For those of us who tuned in each week to watch the spoiled brat-a-tat, trendy styling and saucy sexploits of Beverly Hills 90210 from the beginning (18 years ago! ), the premiere of the new version last night wasn’t an exercise in nostalgia, it was a two-hour dive into a mid-life crisis.

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As a former member of the I Hate Brenda fan club (Remember Ben Is Dead creator’s Darby Romeo’s newsletter?), and someone who still has The Cramps Halloween episode and the rave/”euphoria” episode on VHS somewhere, you could say we were a pretty hardcore fan of the show. Yeah it was pure Velveeta most of the time, but it had a charm and even at its most risqué, an innocence that made it appealing. We actually got to like those rich bitches.

The teens on last night’s show on the other hand, felt like total caricatures, hollow human clothes hangers with smart mouths and bad judgment (Even Gossip Girl’s gals have more soul).

Maybe we should be too mature to care, but the guys have no magnetism or mojo whatsoever (we’re hoping the Dylan McKay type on the show has yet to appear), the girls are model-ish blah (she’s a bad actress but lead mean girl AnnaLynn McCord at least had fire on Nip/Tuck). And the parents? They’re supposed to be close to our age, but we’ve never met such stodgy squares in our life (even former bad girl Kelly Taylor is a bore). If this is how late 30-somethings are supposed to act, just lay out the grave plot now. Gawd.

The best thing about the show for fans of the original? The references to it of course. Kelly’s punkish blogger sis “Silver” is the baby her mom had with David Silver’s dad (hence the name), Nat from the Peach Pit (now more of a coffeehouse, and by the way filmed at Kokomo Cafe on Beverly Blvd) is back, and of course there’s Shannen Doherty, on a limited show run doing something with the theatre dept, though we suspect the theatrics will stay on stage- the character has definitely mellowed. She hasn’t aged as well as Jennie Garth, but she’s working a laid-back boho artsy thing we like. Who woulda thunk Brenda would be earthiest, least pretentious character on B.H. ?

Other notes/curiosities: Cobrasnake and Cory Kennedy name-checked and scoring cameos? Really? The token hot nerdy teacher guy looks the same age as the students, especially McCord who looks about 30 (but then so did Andrea Zuckerman!). And the grandma character has all the coolest/cattiest lines! Now excuse us while we go look for some Geritol…

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