Not a lot of shows get a complete revamp, rarely ever to they get two. Melrose Place has once again been messed with, still with the same 2.0 characters for the most part, but with some major chances. Are they welcomed?
AMANDA’S BOYFRIEND (GUEST STAR BILLY CAMPBELL, “4400”) COMES TO TOWN WHILE VIOLET AND AUGGIE PREPARE TO LEAVE – Violet (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) asks Auggie (Colin Egglesfield) to leave town with her. Amanda (Heather Locklear) puts Ella (Katie Cassidy) in charge of a lavish party at her house to celebrate the arrival of her billionaire boyfriend Ben (guest star Billy Campbell). However, after Amanda spies Ella and Ben together in a compromising position, she lashes out. Meanwhile, Riley (Jessica Lucas) asks Jonah (Michael Rady) if they can start over. Shaun Sipos and Stephanie Jacobsen also star.
NICK ZANO (“COUGAR TOWN”) GUEST STARS AS THE NEW TENANT AT MELROSE PLACE – Sexy Drew Pragin (Nick Zano) moves into Auggie’s old apartment and immediately clashes with Lauren (Stephanie Jacobsen). She becomes even more upset when he shows up at the hospital as the newest resident. Riley (Jessica Lucas) asks Ben (guest star Billy Campbell) for a job, which infuriates Amanda (Heather Locklear), and David (Shaun Sipos) receives life-changing news from an unexpected source. Meanwhile, Ella (Katie Cassidy) makes an unrealistic demand of Jonah (Michael Rady) that backfires.
What Works: I have, unlike others, been a fan of the series as a whole since the beginning. The hour-long drama has had some stellar episodes including the show’s third which happened to writing by the net’s Life Unexpected creator Liz Tigelaar. The next two episodes I saw both end and start the series in a new direction. In Tuesday’s episode, both Auggie (Colin Egglesfield) and Violet (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) depart the series and we are introduced to Heather Locklear’s (who sticks around the rest of the run) beau played by the talented Billy Campbell, who adds a nice layer in both Ella (Katie Cassidy, who is tremendous) and Riley’s (more on that later) stories.
In next week’s hour, we are greeted to Nick Zano, who plays Drew a new tenant and fellow doctor at the hospital of Lauren. He plays it great, being both funny and sarcastic, and adding a much more humorous layer to the show. That cannot be said however…
What Doesn’t: For the duo of Jonah and Riley, who I just do not care for, the rocky relationships comes to a concluding (sort-of) in the next hours, but both the chemistry and the acting are not of quality. I almost feel like they should be have been the ones to exit.
Another misstep is the use of David, who does not really seem to hold a purpose in any story after Sydney’s murder was cleared up.
Overall, I still quite enjoy the campy, soapy, fun drama of the apartment building but in the end does that really matter? The shows ratings are abysmal and the show is that of wait-and-see, if quality and ratings approve it could become something worth watching but for now its just there. (I would still watch however for the just the talent of the stellar Katie Cassidy, get here a pilot now!)
Melrose Place resumes after the return of 90210 at 9.8c on The CW.