If the dulcet tones of the Beverly Hills, 90210 theme song inexplicably reminds you of the scent of jelly shoes and CK1, then some small part of you is probably looking forward to the series' sixth attempt at a reboot, even against your better judgement. Sure, The CW's 90210 — which tried to hook younger millennials from 2008-2013 — left a lot to be desired. But with a tight six-episode season, a super meta premise, and the original gang coming back together to form the BH90210 reboot cast, it's hard not to get excited about the next installment.
BH90210 takes a decidedly different turn from previous attempts at a reboot (which include 1992's Melrose Place, 1994's Models Inc., the aforementioned 90210, and a 2009 Melrose Place reboot). Instead, BH90210 features the original cast playing heightened versions of themselves trying to pitch a network to get a Beverly Hills, 90210 reboot made. Told you it was meta. The first three episodes are titled "The Reunion," "The Pitch," and "The Photo Shoot," to give you a sense of how they plan to shape the narrative.
Tori Spelling explained the concept in a February interview with E! thusly: "Think Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, in an hour long show, and we're all playing heightened versions, so it could be fictional, it could be non-fictional, people will have to guess."
Here's who you can expect to return.
Gabrielle Carteris, who played Andrea Zuckerman in the original, returns to BH90210 as herself. Andrea was best known for cautiously waiting until after high school to have sex, only to get pregnant her very first time. This coincided with Carteris actually getting pregnant in real life, opening up an avenue for the series to discuss teen pregnancy. She left the show after Season 5, but returned for cameo appearances in subsequent seasons. Andrea's daughter Hannah returned as a high school-aged character on 90210.
Shannen Doherty, who played Brenda Walsh in both the original and The CW reboot, returns to BH90210 to play herself. The Walsh twins' move from Minnesota to Beverly Hills was the inciting action which set the series in motion back in 1990, but Doherty quickly became notorious for her involvement in cast conflicts. She left the show after five seasons, going on to star in Charmed. Her reputation for being "difficult" will probably generate some fun fodder within the concept of BH90210, since all the actors are playing themselves.
Jennie Garth, who played Kelly Taylor, also returns to the reboot, playing up her own life as "a woman in her ‘40s in a multiple-marriage situation, dealing with teenage girls, dealing with Hollywood, being in the limelight again and facing all those fears that were there when she was a young girl," she told Entertainment Weekly.
"It’s sort of tapping into a lot of my, um, therapy I guess," she joked. "I’ve been studying this character for years!"
Brian Austin Green
Brian Austin Green played Donna's romantic interest David Silver, and on BH90210, he returns playing a version of himself as a stay-at-home dad. The real Green is, of course, married to Megan Fox, with whom he has three children. So on BH90210, La La Anthony steps in to play his fictional wife in a storyline that mimics his real relationship, according to Deadline. Anthony's character is a major hip-hop/pop artist and the family breadwinner, while Green is their kids' primary caretaker.
Jason Priestly returns as the actor who played Brandon Walsh, now turned TV director. Priestly directs in real life, but his heightened character differs from him in every other way, he told Entertainment Weekly.
Tori Spelling had one of the more vivid tabloid lives of the cast when the show was first on the air. Her father Aaron Spelling was a prolific teen soap producer in the 1990s, including on Beverly Hills, 90210. Casting his own daughter to play Donna Martin sparked claims of nepotism, owing to Tori's less-than-critically-acclaimed acting skills. But in this reboot context, she should be a fun character to watch.
Ian Ziering, who played Steve Sanders, went on to make a comfortable career for himself getting stunt cast in the Sharknado franchise. But he returns to BH90210 on a serious note. Ziering was one of the actors closest to Luke Perry, who played the impossibly dreamy Dylan McKay, and was in talks to be involved in the reboot until his unexpected death on Mar. 4. Ziering said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that although it was "challenging" and "very difficult," the show was committed to paying Perry tribute. "We will find a way to do it right," he assured.
If you're dying to know what the Peach Pit might look like if it was swarmed with Instagram influencers, BH90210 premieres Wednesday, Aug. 7 on Fox.