The Wife:

And so, after that great drug-bust episode and a three-week hiatus, 90210 returns to its status quo. That is to say, not being very interesting and pretty unfocused.

I wanted to like the Adriana Goes to Rehab storyline, but it all seemed very rushed. After her overdose, Adriana confesses that the drugs were hers and, since it’s her first offense, her lawyer gets her into rehab instead of jailtime/community service. Naomi still gets in trouble for possession, but since it’s her first offense, the police decide to let the school deal with it. Rather than expel her, Principal Wilson offers her detention every day for the rest of the semester, which she takes. Really, 90210? Really? Rather than create a multi-episode arc detailing what actually happens to kids who face drug charges and potentially creating real drama on your show, you’re just going to dispel that conflict in one brief scene in the principal’s office? Really? What gives? I thought we were building toward real storytelling here with what you established in “Hollywood Forever,” but you’ve apparently decided to throw that all away and turn a juicy plot into a tiff between Adriana and Naomi.

You girls are off the hook. Now fight it out between yourselves.

You girls are off the hook. Now fight it out between yourselves.

So instead of seeing these girls have to fight to make their lives normal again, they’re lives are instantly returned to normalcy and they have to be mad at each other instead. Well, Naomi is still mad at Adriana for what she did to her when Naomi was only trying to be nice. Adriana, on the other hand, suddenly wants to be Naomi’s best friend again and uses lovestruck Navid (who suddenly is in love with Adriana and paid for her to go to the finest rehab facility in all the land) to try to send messages to her friend (which Naomi deletes from her Sidekick), and ultimately uses him to escape rehab and confront Naomi at Homecoming. When Naomi still refuses to be friends with Adriana, on whom Naomi feels she has wasted all of her good intentions because Adriana keeps falling back into drug use and clearly doesn’t want Naomi’s help, Adriana indeed falls back into the arms of her dealer, until knight in shining armor Navid pulls her out of the car and confesses his feelings for her, as though that’s supposed to make her not want to do coke.

So, like, I guess Ill see you at the dance? And well, like, dance and stuff?

So, like, I guess I'll see you at the dance? And we'll, like, dance and stuff?

Meanwhile, Annie becomes Naomi’s friend and decides to go to the dance with Ethan, Naomi’s ex, but only if they don’t go as “dates” and just meet up and dance instead, so that no one’s feelings get hurt. Unfortunately, this does hurt Naomi’s feelings and she tells Annie that they can’t be friends if Annie’s going to be with Ethan. It’s weird to date your friend’s ex, Naomi rationalizes. And it kind of is. Especially when he’s as weird as Ethan. I’m not entirely sure why Naomi should care so much, especially because she has the attention of troublemaker Ozzie, whom she met in detention and who flirts with her in white people Spanish throughout this episode. (Is he a narc, too? Just like all the Latin people on this show?)

Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Clark continue their strange territorial tiff over Principal Wilson, who, in high school, fathered a son with Tracy, who all of a sudden is being a bitch to Debbie. They duke this out with false niceties at the dance, until Debbie threatens to punch Tracy’s face so hard that her teeth fall out, per her drunken mother-in-law Tabitha’s advice. (Tabitha, by the way, has evidently decided to switch from iced tea to Kool Aid, which is a better place to hide vodka but a worse place to hide rum.) I realize that this illegitimate son issue has been established previously and that it should matter, but it’s odd that Debbie, who is so okay with her husband having an illegitimate child, would so completely overreact to the fact that these two ex-lovers (who haven’t been together in roughly 20 years, by the way) shared a kiss. I’d be way more upset about the illegitimate child, personally. A kiss is fucking nothing compared to that.

Mr. Matthews also gets to play in this episode, when he caught Kim the Random Latina Narc buying drugs at the dance. Matthews has been very uncomfortable with Kim’s advances toward him and has told her many times to stop, so he sees her drug purchase as a way to make this problem student go away. He hands her over to Principal Wilson, who is already busy trying to keep his wife and his baby mama from killing each other in public, who says he’ll take care of the problem. Matthews is incensed at Wilson’s nonchalance and Kim decides to stop Matthew’s tirade of crazy (the most acting Ryan Eggold has had to do on this show, like, ever) by telling him that she’s a cop. She later swears him to secrecy about this situation, to which he agrees. And then they make out, after checking that she is indeed 25, of course.

Curses! My cover is blown! Now Ill have to blow that teacher to get him to keep quiet!

Curses! My cover is blown! Now I'll have to blow that teacher to get him to keep quiet!

And in one final crammed-in plotline, Silver hates homecoming and schedules an appointment to get her wisdom teeth removed just so she won’t have to go. Dixon, who really wanted to take her, stays home with her instead, just to make her happy, pretending he hates dances, too. But when Annie calls from the dance to check in on Silver, she blurts out that Dixon really loves dances and therefore must love Silver more if he’s willing to stay home with her instead. Silver throws on a dress and downs some Vicodin and heads to the dance with Dixon, just to make him as happy as he made her earlier in the evening. I get that Silver is supposed to be cool and a rebel and all, but not going to a school dance is kind of stupid. All my friends were strange, anti-establishment people, but we still went to school dances and had the best time ever just hanging out together. Plus, a dance is a great place to be when you’re on Vicodin. It makes everything extra fun.

See how crowded and unfocused this episode is? Imagine how good it could have been if the writers hadn’t decided to dispatch with the real Adriana drama instead of patching things up so neatly in order to move on to the petty high school bullshit.

The Husband:

Can we focus on one bit of dialogue that has been repeating in my head for the last 12 hours, one that simply will not go away no matter what song I may listen to in order to override it and get it out of my head? I think it’s up there with the most unnecessary and pointless lines in this television season, and I’m left baffled at its existence.

When Naomi and her friends are getting ready for the homecoming dance, one of her friends declares that she hates thongs, stating that “it makes me feel like there’s someone’s thumb in my ass.” And then nobody talks to her for the rest of the scene.

Excuse me…What? Cool analogy, random 9fneh character.

NOT!

There is also something I’ve been meaning to discuss in previous entries for 9fneh and have simply not gotten around to it yet, but I’m very confused by Ethan as a character. Each week he is somebody completely different, seemingly changing personalities simply to serve whatever plot is happening that week, and his relationship with Annie is less of a will-they-won’t-they so much as which-alien-pod-creature-is-inhabiting-Ethan’s-body-this-week?

I’ve learned to deal with this by treating the show as if it restarts anew every single week, much like a good deal of Adult Swim programming – specifically Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Sealab 2021 – where at the end of each 12-minute episode, most of the characters are dead, only to be back the next week as if nothing happened.

Is Ethan the new Kenny from South Park? Should the writers start taking suggestions on what his personality should be week-by-week? It’d be more interesting than the Annie-Ethan-Naomi love triangle, that’s for sure.

I also hate to be nitpicky about real life details being ignored on television – if I did, I wouldn’t still be watching the awesome but logic- and physics-defying Prison Break – but I know that at my school, you need to buy your tickets to homecoming dance way before the night itself, so Dixon and Silver would never be able to just suddenly show up whenever they goddamn wanted to. Hey, I’m from California, too – all of you confused about the being 15 and allowed to have a driver’s permit, that’s how we roll in CA – so I guess I’ll have to chalk it up to a combination of me going to a Catholic high school and writer laziness.

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