A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this spin-off of '90s teen sensation Beverly Hills, 90210 is edgier than the original series -- but just as soapy and unrealistic. Along with over-the-top opulent lifestyles, rampant materialism, and constant relationship issues, it prominently features behavior like underage drinking, promiscuity, and substance abuse. There's also lots of strong sexual innuendo and iffy language ("bitch," "ass"). Themes like pornography, pregnancy, and other mature issues are also part of the plotlines.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Almost 20 years after Brenda and Brandon Walsh first arrived in Southern California in Beverly Hills, 90210, a new generation of Midwest transplants is following in their footsteps. The Wilson family -- teens Annie (Shenae Grimes) and Dixon Wilson (Tristan Wilds) and parents Harry (Rob Estes) and Debbie (Lori Loughlin) -- arrive from Kansas to move in with Harry's aging mother, boozy former actress Tabitha (Jessica Walter). Living in the trendy new ZIP code is both exciting and challenging for Annie and Dixon as they build friendships and gain enemies among their good-looking, privileged classmates at West Beverly High -- including spoiled Naomi Clark (AnnaLynne McCord), popular lacrosse player Ethan Ward (Dustin Milligan), aspiring journalist Navid Shirazi (Michael Steger), free-spirit Silver (Jessica Stroup), and the troubled Adrianna Tate-Duncan (Jessica Lowndes).
Is it any good?
While edgier than the original series, 90210 still features the signature soapy drama that made the original show famous. Adding to the drama is the temporary reintroduction of former characters like Silver's older sister Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) and visiting drama teacher Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty). And like the original, characters cope with the ups and downs of friendships, romance, and other, more sensitive issues, including addiction, divorce, and adoption.
While they receive some limited guidance from adults, these young folks seem to operate within their own private universe. The show’s over-the-top plotlines and idealistic images of posh teen lifestyles will also be attractive to teen viewers. The show’s references to original series in early episodes make watching the show a fun, nostalgic experience for older viewers, too. But, as in shows like Gossip Girl, a lot of 90210's material is edgy and unrealistic. Sure, it's a guilty pleasure, but it's not a guilt-free one.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages that this show sends to teens. Are these characters -- both teens and adults -- realistic? Do they face relatable issues and deal with them in believable ways? What would the real-life consequences of their behavior be?
Families can also discuss how this show compares to other teen soaps, as well as to the original series.
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