’90210′ Premiere: How Does It Compare To The Old Bev?

A new “Beverly Hills, 90210″? Well, that seems a stretch for what I saw last night. Yes, seeing that famous Beverly Hills High sign was comforting and watching a 6,256-year-old Nat make coffee at the Peach Pit felt familiar, but one of the first scenes is Ethan (who surfs but is not nearly as hot as Dylan McKay) receiving oral sex outside of school. Dylan would never do that! What’s incredible to me is that even though the old series would never insinuate such activities, it still seemed more exciting, daring and juicy than the new “90210.” With the exception of “Gossip Girl” and “The Hills,” it seems that shows about young adults that try desperately to keep up with the times generally fall short.

I’m certainly not saying that I’ve given up on the new series — in fact, I’m excited about it. Brenda in town for a month to help with the play? Brandon is in Belize? (Of course he is.) And Kelly is totally going to have an affair with the principal — how rude! In full disclosure, I’ve been reunited with my childhood crush as well — Lori Loughlin a.k.a. Aunt Becky from “Full House” — not to mention my all-time favorite actress, Jessica Walter, who was brilliant and true to form. Another highlight was Hannah Zuckerman-Vasquez, about whom sexy teacher and lacrosse coach Mr. Matthews commented, “Wait, is that girl 30?!” — a fantastic and hilarious reference to Gabrielle Carteris’ character on the old series, Andrea Zuckerman.

What I could do without so far:
» The frighteningly jarring new opening and theme song, which was preceded and followed by Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” and MGMT’s “Time to Pretend, respectively.
» All of those celeb mentions. I mean, we get it — they’re in Beverly Hills.
» Putting Brenda Walsh in less than half the episode — what a tease!

Perhaps I need to let go of the original Bev, but I’m not ready to yet. Until then, I’ll be watching the new series for sporadic references to the old characters and trying desperately to resist comparing everyone to Dylan McKay, because, well, that’s just depressing.