Teen drama Beverly Hills 90210 became iconic when it first aired in the '90s. It even inspired a rebooted version with a new cast called 90210 which aired from 2008-2013 — but it lacked the chemistry of the original cast. Now, the show is getting another reboot, but not in the way you might think. So, what is BH90210 about? Think of it as a show within a show.
Original Beverly Hills, 90210 stars Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth co-created the series with Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler, Spelling said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. There has been confusion about the concept but Shannen Doherty (Brenda Walsh) explained it in an interview with Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan during an appearance on Good Morning America. "It's like a revival set in a reboot," Doherty said. "So, it's sort of all of us playing supposedly heightened versions of ourselves deciding whether we're going to join Tori [Spelling] on her idea of doing a reboot." Spoiler alert — they do. So, the show is a mocumentary about a reboot.
Basically, they're going to make fun of themselves and serve fans Beverly Hills, 90210 nostalgia at the same time. Sign me up, especially because Garth told Hollywood Life they are going to pretend that the CW reboot "never happened." So that means Donna and David should still be married and all is right with the world. David Silver's portrayer Brian Austin Green didn't join the CW 90210 reboot, so his absence was explained away by claiming Donna and David got a divorce off-screen. This was so uncool because the Beverly Hills, 9210 finale ended with their wedding.
While the show ignores some fictional storylines from the reboot, it will be addressing Doherty and Garth's infamous behind-the scenes feud according to Entertainment Tonight.
“We were young and so stupid,” Garth said on an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Spelling to promote the show. Garth would only admit that one fight almost got physical, but the women were restrained. It's all in the past now, and "[Doherty is] such an integral part of the show and the history of [Beverly Hills, 90210]" Spelling told WWHL host Andy Cohen.
As for why they're including that part of their history on the show, Garth told Entertainment Tonight, "You know, you have to embrace everything, even the bad things." She continued, "So, I think we were all on board to look at people's perceptions of us and flip it and take the power back."
In the same GMA interview, Doherty said she had moved on as well, but she hadn't planned on joining BH90210 until Luke Perry died in March. Perry played Brenda's love interest Dylan McKay on screen and the two actors were great friends up until his death. "Luke passed away and [the show] came back around to me and I just felt like 'Wow we created so much together on [Beverly Hills, 90210]' — our characters and our relationship," she said. "It just felt like the right thing to do is to go back and do a show that I know meant so much to him."
Spelling and Garth also said on WWHL that Perry had planned to be a part of the meta-revival in "some capacity" and that there will be a tribute to him on the show.
It remains to be seen how the show will honor Perry — but it is overwhelmingly clear that his former castmates as well as TV audiences in general felt nothing but love for him. Though his absence will undoubtedly be felt, the rest of the revival sounds just campy enough to work. But will it?
BH90210 premieres on FOX Aug. 7 at 9 p.m. ET.