Join us as we watch the Fox comedy, BH90210, on The Pilot Podcast. This show provides a heightened version of reality leading to what feels like Beverly Hills, 90210 the reboot… the reboot.. the show. Also, be prepared for a small discussion about Spider-Man. Who’s your favorite of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 cast?
The series focuses on the original cast members of Beverly Hills, 90210 — Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, and Shannen Doherty — playing heightened, fictionalized versions of themselves. Having parted ways 19 years after the original series ended, they reunite to get a reboot up and running, and must reconcile their new lives with the complications of their histories together.
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Welcome to The Pilot Podcast!
Where we watch the pilot episodes of TV shows and recap other shows to answer your question, 'Should I Watch This?'
My name is BJ.
And my name is Mitu.
And this week, we're checking out a reboot of Beverly Hills 90210 called BH90210 on Fox.
So stay tuned to the end to find out whether BJ will ever learn what this show really was. Because it was a reboot. It was a surrealist interpretation of their lives. It was a parody.
It did feel like a parody. It's a very strange show, you guys, where the original cast of Beverly Hills 90210 playing fictional versions of themselves in a heightened version of our reality where everything's inspired by their true stories, but this is all made up as they plan to launch a fictional reboot of Beverly Hills 90210 in this world.
So as BJ so eloquently and succinctly summarized, it's a surrealist look at their lives. So when we check in, we have Tori Spelling, who has her reality TV show getting canceled, and it's centered around her fictional husband and several kids, which is obviously reminiscent of her real life with reality TV shows, several children, and a husband. We have Jennie who has filed for her third divorce and I think in real life has quietly filed for her third divorce or had it wiped away. So it's interesting that those two are the ones who created the show because they are pretty aggressively baring themselves and their own lives even if it's in this heightened take. We have Brian Austin Green who's dodging questions about his more famous partner, not sure what that sounds like, cough cough Megan Fox. We have Ian Ziering who leans into this reality TV side. We have Jason Priestley, who I think is the one who is pushing the spoofing the most, because he was America's sweetheart, but I don't know that he's been in TMZ a lot fighting, but that's how he is in this show. He is trying to get taken seriously as an indie director, and accidentally gets caught up in the moment and punches his lead actor in the face. We have Gabrielle Carteris, who is Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills 90210 and she plays the fictional SAG-AFTRA president, but she is also the real SAG-AFTRA president. So some very direct lines between fiction and reality here. And then lastly, we have Shannen Doherty, who makes a brief appearance in this episode. I think she'll appear more later. But she clearly is playing the person that they reluctantly have to include on the show because she is difficult to work with, allegedly, but the one that draws all of the attention in the eyes. I don't think there was much acting there either since she departed from the show, originally, under not the best circumstances.
That's a lot of people to keep up with. So Mitu, I know from our vast friendship that you have seen Beverly Hills 90210 back in the day, but I'm also curious how many of the series in this franchise have you seen. Have you seen Melrose Place?
Oh, that's a good question. To be honest, so Beverly Hills 90210 was my best friend from childhood, her mother's favorite show. So we would watch with her. You could not pay me to tell you what I saw, to recall the episodes. I just remember that my friend's mom really loved Luke Perry's character a lot. And she loved Tori Spelling's character, I believe. Beyond that, there's not much I can say. I think you and I are a little younger than a lot of those shows so I never saw this shows in that genre, like Melrose Place or Party of Five. Did you?
No. Well, no, I didn't. I didn't watch Beverly Hills 90210 or Melrose Place. I remember when they did a new Melrose Place in 2009. And I feel like I saw one or two episodes, but I didn't really know how it was connected to the other series.
Fair. So let's get into what goes down in this first episode. We tune in on the cast going to Vegas for some kind of Con for show reunions. It kind of looked like when Parks and Rec cast went to Paley Center and did their reunion.
Yeah, they're doing a panel. They have props and costumes from the original series. And it's just a way for longtime fans to see where the cast is now.
And the panel does a good job offering more insight into where their lives are. So Tori gets questions about her finances. Jennie gets questions about her failed relationships. Ian gets questions about his partner or he brings her up rather. Shannen Doherty makes an appearance and they all look upset about it. She makes an appearance on the big screen. And Jason Priestley fields questions about being America's sweetheart. You can see some tension between him and Jennie because she sort of cough coughs at the audience asking him about being America's sweetheart. And Brian gets questions about La La Vasquez, who plays his wife. And when he asks the crowd, do you have any questions for me, everyone lowers their hands. It was interesting, though, because La La is supposed to be, in the universe of the show, like a pop star.
Yes, Shay, the pop star.
She seems like a Rihanna/Beyonce star.
Hottest artist of the year.
So why is she so... I don't know how to put this, number two to him?
Oh, I see what you're saying. Even though she is the more successful one, it's like his stint on Beverly Hills, 90210 puts him on a higher tier.
In their relationship. I don't think out in the world.
She acts like that. Yeah, this is how their dynamic is, not how the world sees them.
Because she was very supportive, which I guess you should be as a partner. But she also seemed... subservient is not the word, I think you nailed it, she just seemed to place him a little bit higher in regard.
Yeah, which maybe she's trying to boost his ego, downplay her own success to make him not feel inferior.
I hope Rihanna does not do this with any of her partners. I doubt it. Did you see that Rihanna is dating this billionaire dude and there are these paparazzi pictures of them fighting and her finger is up in his face. And I guess it means that she runs things.
Stand your ground.
You got to stand your ground. So how did you feel about these actors playing these, as they say, heightened versions of themselves? Because it felt like, especially Jennie and Tori, were just laying out all of the setbacks they've experienced for viewers to take in.
I feel like the cast was having fun with it and in particular, Jennie and Tori. I think at this point, they are open about their lives, because it's so public what has happened to them. They are on the team of the creators and executive producers for this series. So it's very intentional for them to just reveal everything and portray their lives like this. And I think they know gossip, rumors, things in tabloids get people's interest so why not just put that stuff in the show to keep people entertained? That's how I see it.
That's interesting. I feel like if I were to want a heightened version of a show with this cast, or whatever they're calling it. I keep using the word heightened because I think that was on the description.
Yes, that's how they describe it.
I would want it to be a little bit more raucous than it was.
Oh, you want more?
I felt awkward because it felt like we were... well, let me take a step back. For example, Tori Spelling really did come out broke from the show because her father, the creator of the show died. She thought she was going to get a nice chunk of his $500 million, I believe, estate. And she ended up getting like $2 million because of some disputes with her mother Candy Spelling and the distribution of the money. So because of that she turned to reality TV, she turned to real estate, she wrote books, she did whatever she could. And she dealt with a lot of financial hardships. I think she said at one point she had maybe an addiction to buying houses. Something that was very... sounded like a very expensive habit to keep up.
So because that this show almost felt like a muted version of what we know of her. Because we know that her reality shows have been in and out of cancellation. We know that her husband doesn't work that consistently. We know that she has 5011 kids, as Beyonce would say. So I just want like a more fun version of it because I honestly felt awkward.
Yeah, I guess they were trying to strike that balance between the truth and...
They struck the truth.
And kind of sticking to that. They could have made their ideal selves or a more fun version of themselves. But I think they want us to really see this as a what if story for this cast. Like what if they really did come back together to create a reboot? And this is kind of what it would be like.
I'm also not sure where the demand is because 90210... that sounds harsh, 90210, the reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210 ran for like five seasons. So we've done this storyline twice now. And hopefully with Shannen Doherty appearing more as we go on, so she was teased in this first episode a little bit, but I believe she'll appear more as they go into the season, maybe then it'll become more heightened. But I feel like they almost would have been just as well off with a reality show. And I know that there would be a strong market of people who loved Beverly Hills, 90210 who would enjoy tuning into that reality show. Because apparently the premiere of this show did well ratings wise.
it's still an iconic franchise.
It just wasn't that good. So the people are interested in them. They just need to deliver either quality product or themselves.
True. I guess they're on that reboot hype, you know, with Fuller House, One Day at a Time, even the Spider-Man movie franchise rebooted and is on its third iteration.
Can we take a quick moment to understand that because I've never seen Spider-Man except for the Tom Holland ones.
You never saw the first one, Tobey Maguire?
I saw 70 minutes of it and then the plane landed. And I never felt compelled to go back and finish it. That's the extent. So how is Spider-Man... Tobey Maguire and then Andrew Garfield, right?
And then Tom Holland. Does he die?
No, actually, none of them have died.
Oh, so they just kind of go away? This is not all within the same universe, right?
Correct, it's the new universe. So you had Tobey Maguire... Fun fact, I still have at my parents, the VHS for that first Spider-Man movie from like, 2001. He did his three movies. They took a break. Sony was like, okay, we did a trilogy. Everyone just does trilogies nowadays, like The Matrix. And then they were like, you know what, we can make some more money because Marvel starting to make a lot of money with their movies so let's bring in Andrew Garfield. He got his two movies. I think they were actually planning a third one. But at that time, Marvel was like, you know what Sony, we want Spider Man back. And Sony was like, ph, you guys make a lot of money, working with you will make us a lot of money. But then Marvel was like, we don't want to work off of what you have done, we want to make our own Spider-Man.
We off that, we want some new stuff.
Yeah, we don't want to just take what you've done. We got to start fresh with our ideas. And so you have Tom Holland Spider-Man.
You know, he's my favorite.
I think he's the best, I agree.
He's my favorite between him and that 70 minutes I saw. And his movies are of my favorites of the Marvel movies.
Oh, you like him that much?
He's so charming. And what I love about his movies, and I know this is going to make me sound whatever is that there's just not a lot of profanity. There's not a lot of like blood. The women aren't like incredibly sexualized, it helps that they're in high school. So you just have like a kid discovering his powers and having fun and saving the world. So it just feels fun. And I don't at any point get frustrated with like other things. They're just like fun bright movies. I really really loved the sequel. I love this, the first one. It's good.
You like that he's a friendly neighborhood superhero.
Yeah. When he kept saying, you know, I'm just a Spider-Man from Queens, I was like, exactly.
He's been the space. Mitu, my name is Tori and I need a story.
Well, lucky for you and our listeners, this episode is brought to you by Audible, where you can find Tori Spelling books like sTORI TELLING, Mommywood and more, among other celebrity memoirs.
Awesome. Just go to audibletrial.com/thepilotpod. You'll get a free 30 day trial membership, be able to browse their unmatched selection of audio programs, celebrity tells or not, and pick a title to download free and start listening.
Again that's audibletrial.com/thepilotpod. Happy listening.
And now back to our show. So going back to the plot of this episode, what did you think of them kind of having this forced bonding moment where Tori stole a dress that her character was in the show, and then they all kind of ran away together and run the plane having this very sappy conversation / inserting the most awkward tribute to Luke Perry in like two lines ever?
Again, I thought it could have been more absurd so that it would be fun to watch. Because chaos does bond people. For example, think of the friends that you've made in really terrible classes. Or when you're in line at a coffee shop, and someone a couple people ahead of you is just going berserk. And so you turn to the person behind and you're like what's going on over here. And then y'all instantly bond for a second over... you know, common enemies bond us. Any demagogue will tell you that. So the issue with that moment is I thought it just wasn't chaotic enough, because it just escalated quickly, but not highly enough for me. And then the tribute to Luke Perry was, I don't know... I don't know what would be a classy way to do it but that felt a little bit tacky.
And to be fair listeners, there were two tributes like that actors said a line and then at the very end, they did a video clip.
Yes. And maybe they should have just done the clip of him on his show. Because her just saying I love all of you Jason, Jennie, Shannen, Luke and then the meaningful pause. And then she goes, we won't be around here forever. It just felt a little bit disingenuous. And she could have really meant it but I just think the way it was done felt a little bit tacky. And the we won't be around forever also felt a little bit tacky because he died so suddenly that it's not as though they're in their 70s and could drop at any second. They're all fairly young and healthy. Luke Perry just had, you know, like a freak medical thing.
Yeah, it felt very forced.
Yes, like this whole show.
Yes. And I agree, I think they should have just stuck with the video clip at the end. It seemed like they felt obligated to write something into the script for the cast to say when I don't think I would have been offended or thought it was odd if they just didn't say anything.
And just had something at the end.
Even that clip at the end, just that clip and then maybe 'in loving memory of.' Done! So obviously this show is careening toward a show within a show of them seeking to do a Beverly Hills 90210 reboot within the universe of this parody reality show.
Not complicated at all.
I have no idea the words that just came out of my mouth. Honestly, that was a series of letters jumbled together. But Shannen Doherty said that what drove her to do this reboot/heightened parody show was Luke Perry's death. So maybe that did motivate them to come together a bit. But still...
I can see that like, maybe his death made them all think back on this time when they were all together, and they kind of wanted to come together again. Why they chose to do it this way? I'm not sure. I think we should just get into our ratings because we're already hinting at our feelings of this series.
All right, Beej. What would you rate BH90210 aka Beverly Hills, 90210 the reboot reboot?
I personally I don't like the name.
It feels awkward saying BH90210.
I can't tell if we're supposed to say Beverly Hills 90210 but Ttey just can't write it out because of maybe trademark or copyright things.
I don't know. I would rate this series would not watch again only because I have no history with Beverly Hills. 90210. And out of this cast, I think the only ones whose careers I've come across somewhat regularly are Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth. So I don't have much of an attachment to any of the cast members that would compel me to keep watching.
I agree. I wouldn't watch again. I don't think that this reboot was that well done. I would suggest though, that if you were a huge fan of the show, and its original run, you may want to give it a couple more episodes because that's when Shannen Doherty comes through, and maybe that means they'll turn things up a notch. But based on this first episode, I just wasn't impressed. I wanted either a lot more drama, and they can just go off the edge with it or make it better quality so I'm more invested.
Yeah, the heightened version of reality was a strange choice and the level to which they heightened it was either not enough or they should have just made it reality, like you were saying earlier.
If you want a better version of a show that does that heightened celebrity thing, then watch Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 because James Van Der Beek plays a version of himself on that show that is so funny.
That was an excellent show that got cancelled too soon.
Too soon. I wish I had watched it in its original run. I'm part of the problem.
Oh, I did watch it. I supported it through Hulu.
I recently watched it and I wish I had more of it to watch. So that's our review. Just watch Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23. Let's see if we can reboot that. Beej, where can people find more episodes of our show?
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai