“The Reunion” at least provides an interesting twist in the Age of Reboots, successfully tapping into a vein of corny nostalgia. But would you want to watch it every week?
This recap of BH90210 Episode 1, “The Reunion”, contains spoilers.
In our current confusing times of prequels, sequels, reboots, and reimaginings, BH90210 is at least an interesting proposition. The premiere, “The Reunion”, reunites the stars of Beverly Hills, 90210, each playing fictionalized, exaggerated versions of themselves. Gabrielle Carteris, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green, Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling and Ian Ziering are all back in one form or another — even if it might be through an Instagram live-stream, though I suppose this is the right show for such a thing — to celebrate the soap’s 30th anniversary at a convention in Las Vegas.
As an idea, it’s… interesting, at least. It’d be tough to deny that. A show like Beverly Hills, 90210, with its longstanding ardent fanbase, is probably the right kind of target for a meta-mockumentary reimagining, and BH90210 is able to recapture something about the show’s essential superficiality that works well with nostalgia. I don’t see much staying power here; it’s a gimmicky novelty, after all, but I also don’t imagine its hunting for new fans. It’s playing to an already-established demographic that are keen to see these characters again in any form, and “The Reunion” certainly provides… well, a reunion.
That reunion also reveals predictable problems in the cast’s personal lives, from financial woes to infidelity, plus the expected dilemmas of being warped by the spotlight and not knowing how to live and behave in the shade. There’s an odd and I suppose arguably compelling blurring of what’s real and what’s a put-on, among the cast and their on-screen personas.
Luke Perry, who died in March, receives a few touching mentions, including a poignant tribute that definitely feels like at least a small part of the reason why the cast all agreed to this. In a show based in large part on superficiality, it’s nice to find a vein of genuine feeling that runs through it all. I have no idea what kind of longevity BH90210 will have, but “The Reunion” at least finds a reason to justify its own existence — for now.