Re­united ‘BH90210’ cast strad­dles fact and fic­tion in Fox’s new take

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Most of the fa­mil­iar faces of “Bev­erly Hills, 90210” are back to­gether, but not in the “90210” you may re­mem­ber.

The no­tion of a series re­vival – which that show ac­tu­ally has had al­ready – gets turned on its head as the fran­chise re­turns to Fox with “BH90210,” pre­mier­ing Wed­nes­day, Aug. 7. Orig­i­nal stars and close friends Jen­nie Garth and Tori Spell­ing helped de­vise the con­cept of what might hap­pen if the cast at­tempted to bring back “90210,” so they play fic­tion­al­ized ver­sions of them­selves ... as do Ja­son Pri­est­ley, Shan­nen Doherty, Ian Zier­ing, Gabrielle Car­teris and Brian Austin Green.

Garth reprised her Kelly Tay­lor role in The CW’s 2008-13 “90210” reboot, and she says mak­ing “BH90210” has been “a crazy jour­ney and evo­lu­tion, but we’ve man­aged to keep ev­ery­body go­ing in the same di­rec­tion, which is in­cred­i­ble to me. I wasn’t in­trigued about do­ing some­thing that had al­ready been done, but this is some­thing that’s a lit­tle fresh, mar­ry­ing dif­fer­ent things into the best of all pos­si­ble worlds.”

Pri­est­ley, who’s given a wife other than his real-life one in the show (a pub­li­cist played by Vanessa Lachey), ad­mits he thought “BH90210” was “the cra­zi­est idea I’d ever heard” at first. “Then we all started sit­ting around and re­ally talk­ing se­ri­ously about it, and I think what we all came to is some­thing re­ally orig­i­nal that peo­ple will find en­ter­tain­ing.”

The late Luke Perry might have ap­peared on “BH90210” had his “Riverdale” sched­ule en­abled it. “It’s not easy,” Garth al­lows of mak­ing the new show with­out him. “His pic­ture is up in the makeup trailer, and he’s in my thoughts. I can’t ex­plain it, but he’s with me and with the show on a level that is un­de­ni­able.” Adds Pri­est­ley, “Luke was a big part of my life and of our ‘90210’ fam­ily, and his ab­sence leaves a big va­cancy. And we all feel it, ev­ery day.”

For Garth, “BH90210” holds to her be­ing ad­mit­tedly choosy about what she does pro­fes­sion­ally and who she does it with: “I don’t re­ally like work­ing, and I’m very se­lec­tive about who I spend my time with when I have to be away from my fam­ily. Tori and I re­al­ized we wanted to work to­gether again and pro­duce to­gether, so we set out on a mis­sion, and this is our sec­ond foray into that world (af­ter the short-lived sit­com ‘Mys­tery Girls’).”

The ap­peal of see­ing “a bunch of mid­dle-aged ac­tors who aren’t the young­sters they were on their hit show in the ‘90s” is noted by Pri­est­ley, who also has di­rected the third “BH90210” episode. “And let’s make it a (pseudo-)re­al­ity show, and let’s make it funny. That’s what we de­cided to do.”

The se­quel series “BH90210” pre­mieres Wed­nes­day on Fox.

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