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:

Since 90210 returned from its hiatus, it has indeed been infinitely less lame, but its actually bordering now on a different kind of lameness, like a trippy nostalgia kind of lameness. Like how it’s kind of fun that my husband is watching Saved by the Bell, which is by no means a good show, but I grew up with it and therefore love it. Or, perhaps, like how it was fun for people who grew up with the original 90210 to enjoy a show that basically has no purpose other than to entertain. And it achieves that purposes in a completely artless way. Because I’m starting a PhD program in the fall, I’m coming to realize that there are a number of shows I’m going to have to give up. And really, when it comes down to it, I’d rather spend my leisure time watching something that at least attempts to be challenging. (Gossip Girl does not always reach the heights of brilliance that it could, and neither does Fringe, but those motherfuckers are staying in my viewing schedule.) But for now, while I have the time, I’m sort of enjoying the campy 42 minutes of 90210 I get each week. Rebecca Rand Kirschner Sinclair’s name may be two names too long, but she’s guiding the show to a good, if completely culturally insignificant, place. It’s watchable now. And not utterly hateable. Here’s “9 Points of Interest about This Week’s 90210.”

1. Adriana and Navid are turning into Amy and Ben on SLOTAT. I actually don’t entirely approve of this rehashed thread because it’s completely tepid on this show. Amy and Ben work because they’re Amy and Ben. For Kenny Baumann to suggest that Shailene Woodley keep her baby and raise it with him is idealistic, romantic and utterly believable. For Michael Steager to suggest it of Jessica Lowndes is less so. It’s not that either of the latter pair are any better actors than the former, or even that the latter show is of a higher writing caliber than the former (although at least SLOTAT knows when it’s being ridiculous). It’s simply the way the characters function. I like Navid and I think he’s a sweet boy. I believe him when he says he’s loved Adriana since they were seven. But what I don’t believe is his suggestion that a girl who was addicted to drugs only a few short months ago is in a strong enough place in her life to keep her baby. I have no issue with the overly idealistic notion that a 16-year-old girl can raise a child just fine and go to high school and have her much more ambitious boyfriend go to college nearby to raise a baby with her. I do think, though, that if Navid really loved Aid he would know that she’s still not stable enough for a baby. She knows she’s not; that’s why she’s spending all this time looking for adoption and pretending the baby doesn’t have a sex or a name. But for all that, what I do like about this plot is that she keeps undermining her own adoption search because some part of her does want to keep the baby she’s pretending she doesn’t want. That strikes me as real. But dudes, don’t get married. I totally won’t tear up at your fake wedding like I did at Amy and Ben’s. There’s just not enough development behind this plot for it to get to that point and mean something.

2. French Fries. Oh, yeah, and if Navid really loved Aid, he’d let that girl have some damn French fries. She pregnant! Let the girl have some starches!

3. Donna, Kelly and the Fortune Teller. Could there have been a more hackneyed plot thread for these ladies to embark upon this week? Hated the fortune teller and Donna’s quest, but I actually have to give Tori props for finding a good emotional space for Donna. When she breaks down and her voice cracks over her sunniness about opening a store in L.A. because she doesn’t know if her marriage will survive, that worked. I felt that, and it was good. Having had no prior relationship with the character of Donna Martin, I kind of get her now. And I’ll welcome her back on the show, running that clothing store that she managed to full renovate and open within a day or so, which is so impressive that it proves she isn’t functionally retarded.

Poor little Donna, making adult decisions all of a sudden.

Poor little Donna, making adult decisions all of a sudden.

4. Annie and Naomi. So Annie finds out that, like, Naomi’s dad is getting sued for sexual harassment. But she’s, like, trying to be a good friend and all because Naomi doesn’t know yet and doesn’t want to tell her after the fact. But then, like, these girls are mean to Naomi about it at The Peach Pit and, like, Annie tells them off. And then Naomi is all, like, “You knew and you said nothing? You’re a shitty friend!” And Annie, like, comes to the hotel and apologizes because she, like, didn’t want to her hurt. Whatever. Annie and Naomi are both shitty friends to one another. Deal with it. Just play some late night foosball in the driveway and you’ll be fine. Especially because Naomi gives more of a shit about having to move out of her hotel than she does about what’s going on with her dad.

5. Silver’s leaving WestBev. Yeah, I’m okay with that. She’s already screwed up enough to have gone to Catholic school her whole life. Besides, I bet St. Claire’s is a great place for artsy kids like Silver. She is, after all, the patron saint of television. (And now you know why this blog is named for her.)

6. Ethan. I have no idea what the fuck is up with Ethan, and neither does anyone else, apparently. It’s like the pod people totally forgot to plug into him this week.

7. Directed by Rob Estes. Which, I guess, explains why he did an entire scene in a terrible Scottish accent with a Tam and fake ginger hair on his head, all the while fondling a Big Mouth Billy Bass in preparation for the Wilson Family Yard Sale.

8. Kelly Taylor’s sexual escapades. She’s supposed to meet her dream guy with a six-pack, but ends up going to a lesbian bar with Donna. Lesbians totally love moderately attractive 30-year-old femmy blondes who shake their heads to and fro while dancing. Later, Kelly meets Matthews at a convenience store and he has a six pack of Red Eagle. They hook up. And I still hate that fortune teller plot.

9. Where was my obscene Dr. Pepper cameo? Did Rob Estes veto product placement? Because, and I really hate to say this, I kind of missed the requisite lingering shot of the Dr. Pepper logo. Without it, I have nothing to scream about.

The Husband:

Some bullet points:

  • Dude, Adriana’s nickname is Aid and she almost got AIDS in rehab!
  • Yes, I’ve found Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair to be the owner of a terribly cumbersome name (so much so that for a while I thought it was two separate people just credited side-by-side), but I give her some leeway because a.) she went to Harvard, b.) she wrote for Freaks & Geeks and Buffy, and c.) her husband, New Zealand actor Harry Sinclair, played Isildur in The Lord Of The Rings movies, as well as Roger in Peter Jackson’s brilliant slapstick zombie romantic comedy family drama horror bloodbath Braindead (a.k.a. Dead Alive).
  • To bring things full circle, yes, I am watching Saved by the Bell, and it is purely coincidental that at this very moment, I am on the episode “House Party,” where Screech’s parents leave him home alone so they can visit Graceland, and who is trying to get all up in his junk but Violet Anne Bickerstaff, played by Tori Spelling. Why didn’t anybody prepare me? I yelped out at work. I DEMAND MORE WARNING WHEN IT COMES TO TORI APPEARING ON MY TV/COMPUTER, DAMMIT!

The Wife:

Holy whizbang wow, kidlets, what the hell is going on over on 90210? The show has changed so drastically in tone since its return that it’s certainly not quite as lame, it is, however, really ridiculous. So, with that, let’s talk about “9 Rididdilyiculous Things About This Week’s 90210.”

1. Silver’s escape. While Ryan Eggold has the power to restrain and magically calm insane teenage girls who assault him with wine bottles, that’s apparently not enough to keep her from bolting out into crazy land. What I don’t understand is why she felt the need to hide under his table while he was out of the room, rather than just sneaking out the window that she destroyed when she not-so-stealthily sneaked in. She’s fucking nuts, though, so I guess that should serve as reason enough for having a burning desire to hide under your teacher’s table.

Silver apparently shares a makeup artist with Little J.

Silver apparently shares a makeup artist with Little J.

2. “It’s drugs! It’s got to be drugs!” Once word gets out in the 9fneh-verse that Silver has been doing some crazy shit and is now missing, everyone assumes that she’s on drugs. The jump-cuts between groups of characters discussing her apparent drug addiction were pretty amusing in a cheesy kind of way, but I’ll tell you one drug that Silver is definitely not on: weed. If that girl were smokin’ the ganja and Dixon broke up with her over her creepy/funny art film, she would just drive to the beach and smoke more weed and be cool with it. For the last time, everyone in the universe that demonizes the marijuana, smoking weed just makes you mellow, easily amused, hungry and probably a little bit sleepy. The worst thing it will do is make you a little paranoid, but you’re certainly not going to go kill your baby sister or start breaking into teacher’s homes and assaulting them with wine bottles.

3. Navid and Adriana turn into Ben and Amy from Secret Life. I guess because she’s pregnant and you don’t want a pregnant girl running up against a drug-crazed maniac, Adriana gets put on babysitting duty, hanging out Sammy. It took me the entire episode to remember that Sammy was Kelly Taylor’s kid, which is generally a bad sign. Adriana’s all like, “I’m not good with babies!” And Navid’s like, “Don’t give your baby up for adoption! Let this experience teach you how to be a mommy!” And it does. Let me tell you, Adriana is such a great actress that I think she plays a really believable dump truck or tractor. I bet she could act like a good mommy for the duration of her child’s life. Also, question: when, exactly, did Navid and Adriana get back together? I don’t even remember anymore.

Next thing you know, Ricky is going to show up and ruin all of this.

Next thing you know, Ricky is going to show up and ruin all of this.

4. Dixon’s ‘tude. What the ass, dude? I realize your lady pissed you off, but I am much more worried about Dixon being on drugs after he completely shut down and acted like he didn’t give a shit about the girl he just had huge fight with, but previously loved. I mean, clearly, she has mental health issues, but I think Dixon’s being the much more ridiculous person in this episode. What a dickmeat.

6. Silver’s quest. Um, maybe you shouldn’t run away and take a train to Kansas to discover what makes Dixon Dixon because, um, Dixon = Kansas and Kansas = Baking Soda or something. The quest is clearly kind of crazy because, you know, a normal person might just ask how their boyfriend feels about something. But I have to say that her speech about Dixon and chemical reactions would actually be really profound if it were 2 a.m. and she were drunk in a dorm room with her college roommates.

5. Train station Baby Denis Leary. Creepiest person ever. Clearly, Silver is distressed and ranting like a crazyface about her plans to take a train to Kansas, so what does Kevin the Denis Leary Look-alike do? He leers at her and follows her around like he’s going to board that train, murder her and rape her corpse. But no! In 90210‘s very lame attempt at misdirection, Kevin grabs her purse and fishes out her wallet, only to turn around and call the last number in her cell (Dixon’s, which mom Debbie picks up) to get in touch with her people so they can help her. Um, okay, guys, I’m glad to know that Kevin is a good person and that he isn’t going to kill Silver and rape her corpse, but there was NO NEED for him to be portrayed as kind of creepy and unnerving. He could have just been concerned! There had to have been a less creepy way to run these scenes!

6. Debbie’s password guesses include “Ludacris. ” Good job, Debbie. Way to stereotype your adopted Black son. You’re a wonderful person.

7. Ethan and Annie. So, apparently, being with Ethan meant that Annie had to make lots of sacrifices, and not just the play and her sense of self, but her potential friendship with Naomi. As the trio search the school for Silver, Annie learns the true meaning of the phrase Chicks before Dicks. Oh, wait, you guys have never heard that before? I made it up. It’s the ladies version of Bros before Hos. Spread it around. I don’t know why this plot was even in the episode at all. Couldn’t it have waited? And how did these three end up on search party duty at school, anyway?

8. Debbie’s insane speech about LA. Um, L.A. is definitely not my favorite part of California, but I am definitely going to go with “the big bad city is not corrupting your children.” And since when does anyone on 90210 give a shit about morals? I’m glad she changed her mind by the end and realized, through the miracles of gluten-free bread, that living in a place where her kids have options for enrichment other than cowtipping and fucking under the bleachers is a good thing. I quote: “I don’t even know what gluten is, but I like the option of not having to eat it.”

9. Train tracks! Oh, man, you know where a horrible place to have a life-changing relationship conversation is? On the train tracks! Thank God Dixon made a 180 from taking the Express to Doucheville and realized that Silver just needs TLC because she’s manic depressive, just like his mommy was. I’m bummed that his mom never took him to Disneyland, though. You’d think that once you make the drive from fucking Kansas you’d be committed to that shit, no matter what your mental state is. I am, however, surprised that it took the characters on this show so damned long to figure out that Silver needs to meet with some mental health professionals. I mean, it’s pretty clear to me that she’s unbalanced, although in my completely unprofessional opinion, I’ve never known a bipolar person who is quite so histrionic. Just . . . get that girl on medication. Stat. Nonetheless, thanks for the SLOTAT-esque PSA at the end. Check out 90210‘s lame tie-in site with Bipolar Kids. I applaud the notion of making mildly informative youth-oriented television, but this is a horrible website.


And, finally, let’s let Dixon sum up the show for us, shall we?


“Oh, God, what is happening?”

The Husband:

I’m actually very thankful for EW pointing out that the last couple episodes are the true direction the show should be going in if it wanted to live up to its previous incarnation, because it has freed me up to realize that I really enjoy the show if I give it absolutely zero thought. Gone are the confusing glances I make at the TV, because it would hurt to do that for 42 minutes. Gone is my attempt to streamline a character’s arc, because there aren’t any beyond four episodes at a time. Gone is the suspicion that the writers have no idea what they’re doing, because it’s not a suspicion anymore.

I still have yet to be bored by an episode of 9fneh, and in my world, that’s entirely okay. Now I can watch this show whenever I want instead of limiting myself to Tuesday nights, because it falls way behind Reaper, Idol and Fringe, and it goes very well the following morning with a bowl of Puffins mixed with Trader Joe’s house brand of Cheerios, the time when my brain isn’t entirely there before I go to work.

Now I get it. You guys were all insane during the 90s. That’s fine. It was a good time. Crazy was an optimistic way of life.

The Wife:

Ah, love! What better gift could I have been given by the CW than a 90210 Valentine’s Day episode? In the spirit of all things lovey-dovey, here are “9 Adorably Lame Things About This Week’s 90210:

1. Silver in love. I’m glad she had a line that explained how being in love was turning her into a “completely different person,” because I would never have guessed from the oh-so-subtle costuming changes or Jessica Stroup’s acting. Since when does being in love make you shed your hardcore rocker chick look and start wearing navy and white striped jumpers and putting your hair up like a little girl? I mean, Stroup looks cute in whatever you throw on her tiny little body, but really, wardrobe folks, your intention surely wasn’t to infantalize Silver, was it? If it was, why? That outfit aside, Silver was pretty adorable in this episode in her foray into being a nice, genuine person who just wants to show Dixon she loves him, Beverly Hills style.

2. I have never heard the phrase “cheesy goober” so much in such a short period of time. That is a truly lame phrase, but despite its appearance 3 times in 20 seconds, I think it worked in service of what was going on with Silver’s character in this episode.

3. Not adorable in any way: talking smack about your ex while she’s in earshot, Navid. That’s really uncool. In fact, it’s a super lame thing to do. However, I think Navid made up for it sufficiently in his very sincere apology to Adriana at the candy shop.

4. And then he follows that up by stopping by Adriana’s place after the Valentine’s dance she declined to go to (you know, due to being pregnant and all), and telling her that she’s a mess, but even so, he still wants her to be his Valentine. Ooh, yay! Now they can be just like Amy and Ben over on Secret Life! And he’ll totally defend her and stuff when people pick on her. And then he’ll get all attached and want to raise her baby with her. And then they’ll have an illegal secret wedding! Honestly, this was very sweet in theory, but lacked any punch due to chronic underdevelopment of Navid’s character on the writer’s part, thus making it ever so slightly lame. But he is wearing a really awesome sweater during this scene. And that’s pretty adorable.

5.  Annie, I get that acting is your passion and you want to be goord at it, but in addition to your acting teacher’s advice about accessing your own emotions to bring the character you’re playing to life, you also need to find yourself some good material to work with. Why in God’s name would you choose a monologue from Les Miserables? Les Miz sucks. It’s quite possibly one of the lamest shows I’ve ever seen. And how can you, at 16, possibly know what the hell Fantine was going through? If Annie, in all her corn-fed senses of quality, taste and style, really wanted to pick something from Les Miz, why not something from Cosette? Or even Eponine? An acting audition is just like a singing audition. You’ve got to have the right song choice. And you’ve got to have the right monologue.

6. Oh, man, could Rhonda’s story about being asked to the school dance on a dare have been anymore melodramatic? Seriously, girlfriend, if that makes you want to kill yourself, you definitely need to be in therapy because you have some serious self-esteem and identity issues. And I fucking adored the lame little inserts of Rhonda telling that story at the Peach Pit as Annie appropriates it to show that she can access emotions from her past in her acting class! Amazing! Truly, the greatest art 90210 has ever displayed is that sequence. And Ethan coming in at the end? Priceless. Just. Priceless.

7. I miss PodPerson Ethan, because Rhonda-loving Ethan is a major downer. Maybe I’m a jackass for thinking this, but even though Rhonda told Ethan and Annie that story “in confidence,” I’m totally fine with Annie using it as a monologue in her class. I mean, clearly the worst thing that’s ever happened to Annie was the thing with her Secret Brother Who Isn’t Her Brother At All trying to swindle her family, so if learning to relate to Rhonda helps her with her craft, more power to her. She never said Rhonda’s name, and none of the people in Annie’s class would ever know that it was Rhonda’s story at all. In a way, she’s really protecting Rhonda’s, uh, “secret,” by turning it in to an artistic endeavor, something that is real without necessarily being true. Whatever. I’m talking out my ass. If Rhonda’s not going to use that story, someone should. It’s a fucking gem of an after-school special if ever there was one.

8. Adorable: Naomi’s crush on the new bartender at her hotel, Liam. Also adorable: Liam. What a nice guy, standing up for the waitstaff and flirting with Naomi. It’s lame that he stood her up for their poolside V-Day date, but even lamer that he somehow blames her for the twist to this plot: Liam is also in high school, and now that he’s been found out, he actually has to return to high school. In summary, Naomi sent a bottle of champagne to Liam’s house, which his mom had to sign for, which is how she knew he was working instead of going to school. What the fuck? Seriously. I appreciate you twisting this around on me, but why spring it on me so soon? And why do it in the most convoluted way? Sorry you don’t really like school, Liam, but seriously, graduate high school. It’s the least you can do. And don’t take the fact that you’re dumb enough to live with your mom and “pretend” to go to school out on Naomi. Your mom was gonna find out eventually. Like when your W2s come in the mail. And when your report card suddenly stopped showing up. Dumbass.

9. I’m glad to know that buying Silver a basic ID bracelet is enough to make her stop freaking out and being mean to wait staff (truly an undesirable quality in a person), but even happier to know that the least thoughtful gift in the world is enough to make her want to have sex with you. And that having sex with you is enough to make her want to do the fucking lamest thing ever and get your name tattooed on her hip. Silver, you are clearly a nutcase. An adorable nutcase, but a nutcase nonetheless. I’ve been with my husband for about seven and a half years, and I do not have his name tattooed anywhere on me. And I love tattoos as much as I love him, so that should tell you how strongly I feel about getting a name tattooed on your person. Enjoy having that lasered off or covered up when Dixon inevitably breaks up with your crazy ass, Silver. Maybe she can get the word “Ticonderoga” tattooed below it and a pencil. Because, you know, she loves writing. It would be like her version of Johnny Depp’s “Wino Forever” tattoo.

Bitch, you crazy!

Bitch, you crazy!

And One Really Awesome Thing About This Week’s 90210:

1. It was just a fleeting moment, but I loved Naomi’s pep talk to Adriana about how her pregnancy is benefiting her, saying that her skin and hair have never looked better, and that her boobs are huge. Here’s hoping we should all get such shiny, thick hair while pregnant, because the boobs are a given.

The Husband:

I don’t have an awesome thing about this week’s 9fneh, but I did amuse myself when I declared that at least once this season, the showrunners should allow the actors to improvise an entire episode. At least it’ll be natural that way. And Jessica Walter will probably end up in the background of every shot going “WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” …and then asking somebody to play “Misty” for her.

The Wife:

Writing “9 Lame Things About This Week’s 90210” is a little more difficult than usual this week. I actually didn’t think this episode was as lame as others, although it was still pretty lame. I do, however, have more than one nice thing to say about it, but let’s get on with the lame.

1. Ethan and Annie’s attempts at phone sex. Yo, man, you never have phone sex with you ain’t on your cell phone! That’s just wrong! Lori Loughlin totally cockblocked you guys! Seriously, Annie, charge your cell phone next time!

2. Navid, even though we haven’t really seen him with Adriana outside of that one dinner with his big Persian family, is apparently the happiest he’s ever been with her. Yeah, I guess that makes sense. About as much sense as Ethan and Annie saying I love you after only . . . uh . . . how many proper dates?

3. Speaking of “I love you”s, what the fuck happened to Silver? I think she’s being inhabited by the Ghost of the Person She Was in the First Episode. You know, a mean, bitchy, dark blogger who’s too cool for school and hates everyone. That’s totally how she acted in this episode and I found it really repellent. Why is she being so damned mean to Dixon? And why freak out and bust his balls so much just because you aren’t yet ready to tell him you love him? Wouldn’t a simple “I like you a lot, too,” have been less caustic than the whole “thank you, but saying I love you shouldn’t be obligatory” cat-spit she hissed at him before walking away and ruining her own sandcastle?

This was the greatest week and a half of my life.

This was the greatest week and a half of my life.

4. Why ruin the sandcastle you built together, Silver, just because you’re mad at Dixon? That thing was a fucking masterpiece!

5. Naomi and Adriana’s playground confrontation. This scene was just so . . . weird. I mean, first of all, I don’t really understand why Naomi feels so at the end of her rope with Adriana. I thought they’d made up when A went to rehab? I mean, eventually, Adriana got help, which is what Naomi wanted for her. I guess it’s just easier to fall back into suspicion that she may be, as George so insensitively put it, “back on the tracks” instead of thinking that she might actually be sick or something. Also, playground? I get you trying to be intelligent, using the playground as a space for Adriana to contemplate her impending motherhood while playing up the fact that she’s still a girl and all, but it was mostly just a weird, loud place to have an adult conversation. Adults don’t go to chat it up on playgrounds. That doesn’t make sense.

6. You know what’s an even worse place to tell someone you’re pregnant? A beach party. Yeah, I definitely would have waited to tell Navid somewhere private. Like, in the car on the way home. Or at his house. Just not in the middle of a crowded party. Inappropriate.

Do not touch me, woman! I do not want to get pregnant!

Do not touch me, woman! I do not want to get pregnant!

7. It might have just been my TV because we don’t have a central speaker, but the soundtrack was fucking heinously loud at all the wrong points in time during this episode. We had to have the closed captioning on during any scene at the beach party, and during Adriana’s confession to Naomi at the playground. Man, I fucking love Adele’s “Hometown Glory,” but it shouldn’t be louder than the dialogue where Navid is telling Adriana that he just can’t handle her pregnancy. I mean, that’s a legit response that deserves to be treated with legit emotion, but even an awesome song played too loudly ruins the moment.

8. You know what else ruins the moment? David Archuleta. Archie’s “Crush” is not a song to bone to. I think that was Ethan and Annie’s first mistake during their Palm Springs getaway, thinking they should bone to Archie. That’s just wrong. Furthermore, it also ruins the moment when you strip to a girl to her bra and then go, “But wait! What if we break up! I don’t want to hurt you if we don’t work out in the future!” I’m pretty sure he fucked Naomi on a regular basis, and they broke up and he doesn’t give a shit about that. Not wanting to hurt someone in the future is not a reason to not have sex with them. Saying that you don’t feel like you’re ready, that’s totally a good reason. But fearing you won’t be together forever? That is by far the lamest thing I’ve ever heard on this show.

9. But nothing is lamer than Dr. Pepper! GET OUT OF MY LIFE, SOFT DRINK! Last week, you taunted me with your sign that stood in the foreground of the scene at the Peach Pit. In this episode, that sign became a permanent fixture on the wall of the Peach Pit, mirrored by the logo on the soda fountain behind the bar. Any time you see a scene at the Peach Pit, there will be a Dr. Pepper sign in it no matter what angle you film it at. This demon soft drink has even invaded Top Chef, where last week I had to watch people make low calorie desserts that actually incorporated Diet Dr. Pepper, which this week a certain contestant I refer to as Dr. Lisa Cuddy stewed in the stew room below a strategically placed row of Diet Dr. Pepper. Drink, I actually like you, and that is the worst part about your invading my TV. The more I see you on my TV, the less I like you. PLEASE DEAR GOD LEAVE ME ALONE, DR. PEPPER!

And a couple of awesome things about 90210:

1. Jessica Walter’s Tabitha is going away for a few episodes! That is totally not awesome, but what is awesome is that she’s now hiding her booze in smoothies. That woman is my hero.

2. Way to go Wilson parents for rocking the minivan after realizing that Ethan and Annie actually had a responsible, chaste evening in Palm Springs. I greatly appreciated seeing evidence of a middle aged couple on television who still have sex. You two are pretty cool, Mom and Pops Wilson. If I see that van a-rockin’, I sure as hell won’t be a-knockin’. I’ll let you two kids have some privacy.

3. I have a new euphemism for having sex and its called “going to Palm Springs.”

The Husband:

Sorry, honey, but “going to Palm Springs,” to me, will always be code for our friend visiting her racist uncle during the holidays.

Now, onto Two Awesome Things About This Week’s 9fneh:

1. Principal Harry Wilson’s 1984-by-way-of-modern-Presidential Addresses school announcement, not done regularly over a loudspeaker (thanks for at least being realistic about that, Secret Life of the American Teenager), but video-broadcast live over several flat-screen LCD televisions placed around the school. Creepy. And hilarious. I wonder if he has hidden cameras set up all over the school? (Idea copyrighted by me, bitches.)

2. The wonderfully profuse amounts of skin on display throughout the entire episode. As the greater Los Angeles area is under a freak winter heat wave during this episode, we saw every major young female character in their swimsuits, including bikinis (Annie, Naomi and especially Adriana) and a very freaky cool onesie (Silver). Even Lori Loughlin, who is still lookin’ good, gives us some post-coital blanket-covering upon being discovered by Annie and Ethan in the back of the minivan.

Not quite as hot as when she emerges from the pool, all Lolita-esque, on Nip/Tuck, but she does look naked in this picture.

Not quite as hot as when she emerges from the pool, all Lolita-esque, on Nip/Tuck, but she does look naked in this picture.

The Wife:

So, I’m trying a new format with 90210 posts this week. It’s called “9 Lame Things About This Week’s 90210.” Here goes:

1. Naomi’s entire manipulative scheme to out Ethan and Annie’s relationship by inviting Annie’s ex, Jason, to her birthday party in a ploy to make out with him and therefore make Annie feel bad about being with Ethan. Oh, and also “ruin” her sixteenth birthday. I’m glad to see Naomi the Bitch return, but, frankly, this was a lame scheme. Her scheme to try and get her parents back together was thought out a lot better, even though it ultimately failed. I know high school girls can be petty and manipulative and that they do indeed like to do things like steal each other’s exes and so on. But you know what probably would have hurt Annie more, not ruined her birthday and not involved poor innocent Jason at all? Stealing Ethan back for good. That would have provided a lot more believable drama and actually would have been interesting to watch. That, or poisoning someone with a mercury-laced fruitcake. For no real reason. Just ’cause.

Oh, Ill steal him back for good. Just you wait.

Oh, I'll steal him back for good. Just you wait.

2. Kelly Taylor returning. Ugh. Her entire plot was catching up on things she missed, especially the Ryan Matthews scandal, the worst part of which was her pitiful attempt to get Kim to discuss her role in the scandal by abusing her position as guidance counselor. I hate Kelly Taylor. Also, why wouldn’t she have stopped off at home first before coming to work? I know she didn’t fly back from Africa in that outfit and Sammy had to be dropped off somewhere. It’s really weird that Silver should find out about her sister’s return at school, rather than at home, even if Kelly did come back on an early flight.

3. Navid being embarrassed by his big, happy super-rich Persian family. This is lame because of one little fact, a teensy tiny detail: when Navid told Adriana he was in love with her, he specifically mentioned that they played together as children and he’s loved her since then. How is it possible that she has never met his family if that’s the case? I realize that giant porn-purchased house is not necessarily conducive to play dates, but surely Adriana has met them at some point in the potential 16 years that they’ve known each other. He shouldn’t be embarrassed of his family, but of the fact that they’ve evidently never met Adriana, even though he’s loved her since he was a child.

4. Kim’s random hot cop drug bust. In theory this is cool, but since this drug bust didn’t involve a.) a student or b.) the school at all it seemed a little out of Kim’s jurisdiction and very much like a really hasty way to wrap up her arc. Sure, that dude could have been the one supplying all of the small-time dealers at WestBev, but if that was going to be her arc, why blow it all in one night? Lame. Stop killing storylines, 90210!

5. Rob Estes taking over for Mr. Matthew’s classes. Wow, you’re really telling me that this school can’t afford to hire a substitute? The economy really is bad.

6. Silver’s blog returning. I thought we’d given up that ghost after the first episode, but apparently, Silver felt the Matthew’s scandal was so juicy that she had to resurrect the thing for her second post . . . ever.

7. Adriana not understanding that Navid wants to edit his film project alone. That’s what real life is like, Adriana! Sometimes, people have jobs and can’t spend all their time together. Let the man work! Stop being so clingy and lame!

8. Ryan leaving just as Kelly returns. The West Bev teacher shortage continues.

9. Naomi trying to turn herself into the victim in her catfight with Annie at the end of the episode. Naomi, if you’re going to hatch a half-baked evil scheme, you’d damn well better follow through and own up to it. Don’t blame it on the fact that no one is ever honest with you. Annie’s right. You ain’t honest with yourself. I did enjoy, however, that Secret Brother Sean is the secret weapon to end all self-pitying catfights.

Go away Secret Brother! This is a psuedo-sister fight only!

Go away Secret Brother! This is a psuedo-sister fight only!

And “One Awesome Thing About This Week’s 90210“:

1. Jessica Walter + Karaoke = Amazing.

The Husband:

“One Additional Awesome Thing About This Week’s 90210”:

I hope I wasn’t the only one who checked out the posters in Annie’s room during a scene late in the episode. I didn’t pause it or anything, nor do I care enough to rewind and go frame-by-frame to catch corners of her room in the distance, but I did notice two in particular.

1. Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin. Kind of a weird show for an average 16-year-old to have, but she does, in fact, like musical theatre quite a bit as we’ve been told. I can only assume that nearby is a poster for Schwartz’s Wicked, a not-nearly-as-good show but one that regular teenagers have actually heard of. [Wife’s Note: I, too, saw the Wicked poster on Annie’s wall. And yes, teenage girls do indeed love that show.]

2. A poster for West Beverly’s recent production of Spring Awakening, complete with a list of cast members. And what was the name that caught my eye right before it cut away? Ty Collins. Nice touch. Although below it, I swear I saw the name Tate Donovan. Tate Donovan? You mean the guy from SpaceCamp, The O.C. and the voice of Disney’s Hercules?

The Wife:

In the most transparent of 90210‘s titles that reference other things, Pops Wilson finally decides to tell his kiddies that he had a secret love child he didn’t know existed (how’s that for consequences of sex, PTC?) and Dixon and Annie are forced to deal with that revelation, as is Naomi, whose mother is the mother of said secret love child. (You see, this is transparent because the movie Secrets & Lies is about giving up secret love children for adoption! Just like Tracy Clarke did! It’s also about keeping secrets! And lying!)

Dixon just kind of shrugs this off, citing that it is “kinda freaky” but he’s “cool with it.” It does, however, make him reflect back on his own adoption, which he also has no real feelings about because he is aware that neither of his birth parents were capable of caring for a child. As he tells his girlfriend Silver, the only thing that makes him a little sad is that now he knows that somewhere in the world, someone has Rob Estes’ laugh, and it isn’t him, the son Rob Estes chose to adopt and love. I wish that moment were sweet, but the writing behind it was so vapid that poor Tristan Wilds and Jessica Stroup really didn’t have a lot to work with in that scene. Strangely, though, Dixon goes straight from talking about his adoption to once again propositioning Silver for sex. Weird transition, 90210 character!

Annie, on the other hand, is not happy with the news that she has a secret brother somewhere, so she starts stomping around like an insolent child and going therapy shoe shopping at Jimmy Choo with Naomi. (By the way, isn’t it strange that Annie, who grew up in Kansas but has still probably heard of Sex & the City, doesn’t know who Jimmy Choo is? Kansas is not devoid of movies and the Internet, as far as I’m aware.) When Pops Wilson catches her packing for a sleepover at Silver’s and finds her new Jimmy Choo boots (a purchase which caused her credit card company to call citing “unusual activity”), he bans her from the sleepover (because Kelly Taylor still isn’t home, thus, no adult around means no sleepover for Annie) and forces her to return the boots, which she promptly puts on and sneaks out to go to Silver’s and do normal girly sleepover shirt. You know, doing your hair, your nails, tequila shots and switching clothes with the other girls.

The sleepover, naturally, turns into a full-fledged party when Dixon and some other dudes show up, Ethan among them. Annie and Ethan had previously discussed the state of their relationship and how Naomi and Annie’s new brother further complicate their ability to be together as a couple. (I guess this makes Annie feel closer to Naomi? More sisterly? I don’t know. I get that it’s complicated, but I don’t get how.) Naomi’s detention crush, Ozzie, also shows up, and she asks her new BFF Annie to play wingman for her by entertaining Ozzie’s friend Jose so that she and Ozzie can get some alone time. Annie, who is totally drunk off her Jimmy Choos by the time this request is made, naturally flakes out a little bit and blows off Jose to go and make out with Ethan. When Ozzie and Jose bounce, Naomi goes to find Annie, but Silver runs interference so that the two girls won’t come to blows over Ethan, thus ruining the party.

Kim the Narc is also at the party, along with Adriana, who attends, fresh out of rehab. Navid seems to be inhabited by a pod person this week, mooning over Adriana in a way we’ve never seen him do before, even going so far as to painstakingly sort out all of the disgusting popcorn-flavored Jelly Bellys for her, as they are her favorite. Kim hits Adriana up for the name of her dealer, hoping to bust George at the party. Adriana, hoping to avoid the temptation to drink and do drugs, sneaks off to a private room with Navid to make out and watch Planet Earth. As things heat up, she instructs him to put on a condom, intimating that she knows he expects her to pay him back for paying for rehab with sex. Navid, offended, rushes out of the room.

How dare you insinuate that I only want you for sex! Good day, madam!

How dare you insinuate that I only want you for sex! Good day, madam!

Kim the Narc does not bust George at the party, but instead heads out with Mr. Matthews after tipping off Pops Wilson who comes in to rescue his daughter and break up the fete. George, unfortunately, sees Kim with Matthews and attempts to blackmail Matthews in order to get back on the lacrosse team. Matthews brings this information to Wilson, who suspends him for fraternizing with a “student.” Even though we all know Kim is 25, she’s pretending to be 17, so her relationship with Matthews compromises her cover and the work she’s doing, and in general looks really bad for Matthews. Matthews will be on paid leave from WestBev until Kim’s work is done. Whenever that may be.

As for Annie and her dad, after he breaks up the party, Pops Wilson rescues his inebriated little girl, who has had too much to drink and vomited all over her expensive new Jimmy Choos. They have a little heart-to-heart about why she was acting out and Pops Wilson apologizes for being so hard on her when she was only trying to work out her feelings. Or something. I noticed he didn’t seem to give a shit that Dixon was at this party, which seemed odd. Shouldn’t he be mad at both of his children for being at the same party that one of them was expressly instructed not to go to, back when it was just an all-girls sleepover? This seems inconsistent. Make up your mind, Pops Wilson!

Nothings gonna harm you, not while Im around . . .

Nothing's gonna harm you, not while I'm around . . .

The next day at school, Annie and Ethan talk it out and decide to try making their relationship work without having to lie to Naomi outright. Avoiding her, they decide, works better – especially when they already have plans to spend them with each other. After deciding on this, they immediately suck face for an extended period of time. Naomi decides to stop playing games with Ozzie and asks him for his number, which she immediately calls, only to catch sight of Annie and Ethan making out in a classroom and killing her buzz.

Oh, Naomi, how I do hope your claws come out next week, even with your new beau, as this week your character was so entirely neutered. I’m amazed at how, each week, this show manages to avoid creating actual drama and instead seems to go through the motions. You know what would have been more interesting? If George got busted at the party based off of Kim’s tip and the cops came to break it up, not Principal Wilson. Cops = real drama. You know what else would have been interesting? Adriana being tempted by the party atmosphere and having real emotions! Maybe even having Navid save her because he cares about her so much, rather than having the poor kid sort through bags of Jelly Bellys in her name. You know what else would have been interesting? A cat fight! Naomi and Annie fighting it out over Ethan, especially if she had caught them having sex, as the previews led us to believe. But no! That didn’t happen! None of it! And you know who “crossed the line” this week? Mr. Matthews, by accidentally getting caught giving his “student” a ride home from a party. Not even making out with her. What? Correct me if I’m wrong here, but it’s not entirely unusual for teachers to give students rides. Now, if it were a mustache ride, that would clearly be a different story, and worthy of sending Matthews on a paid leave of absence. But a car ride? Really, George? Why you gotta make up lame shit just because Kim don’t wanna have sex with you?

So this episode was what the CW chose to push up against the election results. How disappointing. None of these characters function in a way that makes sense, and no one bothers to create story arcs and build tension amongst the characters at all. Even the feeblest attempts at doing so fail (i.e. Annie acting out because she’s upset about secret love brother). This shit is pretty lame, CW. You set the bar really high for yourself with “Hollywood Forever” and now you’re just sliding back down into the La Brea tar pits.

The Husband:

I was looking at election results on my wife’s laptop during the entirety of this episode. It doesn’t sound like I missed that much by focusing my attention elsewhere while having it be my own personal background noise.

But…here’s a few haiku:

90210
Get it together, hombre.
Handle your stories.

90210
Why doesn’t Dixon have a
Personality?

90210
Jessica Stroup is awesome.
Focus back on her.

90210
Someone needs to throw a pie.
Look! Conflict! Shitballs!

90210
Learn from the show after you.
Privileged
rocks face.

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.