90210


The Wife:

You know what was great about the episode with Teddy’s party yacht? 90210 took a classic move from Gossip Girl by getting all of the characters to attend the same event and have to work out their issues with one another in a confined space. You really don’t get much more confined than on a boat, sailing out to sea. So what’s the albatross around each character’s neck on this pleasure cruise?

Navid: After totally smearing Teddy in his interview last week, Navid needs to make it up to Adriana by being extremely nice to Teddy. After getting seasick, he confesses to Teddy that he really doesn’t like him at all and he’s just being nice for Aid’s sake.

Annie: Because Naomi sent out that sext, Annie corrals Liam and makes him come with her to tell Naomi the truth. However, because Liam won’t say who he really had sex with, Annie makes up a lie that they were fucking all summer just to try and get him to confess. It does not work.

Dixon: He met a cute DJ while picking up pizza for Navid and the Blaze crew, but when she turns out to be the DJ for Teddy’s party, Dixon piles himself in to a world of lies, telling her that he’s in the music business, has Navid for an assistant, and so on. Basically, anything he can think of to make it look like he’s not in high school.

Silver: Sensing that something is up with her ex (in her off hours from being Naomi’s lackey), she meets Dixon’s new squeeze. But, in a total act of kindness, she plays into the lie Dixon has created, proving, once and for all, that she was the bigger person in their relationship.

Land hos.

Land hos.

The subsequent episode basically follows up on these boat conflicts, particular Dixon’s. His new girl Sasha, on a whim, decides to drive all the way to Napa to spend the weekend with Dixon in a hotel. Dixon, of course, still has Navid’s credit card and Lamborghini, to make him look like the super fly baller Sasha thinks he is. (By the way, I’m pretty sure their version of Napa was actually Santa Barbara.) Navid spends the weekend covering for him with his parents, telling the Wilsons that Dixon is over at his house working on a project about tse tse flies. Inevitably, Dixon runs into some problems that nearly give up his lie: he oversleeps in Napa and barely makes it to school on time, especially because he gets a flat tire along the way, during which time he agonizes over losing face if he uses his AAA and they see his driver’s license. Sasha, looking for the engine in the wrong part of the Lamborghini, finds that the car is stuffed to the gills with porn. She’s not pleased, so Dixon adds on another lie that he is, in fact, working in the porn business, but is trying to get out. She then grows so suspicious that she stakes him out at his house and sees him driving a different car and hugging his mom, thus making her a better detective than Vanessa on Gossip Girl.

Adriana is having crazy sex daydreams about Teddy and, eventually gives in to temptation and kisses him. This runs parallel to her mother pressuring her to get back into acting, which Navid advises against because that business made her totally batshit crazy with the drugs and the baby-having and whatnot. So, naturally, the minute she lands a role on a pilot is the minute she kisses Teddy and realizes that Navid is right. End of conflict. (Well, until Silver tells Navid that she saw Teddy kiss Adriana.)

Meanwhile, there’s Annie, trying to cope with her tragedy of a life when another wrench gets thrown in: the homeless man she killed left a generous donation to WestBev because he was a former student, and now his non-homeless nephew attends the school. When Annie sees the face of non-homeless Jasper, she weeps uncontrollably. Jasper, I think, kind of knows something’s up with her and he spends most of the episode trying to befriends her. I had hoped that he’d actually known what was up and taken Annie out to the cliffs not to look at the stars, but to murder her, but, alas, maybe he’s just a little moony over her from seeing the sext and Annie’s outpouring of tears for Jasper’s dead homeless uncle.

Liam gets ahold of some tabloid photos of Jen and tries to blackmail her into telling the truth to her sister. Unfortunately, Jen, ever the clever bitchface, only tells half the truth. She doesn’t fess up about fucking Liam, but at least she tells Naomi that she’s been living off of her and blew all her money gallivanting around Europe. It’s just too bad Jen keeps her sister wrapped up in her by saying that she’d come into this state of financial ruin before marrying a French billionaire, who happened to cheat on her, which is why she left and came back to the States. Naomi won’t let her sister run back to a cheater just because she’s broke, so Jen stays in her cush situation, maintains her sister’s trust and leaves Liam high and dry. Oh, this bitch is evil, and she’s the kind of evil you love to hate.

Stay thoughts and quotes:

  • Dixon’s baseball conversation with Sasha was the most realistic dialogue I’ve ever heard on 90210. That is actually how baseball nuts talk.
  • Is it a bad thing that I kind of want to emulate most of the things Silver is wearing this year? I love her feminine fedora in “The Porn King.”
  • So, we are working our way up to a lesbian kiss between Rumer Willis and Silver, right? We can all see that coming a mile away?
  • Dixon: Boom boom boom.
    Sasha: Boom boom boom.
    Dixon: Boom boom boom.
  • “Let me know if you’re gonna have a fit so I can find a broomstick to put in your mouth.” — Jen. I can make neither heads nor tails of what that might mean.
  • The porn in Dixon’s trunk is great: Mr. Holland’s Phallus. 10 Things I’d Lick About You. Those are great. But no porn will ever be as good as Ready to Drop 38. (Ask me about the big sack of VHS porn I inherited sometime!)

The Husband:

Not sure why my wife didn’t mention this, but the actor who plays Teddy showed up in the Bruce Willis movie Surrogates, which we saw over the weekend, playing a hunky surrogate robot who people can jack into at a run-down Asian electronics store. First Naomi has a love interest that’s a pod person, and now Adriana has a plastic surrogate cyborg. Good job keeping up the tradition, 90210.

The Wife:

Remember how we never saw Liam’s parents last season? Well, let me just say that the fact that he has a mother and stepfather shocked the hell out of me. The moment his mother appeared on screen, I was like, “Who the fuck is that?” And then to see his stepfather walk into the scene, none other than recently deceased Dr. Bowman from The Secret Life of the American Teenager, well, that was a treat. A treat because this is what I wrote in my notes:

“Dr. Bowman! You shouldn’t be alive! You’re dead! You died a horrible death because Grace had incredible sex!”

Man, if you guys aren’t watching Secret Life, you are missing out on some hilarious stuff.

For once, Liam’s parents seem to be taking an interest in his life, trying to guide him better after his summer at “Wilderness Camp,” which, frankly, sounds like one of those places that tries to “rehabilitate” gay kids. (That’s exactly the kind of place I’d send a kid who managed to break into my plastic surgery practice and steal my patients credit cards, somehow.) Their presence in his life means, essentially, that Jen Clark can manipulate them info forcing Liam to stay away from Naomi, should he ever decide to tell her that it was Jen he slept with, not Annie.

Listen, it doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. I'm going to make your life hell because I'm a sociopath.

Listen, it doesn't matter what you did or didn't do. I'm going to make your life hell because I'm a sociopath.

Naomi spends most of the episode flirting with the idea of sending out a naked picture of Annie, copied from the phone of that drunk douche she hooked up with last week, and, therefore, flirting with geeks to anonymously achieve that end. When Navid, Silver and Adriana hear the rumor that someone has a naked picture of Annie, they try to warn her and her brother. Dixon doesn’t really give a shit what happens to Annie anymore because her depression spiral its hurting her whole family, but Silver genuinely tries to help her. Annie even goes so far as to admit that she slept with Liam just to convince Naomi not to send the picture. This works to plant a seed of doubt into Naomi’s mind, until manipulative sister Jen, after explaining why she’s using Ryan Matthews to make it appear that she’s not a golddigger and therefore more easily snag a billionaire, recalls a similar situation about their father’s affairs and how their mother should have believed the circumstantial evidence because it ended up being true. Then and there, Naomi decides to send the text, ruining Annie’s life even further.

I’ve seen American Teen. I know that sexting is no joke and it really does ruin people’s lives. I can’t help but feel badly for Annie. She might be able to overcome the sexting scandal if the hit-and-run weren’t also looming over her head. By the way, what a great way to drive the mess that is Annie’s life home by airing Navid’s contentious interview with newcomer Teddy Montgomery just as Annie finds out about the sext. In this interview, which was laden with provocative questions simply because Navid feels threatened by the fact that Teddy was the first guy Adriana slept with, Navid asks Teddy if anything bad has ever happened to him, and he says that he saw a dead homeless man last June on Mulholland, killed by a hit-and-run driver. BOOM! That, my friends, is dramatic tension.

Stray thoughts:

  • I clearly didn’t pay much mind to the Silver-Dixon breakup in this episode. But poor Silver. Her friends are giving her bad advice, and Dixon is being a douche.
  • Hi there, Rumer Willis! Cute black cardi!
  • Wow, that’s so not the house Naomi bought last year!
  • Girls double-talk like Chinese food. I’m not going to explain that any further.
  • Was it just me, or did anyone else think of Star Trek when watching the surf team tryouts? Nobody wears such brightly colored rash guards. Liam, Teddy and Dixon all looked like they were on the bridge of the Enterprise in those things. And, clearly, Dixon, with his new flattop, would be Geordi LaForge. Am I right, kids?
Please revive Reading Rainbow so Tristan Wilds can host it!

Please revive Reading Rainbow so Tristan Wilds can host it!

The Wife:

Something weird happened towards the end of the last season of this show. By which I mean, the show actually became imminently watchable. And when the new 90210 became watchable, that’s when I said I wasn’t going to come back and watch the second season.

Well, guys, it turns out that I was wrong, and the CW sucked me back in. As I don’t have classes until Sept. 30, I have nothing better to do then watch a perfectly fine hour of soapy teen television. The only bummer is that I can’t really mock the show anymore. But then again, maybe I just have to learn to write about it in a different way.

Upgrade!

Upgrade!

For instance, I don’t have much to say about the premiere of season 2 because there wasn’t really anything objectionable about it. It’s improved on so many levels. I find Adriana’s quest to be a normal person very relatable, and I get that seeing mommies happy with her babies would take her back a bit to what she recently gave up. Putting Naomi in bed with an older man (and the complications that will arise from this act) is a high-stakes plotting move, and, though the way it played out in this episode was obvious, I think it has a lot of potential further down the line. Annie’s out-of-control spiral looks incredibly promising, as does new troublemaker Teddy, who seems to complicate everybody’s lives. Let me break that down:

  • He was Adriana’s first lover, so Navid is instantly jealous.
  • He’s really cute, but because he was with Aid, Naomi can’t date him.
  • But that doesn’t matter, because he apparently wants Silver.
  • He finds Silver’s phone filled with texts from Ethan, and blurts that out in front of Dixon, causing her to lose both men in one fell swoop.
  • On the plus side, he does kind of save Navid’s cabana-stealing ass by throwing out his daddy’s name to appease angry beach club-goer Elizabeth Rohm (Angel), who also happens to be the wife of Naomi’s older lover.
  • P.S. He saw Annie commit her hit and run.

That shit is, like, Gossip Girl complicated, yo!

Even stylistically, this new season is full of promise. I love Silver’s new hair and have to admit that even though I’ve been growing mine out, I love her haircut so much that I am strongly considering getting it cut like hers. Silver has the cutest one-piece swimsuits in the world. I like the new opening credits. Everyone’s makeup and clothing looks more expensive, less thrown together out of Forever 21, more culled from Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. These are all good things. I’ll even throw a bone to Adriana’s extensions, which I think make Jessica Lowndes look far too much like Courtney Cox, but which I also can’t deny are a good look.

On a Dustin Milligan related note, from his work on 90210, I’d have had no idea the kid was a good actor, but he gives one hell of a funny performance as a boneheaded gigolo in Mike Judge’s Extract. Now that I know he isn’t a pod person, I wish he were still around on 9fneh. The potential was there, but no one ever figured out how to use it. I just hope Ethan is at peace, fly fishing his days away in Montana. And now I’m thinking about A River Runs Through It. And now I might cry a little bit, because that movie is amazingly gorgeous.

Aaaaaaaand . . . I can’t believe it took the writers until season 2 to make a “Hi-ho, Silver!” joke. Really. That should have happened ages ago.

So, it looks like you’ve hooked me, 90210. But I have managed to cleverly resist Melrose Place by TiNoing it. And every time I think about watching it, I find a better way to spend those 42 minutes. Like writing this, for instance.

The Wife:

Oh, 90210! You are ridiculous! This finale was all the fuck over the place, but it was so fucking nutzo that I think it was actually pretty good. Here’s “9 Final Things About This Week’s 90210:”

1. Adriana. Probably the show’s most realistic and moving scene to date: Adriana, post emergency C-section, can’t even look at her newborn daughter because she knows that if she does, she won’t be able to give her up. She eventually does come around to holding her, and then, when somewhat overeager adoptive parents Greg and Leslie arrive, it’s absurdly hard for her to let go. You got me a little bit there, 90210. Great performance by Jessica Lowndes in this episode. I’m so glad they promoted her to a series regular.

2. “Have you met my dragon?” Before Adriana could come to the realization that she needed to say goodbye to her child before giving it up for adoption, though, we had to witness a super-trippy dream sequence in which she imagines that Brenda has returned from playing Cleopatra in China to hang out with her, rather than saying goodbye to her dying father. You see, Adriana and Brenda are a lot alike . . . however . . . I still don’t really understand why Brenda or Kelly are actually Adriana’s friends. I can kind of get that Kelly, a bleeding heart guidance counselor, thinks her duties extend to the delivery room, but Brenda? Other than tossing Aid into rehab, I’m not really sure why they’re, you know, friends. Anyway, what I learned from this is that apparently, the school production of Anthony and Cleopatra did happen, we just never got to see it. Also, “Have you met my dragon?” is the greatest segue into unveiling a completely unnecessary Chinese dragon ever.

FUCK YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

FUCK YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

3. Post-Prom-a-Palooza. I don’t know what was most impressive about Principal Wilson’s school-sponsored post-prom party. Was it the a capella group singing Stephen Foster tunes? (Hell, yeah, “Beautiful Dreamer”! Sing “Swanee River” next! Sing it!) Was it the fact that there were so many people in attendance? Was it the fact that nearly half the people in attendance were wearing my favorite tee shirt in the whole wide world right now, “One party can ruin your whole summer?” No, no. It was clearly the fact that someone laced the brownies with weed, totally rendering Moms and Pops Wilson stoned out of their minds when they head to the hospital to visit Adriana and her baby. I kind of loved Rob Estes crazy-eyes. Like, loved them enough to think he’d make a good guest star serial killer on Criminal Minds, following in the footsteps of one totally awesome C. Thomas Howell. I also kind of loved the fact that they were so afraid to drive (let alone incapable of getting their shit together) that they couldn’t go look for their lying children . . . so they just stayed in the hospital waiting room all night and never went home. Lord knows I’d have made fast friends with those lush waiting room couches myself if I’d come across some edibles at Post-Prom-a-Palooza. Mmmm . . . couches.

One pot brownie can ruin your whole summer.

One pot brownie can ruin your whole summer.

4. Post Prom at Villa Clark. Because Pheobe’s party gets shut down by Pops Wilson, Naomi offers to host the party at her new digs, only to abandon it altogether to be by Aid’s side and put Annie in charge. I would have probably, oh, I dunno, just cancelled the party. But that’s just me. Thinking practically!

5. Love triangle #1. While Dixon starts to doubt his relationship with Silver, Ethan assures him that the very things that he doesn’t like about her on prom night are the things that make her Silver the other 364 days of the year. Later, Silver comes to question Ethan about his thoughts on her relationship with Dixon, and he assures her that they’re good together. But after switching jackets with Dixon (where Ethan has stowed a lovely prom portrait of Silver) and getting caught watching Silver jump in the pool in her prom gown, Dixon realizes Ethan’s got a thing for his girl, and, rather than getting into a fight that might involve a way to kill off Dustin Milligan, they just kind of stare each other down. Silver totally has no idea what’s going on, but Ethan solves that by later sucking her face off when she tries to stop him from leaving. Is Dustin Milligan not leaving the show? Because this is the kind of plotline you set up when someone isn’t leaving, not when you plan on killing them off during their summer in Montana. I never read any correction to that bit of casting news, so perhaps I’ve been watching this entire season incorrectly looking for ways to kill off Dustin Milligan. Dunno. Anyway, is a major break up a really good thing to do to Silver right now, guys? I mean, she is bipolar. She can’t be in high-energy situations. Or she’ll go crazy! At least, that’s what her sister seems to think.

6. Love triangle #2. Although Liam opened up to Naomi about his past (chiefly, it seems, how his mother used to be a maid and married up . . . because that’s oh-so-shameful), she is so excited about this breakthrough that she tells her sister all about it. Jen uses this information to sleep with Liam by pretending to be Naomi’s neighbor and saying that Naomi just blurts all this stuff to anyone. When Naomi comes home, she finds Liam putting his clothes back on and immediately wants to know who he’s been with. He won’t tell her, because he’s a tool, and she goes on a hell rampage when she finds Annie’s gaudy faux-fur wrap on the floor that Jen stole. Then Jen enters and tells Liam she’s Naomi’s sister, he calls her a bitch, and she’s like, “Well, duh.” Later, a none-the-wiser Naomi cries on her bitch sister’s lap as Liam is taken from his bed in the middle of the night and shipped off to military school. This is a much better love triangle than love triangle #1.

7. Best transition ever? Lori Loughlin enjoying a brownie with a vigorous “Mmmm!” to Adriana experiencing contractions with a hardcore moan. Genius.

8. Everyone at WestBev is a douche. As soon as the post-prom party at Pheobe’s house is cancelled, everyone starts calling Annie a rat, which is way less clever than whomever came up with Benedict Annie. But Annie takes pity on Phoebe when she finds her vomiting in Naomi’s bathroom and offers to drive her home. However, when she gives this alibi to Naomi when questioned about why her wrap was on the floor if she didn’t sleep with Liam, Naomi doesn’t believe her because Pheobe, like everyone else, hates Benedict Annie. Seeing how angry Naomi is, everyone quickly turns on Annie, who up until this point had been cleaning up after their drunk asses and getting them drink refills, calling her names of the rat variety and even tossing drinks in her face because she went to prom with someone she had no intention of dating thereafter. AnnaLynne McCord uses her absolute best bitch-face here and screams at Annie to get the fuck out of her house, leading to the most amazingly awful (but bold!) acting choice Shenae Grimes has ever made. Benedict Annie steps outside the doors, grits her teeth, makes a bunch of guttural noises whilst shaking her fists in the air before fumbling around with her cell phone and becoming the person those WestBev douches wanted her to be: the rat who calls the cops on their party.

9. Final scene. Wait, did Annie hit someone while driving drunk? I’m totally confused because I saw no hitting. Alls I know for sure is that the other car that didn’t look like it got hit at all had a WestBev sticker on it. As I don’t plan on watching this show next year, I guess I’ll never know.

Nonetheless, crazy shit happened, so, um, good finale, 90210! I wish you the best of luck in your future, because Lord knows the CW needs you to survive.

The Husband:

Sorry honey, you’re going to be watching the next season with me come this fall, because that was a damn good finale, and you know you cannot resist. Especially now that the vastly superior Privileged has bit the dust, how else are you going to get your non-GG high school bitch fix?

As for the final scene, Annie did definitely hit something, although we never saw it. It was supremely awkward how it was set up and then not paid off, but my guess is that if Dustin Milligan is off the show next year, then she hit him. It’ll create some major friggin’ drama next season, that Annie killed her ex-boyfriend whom she stole from Naomi, all while having a gigantic bottle of booze in the car after being laughed out of a party. That’s some crazy shit right there.

Good finale? No. Great finale. Everything that has worked about this season found its way into this episode, and none of the bad stuff decided to stick around. Jen’s betrayal was cruel enough to turn her into a great villain, Liam’s violent kidnapping was brutal enough to actually inspire pity in me, Annie’s downfall was juicy enough to last a long time, and Lori Loughlin and Rob Estes were funny enough to get me through all the pregnancy scenes, ones I had been dreading after having already gone through that drama on SLOTAT.

(You want to see Lori Loughlin be as hilarious in something else? Pick up the recently DVD-released Keanu Reeves comedy The Night Before. She plays bitch like nobody’s business. Then follow it up with the sweeter C. Thomas Howell starrer Secret Admirer. That’s right – two C-Bombs in one article!)

Whatever. I’m there next season. This show has become a can’t-miss in its recent weeks, and I’m not going to let that go. It’s a good thing I’ll be working from home this fall instead of chained to my office computer 40 hours a week.

The Wife:

Official: 90210‘s prom was much more prommy than Gossip Girl‘s prom. Let me count the ways! “9 Promtastic Things About This Week’s 90210“:

1. Principal Wilson’s Zero Tolernace Policy. I totally love the video he forced Annie to do to promote his anti-afterparty stance. What else do I love? His message tee: “One party can ruin your whole summer.” Since, you know, anyone caught at an after-prom party serving booze will automatically get summer school, regardless of any alcohol they consume. Silly!

2. Annie’s Geek. Because Liam thinks Annie is a volcano, she accepts when a geeky kid asks her to prom. Later, at prom, when he asks if she’d like to go on another date, she tells him she’s just not interested and that she said yes to his request because it seemed like he really wanted to go with her. Geek mad! Geek yell! Geek would have rather gone with someone else! Geek narcs on Annie to stupid girl who broadcast her afterprom party in earshot of Principal Wilson and stupid girl then yells at any! Prom hath no fury like a geek scorned. Especially a geek in an adorable skull bowtie. (Although, really, if I didn’t have a date to a dance, I would go with someone who wanted me to go with them because I like going to those things and dressing up. Why would anyone have a problem with going to a dance with a girl they like? Even if she isn’t planning to date them afterward? It’s just a dance, not Match.com.)

3. Jen’s spending habits. When Naomi can’t buy three prom dresses because her AmEx Black is maxed out thanks to Jen putting all of the house furnishings and a couture dress to be Matthews’ date to prom on it, Naomi confronts her sister about her spending and she admits to lying about having no money. Well, almost. She tells Naomi she made some bad investments, but that the market is bound to turn around and so she won’t live off her sister forever. And why didn’t she tell Naomi about this? Because she didn’t want her little sister to take care of her . . . except that’s exactly what happened. What? I love Jen because she’s a sociopath, but that argument makes no sense.

At least she looks fierce.

At least she looks fierce.

4. “Poker Face. ” I can’t decide if it was brilliant or idiotic to use that song to highlight Silver’s pre-prom anxiety.

5. Ethan. So, he got accepted to the American Lacrosse Special Jock Summer Training Camp thing, which would be really good for him to do because college scouts will be there. But he doesn’t want to do it. And he doesn’t want to go to prom. Silver convinces him to be excited about at least one of those things and join her and Dixon at prom, but he turns down the lacrosse thing to spend the summer in Montana with his dad. Look, I know he’s not coming back next year, but every time he makes a strange decision, I assume he is one step closer to dying in some horrific way or killing himself. I partially expected him to kill himself at prom. But that’s too dramatic for 90210. He’ll probably just die quietly over the summer, eaten by a bear in Montana like that dude from Grizzly Man. Or, in a less grisly alternative, he’ll love the wilderness so much that he’ll decide to stay in Montana and fly fish every day. Oh, God, now I’m thinking about A River Runs Through It and getting misty. DAMNIT!

6. Navid takes on Ty. And, really, nothing breaks up a fight between your baby daddy and the dude who wants to marry you like going into labor. Perfect timing, Adriana!

7. Kelly’s beef with Jen Clarke. Sooooo . . . Jen hates Kelly not because Jen is now sort-of seeing a dude Kelly slept with once and has apparently never dated again (good job with that storyline, RRKS), but because, back when Jen was in high school, she stole a girl’s term paper and passed it off as her own! Le scandale! What’s more, Kelly wrote her an un-recommendation for Princeton because of that incident in which she assessed that Jen was a narcissist and a sociopath who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. But, you see, Princeton let her in anyway because she was student body president and had good grades and was rich and shit. Also: who the fuck would even ask a guidance counselor for a letter of recommendation? That is the most insane part of that story for me.

8. Liam admits he likes Naomi. After basically spending prom ignoring her and listening to his iPod, he admits he likes her when they explore the backlot and they make out in the conveniently falling snow on a New York stoop. I only care in the sense that I wish I’d been to a high school dance held at Paramount Studios. Because that’s super awesome.

Id also like to not have plastic on my hands!

I'd also like to not have plastic on my hands!

9. Silver for Prom Queen! Ummmmmmmmmmmm! Best speech ever! The old Silver is back! Her write-in for Prom Queen was all part of Dixon’s scheme to get her back to WestBev by proving that everyone still liked her, and it worked, because she also realized that she didn’t want to conform to be liked. Rather than squeezing her feet into Cinderella shoes, she wholeheartedly admitted that she wanted to feel her toes. Best line ever. Best metaphor ever. Too bad Dixon thinks she hates everything he loves now. That dude has gotta stop taking things that don’t mean anything to heart. I mean, jeez, she still went to prom FOR YOU, dawg.

The Husband:

I’ve been on most of the major lots in the Los Angeles area, save for ABC/Disney, and I can say that without question, Paramount is my absolute favorite. While Warner Bros. is too sprawling and 20th Century Fox is too tight (CBS Television City, CBS Studio City, Raleigh and Sony/MGM all fall somewhere in the middle in varying levels amongst many others), Paramount is just right. It’s not too intimidating, but the soundstages also stay very close together so as to give it a very cool community aspect, as if you could wander past several different worlds much better than anything WB can cook up. (Although, at WB, knowing that ER and Gilmore Girls were mere feet from each other was pretty gnarly.) In fact, I did that very thing at Paramount, as I wandered away from a slate press junket to walk past open soundstages, seeing, within a few short minutes, much of the sets for the Lemony Snicket film. And yet, I also know that former UPN-now-CW shows were close by. And so while it’s kind of absurd that the prom would be there, it’s fine that they didn’t even bother to pretend like they don’t film 90210 there.

Hooray for backlots!

Hooray for backlots!

And that backlot is so much less claustrophobic than that at Fox, which you see pretty much every week on How I Met Your Mother. (Yes, it’s a CBS show, but it films at Fox. Creative vs. distribution studio wars are too complicated to get into right now.)

The Wife:

What’s been happening over at West Beverly this week? Here are “9 Random Things About This Week’s 90210.”

1. Adriana’s Baby Shower. I though Naomi was going to stand by and be the voice of reason here (which is . . .  odd), but eventually she gave in and decided to throw her friend a combo baby/bridal shower. I’ve never had a baby shower (or been to one, actually), but I’ve never seen a bridal shower quite so corny. First of all, why was Angela Gots there? Who invites their teachers to bridal/baby showers? Second of all, those toilet paper dresses were way too meticulous to have been made at a bridal shower, because shit made out of toilet paper at bridal showers is always haphazard and intended to be as hideous as possible. This is a bridal shower, not Project Runway. That said, I thought serving lemonade in baby bottles was a totally cute touch that I will steal when I host a baby shower for someone.

Because a Baby on Board sign is the epitome of class.

Because a "Baby on Board" sign is the epitome of class.

2. Best insult ever? “Your mom’s a soap opera actress.” Thank you, Naomi. I’ll be using that one.

3. Jen Clark. It is now apparent that Jen is basically leeching off her sister when she admits to Matthews (on their strange date) that she burned through her million dollar trust in two months. So what appears to be goodwill (such as asking Daddy to give Naomi half of her trust now so she and Jen can buy a house and live together) is actually just a clever way to keep living above her means in the lifestyle to which she is accustomed. Sneaky. Bitchy. Sneaky.

4. But even so, Jen’s a pretty cool big sister for all her sneaky bitchiness. Maybe even because of it. The moment where she gets her sister’s bully questioned for shoplifting was pretty awesome. Jen is not to be trifled with.

5. Matthews’ novel. Vermillion Steed is a terrible title, and writing novels does not impress rich girls, even if they say they hang with Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer doesn’t want to read your shitty book, and neither do I.

6. Navid’s mom. As another person in this universe with her head on straight, she shows up at Adriana’s party to beg her to reconsider raising her baby. (An appeal from your boyfriend’s mom is apparently a lot more convincing than Naomi’s insistence on not missing out on affairs with unshaven Italian men who cook puttanesca, though I don’t understand why, as puttanesca is, in fact, not to be missed out on.) I was deeply concerned for Adriana’s automatic reaction to being faced with adversity, though: downing some random pills from the nearest medicine cabinet. Although only two, which is hardly enough to fuck up your fetus, but still not good.

7. Navid’s Bachelor Party. A manic pixie dream sorority girl tells Navid not to get married after she strips with him onstage. Liam steals wallets and credit cards for fun. Dixon gets wasted. Why?

8. Ethan’s island speech. Yes. People are islands and relationships are bridges. Thank you, wise Ethan, for helping Silver realize she needs to learn the meaning of compromise and just go to the damn prom. Nothing makes you less bipolar than wearing a sparkly tiara.

9. Aid’s decision to give up her baby for adoption. Sane, logical, correct. Thanks for disembarking from the freight train to totally ripping off SLOTAT. I do, however, find it very sweet that Navid still wants her to wear her engagement ring, even though they’re not getting married now.

Also, according to Liam, Annie is a volcano. “And who doesn’t want to see a volcano explode?” Uh, people living near them? Hawaiians? People who died in Pompeii? Plus, we have volcano and island metaphors in this episode? What geologist just found his or her way to the CW to try a hand at screenwriting? Weird!

The Wife:

I present you with “9 Things About This Week’s 90210, Some of Which Are Clearly Stolen from Other Shows and Others of Which Were Clearly Not Thought About Beforehand.”

1. 90210 and Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair, I am calling you on your bullshit. Please stop stealing plot threads from Brenda Hampton shows. This week’s episode opened with a fantasy sequence in which Navid and Adriana discuss the possible future life for her baby, with Navid as a surrogate dad. They imagine names and places they’ll live and how they’ll negotiate being about to finish high school and raise the baby, which of course hinges on the help of Navid’s parents. Navid has got to calm it the fuck down with the baby fever because on this show, he doesn’t seem sweet, he seems fucking crazy. I have to compare their relationship to Ben and Amy on Secret Life of the American Teenager because a.) that show predates this one and b.) however silly SLOTAT may sometimes be, I have always, always found the relationship between Amy and Ben to be grounded and relatable. Ben’s desire to love Amy and help her raise her baby is founded in his own need to connect and love since the loss of his mother and he is utterly sincere in his pursuits, even though they may be naïve. But Navid doesn’t seem to recognize how naïve his suggestions are, and how insane his enthusiasm sounds. It’s making it easier and easier for me to conflate the terrorist Michael Steger played in the beginning of this season of Criminal Minds with Navid himself, and that’s really weird. (And yes, I thought of Shemar Moore chasing him to his death in a subway tunnel when he airplaned food into Baby Habib’s mouth. Because I’m a horrible person.) I buy Ben’s enthusiasm for Amy’s child, also, because his suggestions to help her care for it never seem like he’s forcing her to make decisions that he likes, but because Adriana just seems to go along with everything Navid says (why, I don’t know), there’s something significantly less grounded about their relationship because of her inability/refusal to think for herself and weigh her options. She totally just goes along with his whole “Let’s tell my parents your pregnant and we’ll get them to help care of the baby because we’re Persian and that’s what we do!” scenario without ever questioning it, and I can’t believe that’s a plausible reaction for a 16 year old pregnant girl to have.

2. And in regards to the aforementioned scene with Navid’s parents, it was actually pretty amusing to watch it play out exactly as he said it would (first shock and horror, then complete acceptance when he suggests they get a nanny because “family takes care of family”) . . . until, of course, he mentions that the baby isn’t his. At which point, his parents refuse to let him marry Adriana and raise that child in their home, which is a perfectly reasonable reaction when your son has gone crazy. Their explanation as to why Aid can’t become his wife sounds perfectly reasonable to me, and a very SLOTAT-ish warning. It doesn’t mean he can’t date Adriana and help her take care of her child, it just means that, at 16, it’s probably not a wise idea to legally tie yourself to a woman who is months away from birthing a child that isn’t yours. Being legally entrenched in that kind of situation is really difficult should any baby daddy drama arise. And Navid’s mom is also right about this: her son’s heart is in the right place. Because although I think he’s kind of nuts now, he is being very gallant. Good scene, 90210!

3. But, of course, Navid is actually crazy, and decides to propose to Aid anyway, turning his back on his family. Heeding Naomi’s advice, though, Adriana hesitates to accept the proposal with his pawn shop ring because she hasn’t told him who her child’s father actually is . . . which is a seriously good thing to know, considering potential baby daddy drama mentioned in my second point! And when she tells him it’s Ty Collins, well, he flips out. He leaves, and returns to yell at her, then leaves again, and returns again and so on to the point where his opening and closing the door was no longer dramatic but funny. If you want me to take them seriously, 90210, you need to treat it seriously. The door thing would have worked once or twice. But four or five times was too many. I’m also not sure his reaction was entirely appropriate for the situation, given that he isn’t being cuckolded in any way, and yet was acting as though he was. True, she shouldn’t have kept the father’s identity from him, and he should be upset about that, but not so upset as to abuse that poor door! In the end, though, he still puts that ring on her finger and demands that she never, ever take it off. Which is sweet. See? His heart’s in the right place!

4. Naomi. She’s also insane and completely in denial about the fact that Liam is a douchebag. I’m glad Annie called him on his shit on that double date she was forced into, and I really don’t care if he asked her out because he genuinely liked her or to prove to Naomi he’s a douchebag, because he’s a douchebag and no one should date him. But power to Annie for her actions. And for rocking that Ella Moss dress Naomi gifted her.

5. Naomi is a terrible, ungrateful houseguest so it’s a good thing for the Wilsons that she has a sister we’ve never fucking heard of that clearly was something the writers had never before thought of to bail her out of their father’s “Dionysian Debacle.” Also, her sister is a bitch and I see where she gets it from.

WestBev: so gauche.

Why didn't we ever know, with all of Naomi's family problems, that she had a sister?

6. Silver at St. Claire’s. Why is she so shocked that people pray aloud in Catholic school? That’s kind of what going to a religiously affiliated private school is like. Did she simply not think of that at all?

7. Paige Howard. By the way, I attended Catholic school for 13 years of my academic life, and I never, ever met anyone like Paige Howard’s character. I certainly had friends who were more pious than others (including myself), but none so horrible as to sweetly demand that someone come clean about their past in order to get right with God or whatever. Certainly, most of the people I know who went to Catholic school are so much more intensely strange and wholly un-pious than what Paige Howard is supposed to represent. Basically, all the kids I know from Catholic school are really fucked up. And that’s why I love them and we’re all still friends today. (And yes, Paige Howard is Ron Howard’s daughter.)

8. Catholic School is no different than Public School. I mean, really. Rumors are going to swirl and people will call you a slut if you make an Internet sex tape with your boyfriend, regardless of what school you go to. Hell, rumors are going to swirl even if you don’t make an Internet sex tape with your boyfriend. That’s just what high school is like, and I don’t know why Silver expected changing schools would make it any different. Hasn’t she watched Buffy? High school is hell. Literally and metaphorically.

9. Naomi’s sister we’ve never heard apparently slept with Ethan. Is Naomi going to kill him when she finds out? I would love a death at the prom, so I really hope that happens.
Oh, and a special shout out to Jessica Lowndes hair, which looked amazing throughout this entire episode.

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