After an all new episode of 90210 that promises to bring on the drama tonight, The CW premieres my newest guilty pleasure, MELROSE PLACE! Taking a page from the crazy drama that the old MELROSE PLACE used to bring each week, MP starts off with a murder and spirals out of control! Follow the jump for a sneak preview clip and a spoilery breakdown of the characters you need to pay attention to this season!
Ella (Katie Cassidy) – she is an agent, manager, cutthroat kinda lady, who will do what it takes to make sure her clients are taken care of (in short, she’s the new Amanda). She’s free with her sexuality, loving boys but making out with girls all in the same episode. At the same time, she seems nice enough as she has a close relationship with the group that lives in Melrose Place. When one of the gang turns up murdered, Ella is the first to provide an alibi for Shaun Sipos’ David, who is quickly arrested for the crime!
Jonah (Michael Rady) – if we’re comparing old cast to new cast, I guess his sensitive side makes him the new Billy (Andrew Shue). He’s an aspiring filmmaker who proposes to Jessica Lucas’ Riley in the opener. She worries that he isn’t grown up enough because he continues to film famous people’s bar mitzvahs and birthday parties, instead of selling any of his work off. In true Michael Rady fashion, he’s a bumbling sweetheart that even Ella seems to be in love with him!
Riley (Jessica Lucas) – a school teacher with a heart of gold. She doesn’t get much to do in the series premiere, aside from decide whether she’ll marry Jonah or not, but I get the feeling from the promo pictures that have been floating around the interwebs that she’s not the sweetheart she’s cracked up to be. At least, I hope she’s not just a sweetheart with no dark past, because it’ll get really boring watching her if she is just around to stare longingly at Jonah!
Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen) – the former Kendra from BSG: RAZOR is a med student on MELROSE PLACE, who finds out in the premiere that her dad is having some money issues, so she’ll need to be responsible for the tuition. I can’t imagine that it’s cheap to live at Melrose Place and still need to pay for school. Lucky for her, she meets Adam Kaufman for dinner. When he offers her $5000 in exchange for sexy-time with him, she at first balks. But this isn’t 7th HEAVEN, so you can bet your ass she reconsiders!
Auggie (Colin Egglesfield) – Auggie is a chef at the restaurant bar type place that the gang seems to enjoy hanging out in. We don’t learn much about him in the series opener. He seems to know all about the sordid relationship that David and Sydney had, and is a good friend to everyone. We learn he had a physical relationship with Lauren, and he turns Violet down for a nice cup of coffee. Oh and did we mention the big secret he’s hiding?
Violet (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) – All she’s good for in the premiere is to scream when the body is found in the pool, to ask Auggie out to comfort each other over the loss, and to basically say “Hey Lauren, yes you should be a hooker”. To quote a good friend, Ashlee isn’t quite stellar in the pilot, bordering on “dreadful horrible no-good,” but I’m going to cross my fingers that she’s better in future episodes. Oh and you know how all red heads on TV are related? Don’t think I didn’t notice that she and Syd share a very pretty red hair color!
David (Shaun Sipos) – he’s the playboy in the complex – not sure exactly what purpose he serves other than to be a connection to the previous series. You see, he’s connected to someone from the previous series, and we’re not just talking about his sexy-time relationship with Sydney. On the night of the incident, Sydney texts David with a 911, and he ends up at the complex for the murder. When he’s arrested, the lovely Ella offers an alibi that she was with David at the time of the murder. I’m interested to see what they do with the character, because he’s my least favorite at this point!
Sydney (Laura Leighton) and Michael (Thomas Calabro)– I almost feel like it wouldn’t be MELROSE PLACE without the lovely, once-thought-dead Sydney and the dashing drawn-to-bad-women Michael [interesting side note – Calabro is the only actor to have stayed with the show from day one through the end]. Sydney serves a HUGE purpose in the show, and I have this sneaking suspicion that Michael will, too.
So that’s MELROSE PLACE so far – look for Daphne Zuniga, Josie Bissett, possibly Grant Show, and possibly Heather Locklear to all reprise their original roles.
MELROSE PLACE premieres tonight on The CW at 9PM after the season 2 premiere of 90210 at 8PM.