Last night, the much-hyped Melrose Place reboot finally dropped, and it was exactly the kind of pilot we’ve come to know (and secretly love) from The CW.
Ten minutes into the episode, dirty money and clunky exposition were flying everywhere (“Jonah, you are a hugely talented film-maker, and I’m not just saying that because I’m your publicist, manager and agent!”), Sydney (yes, from the original) was dead in the pool, and Top 40 hits were raining down over dialogue like NOW! That’s What I Call Music at an apre-teen slumber party.
Apparently the first five episodes of the new Melrose Place are going to be a blend of character introductions, whodunit flashbacks and a lot of superfluous sex.
So, you know, pretty much the same as the old Melrose.
However, unlike the slow-moving original series, last night’s episode was a Blitzkrieg of plot points, thanks in large part the Josh Schwartz School of Rapid-Fire Camp. (See: The O.C. and Gossip Girl.) Primetime soaps have come a long way since the ’90s!
Melrose devoted plenty of get-to-know-you screen time to Kate Cassidy‘s bisexual publicist Ella in the pilot. Cassidy told reporters at theTCA press conference that Ella wasn’t bisexual as much as she was “try-sexual.” As in, try anything once — as was exposited by Jonah (the hugely talented film-maker!) after she expressed an interest in a hot chick at a birthday party.
Jonah: See, I don’t get you, Ella. First that guy Cole and then that couple at the farmer’s market. Don’t you just want to meet someone and settle down and fall in love?
Ella: You can love someone without declaring yourself exclusive for the rest of your life. Hey, I love love! I just hate monogamy.
There’s some truth to that, but in this episode it’s also code for “she’s got the hots for the newly-engaged Jonah.”
The other thing you need to know about Ella is that Sydney was about to evict her for being a rat fink. That, kids, means that Ella had motive for murder. (Dun! Dun! Dun!)
Oh, and also, Ella really is into hooking up with women.
She likes it so much, in fact, that CW is casting a girlfriend for her.
Last night we also met Riley (Jessica Lucas), a cutesy first grade teacher who is engaged to Jonah (the Hugely Talented Filmmaker!); Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen ), a medical student who prostituted herself out to a Clark Kent-lookalike to cover her tuition; and Violet (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz), an obviously Machiavellian skulker who called herself a “good girl” twice in ten minutes (while participating in said skulking.).
The general feeling I get from the new Melrose is titillation, and I already get that (and better acting) from Gossip Girl. Will I continue to tune in? I guess that depends on whether or not CW casts that recurring girlfriend role for Ella.
On a related note, Melrose‘s sister, 90210, didn’t have much to offer in sapphic studies last night, but we’re keeping our eyes open and we’ll let you know when there’s something to see.
Did any of you catch Melrose Place last night? What did you think?