January 9, 2009

Dr. Pepper is Trying to Take Over the World

Source: lalist.com

And it's starting with the new 90210.

I've heard of product placement, but sheesh. Isn't it a bad sign when you're more concerned with counting how many different Dr. Pepper signs are around than actually keeping up with what's going on with the show?

Anyhow . . . it's obvious that Dr. Pepper is a 90210 sponsor - - obviously their largest sponsor. Is it written in the contract that gratuitous scenes of Dr. Pepper signs and slogans must be shown in each and every episode? And if so, is 90210 required to show a certain number of signs?

Case in point: last episode. Dixon is working at the outdoor bar of the "new and improved" Peach Pit. (Where the hell is Nat?) Cheerleader Christina shows up, places a to-go order and in this brief scene, I note that each and every outside table has a Dr. Pepper placard on it; the outdoor bar is covered with them; the glasses on the outdoor bar are imprinted with Dr. Pepper slogans; there is a huge Dr. Pepper sign behind the outdoor bar; and the drink machine not only has a Dr. Pepper slogan on it, but two of the fountain drinks offered are Dr. Pepper.

When I lived in Southern California, I don't remember Dr. Pepper running so rampantly through the streets. Don't get me wrong - - I love Dr. Pepper but maybe "overkill" is something that needs to be explained to TPTB over on 90210.

So let's talk 90210 for a moment. There were no new episodes from about Thanksgiving until now. Talk was that the show was being overhauled and new scripts were being written by the honchos over at the successful Gossip Girl. If the newest episode was any indication of what's to come, color me disappointed. Where are the changes? The characters are still being given 2-3 minute scenes and plotlines are being conceived and then wrapped up so quickly, it's difficult to keep track. We were introduced to Sean, supposedly Harry and Tracy's biological son that was given up 20-so years ago right before the break. Now everyone knew that this Sean wasn't the real Sean, between his acting totally skittish, the fact that Harry accepted him into his home without a single iota of proof (like a paternity test) and the fact that Sean didn't inherit Tracy's wild bug eyes. So we come back from break to find out that Naomi has become best buds with her supposed long lost brother (another sign that this can't possibly be Sean), Tracy and Harry are about to fork over $200,000 to their "beloved son" for alleged gambling debts run up by Sean's adopted father and goody-goody Annie and mom Debbie are getting a bad vibe from Sean. Instead of the show investing in these potential storylines - - marital problems between Debbie and Harry because Debbie isn't invested in Sean, problems between Harry and Annie because Annie doesn't like or trust Sean, possibly romantic feelings developing between alleged brother and sister Sean and Naomi - - the show has Annie going all undercover like and finding out that Sean has been contacting the PI Tracy hired on a daily basis. When confronted, Sean agrees to a paternity test but then blows town (after taking $200K from Tracy). Whhhhaaaaattt? Bad enough that annoyingly perky Annie had to be the one to blow Sean's cover - - would have been much more gratifying and storyline-potential-ing for either Dixon as "the other son" to have done it, or Debbie as Harry's wife - - but why not wait until Sean had been involved more with the family? Why not have Sean appear to be Sean so the shock of him not being Sean would have actually been a shock?

And WTH happened to Brenda and Kelly? Kelly has gone right back to her St. Kelly days of the original show where she is condescending and can do no wrong. And Brenda . . . instead of breaking out the bitch lurking underneath, which she surely would have done back in the good old days, she merely hangs her head and apologizes?

So we find out that Adriana is pregnant (no surprise) and that Brenda supposedly cannot have children but she wants them. Show, please! Can't we have a single female character who is childless but okay with that? And what's with Adriana having an AIDS scare, but finding out in the same show she's not HIV positive but she is pregnant? Slow down!

I am getting dangerously close to canceling my TiVo on this show. Make fun of the original Beverly Hills 90210 all you want, but at least they understood character development. And they didn't attempt to throw two years' worth of storylines at the audience all in the first couple of months.

Note to producers: Kelly and Brenda are seeming more and more every week like stunt casting. If you wrote them into the show, use them properly. Give them something to do, besides Kelly preaching and Brenda groveling. Shannen Doherty and Jennie Garth can be phenomenal together. Bring back Nat. He is the heart and soul of the Peach Pit. Put some chemistry into Dixon and Silver, or break them up. Annie is boring and completely unrelatable. Overhaul her or ship her off. Naomi is overwritten or over the top. Tone the actress down and eliminate as many crying scenes with her as possible - - she's a freakishly ugly crier. Feature Adriana more. Don't make Tabitha a recurring character - - she is comedy gold and one of the few reasons to watch this mess. Bring back as many of the original Beverly Hills 90210 characters as possible - - and give them valid reasons for being there. Have Brandon visit town. I've heard Donna is returning - - where is David? And how about Steve? What about making Steve's mother Samantha Sanders know Tabitha? As they are both actresses, wouldn't they have met at some point, or at least know each other? And what about Jackie? Can't we follow up with her and her falling off the wagon?

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