As far as reboots go, the much-hyped and much-anticipated BH90210 premiered Wednesday night and if you had no idea what to expect, then you may have been disappointed. Because this was not a case of seeing the Peach Pit gang back together again but, rather, “heightened versions” of the actors themselves.
The big question on every fan’s mind was how the reboot was going to tackle the tragic death of Luke Perry. In May, cast members and the new series’ co-creators Jennie Garth and Tori Spelling revealed that Perry was going to be involved in the series in some capacity, and would’ve balanced it with his other show, Riverdale, and Luke was “into it.” But that all changed when he passed away in March and everyone involved with BH90210 knew they had to do Luke justice. And that they did.
Wednesday’s premiere paid tribute to the actor a few times, first about halfway through the episode when Gabrielle Carteris commented on how excited she was that the gang was “all here,” to which Jason Priestley responded, “I wish that were true.” Later in the episode, while on Brian Austin Green’s private jet (courtesy of his on-screen wife, played by La La Anthony, not Megan Fox), Spelling got emotional and reminded the gang that they are all family, something for which she is thankful. “We’re not going to all be here forever, but we made something that will be.”
Priestley raised his champagne glass and said, “To Luke,” and they all toasted their fallen friend. But it was the final shot that got every fan right in the feels. On the TV was the premiere of the original Beverly Hills, 90210, and the scene Jennie and Tori were watching showed Dylan and Brandon in Dylan’s Porsche at the beach. “Welcome to paradise, man. Welcome to your dream come true,” Dylan told the newcomer from Minnesota before the screen read, “For our friend Luke Perry. 1966 – 2019.”
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In the episode, we get exaggerated takes on the stars’ lives, close enough to recognize similarities to their actual lives but far enough that viewers could acknowledge that no WAY could that have happened or be happening. It was definitely fictional, at least we hope so in the case of Ian Ziering. Though admittedly, Spelling’s on-screen life — with the slacker husband, abundance of children, reality show lifestyle and lack of money — felt a little too close to home.
And as Spelling struggled with what to do next to make ends meet, she got an epiphany from watching that scene featuring Priestley and Perry. “This is the time to do a reboot,” she told Garth, who wasn’t keen on the idea. But Tori was insistent, saying, “Maybe going back is just what we all need to go forward.” Maybe.
BH90210 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
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