‘Melrose Place’: Amanda Woodward Is in the Building

Heather Locklear Returns to 'Melrose Place' (The CW)

Heather Locklear Returns to 'Melrose Place' (The CW)

It’s Amanda Woodward’s world, and we’re all just hoping she lets us continue to live in it.  Welcome to Melrose Place 2009:2.0

From her first moment on screen, Heather Locklear proved she still has it.  Katie Cassidy is the only nuMelrose cast member who can hold her own against her.  Unfortunately, based on the ratings, nobody cares.  I hope word of mouth persuades people to start watching. As promised, the show is much lighter, it even looks sunnier.  I’ve got to say, it’s a heck of a lot of fun.  The writers did not waste a lot of time getting us from A to Amanda.  The D-girl that was coming on to Jonah has a new job, and his screenplay is dead.  Lauren and David are now sweetly romantic.  Forget all about the hooking and the thieving!  Riley’s rich now! Just go with it!

It’s Amanda. Bow Down, Bitches

The camera pans high heels walking through WPK as everyone stands at attention. Oh yeah, baby.  Amanda Woodward is back. Her first act: fire Caleb. (In the promos, it looked like she was firing Ella.)  Amanda summons Ella to her den, where she reveals she knows Ella has an “absentee father and a pill popping mother.”  That makes sense.  Ex-advertising exec Amanda hates Riley’s advertisements, which makes me love her even more.  She wants Ella to get Riley to use a made up backstory that she grew up in the streets at the jean launch party.  When Riley balks, Ella tells her she will lose the money if she doesn’t get with the program.  As part of the reboot, Riley’s rich parents have been offering her money that she’s turned down.  Caleb tells Ella that Amanda has been asking a lot of questions about him. In the episode’s best authentic L.A. reference, Yogurtland gets a shout out. 

At the party, reporters ask Riley about her gang experience. Hee!  Amanda is pleased that she’s going along with the ruse.  A talent agent named Melissa flirtatiously tells Ella she should consider a new career in agenting.  They make out in the corner.  I guess Ella is still bi. Ella turns down her offer.  I’m thrilled the show acknowledged that agents and publicists do different things.  I’m even more thrilled that Amanda arranged the whole attempted seduction to test Ella’s loyalty.  It all goes to hell when Riley spills the truth about the silver spoon in her mouth to a journalist.  Riley, why do you have to suck so hard? Amanda orders Ella to prove her loyalty by informing Riley’s school she took sick days to do the photo shoot as payback.  I highly doubt the school would care.  Don’t they realize that a public school teacher has to commit a felony to get fired?  Ella tells Amanda that she is unwilling to go that far in order to achieve her goal of becoming Amanda 2.0.  Riley gets fired anyway, presumably because of Amanda.  Just like that? In the middle of the school year?  I know it’s Melrose, but for some reason this bit on un-realism bothers me.  Instead of calling the teacher’s union, or calling her rich parents, she and Jonah bemoan their broke state. Jonah decides to get an office job like every other aspiring filmmaker. I might care if it hadn’t been established that Riley’s one phone call away from money.  If Amanda really wanted to ruin her, she’d go after her parents.

Sydney Is Still Dead

David visits Auggie in lock up.  He explains that he didn’t kill Sydney, but ran because he knew it looked bad.  Auggie thinks someone tried to frame David, which is why David woke up with a knife in his hand.  David thinks Michael did it. He bails Auggie out.  Auggie discovers he’s persona non grata in the apartment building.  When Riley is less than supportive, he nearly takes a drink.  Violet manages to convince him that she should be his downward spiral instead.  They have sex on the kitchen counter which seems appropriate, if unsanitary, for a chef.  David searches Michael’s car, and finds the necklace Sydney was wearing the night she died.  It’s covered in blood and conveniently packaged in a zip-loc bag, the better to use as police evidence. Amanda sneaks into Sydney’s apartment, opens a secret panel in the closet, punches the combination into the hidden safe, and finds an envelope.  The note inside reads: “You’ll never find it. Sydney”  So was she writing from beyond the grave?  Or anticipating Amanda’s visit when she died?  I don’t know. But I’m intrigued. 

Young Criminals in Love

Lauren turns down newly sappy David’s invitation to the LA Philharmonic.  There is no appropriate L.A. reference to the new conductor Gustavo.  Riley encourages her to give him a chance.  Lauren comes home to find David has turned her apartment into a Cincinnati autumn.  They are all over each other, but the love doctor can’t bring herself to sleep with him.  He is totally fine with it.  These are two characters who were more interesting before the reboot. 


There is no place I’d rather be…except maybe Fallujah getting my fingernails ripped out. — Ella

When I hired you to give this place a makeover, I didn’t mean smear it with lipstick and turn it into a five dollar hooker. — Amanda

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


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