90210 Review: G-Rated Drama

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There are three interesting storylines on 90210 this season:

  1. Teddy's struggle with his sexuality.
  2. The consequences of Naomi's rape.
  3. The mystery of Charlie and Liam's relationship.

All of these have potential for true drama and heavy stakes - and none of them were dealt with for a nanosecond on "Mother Dearest," making it an especially boring episode of this CW series.

Adrianna on the Red Carpet

With the aforementioned developments utterly ignored for a week, think about the plots that received attention. Did any really stand out as suspenseful or attention-worthy?

Let's start with Oscar and Ivy. The latter's mom slept with the the former's married father and eventually drove Oscar's mother to drink herself to death. Pretty big deal, no? So Oscar gets revenge by... having consensual sex with both Ivy and Laurel?!?

This is an icky idea, no doubt. But he didn't force anyone to do anything. Laurel and him even carried on a seemingly enjoyable affair for many weeks. Oscar's actions don't seem on par with someone truly interested in getting back at the woman that he thinks is responsible for indirectly killing his mom, do they?

Laurel is a major player in the music industry. Wouldn't it have made more sense to destroy her career?

Moreover, Ivy's plan for vengeance was equally lame last night. This guy lied about being my friend and took my virginity... so I'll leave him naked in a pool! Seriously, 90210? That's the most edgy and dramatic you can be? I can't be the only viewer who finds this entire series of events too G-rated to keep me interested, can I?

I also must comment on the incredibly low-budget magazine party. Victor chided Adrianna for treating the event like the prom - but isn't that exactly what it felt like? There was no celebrity aside from Joe Jonas there and, really, it took place at the beach club?!? Why not pretend as if it was based at an actual Hollywood establishment? That would bring a sense of realism and make it appear different than every other party thrown at the beach club on this show.

Then, there's the issue of Dixon and Annie visiting their father. Here's the thing: we all know Rob Estes left the series. There's no surprise or drama here because an actual, real-life development makes the story's outcome obvious.

The show has also done a poor job dealing with this split. Harry supposedly lives 45 minutes away, right? So we're meant to believe he still doesn't see his kids often? It would be such a big deal for them to pay him a visit? He wouldn't have seen Deb once in order to know she wore her wedding band? None of it really added up.

Boys Go Surfing

Moving on to Navid, at least his child pornographer of a father is something new. We've seen so little of this character that it's hard to care, and it's extremely hard to believe he'd run to his guidance counselor and demand his essay back - but I'll take it easy on this storyline. I'll give it credit for being unique and for giving Silver a reason to grow closer to Navid.

But, again, the show shied away from creating true drama. Couldn't she and Navid have actually kissed? Instead, the major suspense is that they - gasp! - almost kissed?!?

You tell me, readers: Am I being too harsh? Should I just accept this as a primetime soap opera meant for a younger, more innocent crowd? If I do, perhaps I'll stop tearing it apart for what feels like such uninteresting territory, with so little at stake.

Or do you agree with my assessment that it's very poor writing to set up the intriguing stories listed at the top of this review, only to ignore every single one of them and give viewers very little confidence that any will have a satisfactory conclusion?

Review

Editor Rating: 2.2 / 5.0
  • 2.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

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

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In the beginning of "Mother Dearest", does anyone happen to know the name of the song that is being played while Annie is narrarating in the beginning? I really have no idea what he's saying.. Thank you!

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here's what i liked :
-suprisingly Annie's voice over wasnt bad and I could do with it from time to time
-adrianna finally realising that she's the boss
-navid, which is by far the smartest of the gang, has finally landed a strong storyline, and his father reaction was predictable but right and fitted well with the speed of the events
-naomi and ivy form a weird pair of friends but it's refreshing to see that friendship between girls doesnt always revolve around clothing make up and hypocrity
-silver trying to kiss navid, because they're a lot alike and frankly, she has never been a really good friend : annie was her best friend and she didnt fight for their friendship enough IMO. She didnt believe naomi when she told her she was raped. she was mad at adrianna because she kissed teddy while being with navid(how is it any of your business posh twat?). she kissed ethan when she was with dixon, hell she's not even a good girlfriend!
-no teddy!frankly let the thirty year old go already, moreover how is it believable that a teenager in the closet would go to a all men strip club?teddy would NEVER do that, he would rather kiss Ian in private what i didnt like
-naomi's behavior, and oscar's indelicacy if not impropriety : now a girl that is trying to get to term with sexual assault isnt afraid of a man that she barely knows that wants to nail her?plus a guy that she told her rape about?cheap storytelling. And oscar doesnt feel ashamed one bit to be hitting on a "supposed to be fragile and troubled girl"?i'm not saying there has to be one way to react to rape, but by the way she's acting it almost feels like she doesn't care she was abused, which is strange since Annalynne McCord cares so much about the issue
-Navid giving his school councelor details about his father business when he is smart enought to know that 1.if this gets out the problems will concern the whole family including him 2.you can't trust someone like a school councelor for keeping your dirty secrets when they're about legal matter.easy way out again. Plus, a senior essay about the person you admire the most that will probably be on your uni application : the person you admire the most?REALLY? ; your father?who is a porn director?REALLY REALLY?
-annie using the word mom twice in the same sentence in a uni application essay, im not saying that i expect much more from her but come on, she'd at least use the word mother.
-dixon being mad at ivy. u lied to her moron, he's by far the most annoying, less funny and more immature character on the show if not on every show that is on
-the party for adrianna at the beach club?that's where you see they cut their budget, they could have shown a hollywood shot and showed only interiors, was it that hard?they've done it before!
-oscar in the pool?i would be ashamed to be naked in a pool and so would be a thousand teenagers who arent confident with their body but in 8 episodes the fake brit never seemed to have a problem with nudity
-NAOMI YOU GOT RAPED AND TRAUMATIZED, YOUR RAPIST IS ON THE LOOSE, CAN YOU AT LEAST TRY TO PRETEND YOU CARE???
-neither the girls nor the boys seem to be good friends, id like for them to show that they care for eachother a little more too many plot holes and lazy writing! i still look forward to the show because it has something that i like, i just dont know what it is

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It was Awful and Why does it Called Mother Dearest? C'mon... Anyways Annie's mom will be Doing Mr. Matthews since Jane Left the baby, I think she has thing for Educators.
First Annie had Black Brother and Liam has Latin or Black now(I couldn't figure out his authenticity) THAT is just super Cheap plot line.
Naveed and Silver are like Two Lesbians, I never Found Naveed a Lady's man, Fire him first of all. I swear I wanted to puke watching them kiss. BTW Silver BOOBS were HOT in Porn-star Dress. with that hideous hairs it reminded me that she is still a girl, I'm fed up of her Extra Boyish hairs.
Teddy is gone like Every Week. Adrianna is getting Hot day by day. Jeo Jonas was cute but I still can't figure out what Ashley Green saw in him? Taylor Swift, Camille Belle and Demi Lovato ... Grrr he is a Lady Dammit!

Anna-maria

I didn't really HATE it, it's just that it was getting so much better this season..and this episode seemed strait out of last year's book..it was disappointing..

Anna-maria

I hated this episode! It had nothing to do with the good stories, it was boring and jen's baby would have died! I mean, seriously, they didn't even call a doctor after that fall!

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I say even though I like the show but i would rather 90210 be cancelled than Life Unexpected to be cancelled. Cancel 90210 keep LUX yep that is what I want.

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It might be some poor writing in this show ...but we have to admit, it is already a while since 90210 has better ratings than Gossip Girl. Did anyone notice that ?

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i just watched the episode!! i have to say that it wasn't the best episode of 90210, but it was a really cool episode, with some funny moments.. i really liked when naomi and ivy made a team to take down oscar and they got closer to each other! in this episode, i have to say that i liked annie a lot, and i'm kind of excited about navid and silver! i didn't get the whole thing with the guidance councelor who said to the principal about navid's issue.. why she even care. i liked annie-debbie's moment at the end. what i didn't like is jen's acting when she was crying!! from the moment she appeared on the show, i was stuck with her as a character and now the time she leaves i didn't like her at all! i have to say i am starting to like naomi so much thi season!! and adrianna she took down this bustard manager, yeah!! love this season , and 90210 is actually a really cool show.. this 2.2 review about the episode is not appropriate, i would give at least 3.8-4.0!!

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this is goes to the reviewer: most of the tv reviews about this week's 90210 episode say that it wasn't the best of the season, but it a really good episode.. So if you don't like the show, just don't keep on making reviews about it...

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90210 downplays everything to reach a younger audience. I miss the days of the old 90210 where things were actually dealt with in an adult fashion. this show makes me so angry sometimes. it has such potential, but fails at bringing it everytime. Whenever I think something dramatic may happen, they find a way to ruin it. They need to step up their game or people are going to lose interest!