90210 Review: More Boring Relationship "Drama"

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90210 may have set a new record this week.

I complain on an almost episode basis that the show whips through relationships at lightning speed, breaking up characters and getting them together so quickly that viewers scarcely have time to actually grow attached to any pairing.

Consider the latest, extreme example from "Age of Inheritance." Annie and Liam officially went on their first date... ended their relationship... and Annie started a fling with a guy she just met... ALL IN ONE HOUR! Is creating such contrived tension between characters really the only storyline source writers have?

Ivy in Anger

I might react differently if the basis for problems between various boyfriends and girlfriends were compelling. But think about what drove a wedge between significant others this week:

  • Ivy is mad at Dixon because a girl took a body shot off him. Really?!? Is this second grade, or the year 1937? Ivy, the same carefree girl who gladly hooked up with Liam in his basement for awhile, no strings attached, is upset due to a harmless incident with a stranger? This is Beverly Hills, right? Doesn't everyone have racy Facebook photos?
  • Liam took Annie out for a romantic evening... on a random boat that isn't his?!? Talk about the writers concocting an obstacle out of their rear ends. This was just silly and flat out unbelievable, in the worst possible sense.
  • Suddenly Silver is flirting up a storm with Mr. Cannon?!? If the show wants to paint Cannon as a shady bad guy, that's fine. But Silver is a smart gal. There's simply no way she'd act so inappropriately around a teacher, telling him how "great" he was over and over.

Sigh. I really wanna be on board for season three of this show. But it's proving that it doesn't know what it is. 90210 must go the racy route, adult route and give us storylines such as Naomi's rape; or it must give in and essentially admit it's an innocent version of a primetime soap, intended for middle school students.

Unfortunately, it's chosen to try and walk some line in between those two options. And it's failing miserably at them both. You can't give viewers as heavy a topic as rape on one hand... and then expect us to get worked up or care at all about some meaningless body shot or boat-sitting incident on the other. Select a path and stick with it, 90210.

I'm speaking to the series in general and certainly to the relationships themselves, which hit unrealistic, shallow bumps every weekly in an effort to create drama.

Rant over. Review now open to readers. Am I being too harsh? What did you think of the episode? Sound off now and/or in our 90210 forum!


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


With 2 episodes in so far, we are yet to see how deep the wound left by the traumatic rape on Naomi. Annalynne is probably already challenged by the kind of depth her character was given so indeed it is difficult for her to portray it effectively. The good thing that comes out of this is that she is given a fresh material that is unusual from the kind of roles she had done in the past given her still young tenure in the industry. I expect she already made her homework on the issue the show is tackling considering she is a human rights advocate against human trafficking to better give justice to the storyline. And this leads me to one of ML House's most hated actresses of all time, Shenae Grimes. Her character in Degrassi was praised for her portrayal as a victim of rape and I read she was recognized by critics in Canada. Her character in 90210 was obviously written horribly but I give props to Shenae for being able to cary herself well as Annie despite the odds. Shame on those haters.


Of course rape victims have different reactions. I'm not criticising the way Naomie is trying to handle things. I'm saying I don't like the execution. Actors are supposed to display emotions and make the audience feel with them. For me McCord is just not doing that.


Rape victims have different reactions and coping mechanism when dealing the aftermath of a rape and being the bitchy spoil rich girl she tries to exemplify is Naomi's only way to cope with whatever the hell Cannon did to her. Either we contend with that or see her trying to hang herself in shame (which I doubt writers are going to integrate into the storyline). I'm only going to be angry with the story's conclusion if in some twisted fate, Cannon gets away with it or something. BTW, lol on my grammatical errors and mispellings :D


@ James
Well, I agree that they could still improve. And I haven't completely given up hope, oviously, because I'm still watching. All I'm saying is that so far the story has done nothing but disappoint me. I don't wanna insult McCord, but I just can't feel Naomie's pain. It all seems fake to me.


@Kitty: You have to watch the storyline in its entirety to see how it all pans out, I means seriously: it's been only 2 episodes into Season 3. Storytelling need not to be contained in just one episode. @Owhydidyoudothat?: You should know by the Ade's personality. She's always the type of person who's under pressure all the time and if your remember what Javier told her about her ability to write songs, that was the catalyst on why she took Javier's songs as her own. It made Adrianna think that she indeed is incapable of sustaining her career without the help of anybody. Ade grew up being a career-driven woman and she will do anything to be on top. However we, as viewers, will all have to see when her lies are going to catch up with her not that her little act has grown out of hand. And that's a review worth looking into without having to negate writers nor say libelous things about a show.


Absolutely agreed. ML House may be biased against 90210 - but did you ever consider the possibility that he has every right to be? As far as I'm concerned, 90210 hasn't had any redeeming moments to say otherwise. To put it frankly: this show sucks. It sucks, it sucks, it sucks. I understand the writers are obviously trying to keep the viewers on their toes with the storyline. What they fail to recognise is that there's a HUGE difference between plot twists... and plot twists that hurtle at an unrealistic speed that's destined for crash and burn. 90210 has been crashing and burning since Season 2. WHEN WILL IT STOP?! For christs sake, the characters whine and change moods at the switch of a button. TV shows don't have to be 100% realistic, but the way these characters interact is so unbelievable to the point where I can't be emotionally invested in their stories. For example, I understand that Adrianna hated Xavier... but let's get real: she WITNESSED and was INVOLVED in a car crash that left him DEAD. I don't understand how she could just get over that within 20 minutes and think about plagiarising songs. End result? Don't care. I don't even understand how I watch this show... The reviewers here are right, don't hate on them because it's TRUE.


Worst episode ever!!!!!! I'm not against Liam and Annie together in general, but this is all going waaaaay too fast. I don't see when exactely they developed such a strong bond that would make me care if they are together...
Oscar as the manipulating ocstacle for Ivy and Dixon is just annoying. I loved how they started to hang out together and started dating. I wanted to see more of them growing closer before dealing with such ridiculous problems...
And finally the rape story is plain awful. I didn't think they could pull it off and so far they have done nithing to prove me wrong...


Simply put, M.L. House is the Source of All Evil who tries in vain to give a downer on every single episode of 90210 in his full-biased glory. He needs not to review a show he hates anyway because you know he hasn't experience break-ups and make-ups in high school days.


The reviewers are totally biased. They never like anything at all. It seems as if they get paid to write bad stuffabout 90210 deliberately.


You guys are seriously the worst reviewers in this website.
I agreed with you during the second season, because let's be honest, it sucked some serious balls, but THIS? Seriously?
This new season is a really GREAT improvement from last one, you guys shouldn't only look at the bad stuff.
Ok, Annalynne can't do the rape storyline, I get it, but the writing has gotten much better and the quality of the episodes as well. Just accept that and stop giving pathetic reviews.
You can't make a review given you partial opinion because it will always suck. You're just a joke of a reviewer.

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90210 Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

I'm 18 and I'm ready for this 17-year old kiddie crap to be behind me.


Suck it Jen! I am rich.