This season, “90210” will make the often difficult transition from a teen show to a young adult show. (High school graduation is the number one show-killer.) Fortunately, the show’s new executive producers Patti Carr and Lara Olsen can draw on the original “Beverly Hills: 90210,” which followed the characters from high school to college to Yuppie-dom, for inspiration. Two of the show’s stars, Michael Steger (Navid) and Gillian Zinser (Ivy), revealed five reasons why the gang from “90210” (premiering tonight at 8/7c on the CW) is going to be even more fun now that they are all (somewhat) grown up.
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No More Teen Angst: We’ve seen the characters grapple with traditional teen storylines, from losing their virginity to worrying about their social status. It’s been done to death. Now they get to live life outside the bubble. “It’s much more adult. You get to see them deal with more of the real world, outside of the confines of the high school,” shares Steger. “We all get to play these personal journeys where we’re separating ourselves from our old identities and really coming into ourselves as individuals,” reveals Zinser.
New Characters: Now that everyone has graduated, they are discovering that there are plenty of interesting people who did not attend West Beverly High. Navid will interact more with his family. “They’re adding new characters, my sister Leila (Summer Bishil) and my uncle Amal (Anthony Azzizi),” says Steger. A casting breakdown described Navid’s uncle as, “Ruthless… Money is his priority, first and foremost. He isn’t someone you want to mess with.” Leila will also cause plenty of trouble. Says Steger, “She ends up going from a goodie-goodie to a problem child.” Naomi will butt heads with a sorority Queen Bee. Zinser reveals, “Megalynn Echikunwowe, plays Holly, Naomi’s nemesis, a catty sorority girl. She brings unbelievable moxie to the role. She’s got an amazing vibe.” Zinser is also enthusiastic about “A saucy cowboy named Austin (Justin Deely).”
Serious Relationships: They may not be old enough to drink legally, but several characters have decided they are ready for committed relationships. Ivy impulsively married the terminally ill Raj (Manish Dayal) in last season’s finale. Says Zinser, “I’m working with Raj almost every day, which is beyond a pleasure. We’re going to take a lot of time to focus on sensitive subjects, such as my own character dealing with a partner who has such a serious illness.” Navid has also decided to settle down. “He moves in with Silver,” reveals Steger. “They’re really strong at this point. They’re working together. It’s a very committed relationship.”
To Hell With College: Most 18-year-olds relish the opportunity to attend top universities, but some of the privileged characters of “90210” have the financial resources and the connections to start pursuing their dream careers without higher education. Navid takes over his father’s porn film company, with the intention of turning it into a legitimate production operation. “My Dad has a lot of shady business partners. They come into the picture with some problems and force him to make a few irrational decisions,” Steger shares. “Ivy’s not going to college. Dixon decides to pursue music,” reveals Zinser.
Special Guest Stars: The show has always featured celebrity cameos, with everyone from Snoop Dogg to Joe Jonas popping up in Beverly Hills. This season will be no exception, though befitting the show’s more adult direction, some of the musical cameos will be from up-and-coming acts. “We have Theopolis London, a really snazzy, hip young musicians do a guest spot on our show,” says Zinser. “They’re an amazing bunch and their music is just out of control.”
The Season 3 premiere of “90210” airs tonight at 8/7c on the CW.