Take a look with us at what's been happening with your favorite primetime shows at this midseason point. See what's making the grade and what simply needs to change its direction for the rest of the season!
HOT Aging Teen Stars
Former SILVER SPOONS sweetie Rick Schroder made quite a comeback this fall on NYPD BLUE, proving to naysayers that he is more than capable of filling the big shoes of the dearly departed Jimmy Smits. (Cute butt, too!) And Shannen Doherty left behind the nasty stories of her days on BEVERLY HILLS 90210 to cast a spell on CHARMED, one of the season's few new hits. What's more - these two have won the critical praise that may have alluded them in the past.
NOT Aging Sex Symbols
Bo Derek should have left us with the memory of her days as a "10" instead of attempting an ill-fated comeback on NBC's WIND ON WATER, which, shall we say, sank sank liek a stone despite Bo's still-bodacious charms. And to think that poor Shawn Christian (ex-Mike, AS THE WORLD TURNS) thought this wouild be his big primetime break!
Facing flagging popularity, MELROSE PLACE and BEVERLY HILLS 90210 pulled out all the stops to bring back characters from their glory days. MP's Josie Bissett (Jane) and 90210's Luke Perry (Dylan) helped to get their respective series back on track and provided much-needed ratings boosts. How long they'll stay is another story; we imagine that at this point, they'll be around as long as their shows are!
NOT Departing Favorites
We hate it when established stars pack pack up and take their characters with them. So far this season, the departure of BEVERLY HILLS 90210's Jason Priestly (ex-Brandon) and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (ex-Valerie) have left holes that have yet to be filled. On the flip side, however, some of the cast changes on MELROSE PLACE - like the departure of the ever-wooden Andrew Shue (ex-Billy) - have actually helped thimgs run smoother.
HOT New Characters
As much as we hate change, sometimes it's for the better - especially when shows manage to give us new faces that actually add spice to the soup. Take DAWSON'S CREEK: How long could this series tell expansive stories with just four core characters? Enter brother/sister team Jack and Andie and meanie Abby this year to stir things up. Meanwhile 90210 added Gina tot he mix, and MP brought in Eve and Ryan to much success.
NOT Old Stereotypes
Indicating that maybe Beverly Hills does exist in a bubble, 90210 flabbergasted us with its pathetic attempt at portraying a "girl gang." These thugettes seemed more like a parody of tough girls from some campy '60s film. Leave the grit to HOMICIDE.
HOT Cheating Lovers
The Bill-and-Monica thing is positively tame next to this season's continuing, rampant bed-hopping and partner-swapping. MP's trashy and scrumptious Lexi may want Peter, but it's Ryan who has her panties in a bunch (much to the chagrin of Megan). On 90210, Gina wanted to steal Noah from Donna, but settled for Dylan (before Kelly could get a chance at him). And DC's Dawson and Joey were just settling into their newfound relationship when Joey up and kissed Jack (!), sending Dawson packing. This is a trend we must admit we're rather enjoying; however, may the best couples wind up together.
Always an overused (or should we say abused?) dramatic device, this season's relentless drug-and-alcohol storylines get a big thumbs-down from us. Kyle's out-of-the-blue pill-and-booze slide on MP is breaking Amanda's heart, not to mention making us scratch our heads and say, "Huh?" Dylan's dance with heroin on 90210 gave an unnecessary rough edge to what should have been a happy homecoming. (Yeah, yeah, we know, he has "demons.") And the regular portrayal of drunken parties on the teen-oriented DAWSON'S seems more than a bit irresponsible. Where's the conscience? Shouldn't the upstanding Dawson, who spoke out so eloquently about his stance on sex last season, have something to say? Granted, these stories move the plot along - and boy, does MP move fast! - but enough is enough!
HOT Black Magic
The witches have come screaming out of the closet - along with vampires, aliens and other supernatural things that go bump in the night - thanks to the success of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, CHARMED and THE X-FILES. Up next: The BUFFY spinoff ANGEL. Just a note; CHARMED better add some variety to its scripts or it will get stale real fast!
NOT Bleached Blondes
This season, brunettes are the ones having more fun. MP's Eve, 90210's Gina, DAWSON's' Jack, ER's Lucy and the three gals of CHARMED all prove that brown is beautiful. Even 90210's Tori Spelling (Donna) got into the act and dyed her trademark platinum locks back to something, we're told, close to her natural color. See... who says blonde is the way to go?