As 90210 enters its fourth season it’s clear that the CW Network’s attempt to cash in on pop culture nostalgia for the 90’s has paid off. After a rough opening season, 90210 found its ratings footing and now, with the cast having graduated high school, the series will attempt to make the same difficult and non-shark jumping transition into adulthood that the original series struggled to make.
Season three of 90210 ended with the shocking revelation that Naomi (Annalynne McCord) was pregnant with Max’s (Josh Zuckerman) baby. The series has gone down the unwanted pregnancy road before with Jessica Lowndes’ Adrianna giving up a baby for adoption at the end of season one. Of course, recycling storylines is nothing new for 90210. After having Adrianna flirt with a same sex coupling in season two, season three saw Trevor Donovan’s Teddy struggle with his sexuality and eventually reveal that he is gay.
As for the rest of the main cast, Annie is now a millionaire having been given the estate of the late actress Marla Templeton (Sally Kellerman) following her suicide. Liam (Matt Lanter) made the decision not to attend college, instead taking a job on a fishing boat. Ivy (Gillian Zinser) married Raj (Manish Dayal) while the bachelorette party revealed that Adrianna had stolen Silver’s (Jessica Stroup) medication, leading to her being committed.
I would mention Dixon (Tristan Wilds), Ryan (Ryan Matthews) and Navid (Michael Steger) but frankly, the series has far too many characters for me to bother with. More to the point, not all of these characters will be returning when 90210 returns to the CW for season 4.
Season 4 will start out with Naomi still reeling from her pregnancy revelation while finding out she’s not as big of a deal in college as she was in High School. Annie gets some unexpected news that keeps her from leaving town as planned while Liam returns from his fishing boat excursion looking to reunite with her.
Dixon is close to being homeless while Navid and Silver have trouble ahead of them as they move in together. Most dramatically, following their whirlwind wedding, Ivy and Raj struggle with Raj’s health deteriorating.
Showrunner Rebecca Sinclair exited the series at the end of season three and turned the reigns over to former Life Unexpected producers Patti Carr and Lara Olson. Their first order of business, cut down the cast. Gone is Lori Laughlin as Annie and Dixon’s mom. Also, soon to be gone is Trevor Donovan’s Teddy. Both Laughlin and Donovan have been asked to return as guest stars with Donovan possibly coming back long enough for a gay wedding.
Joining the show in a recurring fashion are former CSI Miami actress Megalyn Echikunwoke as Holly, Naomi’s college rival and newcomer Justin Deeley as Austin, a potential new love interest for Naomi and likely new roommate of Dixon at California University. And, finally while Liam is coming back for Annie, he’s got some competition from Supernatural actor Matt Cohen who will romance Annie early in season 4.
Finally, the question the series has to answer every season, will any of the original cast be dropping by. The answer is no. While Jennie Garth was a series regular early on and Shannon Doherty recurred briefly, the series has attempted to leave the nostalgia behind and focus on the series young stars.
If I spend anymore time writing about 90210 I may actually have to start watching it.