Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Melrose Place - Dr. Mancini is Back!

The original Melrose Place (1992-1999) introduced one of the greatest moments on TV. After Dr. Michael Mancini nearly kills her in a drunk driving accident, Kimberly Shaw returns to California seemingly normal and healthy. She doesn't seem herself, however. And at the end of her first episode back we see why. With Michael Myers music playing in the background, we see Kimberly rip off her wig and reveal an 8 inch scar on her scalp. She caresses the scar like its a new born baby. Soon after, anytime anyone wigs out, the joke becomes "so how long is the scar on YOUR head?"

While off the air for only 10 years, the promotional spot for the new Melrose Place wants the viewer to think that the original Melrose Place actually took place thirty years ago. Los Angeles, and particularly 4616 Melrose Place, has changed a lot, they promise. We'll see, but I hope not.

9pm. The opening credits roll with frenetic camera work quickly moving through a night club to a couple making out. The guy (please forgive me that I have not committed their names to memory yet - neither have you - I'll call him Chump) reads a text from a mysterious woman. He proceeds to tell all of his buddies that the woman needs help. No one really cares that much; where the hell are Billy and Allison, they would have helped!

We soon find out that the mysterious woman is the landlord of the new Melrose Place, Sydney Andrews. Of course, my first question is - wasn't she run over by a car and killed in the original show? I can't wait to hear the explanation. Will they ignore the fact that she was killed? Was her original death faked? Was it her sister Jane with long red hair and bad plastic surgery? It could be anything, I decide.

Never mind, her resurrection didn't last long, as the next morning she's found dead face down in the pool in a pool of blood. I guess Melrose Place needs a new landlord. Do you think Heather Locklear is doing anything these days?

Quickly, even for a nighttime drama, the Chump who went to see if she's was all right is questioned by the police, until another one of his friends comes to the station and gives him an alibi. The Chump's Father also comes to the "rescue" while driving up in the new Mercedes SLS. Wait, that's Dr. Michael Mancini! All right, now we're talking, although now I'm distracted by figuring out who the Mother is. Figuring the Chump is 25 years old, he was born in 1984. Michael got Taylor pregnant in the in 1998; it's not her. Perhaps it was Jane? If the storyline follows the new 90210 when we found out Dylan was Kelly's kid's Father early last year, we should find out who the Mother is shortly. I think this remains a mystery even throughout the first episode. I think Michael is talking to Jane on his phone, but it looks like he's sleeping with Jo. Or is Sydney his Mother? If it was Sydney or Jane, though, then the Chump was sleeping either with his Mother or his Aunt...maybe. By the way, Sydney's original death was staged with Michael's help. Same writers, I see.

The story then focuses on a couple of other storylines, a marriage proposal (Did she not notice he was filming her at strange times?), an aspiring filmmaker filming a movie mogul's family birthday party (What was he filming inside the house for anyway, all the kids were outside?) and a resident at the local hospital selling herself for sex so she can afford medical school tuition. (What Medical School has $5,000.00 tuition - even for a semester? Is it in Panama or something?)

Ultimately, it was a satisfying hour of television. Was it drastically different than the original MP? I'll let you decide after seeing these similarities - marrying couple that seems way to sweet to last, a guy on a bike, a creative type (writer vs movie maker), and a doctor with a bad side. So far, take away the cell phones and the references to Twitter, exactly the same. I still can't figure out Ella yet. And Ashlee Simpson. What can I say, except that I hope she lasts as long as Sandy did in the original show. Can't remember her? Exactly.

Review: 89 out of 100.

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