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First Impressions: '90210' Gets Passing Grade

September 2, 2008 9:35 PM

The early reviews from the east coast are pouring in—and so far, critics seem to be OK with the CW's new "90210."


Network executives opted not to send out a screener of the show's first two hours, arguing they wanted to build suspense. Skeptical critics wondered if the show was a dog.

But a few early takes from some of the TV beat's more cynical voices suggest that reviewers might not be too harsh on the most-hyped show of the season.

Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star-Ledger almost can't believe that he doesn't hate the new Zip. Writes Sepinwall: "Huh. Neither trainwreck nor masterpiece, the new "90210" was exactly what nobody expected it would be: remarkably faithful in tone and spirit to the original adventures of Brandon, Brenda, Scott Scanlon and company."

Over at Newsday.com, Verne Gay first jokes about the new show's more outrageous plotlines. "Fellatio, designer drugs, vendetta blogs, text messages—yeah, everything's up to date in West Beverly Hills High," Gay says. But then he gives the show some props. "The show juggled a lot of storylines last night, maybe too many, but the vibe feels right. "90210" is not a disaster, and the CW can now officially let out a deep sigh ... of relief."

Not everyone is ready to move to the "90210." Variety's lead TV critic opted against reviewing via Slingbox and instead lets contributing critic Laura Fries give the paper's take. She wasn't impressed: "This spinoff, eight years after the first series ended, is a pallid copy of the original fish out of water story only with shinier cars, fancier clothes and Botox aplenty," she complains.

Orlando Sentinel: "The CW kept blathering how "90210" was "the most talked-about new show of the season. Safe to say after the premiere, it is no longer that."

The AP: " '90210' " felt reassuringly familiar, probably even for viewers too young to have seen the series that inspired it."

2SnapsTV: "I'm impressed. I expected to only care about the parts involving the reunion of TV audiences with Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh (which sadly only totaled about ten minutes in a two hour premiere. If that.), but I found myself getting all wrapped up in the other hour and fifty minutes of the show as well. It's no 'Gossip Girl,' but it has potential."

Buddy TV: " '90210' is better than it has any right to be.

TV Squad: "Oddly entertaining. One thing that everyone can agree on though, is that Jessica Walters is still awesome."

Zap2It (via Twitter): "Hooked? Far from it? Prepared to watch the new '90210' again next week? With Ann Gillespie returning as Kellie's mom? Heck yeah."

—Josef Adalian (Updated 11:33 p.m.)


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