Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ten Statements About....MELROSE PLACE (2009)

1) Starting the series with the murder of Laura Leighton's Sydney is actually a pretty clever conceit--it's a macabre way of 'passing the torch' from the original cast to the new one, and the flashbacks assure us that Sydney is still a part of the story...unless, of course, Syd's going to pull a Kimberley somewhere down the line.

2) That being said...Sydney looks mightily well-preserved for someone who is portrayed as a long-term drug abuser.

3) 'Inspired by the screenplay by Darren Star'? What the fuck does that even <i>mean</i>?
Lady, I know Heather Locklear...and you are no Heather

4) Someone needs to sit Katie Cassidy down and explain that she needs to make her Ella into something other than a slavish impersonation of Heather Locklear's Amanda. Because, you know, no one is Heather Locklear. Except Heather Locklear.

5) It's really weird how Slavkin and Swimmer seems to have taken all the personality traits of the original cast and tossed them all up into the end, mixing-and-matching them to come up with their new cast. It's like 'let's take the caring sensitivity of Matt, the naivete of Allison and the earnestness of Jo for Dr. Lauren Yung (who is played by the Asian actress with the most un-Asian name of all time). Right now they seem to be more a collection of quirks rather than actual, you know, characters?

6) Perhaps the truest statement ever said by a person about herself: Ashlee Simpson, playing the Jane stand-in, calling herself a CHUD (My theory has always been that Mr. Simpson went to the pound to get a puppy for Jessica, and accidentally picked up Ashlee)

7) There is a decidedly strange sense of deja vu when both Lauren's and Riley's storylines unfold--as I swore they were derived almost whole from storylines done with Jo and Allison in the original series.

8) Yes, the original series was a forerunner in using pop music to comment on the storylines...but that pilot goes to the well one too many times, and frequently uses the wrong song. I mean, okay, we understand that Lauren's in deep financial trouble, but...Lily Allen's 'The Fear'? Do you even know what that song is about, Slavkin and Swimmer?

9) I know that it's now de riguer for a series to forgo a title sequence--but damnit, not having a title sequence like the original series, with the cast and the pictures scrolling by, is wrong...especially given how generic all the younger actors are.

"Why yes, there's a press clipping in my attic where the photo
looks really, really haggard and old...why do you ask?"
10) With all the problems I had with it...I still marked out when the camera dollied in on the apartment complex's pool in imitation of the original's establishing shot, and again when my favorite character from the original series, Dr. Michael Mancini (apparently played by the Dorian-Grey-like Thomas Calabro) drove up.

Overall...I have a sinking feeling about this version of one of my favorite shows...but this is only the pilot, so I will give it a few more episodes. But I suspect I shan't be watching much longer than that.

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