November 30, 2010By Mala Bhattacharjee Posted: Nov 30, 2010
I am hopelessly addicted to 90210 this season, and I'm pretty sure it's Trevor Donovan's fault. Or at least that of Teddy Montgomery, the character Donovan plays.
Without OLTL's Kish and ATWT's Luke, Reid and Noah, there has been a giant hole where gay storylines on soaps used to be. AMC's Bianca is a supporting player, Y&R's Rafe even more so; and because they don't have any significant story of their own, they just can't fill that void. But 90210's Teddy, and his slow progression to accepting that he's gay or bi, just might do the trick.
I began catching up on this season in preparation for an interview with Donovan that ran in our Nov. 16 issue. Soon after we chatted, Teddy's story really began to pick up, with him watching Ian, while simultaneously trying to push him away and also tamp down his own conflict. This week saw Teddy being entranced by Ian throughout the entire episode... and going totally unresponsive when ex-girlfriend Silver planted a kiss on him. When she asked him if there was someone else, his gaze cut to Ian and he admitted there was. That was almost better than what happened a few moments later. Teddy helped Ian put away some tiki torches and then surprised him with an enthusiastic kiss that was the flip side to his lukewarm reaction to Silver. For Teddy to be able to admit to himself that he has feelings for a man is huge! Up until this point, it's been a whole lot of "deny, deny, deny." Even earlier in the episode, he tried to convince Ian (and himself) that whatever was between them was a fluke. Well, it's not a fluke, and certainly worth tuning in for. And so is the rest of the show!
Watching the first season, I was disappointed with how they tried to tie it to the original recipe 90210 (Dylan McKay would NOT be a deadbeat dad, people!) and I found Annie, the "new" Brenda Walsh, really unlikable. So, I eventually gave up. Now, I've come back for Teddy's story, but I'm sticking around because this season has much more to offer. There seems to be more of an ensemble feel.
AnnaLynne McCord, whom I loved as AMERICAN HEIRESS' Loren, is great as Naomi. Watching Naomi go up against her rapist, Mr. Cannon, was a compelling arc and I enjoy her sparks with rogue-ish Oscar, who needs someone like bitchy Naomi to keep him in line. Blair Redford (Oscar) played Lauren's son Scott on Y&R for a blink, and I wish we could've seen his potential for scheming and seduction unleashed in Genoa City. Matt Lanter's Liam reminds me so much of THE O.C.'s Ryan (Ben McKenzie) that I sometimes have to shake myself out of deja vu. And Liam and Dixon are such doofuses that I can't imagine why Teddy wouldn't just come out to his pals and be done with it. I really like that these guys have such a close-knit friendship. The girls, too, are really close. In the first season 90210 tried to play up all the adversarial drama, but it's so much more interesting for Silver, Naomi, Adrianna, Ivy and Annie to be on the same side.
Sure, the veteran favorites like Kelly and Brenda are gone now, but I'm really glad I came back to 90210. The new, young residents have settled into the zip code just fine!