My 90210pinions: To New Beginnings!

Well named episode, writers of 90210. “To New Beginnings!” marked a (yup) new beginning for the series, in my estimation; there was something inherently more watchable about this episode than any of the awkwardly not-cool episodes that came before it last season.

The clothes were noticeably less awful, the Beverly Hills Beach Club was a major setting (as soon as they said, “cabana” I swooned), and there was considerably less Annie screen time! What untold joys!

We start with all the kids wrapping up summer school, punishment for getting caught drinking at Naomi’s party. ‘Cause you know when the LAPD finds teenagers drinking, they sentence everyone at the party to summer school.

Naomi (even though I think she’s ludicrous, she just might be my favorite) is seeing an older man and Adrianna is “done with drama — on camera and off.” (that means no sex.) The three girls make fun of an OLD person (played by the actress who was the lady detective from season 1 of Angel; she was born in 1973 — the horror) and they celebrate just being regular super-hot super-rich designer-bikini clad teenagers.

Why is this less awful than last season? Less Annie! Just as that realization dawned on me, she’s back. (For some reason the not-Walsh family moved out of the mansion? To make them more relatable? I dunno.) Annie’s SUPER grumpy because she maybe-killed a guy.

Moving along — enter new hot tennis guy. Naomi shamelessly flirts with him (some line about playing with balls. sigh.) and then her face contorts (win!) when she finds out that he used to date Adrianna. (this means Naomi can’t sleep with him. see: rules of girlfriends.)

There are a whole bunch of boring conversations: Annie & Dixon fight, the older married man and Naomi talk about their non-relationship, Naomi tells Annie to stay the hell away from her (she thinks Annie slept with Liam, but she so didn’t). Distraught, Annie gets totally loaded and hooks up with a senior. In a CABANA. I wonder if this will end badly.

Party at the Beach Club! Remember before things got really tragic at Scott’s birthday party on the original 90210, and the gang was all dancing in the living room? And it was super fun? Right. So the cast of new 90210 tried on a little choreography. Good lord — do not make this people dance ever again. Ever again.

Ruh roh: ex-boyfriend tennis guy (“Teddy”) and Adrianna do some sexy dancing to “their song,” while her boyfriend watches on, still a sad virgin. Don’t worry, Virgin Boyfriend, Silver is about to interrupt with this gem: “Hey Teddy. Thanks a lot. You just ruined my. whole. life.”

It’s not even worth explaining why; she’s over it by the next scene.

The return to West Bev! The triad of girls greet with a face-press hug. Is this the new thing? I am going to try to face-press hug my friends and see how it goes. It’s certainly the best way to ensure that no girl loses a second of screen time with her face turned away from the camera for an old-fashioned hug.

Big reveal: Naomi is so desperate for a new man because she’s not over Liam. Her friends had NO idea. Why didn’t she tell them? Sigh. Even I knew that and I don’t even know who this Liam person is. Oh, no wait, there he is — he’s brooding by the lockers. Naomi makes a face and stalks off.

Cut to some B-boy dancing in the parking lot — those suckers have nothing on David Silver. (You’re so precious to me.) Naomi’s totally awful first day back at school gets turned right around when she snags a cell phone pic (Blair Waldorf style) from that nasty senior who Annie maybe-slept with. A photo of the principal’s daughter naked! That means Annie will be tormented in future episodes! And no one knows her dark secret! (Except maybe the Teddy guy? I didn’t follow that bit.) This could get fun to watch!

Because there weren’t enough long loving shots of Silver, Naomi, and Adrianna (who is super pretty, let’s be honest, in a Megan Fox–ish way), the episode ends with a slow-mo Mean Girls “the hallway is my catwalk” shot. And even though that sounds super lame, it totally works.

Overall: B-.

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