FACT: The new 90210 is cooler than the old 90210. It’s the lithe, streamlined Skipper to the elder series’ venerable Barbie. Gone are the traditional parents — they’ve been replaced by a hipster Mom ‘n’ Pop who get busted necking in the car. The bad Beverly Hills, 90210 wardrobes we remember from the ’90s (snap-crotch bodysuits, unironic fedoras, matte lipstick) have been replaced by the latest in California skinny-bitch chic. However, it must be said that 90210‘s guest stars are still wretchedly cheesy. Back in the day, the gang endured ”visits” from Color Me Badd and the Goo Goo Dolls. Now they have…me.
Yes, that’s right. Due to my repeated columns about The CW’s 90210 in this very publication, I was recently invited to drop by and shoot a few scenes. (For those keeping score, I’ve written about the new series at least twice already. I don’t think Lou Reed got that kind of coverage from Creem.) Anyway, allow me to describe how I reacted to the invite: You know that guy who fronted the Judas Priest cover band? And he was, like, the biggest Judas Priest fan EVER? And then, miraculously, Judas Priest asked the guy — this regular hardworking dude — to be their new lead singer? Well, when 90210 called, I felt like that guy. It couldn’t actually be happening. The world became a haze. I imagined my name appearing in the credits beneath the words ”Special Guest Star.” I pictured myself in a lavishly appointed trailer, feeding strawberries to Tristan Wilds.
Fast-forward a few weeks. My adventure began in Venice, Calif., a suitably 90210-esque seaside locale. I parked my car and headed toward the ”circus,” which is what industry folks call the caravan of trailers that make up a set’s base camp. I spotted Tori Spelling immediately. Having seen her reality series on Oxygen, Tori & Dean: Inn Love, I recognized her husband, Dean, as well. He was straddling a sweet Ducati motorcycle. Tori sported black skinny jeans and a headful of perfect platinum waves. They looked like Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2. I was so down with that.