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Arts and Entertainment

Morning After Report: 90210 Episode 7 'Hollywood Forever'

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...in which the students of West Beverly Hills High (and their parents and teachers) have the most fun participating in an anachronistic recreational activity since "Bowling!"

Things must have gotten a little kicky in the writers' room the day the creative brain trust behind last night's shiny new ep of 90210 got together and realized they were going to have to pen an entire show using only new characters. That's right, Kelly Taylor has taken a two-week leave to haul her tow-headed bastard to Wyoming to potentially reconvene with the Almighty Dylan McKay, Brenda Walsh is through with philanthropic musical directing and may or may not be hanging out with her brother Brandon in another zip code, Nat is probably trying to figure out how to make a low-carb sugar-free peach pie, and Jackie Taylor is, well, let's face it, drunk.

Somehow the team behind "Hollywood Forever" ignored the giant stenciled lettering on the hallway wall of West Bev screaming "CREATIVITY" and took us right off the bat to territory we first grew to love in the era of Saved By the Bell as we learn the students must pair up and pretend to be married with a baby for some sort of health class. The contemporary "Vote no on Prop 8" twist? One couple is same sex! Yawn. Don't drop the baby, kids. Or, like, leave the baby in a corner. Because you'll fail. And the writers will get to make a bad joke. (Oops, too much foreshadowing? My bad.)

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We also are treated to a new character, only this one is edgier and mouthier and sassier than any other rich bitch in the school, and she apparently doesn't give two hoots about talking back to the semi-hot teacher, or interrupting his fascinating lecture on Orwell's 1984 which begins with the intriguing and prescient observation: "Who needs Big Brother when you have Facebook?" Indeed.

Of course, we do have to hurry up and figure out how to get everyone on the payroll to the same location, so Silver gets to throw herself a "half birthday" party. (Can we pause to do a little math here? Erin "call me Silver" Silver was born in July 1992, which means she just turned 16...3 months ago. Whoopsies!) And, nothing says fun in Los Angeles like a classic movie screened on the wall of a mausoleum where you can picnic, right? Who cares if the Cinespia screenings at Hollywood Forever end in September, right? You're all invited! You, and you, and, your teacher, and your parents...Pass the Dr. Pepper and let's keep this train wreck rolling!

Meanwhile, Naomi and Adrianna, looking like two cocktail waitresses on break from the swing shift at the Rio, meet up to have a little chat, inasmuch as a self-absorbed girl with a facial twitch and a drug addict can chat. Adrianna busts out the drug addict's friend, Visine, and the two proceed to teach us some Algebra, West Bev style: Pinkberry + Shopping + Bagging on Parents = GOOD TIMES. Oh, could life be so simple again?

No, silly. It's mad complicated. Because Naomi's bug-eyed mother wants to hire a PI to find the kid she and Principal Wilson gave up for adoption 22 years ago, and Mrs. Wilson (seriously, does Lori Loughlin's character have a name? Or a stage direction besides "Look concerned"?) isn't thrilled but will put up with it. Meanwhile, we are reminded that Grandma Wilson is a bit of a whore. Oh, I'm sorry, she's just "letting her freak flag fly." You go, Grandma.

After school is busy for kids in West Bev, because they have to do things like stop by the Peach Pit to be a bitch for no reason (Naomi), snort coke out of a fake lipstick tube (Adrianna), paint the living room of the house they're housesitting for two weeks black as if it's no biggie (Silver), and audition for a teen horror movie (Annie and Adrianna). Who has time for Algebra?

Certainly not Adrianna, who ditches Naomi and froyo BFF time for her new pal, cocaine. She has discovered a whole new algebra, wherein: you + coke = talented actress + bad BFF. Uh oh. Dixon and Silver discover that life is more fun when you borrow old storylines, so Dixon falls asleep at Silver's solo pad and blows curfew much like Brenda did at Dylan's craftsman bungalow while watching a movie for a class assignment back in the day. Parents still don't like their kids to get home late, but grandmothers don't seem to mind--they just want the "deets" and that goddamned fake baby to stop crying.

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Wait, where's the baby, Annie? Oh... you left her. In the corner. Bad, Annie! Some writer gets to use the line they have been waiting since 1987 to use now, and the gem is handed to Mrs. Wilson like a Milk Bone for largely irrelevant television actresses in their 40s: "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."

Ba dum dum.

We can't dwell on this colossally painful moment, though, because we aren't even half way through (I'm not kidding). Naomi's mom has to lose all sense of self and kiss Principal Wilson, Silver has to invite the semi-hot English teacher to her half one quarter birthday party, and the semi-hot English teacher has to subtly reference his sad and lonely plight by signing on to an online dating service while allegedly monitoring a lunchtime detention session populated by two freaks and the really obnoxious new girl, Kim. Naomi has to confront Adrianna about loving drugs more than her and for ditching her last night, which left her hanging out with Adrianna's scary mom, who had balls enough to tell Naomi that she prefers her hair straight (couldn't agree more, fake Dina Lohan!). And there couldn't be a better time for Naomi to take the fake lipstick tube full of blow away from Adrianna, because THE COPS ARE COMING TO RAID WBHHS!

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In a world without search warrants and probable cause, lockers are tossed and eyes are widened as the LAPD haul a baggie full of pot and the scruffy kid it belongs to out of the school, and Naomi wigs the eff out and makes a run for the ladies' room with the fake lipstick tube full of blow. She then proceeds to fling the contents down the toilet, but the no-nonsense ladycop follows her into the can, barks "what are you doing?" and somehow Naomi gets led out of West Bev in handcuffs, and it's not for a fashion violation. O. M. G.

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So Naomi takes the rap for Adrianna's nasty habit and makes it all the way to booking and home without ever getting the good sense to tell the truth. Adrianna shows up at Naomi's house (after either crying a lot or picking up a practical joke pair of binoculars with red-painted rims) and promises to tell the truth and take a room at Promises, but give her an hour so she can come clean to her mother. Too bad her mother decided to throw the saddest two-person party ever at that exact moment, and, you know that whole "economic downturn" thing? Well, she thinks it's a fine time to tell her teenaged daughter that all that's basically her fault, too, because fake Dina Lohan was going to lose the house if Adrianna hadn't landed that role in the slasher movie. Looks like Adrianna is about to go Amy Winehouse and opt for "No, no, no" instead of "Go, go, go." Sorry, Naomi, them's the breaks.

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Everyone else, of course, is at Hollywood Forever for a screening of Psycho. The semi-hot English teacher managed to hook up a skank same-day to be his date, but the joke's on him because she has cotton candy for brains and is best known to the viewing public as "the herpes lady" in a national commercial. How embarrassing! More embarrassing than hanging out with your high school students at a cemetery for an event that doesn't happen in October for a half-birthday that's three months too early. The herpes lady does remind us that this is a show about education, as she offers up her LA Times' breed of local geography: "LA is the capital of Hollywood!" That's right, honey.

And Annie and her pretend husband sometimes crush Ethan are the kind of people who talk all the way through a movie.

And--holy Nancy Drew, Batman!--the new girl is an undercover investigator of some sort!

And Mrs. No Name Wilson has a Cindy Walsh moment and whines about missing home (pictured above).

And Naomi's facial twitch turns out to mean she is expressing anguish.

And Adrianna is "dead to [Naomi]" because she isn't picking up her phone and Naomi is left facing the blame for Adrianna's cocaine.

But Adrianna might be dead to all of us.

O. M. G.

90210 airs Tuesdays at 8 on the CW

Get caught up: Episodes 1 & 2; Episode 3; Episode 4; Episode 5; Episode 6; or go retro.
Show stills from 90210 Insiders' Episode Gallery