The New Melrose Place: Pilot Impressions

I watched the pilot of the new Melrose Place (which may or may not be the version that finally airs) over the weekend, and don’t really know what to say about it. It seems closer to the style of original than the new 90210 does, and unlike that revival, this one wants to start off on a high melodramatic note. Though that may not be a good thing: it just points up the ways in which it falls short of the original’s wonderfully insane Aaron Spellingosity. But what really struck me about this new show is that I just don’t feel like hanging with any of these characters, and the ones I hate the most are the ones who are supposed to be the “likable” ones. Maybe that will change when the series starts.

So if you want real thoughts on the new Melrose, thoughts that actually make sense, then check out the Televisionary’s review (spoilers included). All I can do is re-print some notes I made after watching that pilot. This is cut way down from the original, so consider yourselves lucky.


The main characters of the new Melrose Place are as follows:

– A guy with bad hair who used to be on drugs but now works in a kitchen. Also, he’s the secret son of a guy from the original show, making a gratuitous cameo. Plus he’s an international art thief, just like Elvis Costello.
– A tall, scary dude with dead eyes who kind of looks like Christian Bale, and seems unduly obsessed with another original Melrose Place character, who used to be dead but now isn’t.
– A Tarantino-loving wannabe-filmmaker douchebag, who sometimes wears a Harry Stone hat. He lives with his personality-free girlfriend. They are presented as the most awesomest cutest sweetest couple ever, but she worries that he’s not enough of a grownup.
– A bitchy blonde agent who looks kind of like Heather Locklear, but isn’t, and sometimes makes out with women even though she has a needy crush on the douchebag filmmaker.
– An wannabe-doctor working as an intern, who looks and acts like a Scrubs Reject. She hides her figure under blue intern clothes, and therefore can’t land a man. She also can’t pay her medical school tuition because her rich daddy is no longer rich, due to The Economy. This is the one and only acknowledgement of The Economy in the entire pilot, because under current pop-culture law you need to mention The Economy at least once, but no more than once.
– The newest Melrose Place tenant, a newcomer to L.A. who looks and acts like Mary Jane Watson but secretly thinks prostitution is cool.

Some sample scenes:

Sample Scene 1:

After much cutesy dialogue and adorable homemade video footage, Douchebag filmmaker proposes to personality-free girlfriend, but before she can say yes or no, Mary Jane Watson interrupts them with a SCREAM upon finding a dead body in the pool where no one swims, thus setting up a season-long plot where everyone had a Motive for the murder. The guy with the biggest Motive was bad-hair kitchen guy. He thinks he might have done it, because he is an ex-druggie and suffers blackouts. This proves that drugs may cause you to be a murderer and not even know it, just like they said in those films you watched in school.

Sample Scene 2:

Scrubs Reject goes on a date with a rich nerd she met at the hospital. The rich nerd is flying back to New York tomorrow and therefore wants her to come to his hotel room and have sex with him, so he offers to pay her medical school tuition in exchange. Scrubs Reject storms off angrily at this Indecent Proposal, but later on, at Melrose Place, Scrubs Reject and Mary Jane Watson about the ethics of having sex in exchange for money. Mary Jane Watson seems to think it’s a good idea. Scrubs Reject looks pensive, realizing that she should do whatever Mary Jane Watson tells her.

Sample Scene 3:

Douchebag filmmaker has conversation with personality-free girlfriend. He says he accepted a blackmail offer because this would prove to her that he was a grownup. Then he whines about how things have not gone his way that day, and since he is the only person in history who has ever had a bad day, his girlfriend is moved by his plight. Then it turns out he didn’t accept the money at all. Or maybe he says he’s not going to, and accidentally phrased it in the past tense because he is a moron. Personality-free girlfriend decides that his acting like a whiny indecisive moron proves he’s a grownup after all.

Thrilling Conclusion:

It all ends with a montage of characters doing different things in different places, set to some song that will be cut out for the DVD release. In the end, one of the characters either turns out to be the murderer or is just burning evidence for somebody else, or possibly just gets a kick out of standing in front of the fire looking grim.

After grim look, cut to executive-producer credits and hold for way too long. Fade out.

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