Karen Hill is our guest blogger today with a review of the 90210 pilot script:
Forget the 20th century Darren Star series where Brenda worried about a lump in her breast, or Kelly tangled with a date rapist, or Donna’s graduation is jeopardized by her failure to respect the Beverly Hills High dress code.
No issues, no hugs, no learning with a new version for a new millenium. Just hot teens, pills and plenty of scheming.
The 64-page pilot written by Rob Thomas (and re-written by the team of Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah) is smutty, funny and fast. It’s a great read, tracking multiple intersecting stories, avoiding the grossly expository as it sets up the series.
90210 eschews the cornball humour of the original series in favour of a hip, wry tone. There’s tons of banter and the de rigueur hyper-articulate TV adolescents who bear zero resemblance to the pimply mumblers trolling food courts everywhere. The parents get their own juicy storyline that moves them far away from the Cleaver-esque Mr. and Mrs. Walsh show of old.
While it’s a big ensemble cast, the structure reveals that the show is Annie’s (the Brenda’ character). As for that structure:
Act One: 11 pages
Act Two: 10 pages
Act Three: 12 pages
Act Four: 8 pages
Act Five: 10 pages
Act Six: 13 pages
Although there’s neither a clearly delineated teaser nor a hint in the script about where the credits fall, the first three scenes seem to lend themselves to a tease.
Act breaks vary between emotional epiphanies for the lead character, Annie, dilemmas forcing her to make a choice or reveals about other characters. (With five act breaks, it would be a challenge to make every act out Annie’s without the writers seeming doctrinaire and ham-fisted.)
It will be interesting to see if the solitary flashback — a great little cutaway to Annie’s previous life — makes it to the pilot.
And when a b. j. is a plot point in a series opener, I’m pretty sure I’ll be setting my PVR.