90210 Review: Like an After School Special...

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90210 is taking on many heavy issues these days, and "Catch Me If You Cannon" proved that it's adept at handling some of them... while embarrassingly, boringly dropping the ball on other ones.

First, the failures: I'm sorry, but if you believed for a nanosecond that Dixon was gonna be HIV positive, then we recommend you never look up the world "gullible" in the dictionary, lest you cringe over seeing a photo of yourself smiling back.

Dixon and Doctor

While I don't mean to disparage the disease in any way, using it as a storyline just feels like a PSA at this point. The show might as well have skipped this development and gone straight to Tristan Wilds' actual PSA following the episode.

Moreover, if you're gonna use the topic, you can't change a key aspect of it: anyone can walk into a clinic and be tested in 15 minutes. They take your blood and set the timer and you sit right next to it the entire time. I had to get one because I got married in a country that required it. So shame on 90210 for actually misleading the viewers on how these tests work, just to create drama.

As for Annie.. sigh.

Again, nothing but utter predictability here. Did anyone out there really think Annie would sell her eggs? I just hope Deb has the couple that wanted them from an 18-year old to be institutionalized. If they can't recognize why that's a bad idea for a teenager, perhaps they should think again about becoming parents.

Interesting that the two characters with the most tiresome storylines these days are Wilson, isn't it? If only Harry has taken them all with him to... wherever he went up north.

Now, on to the positives:

While I wish the result hadn't been ruined by producers this summer, I give credit to Trevor Donovan and the gay storyline. It's being handled well, as the show takes it times and sets up interest, realistic scenarios, such as Teddy's "fagot" outburst last week and his attempt to deny his true self this week and sleep with a woman.

I'm also glad Ian is an understanding character that appears to truly want to help Teddy. Kudos all around.

With Ian

Meanwhile, I was prepared to bash Silver and Naomi's plan if it had worked. No way Mr. Cannon would have been stupid enough to just follow Silver to a hotel room.

But the series surprised me and didn't just create a twist with the use of that therapist; it brought the storyline back to Silver's bipolar disorder. I'm always happy when shows remember the past and tie it in to the present. As for the "dot... dot... dot..." conversation?

Both funny and true. Don't you agree...

Let's quickly run through other developments from the episode:

  • Ryan and Jen as new parents and a quasi couple that gets along one second and fights another? I see possibilities there.
  • Same for Deb as Jen's nanny.
  • But can we please get her professional history straight? She was a photographer in Beverly Hills like two years ago. Now, suddenly, she has no skills and doesn't know how to operate a flash drive? Remember what I said a few lines ago about using the past well? Come on.
  • While the Dixon/HIV storyline was pathetic and almost insulting, props to the writers for actually having Ivy go through with her first sexual experience. The question now: How will Oscar use this against her?

What did you think of the episode, readers? And can you think of even worse nicknames for Jacques than Jacques Strap?


Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (38 Votes)

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


Nice! The good outweighs the bad! AWESOME!


@nellyluv12. can't agree more on that. They are just making the relationship of dixon n ivy EVEN MORE vulnerable.


omg wow i can't believe they actually let ivy go thru and sleep with oscar....i mean i kno she was vulnerable and crap after JUST breaking up with dixon but cum on 90210....the show shudve just let her and oscar kiss but not have sex


Oh yeah the blood test was for total drama purposes. We knew it was going to be negative. They should have given him a treatable STI instead. That way he could have it and get cured. That would have really showed the dangers of unprotected sex and been way more interesting.

Matt richenthal

@tvfan2: Thanks for the info... but why would Dixon possibly not get the gum test? Obviously just for dramatic tension.


I work in the HIV/AIDS field. There are two tests that we give. There is the blood test. These results usually take up to 2 weeks to come back. The rapid test which is a swab of the gum line. The results take about 20 minutes. If it is positive then there must be a blood test done to confirm the results. Since Dixon chose to get a blood test it is realistic that the results would take some time to come back. I do agree that there was no chance that they would have made this man HIV positive. I kind of see that storyline as a missed oppurtunity. Instead of the PSA at the end the doctor could have had a serious talk about risk factors and how to protect against HIV and other STI's.


WOW!! These kids are really dealing with some heavy stuff this year!! For a second I wondered how the story would have worked itself out if Dixon had HIV but I can't say I was all that surprised to hear that he was not. And seriously, is it me or do we not all believe that Oscar paid Sasha to come back or what??? I just want to what happened between his Dad and Ivy's Mom that is making him seek revenge. I also want to get to the bottom of this Liam and Charlie thing. I'm definetely hooked on the show just like I was back in the day w/BH 90210. Looking forward to the next episode!!!

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90210 Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

I've been carrying her around for nine months. It's hard. I wanna see my feet.


Ryan: The last three weeks are all about the baby putting on weight.
Jen: Eww. Yuck. Who wants a chubby baby?