When we first heard the news that Lifetime was producing an “unauthorized” TV movie about ’90s teen show Beverly Hills, 90210 and smutty adult drama Melrose Place, we have to admit we were excited.
But now that Lifetime has released their first cast photos, our hopes have been dashed a little bit. (Following in the footsteps of previous specials on the channel, such as the Saved By the Bell TV movie, their casting leaves much to be desired.) While some characters’ appearances are acceptable (check out Andrea in her finest frumpy floral shirt), others miss the mark entirely (who is that poor substitute for Dylan?).
We’ve broken down their castings below, and do the ol’ compare-and-contrast. Just to refresh your memory, here is the original 90210 cast:
“Brandon” – Max Lloyd-Jones
The star of such hits as The Sandlot 2 and something called Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?, Lloyd-Jones doesn’t hold a candle to the OG Brandon, played by Canadian boy Jason Priestley. And let’s face it, no one can do the Brandon Walsh mini-pompadour like Priestley. It seems like the Lifetime version of 90210 is also completely ignoring Brandon’s brief feathery mullet phase upon moving to Cali.
“Brenda” – Samantha Munro
Canada, represent! Munro, a resident of Courtice, Ontario, and a Degrassi alum, gets the plum role of Brenda. Unfortunately, original Brenda (Shannen Doherty) is the ultimate and pretty much impossible to match. Also, there’s something very down-home about Munro; she’s missing that essential bitch element – at least at first glance – that Brenda needs to actually be Brenda.
“Kelly” – Abbie Cobb
Cobb actually appeared in seven episodes of the “new” 90210 in 2011-12, so she’s at least a veteran on some level. In terms of similarities to the original actress, Jennie Garth, Lifetime has some success –the hair/bangs are spot-on, and Kelly’s almost ghostly white skin (which made no sense at all, since Kelly was often tanning) is matched with Cobb’s. We’ll have to wait and see if she can embody that entitled Beverly Hills rich kid attitude (and please let them recreate these shining moments).
“Dylan” – Jesy McKinney
Sorry, no. Original Dylan, played perfectly by Luke Perry, was an absolute god to both girls and guys in the ’90s. To quote Peaches, the boys wanna be him and the girls wanna do him. This McKinney fellow ranks at about a “2” on the hot scale, and looks like he’d be more at home playing an Elvis impersonator. Big fail here, Lifetime. (Maybe reconsider and bring back Perry? After all, he was 24 when he started on the series…way out of his teens.)
“Steve” – David Lennon
Well, they nailed the hair on this one. Lennon’s tight blond curls are reminiscent of Ian Zeiring‘s white-boy fro. But again, where is that bad-boy, rich-kid sneer? Steve was never a nice guy until later on. This guy simply does not look like a jerk.
“David” – Ross Linton
Aside from Dylan’s casting, David’s is the second-worst. This guy Linton looks nothing like Brian Austin Green, who started off awkward and gangly before growing into his face and body. Linton is more catalogue model than a dork trying to fit in with the cooler kids. Even that earring does nothing to bring him close to BAG. Who can forget the dancing?
“Donna” – Abby Ross
We’ll say it here: it’s pretty tough to match Tori Spelling (the original Donna). No one really has that “look,” by which we mean her father Aaron Spelling (the creator of 90210) in a wig. Harsh? Maybe. But that’s all part of Donna’s appeal, and this Ross actress is far too stunning to convincingly play the role of goody-two-shoes/misfit. Donna Martin graduates! (Sorry, had to.)
“Andrea” – Michele Goyns
OK, so they got this one. Perhaps the dowdy clothing has sold us, but Goyns is probably the best casting choice of the bunch. The original Andrea (played by Gabrielle Carteris) is/was mousy, and one of her main features was those damn glasses. Luckily, huge glasses are in style now, so it all works out. Let’s just relive this shocking glasses-less moment:
Despite our state of upset over these bizarre casting choices, you know we’re still gonna watch.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story debuts on Oct. 3 on Lifetime.