Here’s the ”90210” gang: 12 years later
How is it that a dozen years after the Bev Hills gang first met up — and two years after they shared their last group hug, at David and Donna’s wedding — we’re still clamoring after the former inhabitants of that zip code extraordinaire?
Maybe because despite the proliferation of astoundingly lame high school dramas since ”Beverly Hills, 90210” went off the air, Dylan (Luke Perry), Brandon (Jason Priestley), Brenda (Shannen Doherty), Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris), Kelly (Jennie Garth), Steve (Ian Ziering), David (Brian Austin Green), and Donna (Tori Spelling) remain the original teen archetypes — rebel hottie, good guy hottie, bitchy hottie, brainy unhottie, princess hottie, jester hottie wannabe, loser turned hottie, and hottie hanger-on.
Sure, even on the show they matured, bought the Peach Pit, and outgrew the whole teen-hottie thing, but some of us will always remember them as high schoolers. Well, we’re here to tell you: Wake up! It’s been a looong time since any of us were in high school, so we thought now’s a good time to catch up with the crew.
STEVE AND ANDREA It’s just plain cruel to begin with the biggest career freefaller of the bunch, but well, frankly, it’s hard to narrow that down to only one. So let’s have a dual check-in with Gabrielle and Ian. Sadly, after appearing on the ”E! True Hollywood Story” about ”90210,” Gabby had pretty much gone AWOL for a while. This year she briefly surfaced as a mom caught underground in an avalanche in the TV movie ”Trapped: Buried Alive.” She screams ”made-for-TV movie,” so we give her points for a decent career move. Hey, as long as her talk show doesn’t come back, we’ll take her in anything. As for Ian, his comeback potential is far lower. Sure, he’s the voice of Harry Osborn in ”Spider-Man — The Animated Series” but face it, ”the voice of” doesn’t bode well for future on-camera appearances. The biggest news he’s made lately is with his divorce from his ex-Playmate ex. Not that that’s a bad thing…
DAVID As for the slightly more promising members of the bunch, Brian Austin Green tested his non-mainstream acting chops with a supporting role in ”Ronnie,” about a ”different” guy who falls for a mentally disabled woman. He didn’t exactly become a Sundance sweetie, but Green hasn’t given up on the low-budget flicks. Next up we’ll see him in the indie ”Purgatory Flats” (if it gets released).
DYLAN Speaking of flats, Luke Perry had himself a steady gig on Showtime’s ”Jeremiah,” in which the only survivors of a deadly virus are Luke and ”Cosby” vet Malcolm Jamal Warner. Deadly indeed. Clearly, Perry decided he needed to reclaim his ”8 Seconds” of glory, but acting in movies like the upcoming ”Fogbound” (about three friends who get stuck in fog and — yikes! — share scary secrets) weren’t likely to elevate the has-been heartthrob’s Hollywood status. We’ll see if his latest turn in the Larry McMurtry-penned TV movie “Johnson County War” (in which Perry rides animals again!) scores this struggling actor some work.
BRANDON Priestley was looking like he was going to become the indie star of the bunch, with his movie ”Cherish” receiving kudos at Sundance last year. Instead, his energy will be going toward recovering from an accident he suffered at the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series at Kentucky Speedway in August.
BRENDA And then there’s the ever-entertaining Ms. Doherty. It seems too easy to mock the fact that she hasn’t done anything notable since she ditched “Charmed” — and it would be, since Doherty has been busy. Counting out a force like Shannen is a big mistake. She’s going to star as a makeup-obsessed employee opposite Shirley MacLaine and Parker Posey in the “Battle of Mary Kay” (as in cosmetics) next year on TV. Didn’t think she’d get into the game show business? Guess again. She’s set to host “Scare Tactics,” a game show on the Sci Fi channel next year.
KELLY AND DONNA Oddly enough, the most successful alums seem to be Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling. In the first few episodes of ”90210,” Kelly was a one-dimensional bimbo and Donna had no lines — so bravo to these two. Spelling proved she could do comedy in ”trick” (for once we were laughing WITH her and not AT her), and we’re willing to bet that despite the fact that her WB pilot ”Waydowntown” didn’t get picked up, she’ll be back on the small screen soon enough. In the meantime, she’ll be playing herself in “Naked Movie.” Uh, yikes. As for Garth, the WB has picked up her ”Odd Couple”-esque pilot about a Felix-y sister (Jennie) living with her Oscar-y sib (”Big Fat Liar”’s Amanda Bynes).
All in all, not a bad track record for a group of actors who hit it big as teens and twentysomethings. And regardless of whether these guys stay employed, unemployed, or mid-project, there’s one gig they’d better not turn down: the reunion special. Are we right, people?