90210dvdStudio: Paramount
Year: 2008
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Run time: 960 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Disc Spec: 6 DVD
Region: 1

An edgy, contemporary spin-off of the iconic drama Beverly Hills, 90210, the new 90210 looks at life through the eyes of Annie Wilson and her brother Dixon, whose first day at West Beverly Hills High School leaves no doubt they’re not in Kansas anymore.

This show was destined to disappoint, it really was. It had the pressure of a struggling network (the CW) doubling-down and gambling with it, and the challenge of appealing to 90210’s original fan base and a new generation of viewers. Under the direction of brilliant, but misguided Sachs and Judah, the show was okay, but struggled to find its footing early on, and was quite uneven.

It wasn’t long before other people were brought in including Rebecca Rand Kirshner who now essentially helms the show and future seasons. It went from being almost a joke (a remake, with guest stars, really??? how original) to being what I think is the best teen show on TV. Unlike Gossip Girl, which had an awfully written and executed second season, this show didn’t have to one-up itself. Instead, it created very three-dimensional and accessible characters and gave them plot lines both insanely cheer-worthy, and seriously and properly melodramatic.

The heart of this franchise is character — not plot, and not concept. Sure, the central players live in a posh neighborhood, but the catch is supposed to be that deep down, it doesn’t prevent them from experiencing the same fundamental struggles as anyone else. That’s the core element that I consider to be lacking right now, because that was what made the numbers in the title famous to begin with.

Overall, though, I can’t claim to have been thrilled with this first season. I thought it started out well, but began to decline with each passing episode.
Movie Quality: 7/10

Special Features

  • “A Day in the Life of Ryan Eggold”
  • “Fitting In: The Fashion of 90210”
  • “The Music of 90210,” “Codes of Behavior”
  • “Set Tours: The Mansion – The Peach Pit – West Beverly High”
  • “The Revival of a Classic: Making 90210”
  • Audio Commentaries

Special Features: 8/10

Final Thoughts

While the 2008 version of ‘90210’ is nowhere near as good as the original from earlier in my teenage years, it’s entertaining. I did not find the characters to be as captivating, but I do have hopes for season two to turn things around. If you enjoyed the first season of the new ‘90210’ than you will not be disappointed with this DVD release.
Overall Rating: 8/10