90210 - The Complete First Season DVD Cover Art
SRP $49.99 1.78:1(16:9) Dolby Digital 5.1 PARAMOUNT
 

As with the original series, "90210" still deals with characters seeming to be fresh off a soap opera set, but proclaiming to deal with "real-life" situations affecting high-schoolers across the country, if not the world. Of course, with its Beverly Hills setting, most of the situations are either incredibly petty, silly, predictable, and smug, and more often than not, a combination of all of these!  The original series, "90210" is remade from, "BEVERLY HILLS 90210" was certainly no better. It also pretended to take on tough issues: Jessica Alba co-starred in two episodes as a young(still hot)unwed mother opting to carry her baby to term, in order to then give it up for adoption, until.....she finds a homosexual couple will adopt it! (Remember that one?) Abuse was brought up numerous times, but never more heavy-handedly than when Donna was "pushed" by her boyfriend, Jamie Walters!(Remember that one?) Well, the first season of "90210" is pretty much the same kind of over-the-top dramatics and cliche-filled scripts. However, the image is slicker, as widescreen wasn't really in fad yet when the old series was around. And, the sound is presented with better fidelity. Dolby Digital 5.1 was not the standard in the early 90s, either!

When Harry Wilson, his wife, Debbie and kids, Annie and Dixon, move to Beverly Hills from Kansas in order to take care of Grandma, Tabitha(Jessica Walter) as well as assume the role of Principal at West Beverly Hills High, rich but hot, Naomi Clark is destined to become pivotal in the children's lives at the new school.  Naomi(AnnaLynne McCord from Nip/Tuck)is smoldering hot, but also conniving, wounded and pretty much made up of every cliche that makes up a future stripper. Of course, her wealth prevents her from having to go down that road, but she has no hesitation at pulling out all the stops to snag heartthrob Ethan from Annie's hands. And, so begin the back and forth relationships between kids with parents, kids with fellow students and so on throughout the first season.  One major advantage over the original series, lies in the fact that the drama built around adults is actually more palatable than before. The first season has its share of intentionally sexy and entertaining moments, but, so far it lacks the kind of "fun" (taking themselves too seriously)writing that made the original series such an embarrassing pleasure to watch.

PARAMOUNT has provided the correct 1.78:1 aspect ratio for this release with 16:9 enhancement. Colors are rich and the detail is impressive throughout. A few artifacts pop up occasionally, but, overall, the image is really impressive.  Production design for the series is top-notch and just comparing any scene to any scene of the original series on dvd, showcases the notable improvement in depth achievable. Contrast is excellent, with deep blacks, allowing for fine detail in darker scenes.

PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. While not an aggressive mix, there are more than enough ambient effects to make the atmosphere an engaging one. Separation effects are used enough in front to keep this from ever feeling like a center channel production. Fidelity is excellent from beginning to end.

Presented over 6 discs, and running over 16 hours, there are also plenty of featurettes and extras worth exploring for extra fun and certain to please the new set of die-hard fans this series is winning over!