90210: Why Emily? Why Now?

There’s a new face in the 90210—but sadly this Emily’s last name isn’t Valentine.

For those unfamiliar with the original incarnation of Beverly Hills, 90210 (shame on you), Emily Valentine was the charismatic nutcase who infiltrated everyone’s lives in Season 2 and developed a terrifying crush on Brandon. She also liked to burn things. 90210’s new Emily seems a bit more balanced, at least initially, but she already has the makings of a villain.

This Emily is Annie and Dixon’s cousin. She’s played by Abbie Blonde, who freakishly enough looks exactly like Original Recipe 90210's Jennie Garth. (You might remember her from the new series as Kelly, Silver’s older sister who vanished when the creators decided they were done with the old characters.) Emily is cute and bubbly and completely insufferable, which is the point—I hope. If we’re actually supposed to like this character, the writers and the actor need to hash things out a bit. A Kansas transplant, Emily is excited to dive into the sexy, celebrity-laden world of Beverly Hills.

I’m worried. I watch 90210 for the crazy, so don’t think I’m against the idea of a newcomer stirring things up. But there’s something that smacks of desperation here: the sudden introduction of a never-before-mentioned family member into the main character’s life is classic “Jumping the Shark” territory. And relax—I’m not saying 90210 has made that leap. (Frankly, it kind of did back and Season 1, and look how well it recovered.) But why Emily? Why now?

Season 3 is already overstuffed, thanks to the introduction of obnoxious side characters like Oscar (Blair Redford) and Charlie (Evan Ross). Oscar served his purpose, mucking things up between Ivy and Dixon—not to mention Ivy and her mom. And Charlie continues to put a kink in the Annie/Liam romance we’ve been craving for, like, ever. At this point, enough is enough. We’ve spent too much time on peripheral storylines that just aren’t that interesting. There’s plenty of drama among the series regulars: It’s time for 90210 to stop throwing new faces at us and seeing what sticks.

Because it's not like there wasn’t enough entertainment in Monday night’s episode. I still enjoy Teddy’s budding relationship with Ian, even though—spoiler alert—Kyle Riabko has already announced his intentions to skip out on the series. And how cathartic was Naomi’s final confrontation with her rapist? The Naomi-Silver-Cannon showdown should have been the focal point—it could have more than carried the episode. I care more about the characters I’ve followed from the get-go than the contrived interlopers. Ooh, Emily has a crush on Liam. Honey, everyone has a crush on Liam. He’s Liam. Have you seen him shirtless?

Whatever. I’ll ride this out, especially because 90210 has offered an ample amount of pleasant surprises in the past. And hey, if they can turn Emily into a fully-fleshed, worthwhile addition to the regular cast, I’m all for it. That’s how we got Liam, Teddy, and Ivy, and I’m not ready to part with them anytime soon.

Side note: If the writers decided to send Adrianna back to rehab for the rest of the season, I’d be pretty OK with that. Just saying.

What are your first impressions of Emily? Does she worry you as much as she worries me?


Follow TV.com writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom

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wow i was so happy about the girls finding out that emily thinks so lowly of them! and annie and liam are together!!! YEY!
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OMG I HATE EMILY! The worst part is, my name is Emily! Shes a disgrace to all Emily's. I get that the directors want drama and Emily is ok for that but they better get her caught by her Annies boyfriend and it better be a good exit. i'm hoping that Annie will send a text to liam apoligising 4 acusing emily and before he comes emily and annie will talk and annie will get emily to say tat shes faking everything and liam will overhear them and emily will be OUT
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I HATE HER. she got annie fired and suspended, turned her friends against her, stole her play part AND is breaking liam and annie up! >:(
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I absolutely hate her. Fair enough we need to throw abit of a spanner in the works but she is just PLAIN ANNOYING! annie like you said is the main character and my favourite character...Liam is just Liam he is hot! I think they should stop meddling with Annie for now as Dyantha said because there is enough drama going on with the Teddy gay thing and the Navid-Silver-Ade thing...

Its also like the thing in the O.C with Oliver-Ryan-Marissa? Which also really got on my nerves so I hope for my sanity that she leaves! Rant over :)
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I really don't like Emily and I really hope they phase out the character soon because it's ruining the show... it's not working AT ALL and I can't stand it... I get it they want the drama but they have enough drama and should lay off Annie and concentrate soley on Annie and Liam building a relationship instead of trying to sabotage it everytime they try to get together it's too much!
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I kinda don't like emily to be honest! I wish the writers gave annie a break.. abbie's character is trying to break up annie and her friends and with liam! we have seen it before.. just give them a break..and please get emily to go away!
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Thanks for writing down the name of the actress Emily - She SOOOOOOOOO looks freakishly like Jennie Garth that I was wondering if Jennie were actually her mother.
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I am so sick of the writers copying the original series. The thing that made the old 90210 so amazing was the fact that they dealt with issues that were ignored by the public beforehand, it was both shocking and newsworthy. For me the new one is way more of a guilty plessure than a must-see event
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Mmmmm Liaaam.... Uh what? I'm sorry, I drooled a little there. I love Ivy. I want her to be my BFF. I'm really pissed at Kyle Riabko cos I love Teddy and Ian. I get bread-and-butterflies in my stomach just by looking at them. Adrianna was my favorite character in season one and they've ruined her. But I am loving Silver's Madonna in the "Papa Don't Preach" video haircut.
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im sick of people randomly appearing in hopes of ruining someones life: Jen with Naomi, Oscar with Ivy and her mum and now Emily trying to destroy Annie\'s life?

90210 need to introduce an uber -you know what- seen as though Naomi isn't really one anymore and give the existing characters bigger more shocking stories.
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yeah i think i read that emily is going to single-white-female annie. i'm all for that, i love the crazy characters, they provide such amusement.
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we will see,,,
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This sucks. I read that Emily turns everyone against Annie - boo. I love Annie, she's probably my fave character - except for liam. Plus liam and annie have to have a proper romance soon. Or ill die D: Theyre made for each other. But i dont like this emily girl. too complicated and it spoils it. And pfft. How can you not fancy liam? He's smokin'. ;D
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When i saw Emily last night, she looked exactly like Jennie Garth did when she was in the original series.....and i'm 17
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i read somewhere emilys gonna be a villain like she;ll turn all annie's friends against her. and i agree, who doesnt love liam? ;)
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