We didn't receive a copy of the pilot of the CW's re-boot of 90210. In fact, as you may have heard, not one press outlet has received copies. It's tempting to see this as the television equivalent of a film not being screened for critics - the show must be so mind-bogglingly terrible that the CW wants to stave off bad press until after viewers have been able to see the show for themselves. And perhaps that's true. We see it a different way, though: this is a network in its death throes attempting a different sort of marketing, one that invites viewers to a train wreck: "You know it's going to be hilariously bad. Don't you want to see something like that?" Certainly some of the admiration for the original show must stem from the guilty pleasure thing, so why not try to continue that tradition?
Either way, we're all talking about the show a lot more than we normally would have been. And with the CW not doing well against the other four networks, they can use the help. As has been observed, 90210 is a tough sell: the older folks who liked the show back in the 90s aren't going to want to see what teen soaps have devolved into; even Jennie Garth and Shannon Doherty who are on the show bristled at some of the content. But are the teens tuning in going to care about the adult drama? Do the names "Jennie Garth" or "Shannon Doherty" mean anything to your average 11th grader? Who knows. We just know we'll be watching. Why? Because of the presence of Tristan Wilds, who played Michael, one of the season four kids on The Wire (we won't spoil season five, since people are still getting caught up.) We're intrigued to see how his post-Wire career shapes up; hopefully he'll find parts worthy of his talent. And also, Jessica Walters, who we know best as Lucille Bluth, the abusive alcoholic matron from Arrested Development. Per the show's Wikipedia page, it seems like her character on this show is very similar to the one she played on AD, only her awfulness is played dramatically instead of for laughs. At least that's the idea.
Or is it? We'll find out tonight.