TIMESLOTTuesdays @ 9pm on CW.
SYNOPSISIn an elegant Spanish-style apartment building in the trendy Melrose neighborhood of Los Angeles, a diverse group of 20-somethings have formed a close-knit surrogate family. Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton, the original "Melrose Place") is the landlady, still beautiful at 40, and a central figure in the lives of all her tenants, especially handsome and rebellious David Breck (Shaun Sipos, "Shark"). Sydney started an affair with David despite her turbulent history with his estranged father, Dr. Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro, the original "Melrose Place"). Both father and son learned through experience that Sydney was not above using blackmail to control people. Another tenant, high-powered publicist Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy, "Supernatural"), once considered Sydney her mentor, but their friendship was destroyed by betrayal, and Sydney threatened to evict Ella and ruin her career. Sydney also played a pivotal role in the career of Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield, "All My Children"). After they met at an AA meeting, she became Auggie's sponsor and encouraged his dream to become a chef. Now a successful sous chef at the trendy restaurant Coal, Auggie has been avoiding Sydney since she began drinking again. The other tenants include Lauren Yung (Stephanie Jacobsen, "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles"), a medical student in desperate need of money to pay her student loans, and Jonah Miller (Michael Rady, "Swingtown"), an aspiring filmmaker who has just proposed to his live-in girlfriend Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas, "Cloverfield"), a first-grade teacher. The newest tenant, 18-year-old Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, "7th Heaven"), has just arrived in LA with her own secret connection to Sydney. When a bloody body is found floating in the courtyard pool, David is the leading suspect. However, as the police are soon to discover, almost everyone living at Melrose Place had a reason to want the deceased out of the way. An updated version of the popular 1990s series, MELROSE PLACE is from CBS Television Studios with executive producers Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer ("Smallville"). Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth") is the director and executive producer of the pilot.
IMAGE GALLERY & VIDEO PREIVEWS
REVIEWSPlease note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
|Gordon McDougall's Take|
|I never watched the original Melrose, so I'll be reviewing this as a completely new viewer. (Incidentally, I never watched the original 90210, but I enjoy the new one.)
Even though I never saw the original, I can already tell Ella is going to be the new Heather Locklear character. She's played by Katie Cassidy (Supernatural and, yes, David's daughter). Like the original, she's one of many young, beautiful people living in the infamous apartment complex.
The big connection to the original series is Laura Leighton, who's back as Sydney. Yes, she DID die in the original series, but that is quickly explained away in a flashback. She's now the landlady of Melrose Place. She plays a pivotal role in the lives of everyone in Melrose Place, which becomes all-too-apparent as a murder hits in the first few minutes of the show. It appears we will be watching everyone's secrets unravel as the season progresses. Along the way, issues to be explored--aside from murder--are money troubles, prostitution, bisexuality, ambition, jealousy and the ever-present betrayal. Sounds like fun!
Some of the acting is hit and miss (I was especially unimpressed by the newly-engage couple, Jonah and Riley), but in a show such as this, which is meant to be good old-fashioned soapy fun, some actors can evolve nicely in a large, ensemble cast such as this.
TV Gord's Verdict: This show didn't "grab" me the way 90210 did last year. With the promise of more visits from original Melrosers, I think plenty of the original fans will be back and will stick around. Whether the new, younger characters will catch on with younger viewers as much as the younger 90210 cast has, I'm not convinced...yet.
|About Gordon McDougall|
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com