DVD Review: 90210 (The Fourth Season)



When the CW announced it would revive Beverly Hills, 90210, viewers were confused since they thought the show was still on the air. The adventures of Brandon and Dylan had ended 8 years before, but the show dominated Soap Net with constant marathons. Was America ready for a new family arriving in the zip code to learn about the ways of the rich and famous in the land Aaron Spelling founded? The good news is the new kids were able to graduate from West Beverly High. Now they’re either attending California University or the School of Hard Knocks – Beverly Hills. 90210: The Fourth Season keeps up the prime-time soap opera action in the prestigious zip code.

“Up In Smoke” catches us up to what the kids did over the summer. Naomi (Nip/Tuck‘s AnnLynne McCord) might be knocked up. But the most disturbing thing is she has completely lost her Queen Bee status in college. It’s a shame she didn’t realize that nobody cares what you were in high school. Liam (Matt Lanter) wants to commit himself to Annie (Shenae Grimes), but is she really ready to be pinned when there’s a whole new world outside of West Beverly? Raj (Manish Dayal) gets sicker. Can he be saved by his agent? “Rush Hour” puts Naomi into the world she understands: sorority life. But where does she wear enough fabric for Greek letters? “Greek Tragedy” says enough of how her pledge week went. “Let the Games Begin” puts Dixon in the studio. There’s a lot of musical moments this season. Appears like they want to turn this into The Fresh beat Band or Treme.

“Benefit of the Doubt” turns Liam into a male model. He didn’t graduate from Handsome Boy though. “It’s the Great Masquerade, Naomi Clark” lets her team up with the wicked Holly (Megalyn Echikunwoke) to host the Halloween bash. Things don’t go pretty for the fears and screams aren’t all for show. More importantly is how slutty can Naomi make her costume. “Vegas, Maybe?” gives Billy Ray Cyrus a chance to act after Hannah Montana. “Smoked Turkey” is the Thanksgiving special that makes Naomi want to be loved by a special someone. But will he be thankful for her attentions? “Project Runway” brings former supermodel and current disaster zone Janice Dickenson (America’s Next Top Model) to the school. Naomi and Holly do their best to suck up to her.

“Mama Can Your Hear Me” put Naomi in the strange position of uniting a mother and daughter. Can she really pull it off? Annie’s been doing something less scholarly as a hooker which gets nasty in “Trust, Truth and Traffic.” The All-American Rejects guest star. Are they still around? “Babes in Toyland” lets Dixon get a shot at the soundtrack for a major motion picture. He wants to be the next Michael Kamen. “The Heart Will Go On” checks Raj into the hospital. He’s not doing well. But who cares cause Naomi is getting ready for her wedding in “Bride and Prejudice.” Her friends are worried she’s rushing into it, but what’s the point of a soap opera without a wedding scene? “Forever Hold Your Piece” is the disasterpiece ceremony. Nothing goes right on the big day.

90210: The Fourth Season brings out the post-high school weirdness. The kids are ready to have adult problems without being required to sit through classes. Naomi gets her crisis of losing her position in life, but she find a new hive to queen bee. These kids are ready to keep the action going until they’re ready for the Beverly Hills Hospice.

Episodes
“Up In Smoke,” “Rush Hour,” “Greek Tragedy,” “Let the Games Begin,” “Party Politics,” “Benefit Of The Doubt,” “It’s the Great Masquerade, Naomi Clark,” “Vegas, Maybe?,” “A Thousand Words,” “Smoked Turkey,” “Project Runaway,” “O Holly Night,” “Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?,” “Mama Can You Hear Me?,” “Trust, Truth and Traffic,”
No Good Deed,” “Babes In Toyland,” “Blood Is Thicker Than Mud,” “The Heart Will Go On,” “Blue Ivy,” “Bride and Prejudice,” “Tis Pity,” “A Tale of Two Parties” and “Forever Hold Your Peace.”

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer heightens the shimmer nature of this lotus land full of beautiful kids seeking fame. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Stereo. The music mix doesn’t crush the dialogue. You can hear the fuming from Naomi. The episodes are subtitled in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

Audio Commentary features cast and crew on “Vegas, Maybe?” and “Mama Can You Hear Me?”

Deleted Scenes are provided for four episodes.

Set Tour: Dixon’s Apartment (3:13) exposes the fact that the rent is low because the place has no ceiling. What’s in the fridge?

Set Tour: Naomi’s Mansion (2:48) puts a bunch of middle aged guys with camera equipment in McCord’s house. Her bedroom is on a different soundstage.

Set Tour: Offshore (4:12) gives the details of the bar including the “Beer Light” neon sign. The beer taps don’t work and the ice is fake. Don’t book your private party there.

Dressing Heads: Hair and Makeup of 90210 (9:23) gives credit to those who keep the kids looking young and fab.

Set Tour: The Student Union (3:20) takes us to where the cool kids hang out between classes. It’s a huge set.

Creating Beats: The Music of 90210 (11:48) takes us into the studio for the sounds that rock their world.

Season in Review: Freshman Year (18:04) recaps the season. Don’t watch this till you’ve finished the episodes.

“I Don’t Want You Anymore” music video (3:58) features the singing of Jessica Lowndes.

Gag Reel (8:03) is packed full of freshman flubs.

90210: The Fourth Season keeps the prime-time soap opera suds after the kids have escaped West Beverly High. They have plenty of issues now that they’re sort of in the real world.

CBS DVD presents 90210: The Fourth Season. Starring: Shenae Grimes, Tristan Wilds, AnnaLynne McCord and Jessica Stroup. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 6 DVDs. Released: October 2, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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