Confession time: I’ll be watching the spin-off of Beverly Hills 90210 when it debuts on The CW on Sept. 2.
The original show debuted while I was high school, and like the rest of my friends, I tuned in regularly to watch the trials and tribulations of Minnesota teens Brandon and Brenda Walsh as they tried to fit in with the lifestyles of the rich and famous in sunny California.
But this time, it’s not the teenagers I’m interested in — it’s the moms! (Wow, I feel old just writing that.)
Here’s a rundown of the women in regular and recurring roles on the spin-off — now called simply 90210 — including one actress who hasn’t been announced anywhere else yet, but who will be very familiar to AfterEllen.com readers.
Lori Loughlin (Summerland, Full House, Secret Admirer)
Character: Debbie Wilson
Mother to: Annie Wilson (Shenae Grimes), an aspiring actress, who wants to fit in with the cool crowd; and Dixon Wilson (Tristan Wilds), a smart bad boy with behavioral issues.
Description: Married to Harry Wilson, Debbie was an Olympic athlete but is now working as a personal trainer and is considered the "cool" mom. The spin-off revolves around her family.
Why I like her: I developed a crush on Lori Loughlin in high school because she wore a tie in the cheesy teen ’80s movie Secret Admirer (aka The Letter). (Yet I still didn’t know I was gay! Some people are denser than others.) I even watched Summerland (2004-05), just because she was on it. Both seasons! Yes, I’m getting help.
Jennie Garth (the original 90210, What I Like About You)
Character: Kelly Taylor
Mother to: Unnamed 4-year-old
Currently: West Beverly guidance counselor
Why I like her: It’s Kelly Taylor! My affection for poor little rich girl Kelly in the original 90210 was cemented when a lesbian with whom she survived a fire confessed to having a crush on her, and Kelly didn’t freak out. (That’s what passed for a positive lesbian story line back then.) My feelings for her waned over the years, however, as she was saddled with various sad-sack story lines (like the endless coke addiction one), but even at her worst, Kelly Taylor always had layers — or at least, what amounted to layers for the ’90s. She was also arguably the least annoying female character of the original cast (Brenda was always complaining, Andrea Zuckerman was boring most of the time, and Donna was just, well, Donna.)
Christina Moore (Mad TV, That ’70s Show)
Character: Tracy Bennett
Mother to: Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord), a spoiled and attractive rich kid.
Description: A promiscuous Beverly Hills MILF.
Why I like her: Eh, not sure if I do yet.
Jessica Walter (Arrested Development)
Character: Tabitha Wilson
Mother to: Debbie Wilson (Lori Loughlin)
Description: Alcoholic matriarch who was a famous actress in the ’70s
Why I like her: Lucille lives!
And now for the exclusive casting news!
Mother to: Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes), a theater star who develops a serious drug addiction.
Description: An overbearing former actress and stage mom whose constant pressure drives her daughter to do drugs.
Why I like her: It’s Paula on steroids! Maeve tells us she makes her first appearance in the fifth episode, and as we all know from SoN, she can play a mom from hell like nobody’s business. I hope poor Adrianna isn’t planning to come out as a lesbian!
Read details about 90210‘s premise and characters on the show’s Wikipedia page, and also check out casting suggestions for a lesbian version of the show in the blog post 9021-Lesbo. As we get closer to the premiere date, we’ll do a rundown of the teen girls on 90210, but I’m already wondering how they can possibly compete with Serena and Blair on Gossip Girl.