BH90210 cleverly mirrors Beverly Hills 90210 but also intriguingly upends fans' expectations, thanks to how well the actors understand their characters. The reboot of the classic 1990s FOX drama stars Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, and Brian Austin Green. Not only do they play heightened versions of themselves in the series but, in real life, BH90210 was created by Garth and Spelling and the actors are also producers in charge of their characters and storylines. This has led to numerous surprising twists for fans of the original Beverly Hills 90210.
BH90210 weirdly operates on several meta-levels simultaneously: the original Beverly Hills 90210 actors are playing fictionalized versions of themselves but they're also hyper-aware of their 90210 alter egos, and the nostalgia-steeped revival series indulges in dream sequences continuing the story of 90210 - but, confusingly, these dream sequences are different from the plot of the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot the actors are trying to launch on FOX. Meanwhile, actors like Gabrielle Carteris are blazing new ground where she realizes she is interested in women and sleeps with FOX executive Christine Elise (who played Emily Valentine on 90210); this, in turn, homages how Carteris' character Andrea Zuckerman felt like an outsider to the West Beverly Gang and did her own thing, like be the first to get married and have a baby on 90210.
Even BH90210's pilot was a trip because it had most of the actors disliking each other when they joined up for the Beverly Hills 90210 30th anniversary in Las Vegas. But, by the BH90210 season 1 finale, the West Beverly Gang have left their animosities behind and have bonded once again so that they triumphantly appear on stage together at the FOX Upfronts. If BH90210 season 2 happens, there are plenty of storylines to continue, but here's how BH90210 smartly referenced and toyed with fans' nostalgia for the original series.
Tori Spelling & Brian Austin Green's Happiness
BH90210 has made it canon that David Silver and Donna Martin have the series' best relationship - and it's certainly the longest-lasting. David and Donna started dating in Beverly Hills 90210 season 2 and, though they were on-again/off-again during the original show's 10-season run, they finally got married in the series finale. BH90210 establishes that David and Donna have been happily married for the past 20 years - an ideal that the actors who play them are struggling to live up to.
BH90210's Tori Spelling and Brian Austin Green are toying with fans' (and their own) perceptions of Donna and David in a very savvy way while also nodding at their real-life relationships. In BH90210's "real world", Tori Spelling is a reality star married to unemployed ex-hockey player Nate (Ivan Sergei) while David is married to hip-hop icon Shay (La La Anthony); in the actual real world, Spelling is married to actor Dean McDermott, and they are indeed reality show veterans, while Green is married to Megan Fox. Green's marriage to Shay in BH90210 melds David Silver's hip-hop ambitions with his reality of having a more famous wife, while Spelling is outright spoofing herself. And yet, fans want to see Spelling and Green together just like David and Donna and so do the actors - the question is will "real-life" reflect art in BH90210 season 2?
Shannen Doherty's Possible Exit Mirrors Brenda Walsh's
Shannen Doherty may not return if there's a BH90210 season 2 and this perfectly reflects the actresses departure from Beverly Hills 90210. Doherty was the last of the original West Beverly Gang to sign on for the revival series and she originally opted out - it was only because of Luke Perry's death that Doherty changed her mind. Fascinatingly, BH90210's New Age savior of endangered animals version of Shannen Doherty is the polar opposite of the actress in the early 1990s, whose reputation was being a temperamental troublemaker who couldn't get along with her fellow cast members, especially Jennie Garth.
In real life, the actors seem to have buried the hatchet but Doherty may still depart the reboot and BH90210 has dropped some clues that this will happen: In the BH90210 season 1 finale, Doherty dreamed she was Brenda Walsh complaining about when she left Beverly Hills to move to London and become an actress, which is how Brenda was written off the series at the end of 90210 season 4. In addition, the cliffhanger ending revealed that one of the actors will be cut from the 90210 reboot due to budget issues, which could mean Doherty is on the outs since BH90210 also established that Shannen is the highest paid of the BH90210 actors (just like she purportedly was on the original series). However, Christine Elise, in her role as FOX executive, also claimed that "there's no reboot without Shannen!" so that could mean Doherty will indeed stick around. Fans will just have to wait and see if there's a BH90210 season 2.
Jason Priestley & Jennie Garth's Weird Relationship
Jennie Garth acts like she hates Jason Priestley and the way BH90210 addresses how fans perceive the relationship between Brandon Walsh and Kelly Taylor - and what they want from Garth and Priestley in the reboot series' faux-reality - is incredibly jarring. When they started dating in Beverly Hills 90210 season 4, Brandon and Kelly were a popular couple that brought together the golden boy and girl of 90210 - and it worked. Brandon's earnestness brought out the best in Kelly, who tended to struggle to be her best self thanks to the numerous crazy things that happened to Kelly, but they didn't stay together in the series. However, in BH90210's canon, Kelly and Brandon did eventually marry and he took over ownership of the Peach Pit from Nat (Joe E. Tata).
Meanwhile, Jennie Garth treats Jason Priestley with constant hostility, which Priestley tacitly accepts, even after they slept together in the BH90210 pilot episode. Garth started dating her bodyguard Wyatt (Brendan Penny) to give her a love interest and stall Priestley while Jason dealt with his failing marriage to Camille (Vanessa Lachey), which he eventually ended. Still, Tori Spelling correctly called out Jennie Garth about "despising" Jason, and BH90210's season 1 finale established that Priestley uniquely understands Garth, teasing a romance. Since the actors control their storylines, Garth and Priestley are definitely keyed into how fans want them to be together like Brandon and Kelly are, and they're taking a slow burn approach to pay off fans' hopes.
Ian Ziering Learns He's Basically Steve Sanders
Ian Ziering's BH90210 storyline is one of the reboot's best and the actor smartly plays into his perceived similarities to his character Steve Sanders. Despite his good heart, Steve was known for his massive ego and his poor decision-making, which leads to Ziering dressing down his alter ego and advising him to cut off his mullet and never wear half-shirts in a BH90210 dream sequence. BH90210's version of Ian Ziering saw him deal with the end of his marriage and being thrown back into the dating scene - where the actor-turned-lifestyle coach quickly discovered that he's a dinosaur in the #MeToo era, just like Steve Sanders would be.
Ziering doesn't understand why today's women no longer welcome his compliments, which come off as smarmy and unconsciously sexist. Still, Ziering is a decent guy and when he helped out Anna (Natalie Sharp), BH90210's new writer, she liked him and started dating him. But Anna's "NSA: No Strings Attached" policy when it comes to actors rankles Ziering, who simply wants a new wife and to start a family. Ziering then sleeps with Denise Richards at the FOX Upfronts, only to discover Anna is Denise's daughter! This is a perfect mess that Steve Sanders would get himself into, which shows how well Ziering understands his 90210 alter ego. Whether sleeping with mother and daughter will blow up in his face and if Ian Ziering can escape the patterns of being like Steve Sanders are some of the most intriguing storylines for BH90210 season 2 to explore.