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'90210' season premiere recap: Definitely getting better ...

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Call it 90210 redux redux. And this time around, it’s a redo done right, in the Pure Guilty Pleasure mold. The sophomore season premiere included nods to the old: Hijinks at the (nonexistent, geographically impossible) Beverly Hills Beach Club. (Bev Hills is nowhere near the water, but we don’t care.) A Brenda figure gone to the dark place. But it also had plenty of fresh-for-2009 touches: A hot dance sequence (yes, really). Even hotter clothes (love that melon-colored dress Naomi wore to the beach club bash). And much sharper dialogue. (Naomi on her 30-something boyfriend: “He reads books, you guys. For fun.” Silver: “You mean, like, Lolita?”)

Things are looking much better (if not perfect) for The CW’s fledgling little remake this season, after a sluggish mishmash of a start last year. These days, Midwestern transplant Annie is on a serious downward spiral (yay!) after a season finale in which she (in this order): appeared to (but did not) sleep with Liam the Wonder Stud, actually called the cops to report Naomi’s post-prom party, and then committed hit and run on Mulholland Drive. The strain was starting to show in the premiere as she — gasp — actually snapped at her mom (which is all the more shocking when you remember that her mom is Lori Laughlin, who is very nice and pretty). Naomi, meanwhile, took time out from hating Annie for all of the above (minus the hit and run, which she doesn’t know about, but probably wishes she did) to have an affair with a sophisticated older dude in hopes of forgetting Liam. But, oops, that guy turned out to be married, possibly for the sole purpose of giving Naomi a likable quality besides her hair — she does not do cheating.

She also apparently doesn’t do friends’ exes, which is also kind-of cool. She was openly salivating over new-guy Teddy, a star tennis player, famous actor’s son, and all-around Captain America type (not to mention, it turned out, Adriana’s Virginity Taker). But I’m guessing things will heat up in the future between Naomi and Teddy, if only to build on their tennis-court banter upon first meeting. It was, however, Naomi’s lucky day in another regard: Annie downward spiraled right into drinking with a skeevy senior guy on the beach, which turned into making out (and, presumably, more) in a cabana with said senior guy — who (PSA alert!) snapped some proof of bagging the principal’s daughter with his camera phone. (That proof, of course, fell into Naomi’s manicured hands, a fact that will figure prominently in next week’s episode.)

Navid, on the other hand, still didn’t get to have sex with Adriana, who continued to want to wait even though she gave birth to someone else’s baby last year (while he stood around all supportive and stuff). And in a much less interesting note, Dixon and Silver made up and they then broke up again in record time, for no real reason. Something about her texting Ethan, who has magically decided to stay in Montana. Can’t argue with axing that vanilla character in the name of story retooling, but I kinda hope we’re axing these two as a couple as well. Unless, of course, we can somehow get back to the dramatic heights we reached late last season when Silver made a secret sex video with Dixon (without telling him), then screened it as an art film to the whole school. I miss that crazy. Also, miss Jessica Walter as Annie and Dixon’s boozy Grandma, who apparently got a show in Vegas, according to a throwaway line that explained her absence. That is a show I’d like to see.

What did you think of the new new 90210, PopWatchers? Was it better than last season? Will you keep watching?

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/The CW