Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Season Premiere of Melrose Place Delivers the Drama

I have so many other things that I should be doing, but after watching the season premiere of the new Melrose Place last week, I feel compelled to write up a little update. In part, I'm doing it for Peter Goldmacher, author of the 1990s-era Melrose Update. Although he refuses to watch the new show, he did ask me how I liked the season premiere. Who knows, maybe I can get Peter hooked on the new show via blogged updates. My head is swimming as I think of all of the post-modern implications of this.

So, here goes....this is my very abbreviated 2009-style Melrose Update. Please keep in mind that I wasn't planning to write a recap; so this is very bare-bones:

Season Premiere September 8, 2009 on the CW

I was out last Tuesday night, but as soon as I got home I fired up the TiVo to check out the new Melrose Place.

The opening scene was edgier and more glamorous than the old MP. It was night-time in L.A., with shots of clubs, restaurants, kissing and groping, and someone texting. We see one of the new characters (Lauren) at the hospital where she works. Then there's a shot of the Melrose Place sign. This time it looks dark and ominous.

Sassy Sydney is back and one of her first lines is "I wish you'd known me when I first moved here...We were like a family."

Syd'd definitely embellishing her past at MP just a bit here.... Her relationships with the denizens of the famous apartment complex were always fraught with drama.

She continues, "Now everyone's abandoned me."

Well....blackmail, affairs, backstabbing, and working as a prostitute don't always endear you to others....

So, Syd's moved back to MP. She's the landlady and she has some sort of relationship with a guy named David (more on him in a minute).

Jonah and Riley Brush Their Teeth

Flash forward to the next day maybe. The geeky grad student from Greek/high school teacher from Swingtown is hanging out with another very familiar face from youth-oriented TV (also Greek maybe?). The couple is hanging out in their apartment and the dude shows a romantic video that he made in honor of their 5th anniversary. Right after he pops the question we hear screams.

Sydney--we hardly knew you

Sydney is found dead and floating in the pool.

This all happens in the first 8 minutes of the episode....so we know right away that the new Melrose Place will be all about the drama and intrigue.

We learn that Syd was stabbed and collapsed into the pool. Ashley Simpson appears on the scene and is freaking out. The police question David. We see action at the hospital.

Then, Michael Mancini (who, by the way, was also recently on Greek as the senator/unfaithful dad of one the sorority sisters) drives up in a tricked out Mercedes. His son David confronts him, asking him why he never told him that he lived at Melrose Place. We then hear talk about how Michael helped Syd fake her death 11 years prior (did this really happen? I stopped watching the original, so I don't know).

Michael then goes on to say to David, "When your mother died...." What! Who's David's mother?" He also talked about taking David in.

Then we hear another perplexing statement, with David saying, "You spent 13 years pretending I didn't exist."

So, I'm really really confused about a few things:

1) Who is David's mother?
2) When was David born?
3) When did Michael learn of David's existence?
4) When did Michael take David in?
5) How old is David?

David and Michael Mancini

The original MP started in 1992 and went off the air in 1999 and during that time I was never aware of Michael having a son. His ex-wife Jane had a baby towards the end of the series; but that child would only be around 10 years old now (if all this is taking place in real time).

OK...then we arrive at a party scene. There's a publicist lady and the guy who proposed to his girlfriend right before Syd was discovered dead. His name is Jonah and he's a filmmaker.

Then we're back at the hospital and a patient's son asks out Dr. Lauren.

Then we're back at the Bollywood-themed party and Jonah is there to film it. The publicist encourages Jonah to pitch his personal film project idea to the party host. Jonah takes her advice and the host is outraged that he'd approach him at his daughter's birthday party with a film pitch.

Next we're at a restaurant and David reveals that he blacked out the night that Syd died.

Michael has a flashback involving Syd referencing her "accident" 11 years ago. Then we hear him say that he's happily married (hard to believe).

Dr. Lauren goes on a date with Toby who she met at the hospital. He offers to pay her $5000 for her school tuition if she comes back to his hotel room.

Back at the Bollywood party Jonah manages to catch the film mogul on tape making out with another woman (turns out to be his daughter's best friend). Owing to this embarrassing incident, the film mogul offers to pay off Jonah and keeps upping the ante until finally he's agreed to give him a $100K deal to write a feature film.

At Melrose Place Jonah tells his girlfriend Riley about the film mogul's offer. He tells her that he turned down the hush money. After hearing this, she finally accepts his marriage proposal.

We then see a guy stealing a painting off a wall somewhere (I have no idea what that was all about...and can't keep all the characters straight yet).

Next we get a scene of Michael in bed being spooned by a kid and a lady. Ah, familial bliss....

Ashley Simpson (a red-head like Syd) steals Syd's photo from a makeshift memorial at MP. Is this a portent of her future obsession with Syd?

In a twist that I didn't see coming, Dr. Lauren gets tarted up and heads over to her future benefactor's "Executive Suite" for a presumably paid rendezvous.

Then we see the publicist lady making out with a woman.

Next there's a scene of a man burning bloody items.

So, if you wanted drama from the new Melrose Place you got it. I'll definitely keep watching, if nothing else to find out more about David Mancini's mysterious past and to learn if Ashley Simpson decides to go all Single White Female, reinventing herself as dead Syd. Should be fun!

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