet that the shots were for his “scrapbook” that he’s been assembling of the young cast. The Daily Blink loves the idea that the showrunner is aware of the potential cultural legacy of the production he’s involved in and is documenting its progress along with the rest of us.
Here’s the obligatory cast shot: From left, Ryan Eggold, AnnaLynne McCord, Shenae Grimes, Jessica Stroup, CW Network President Dawn Ostroff, Dustin Milligan, Tristan Wilds and Michael Steger pose at the “90210” premiere party. While chatting with parents and agents of various cast members, the Daily Blink learned that their kids/clients were cast as “Luke” or “Shannon” or “Donna,” for example. Don’t change what works, apparently.
The party was picking up, so the Daily Blink stepped outside to get some air. It was getting hot in the packed tent—can’t imagine how those walls of ice were holding up.
Such an amazing view—one of those moments that just makes the Daily Blink love living in LA.
The ZIP code in lights.
Meanwhile, back inside the packed party, it was quite the gathering of TV execs, starlets and press. The smell of the make-your-own-Chinese-food noodle bar in the corner mingled with the taco bar, lit up by flashes reflecting off the ceiling from the carpet, with drinks being poured left and right—leave it to Hollywood to get the premiere party formula just right.
Actress Shannen Doherty turned many heads, here taking a moment with CW Network Chief Operating Officer John Maatta.
And then we were back out on the beach. Notice the white carpet is still amazingly sand-free. Talk about special effects!
The Daily Blink spent a while relaxing and mingling back on the beach, watching the cast interact—here it’s Tristan Wilds, Michael Steger and Shenae Grimes. These kids, you can tell they’re kinda new at this. It’s kind of refreshing to see their excitement; after all, for some of the cast members, this is their first big break.
On the way out, we note the ice is still melting—lots of trickles and streams of water, but no major collapse yet. It made it through the evening—impressive.
Outside is a shocking dose of reality, with lights and cars flying by on PCH and a line of paparazzi held back by a guard as the Daily Blink awaits the shuttle back to the cars.
During the shuttle ride, the Daily Blink overheard a couple of post-production folk talking in the back of the bus about how they were running back to “the studio” to finish post on their various projects. Both said they’re working double time on this season’s promos because “when the network closes, and it will, we’ll have jobs immediately because of the work we are making right now.” The Daily Blink isn’t suggesting they were staffers at The CW; you never know which network might be about to shutter, right?
We’re just saying, there are a lot of people who are going to be watching “90210’s” first episode on Sept. 2 with great anticipation and a lot on their mind.
We’re eager to see the premiere episode, but until then we’re digging into that season-five DVD set we received. What was everyone thinking on “Beverly Hills, 90210”—the hair? the tucked-in T-shirts? the writing … but we digress. Thank you, CW, for keeping it fun!
—Christopher Perez and Chad Rooney