Melrose Place (2009)

Steamy '90s soap update still a grown-up guilty pleasure.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Not surprisingly for a steamy nighttime soap, there's lots of plotting and manipulation, not to mention crime. Characters are shown making lots of bad choices, ranging from drinking too much and stealing to engaging in illicit affairs, etc.

Positive role models

Every character seems to have a "dark side," and they're all willing to compromise what ideals they may started out with. Plenty of iffy behavior, from lying to boyfriend stealing to outright murder. Some characters are wealthy, while others are struggling for money (and resort to desperate ways to get it). Not a lot of diversity among the cast.


Murder is a running theme in the show; images of a bloody dead body and bloody clothes are visible.


Plenty of steamy sexual content, ranging from people wearing sexy outfits and string bikinis to couples kissing, groping each other (over their clothes), and taking their clothes on and off (but no sensitive body parts are shown). One character is bisexual; women are shown kissing.


Audible language includes words like “hell" and "bitch."


Many of the characters wear expensive clothing brands, like Prada. Some also drive expensive high-end cars like Mercedes-Benz. References to Twitter.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Plenty of drinking (wine, champagne, cocktails, mixed drinks), in both public and private settings. Alcohol, prescription pill, and cocaine addiction are discussed. Some of the characters are recovering addicts, and Alcoholics Anonymous is sometimes mentioned.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this update of the popular 1990s primetime soap is even edgier than its predecessor. Themes include adultery, murder, addiction, and prostitution -- just to name a few. There's lots of sexual content (groping, couples in bed, same-sex kissing) and drinking, and characters frequently talk about alcohol/drug addiction. Many of the characters are wealthy and drive expensive cars and high-end clothing labels, so expect product placement from the likes of Mercedes and Prada.

What's the story?

An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE features plenty of the steamy drama that's become synonymous with the trendy West Hollywood apartment complex. A new generation of twentysomethings now resides at 4616 Melrose -- including handsome but troubled David Breck (Shaun Sipos), high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy), sous chef Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield), struggling med student Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen), aspiring filmmaker Jonah Miller (Michael Rady), his girlfriend Riley Richond (Jessica Lucas), and new arrival Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz). Alson along for the ride are former tenant/current landlord Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) and David’s father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro). Life is never dull as each character reveals her/his dark past and future ambitions amid the chaos of romance, illicit relationships, revenge, and murder that makes up their daily lives.

Is it any good?


This edgy series has everything that made the original show (in)famous, including an interesting group of characters and intertwining storylines. The rebooted series also incorporates original plotlines, which bring together former and current cast members. Trendy clothes, expensive cars, and endless cocktail-filled evenings also add to the "fun."

But while the show is definitely a guilty pleasure for those enough old enough to handle it, the content is too mature for young viewers. Bottom line? It won't disappoint original MP fans and is likely to create a whole new Melrose generation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's "shock" value. Is it meant to be over the top? Does it go too far? How do you draw the boundaries?

  • What would the real-life consequences of the behavior on this show -- drinking too much, casual sex -- be?

  • What's the difference between an updated TV show and a remake? Is it possible to successfully remake or update a show that was not popular back in its day? Can you think of any examples?

TV details

Cast:Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Colin Egglesfield, Katie Cassidy
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Melrose Place (2009) was written by

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  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written by90210fan February 4, 2011
age 13+

for teens

Love it not for. Kids for teens and adults the show shows lots of consequences
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bygreenactress September 19, 2009
age 13+


I don't know what the other person is talking about, i love this show. Yes it's not for younger veiwers, no one under 13 i'd say, but it's very good. There is violence and sexual stuff and drinking/drugs but its still a very good show!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byPhilly30 September 19, 2009
age 14+
Kids will love it just like we did when we were younger. Definitely seems more edgier than the original. I can still remember all of the Melrose & 90210 parties. Alot of fun!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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