Melrose Place (CW)
Premiere: Tuesday, Sept. 8, 9-10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Big Brother, NCIS: Los Angeles, Dancing With the Stars, The Biggest Loser
Cast: Katie Cassidy, Colin Egglesfield, Stephanie Jacobsen, Jessica Lucas, Michael Rady, Shaun Sipos, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Laura Leighton, Thomas Calabro
Status: We've seen the first two episodes.
Should you watch the new Melrose Place? Read on...
Whee! It's here! The CW's delicious, prime-time drama remake of Melrose Place premieres tonight, and we'll go so far as to say that it's already better than the original. The first Melrose Place always seemed like a wobbly drunk—it weaved in and out of melodrama and generally seemed like the tipsy victim of its own excesses. The new series, on the other hand, is sharply written, stocked with hot and talented young things and generally looks fantastic—the whole package hangs together fabulously and instantly sucks you into the soapy goodness. Watch the pilot straight through, and we promise that after that hour you will want to know more about what happens to these people.
Now, what do you need to know about the new show? Well, for one thing, Melrose Place is Katie Cassidy's apartment complex, the rest of us just live in it, or at least drop by for the drama. Cassidy's hyperambitious publicist Ella is one of those force-of-nature characters you can't take your eyes off of and can't help but like, bitchy attitude notwithstanding. Consider Ella the Place's queen bee until further notice. Other standouts include Michael Rady as struggling auteur and supersweet fella Jonah, Stephanie Jacobsen as an earnest med student turned hooker and Colin Egglesfield as broody chef Auggie. Jessica Lucas is given the thankless part of good-girl schoolteacher Riley (most of her scenes in the first two eps consist of henpecking fiancé Jonah or glaring at Jonah-crushing Ella). Shaun Sipos seems a little shaky at first in his gig as David Breck, illegitimate son of Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro), but frankly the guy's still adorable, and we want to know more.
Unfortunately, the weakest link is Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, who plays newbie Violet Foster. She has an intriguing secret that you'll learn in episode two, and Simpson-Wentz seems to be working with a difficult (i.e. crazycakes) character, but Violet is so damn twitchy and weird it's almost hard to watch. The producers clearly know what they're doing, so Violet no doubt breaks out of her kooky little shell by November sweeps. For now, Violet is more than a little off-putting, but maybe that just means she's the latest in Melrose Place's long line of wild and wonderful young women.
Are you interested in Melrose Place? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Want more Melrose? Check out three sneak peek videos below!