Here's how BH90210 connects to the original Beverly Hills, 90210 series. The gang from West Beverly High, including Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, and Jennie Garth, are back 19 years after the classic 90210 was canceled but their reunion is decidedly unusual. Beverly Hills, 90210 had already been rebooted in 2008 on The CW, which several of the original cast appeared in on camera as well as behind the scenes. The new series ignores that 90210 reboot, yet it also doesn't continue the story of the original series either.
Rather, the actors (who are also executive producers) took a bizarre route for BH90210: they are now playing heightened and fictionalized versions of themselves and the drama is drawn from their real lives and relationships, both with each other and with the 1990s hit TV series that made them famous. In BH90210, Jason Priestley is a TV director coping with anger issues, Jennie Garth is bitter from her third failed marriage, Ian Ziering hawks his own fitness and lifestyle brand, Gabrielle Carteris is a grandmother, Brian Austin Green is a stay-at-home dad with a much more famous wife, and Tori Spelling is desperate for money after her reality show was canceled. While Garth and Spelling are close, the others don't much care for each other, yet they all grudgingly reunite at the 30th-anniversary convention of Beverly Hills, 90210 in Las Vegas.
For better or worse, Beverly Hills, 90210 still looms over their lives and BH90210 references the original series in multiple ways. The first episode, "The Reunion", opens with a dream sequence that teases the kind of series many fans thought BH90210 would be: it opens in the Peach Pit, now owned by husband and wife Brandon Walsh and Kelly Taylor. David Silver and Donna Martin, also still a couple, arrive together and immediately turn on Color Me Badd's "All 4 Love" on the jukebox, referencing when the 90s pop group guest-starred on 90210. Andrea Zuckerman and Steve Sanders are next to arrive and try to "trade an egg" with Kelly, winking at a famous 90210 season 2 episode. David then suddenly remembers that he promised to order Brenda Walsh a burger, prompting Donna to ask, "I thought she was in London", which references how Shannen Doherty's character was written out of the original series.
BH90210 gets even more meta when the gang is reunited in Las Vegas. Their Beverly Hills, 90210 reunion panel gets awkward when a fan asks Green about his famous wife, the hip hop star Shay (La La Anthony), and Garth finds out from another fan that her third husband has filed for divorce. They're all then upstaged by the surprise appearance of Shannen Doherty, who is beamed in live via satellite and reveals her new life as an advocate for rescuing endangered animals. Doherty's unwelcome insertion into the panel nods to the friction between her and the rest of the cast which led to Shannen being the first original 90210 lead actor to exit the series.
After the gang decides to get drunk to recover from their humiliating panel, Spelling pursues her lingering crush on Green, who she says took her virginity in real life just like David did to Donna on 90210. Green also asks why Spelling has no money when her late father Aaron Spelling was the multimillionaire producer of Beverly Hills, 90210 (Spelling later tells Priestley she told her dad to cast him). Meanwhile, after Priestley invites Garth to join her at the bar - by patting a stool twice like the famous clap from the 90210 theme music - the two sleep together and immediately regret it. Garth resents Priestley for being "America's golden boy" who can get away with anything; considering how Brandon and Kelly were arguably Beverly Hills, 90210's most popular couple, it's jarring to see Priestley and Garth profess to dislike each other "in real life".
Finally, Spelling steals a dress that she wore in an episode of 90210 from the convention and the gang escapes from Vegas aboard Green's private plane, only to be arrested once they arrive in LA. But this plants the seed that the answer to all of their troubles might just be all of them starring in a reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, which will become their goal in this new series. Of course, the late Luke Perry is solemnly referenced and "The Reunion" ends with a dedication to the late actor, who was beloved by the cast. It's unclear how Perry would have fit into BH90210's strange meta-reality but his presence is definitely missed by the actors and by the fans.
BH90210 airs Wednesdays @ 9pm on FOX.