check for (1). and while they waited til the last five minutes, check for (2). also: i did not know the actual episode title was “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore” until today. I AM JUST SO GOOD WITH OBVIOUS PUNS.
there were WAY too many characters and WAY too much time spent with New Brenda a.k.a. Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes, who was on the Degrassi reboot). Annie was nauseatingly enthusiastic about everything and had far too much energy for something the size of an iPhone. It was too much for much when she joined the chorus of Spring Awakening (thanks “Silver”!) and went ballistimus singing and scrunching her face around. but her overacting was nothing compared to Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) — the uber popular girl who has a nasty streak, more Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls than any of the original Nine-Ohers.
This girl is supposed to be 15 having her super sweet 16 b-day party (at a club serving alcohol). The actor is 21 and looks it. But whatevs. I accepted Andrea Zuckerman as a high school student. I will accept this girl. A lot happened to Naomi in this one ep and AnnaLynne did not let the opportunity for an OTT facial expression to escape. Her face whilst dancing with Ethan (a.k.a. New Dylan) having just discovered he cheated on her: GOLD. Her face when she sees the totally boring, lame, not-interesting but absolutely devastating “Silver” “blog” about her: PLATINUM.
The most awesomemest part of all: taking Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development and plunking her down in 90210. Why the frak not? She’s grandma to the New Walshs (the Wilsons), she’s absurdly rich, she’s drunk all the time, she’s devious and she’s the funniest. that is “iced tea” in her hand. i hope they let her be completely mental for the rest of the series.
So the New Brenda and New Dylan plotline kicked off: Annie and Ethan totally made out three summers ago; is he still the guy she liked back then?; what happened to the Pentapus?; does she really like new flashy PrivateJetMusicalTheatre Dude?; is he really over Naomi and his cheating ways? Time will tell, people. I’m more concerned with the budding romance between brother Dixon and sister Annie. In this one ep alone, they flirted poolside, confided to each other whilst lying on her bed staring into each other’s eyes, and um other stuff I can’t remember but it was decidedly flirty. I think they are secretly holding on to the “he’s adopted so even tho we’ve been living as bro and sis for 8 years, it’s not weird if we hook up” argument. not a valid argument, kids. I miss Real Brenda and Real Brandon and their decidedly bro/sis dynamic.
SPEAKING of. Other best part: Kelly + Brenda + “The Pit” a.k.a. New Peach Pit + Nat (who I mistakenly called “Nate” twice; thanks Gossip Girl) + references to Brandon in Belize = GLORIOUS. Shannen’s teeth were a bit…creeepy but otherwise gold stars all round. Kelly has a son named Sammy and she talks on the phone to the dad briefly. but then Sammy is like “mummy i can’t sleep” and kelly’s like “a tickle attack will surely calm you down and make you sleepy.” parenting fail.
but the real question is: Why did she name her son Sammy? no. silly. the actual real question is: Who is the baby daddy? Brandon?? Dylan?? Jake from Melrose Place??? Way to suck in the old-timey viewers, writers. I bet they have no idea who the dad is and are just waiting to see what actor they can get back on the show. so…Steve Sanders, it is.
There was tons of other stuff going on too: Kelly’s blossoming romance with the English teacher, a secret lovechild for New Jim Walsh, Dixon trying to shake off the rep as “principal’s son” (yawn), a visit to a porn set to borrow some pigs for an interschool prank (no, it’s not a Beverly v. West Beverly thing, sadly), a revenge fool-around, a druggie actress girl who steals and lies and is mere episodes away from a major breakdown, plagiarism, a blowjob in the parking lot, and the daughter of Kelly’s mom and David’s dad, little Erin Silver all grown up and striving to be this show’s Gossip Girl. All in one episode. That’s like a season’s worth of plotlines.
Previews for the next ep feature the always embarassing Jackie Taylor returning, as unfit a mother as ever. Did she learn nothing from the Mother-Daughter Fashion Show?
Overall: C+. Loads of room for improvement but enough awesomeness and good-badness that i will keep watching. At least til Shannen’s 4 episodes are up.
P.S. I FORGOT THE BEST PART. So New Brenda sees Mean Girl Naomi’s tattoo (lower back, Chinese symbol, naturally) while in line at the cafeteria. THEN! she sees Silver’s 100% identical tattoo a day or so later. (They have already, in approx. two days, become best friends then enemies then friends again.) What! Matching tattoos! Only besties do that. Silver confides in New Brenda that back in the 8th grade when Silver and Naomi were BFFs, she told her how her mom was totally an alcoholic and made her swear not to tell anyone. But Naomi is a LIFE RUINER (to quote Mean Girls) and totally tells everyone. And the two girls have been enemies ever since.
Right. So. When did they get the tattoos? When they were 12. Genius.