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?


Editor Rating: 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+.


90210 is a bit of a fail show. It has the chance to be really good but avoids it each time. And @Sid saying that the acting on LUX is bad but not 90210 is a joke. Also I don't know about anyone else but the England obsession these season is getting annoying. First you had canon, then oscar (with the terrible accent) who can apparently tell after two seconds of talking to someone that they're from essex and not where they say they're from which isn't that far from essex? Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on that one. Then a blink reference to thatcher this episode. (which i think is so ridiculous. Why out of all the women she could possibly write about would Annie write about thatcher?) I wondered if the writers are trying to appeal to the british audience but I have to say thatcher is not the way to go about it. I know it's a long time ago but for such a random reference it just seems callous. I know it's a random thing to have a problem with but it really bugged me when I was watching.


The child pornography thing really attracted my attention. I always thought Navids dad was a good guy. Don't want to see Navid ending up with Silver though. That's so wrong. But I guess every single girl of the gang has the bad one for a while. Mostly it is Naomi, Ade also messes up a lot, not to mention Annie. No it's Silvers turn I guess. I think her hooking up with Navid is ten times worse than Annie hooking up with Ethan or Liam. And that really wasn't cool. I hope to see Jen coming back. I liked how she and Naomi grew together again. They are family after all.

Whipped by damon

I didn't think it was as bad as you described, there were some interesting developments but this is 90210 and it isn't particularly deep, never has been. So this isn't new territory, this episode wasn't great but it wasn't horrid, more bland than anything! :)


just when I started to like Jen, SHE LEAVES!! What´s up with that? Why show a side of her that´s actually human(and show that´s she is vulnerable' and right after that Jen leaves town! Can´t believe this,, Please let her come back.


I thought the episode was just ok. It wasn't boring, but it wasn't as great as the previous episodes this season. @Carrenno, why would the CW cancel 90210 when it's doing just fine rather than the "ratings loser" Life Unexpected. You'd think I'm lying but I tried watching that show during the ONE TREE HILL crossover and I actually fell asleep. That show is B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!!! Than god the CW is recycling that trashy show. The acting is horrible and thge storylines are all over the place.


You pretty much nailed it - terribly boring show last night. If you're going to go over the top with ridiculously improbably scenarios you might as well go all the way. And you were probably too easy with the underage porn psa. Guidance counselor crap was pretty laughable. And you're right, the best things about this season were completely avoided last night. Hope it gets better.


Correction heheh: "Erinavid" :D And agree to Kish, good thing the dudes still surf hehe although Teddy's a no show for the episode and navid was never really part of the varsity surf team. BTW: Trevor Donovan is probably balancing his work on 90210 and on a movie currently under production which is probably the cause for him to not appear on a certain number of episodes. Trevor announced it on his Twitter during the summer.


"Harsh" is the way to describe it. Depressing episode but not to the extent that it was boring. 1. ADE
Good: Ade finally stood up against Victor using his threat to her advantage.
Bad: She still may have one foot that remain grounded, she still let her ego of seeking fame take the best of her and Victor manipulating her even further (an odd-even situation I guess) 2. The Wilsons/DIXIE
Good: Finally some good Dixie scenes where the siblings aren't always fighting and always have some time for some bonding as brother and sister. Bad: Harry's not around but it's good they he still an integral part of the Wilson kids. ROB COME BACK! 3. Silver+Navid=ERINANVID
Good: Navid found a good friend in Silver on his time of need and it'd be nice that their relationship would stay that way. Bad: Whether or not the un-kiss happened, either way both parties would equally feel bad for even attempting to do so since they both care for Ade despite having been disappointed with her recent decisions. Plus, Silver has yet to move on from Teddy. 4. Naomi
Good: Naomi's arc does not need to be addressed on a continued basis. For now, she's trying to rebuild her life and move on from a horrific experience. It is never something that ahs to be addressed week-after-week. One major part of the storyline is over, which is exposing Cannon being the scumbag of a perverted rapist that he is. Can't we give her a break for once? Healing takes time you know? Bad: Oscar is the Source of all Evil. Naomi mustn't let herself be used by Oscar ever. 5.Oscar:
Good: Embarassment is a safe yet effective way of giving this jerk the punishment that he deserves from Ivy. Ivy doesn't need to kill someone to make revenge sweet for her. Bad: Well, having him destroy Laurel's music career would have been epic, his motivation for revenge is more of a familial thing so he did what he did to get back at her. But it is still sickening of him to sleep with mother and daughter. 6. Jen (Hmmm, you didn't mention Jen and Ryan's story in your article. Weird.)
Good: I saw a lot of good character development on the part of Jen. We see flaws as an unprepared manner. Seeing her almost breaking down after nearly 1)Took the wrong stroller with the wrong baby, and 2)unable to prevent her child from falling off the table, you definitely see a side of Jen that is vulnerable, weak, and almost unsure of herself being a mother.
Bad: Skipping town, leaving Ryan, Naomi and the baby. 7. Shirazi Porn
Good: It made for good drama that we see father and son fighting at each other, one out of disappoint, one out of love. Mr. Shirazi may have had a point that Navid grew up being spoon fed by the millions, if not billions, of dollars his father is raking in for the family but Navid knew better and being the guy with morals (no matter how unconventional they may be at times) so it justifies his actions of suddenly blurting out what he knew to his guidance counselor without thinking of the consequences. Your father lied to you about employing underage girls, how would you react? not the best yes but i think the episode's a breather of msot of the major stories the show is tackling this season. People are complaining about story arcs that are being stretched all-season so this is what we get for complaining.


ohw come on!!!!!! i like this episode!!!
dont be too harsh you gotta stop leaving in the Gossip girl world when it comes to revenge dont get me wrong i love GG too but their revenge is somewhat unbelievable! i actually like this episode!love that surf team is still alive! love how ivy and naomie fix tings up with their issue! love the navid story line and love that ivy still hanging out with liam and the rest of the guys! because for previous episode her world revolve around dixon and oscar!
so over all i love this episode!


This ep can be summed up in one word BORING!
CW should cancel this series instead of LUX! I agree with the reviewr n d other comments... The writers are really taking some good story lines and messing them around... They are just so unbelievably dense... Maybe these ppl need to watch all TEN seasons of the original and then carry on with making good television.
If Rob Estes wanted to leave then they should rather have replaced him then got the divorce story line! N Ryan n Deb? Cougar Town much? Euwww! Jen will be back... She's never gone for too long. It'll be harder for her to ensnare a rich business man with a child...

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90210 Season 3 Episode 8 Quotes

Trying to understand rich kids is like trying to understand LeBron James, the more you talk about it the angrier you get.


How barbaric is breast-feeding? I mean save it for National Geographic, right?