Show & Tell: ‘Melrose Place’: Just Like Old Times?

Laura Leighton (Patrick Ecclesine/The CW)

Laura Leighton (Patrick Ecclesine/The CW)

Every ‘rose has its thorn.

The new ‘Melrose Place‘ premiere is finally here, and it’s got a hell of legacy to live up to.

Just like last year’s ‘90210’ reboot, the idea of a ‘Melrose’ 2.0 sounded like lunacy. Then I remembered all the lunacy is exactly why we loved ‘Melrose’ in the first place.

And while nothing will ever match a classic ‘Melrose’ moment like say, a scarred, back-from-the-dead Kimberly ripping off her wig during a thunderstorm, at least there are a few familiar faces back in the pool to show the next generation the sexy, sordid way.

5 (+) Questions with Laura Leighton aka Sydney Andrews

So Sydney is now running the show, literally, taking over as landlord of ‘Melrose Place’…
“I think Sydney always wanted to be in charge. She was always trying to find a way to end up in a penthouse.”

And the claws are still out, but in a new way: Sydney’s turned into a cougar!
“I am the grand dame, of sorts, which is really a series of humiliations, on that level. But I think I have a healthy sense of humor about that.”

I think the secret is pretty much out [SPOILER ALERT] that Sydney gets tossed in that infamous pool–and not in a good way. The last time we saw Sydney [on the old show] we thought she was dead and in the first episode [of the new show] we think she is dead again!
[laughs] “It’s Melrose! They are still figuring it out, but they have a plan, so we’ll see what it turns into. And for me, having been through the arc of show through its escalation, its craziness and then when it ended, it’s really great to have that hindsight. It’s a valuable perspective, I think.”

On Being a Level-Headed Redhead:
“The buzz is flattering. I’ve launched some series that had really great buzz and then didn’t find an audience, so buzz is lovely and exciting and a fun ride to be on, but I also face it with a grain of salt…we’ll see.”

What was it like reuniting with the gang [fellow ‘Melrose’ originals Thomas Calabro, Josie Bissett and Daphne Zuniga]?
“We haven’t all had scenes together so far. Thomas and I have, though, and we’ve had a mutual giggle about it…it’s surreal and just a lot of fun.”

You got more out of the original ‘Melrose’ than just lessons in bitchery–you got a husband too! Any chance we’ll see your hubby Doug Savant back as Matt Fielding at some point?
[coyly] “We would love to have everyone back….”

What’s it like being married to a ‘Desperate’ househusband [Savant plays Lynette’s husband Tom on ‘Desperate Housewives‘]?
“I did leave him at home with the kids and I feel pretty guilty about that.”

5 Questions with Thomas Calabro aka Michael Mancini

Thomas Calabro (Patrick Ecclesine/The CW)

Thomas Calabro (Patrick Ecclesine/The CW)

What are your hopes in returning to ‘Melrose Place’?
“I’d like to see it go another seven years. And I’d like to be married seven more times. There’s a lot of new territory to cover, trust me.”

Tell us: ‘Melrose Place’ Then vs. Now

“[The new show] brings back elements of the old one that viewers will love–and a whole slew of new elements that make it very hip and cool and today.”

People seem most excited to have the original cast members back. Were you excited (or relieved) when you heard some of the others were also on board with the project?
“Yeah, I found out on Google Reader. I have ‘Melrose’ on Google Alerts. Actually, that’s how I learned I was on the show. No, but they’re all great. It’s 10 years later, why not?”

You guys got away with murder back then. There’s an actual murder mystery carrying this entire first season, but beyond that, how are you going to top all that drama?
“We’re going to push the envelope all over again. We’re getting away with way more than we did even then. And if we can get to a place where everybody could walk around naked and not give a crap, then I’m the first guy in line.”

Meet the Sexy New Residents of ‘Melrose Place’ in our cover story.

What advice did you give to the new kids on the block?
“I taught them how to deal with press,” [laughing], ‘Make sure whatever you tell them is not true.’ I learned that from Katharine Hepburn–I don’t care what they say about me as long as it isn’t true.”

‘Melrose Place’ premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. on The CW, along with the season premiere of ‘90210.’

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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