Why Heather Locklear's Return to Melrose Place Doesn't Matter

Ugh. The bitch is back, I guess. Heather Locklear returned to Melrose Place last night, reprising her role as Amanda Woodward. Locklear, whose promotion to series regular during the second season of the original Melrose immediately boosted the ratings, probably won't be able to perform that miracle again. Because no one cares! As Ella's new boss, it's somewhat interesting to see Locklear butt heads with Katie Cassidy, who's basically Locklear 2.0. But there is a larger problem with this kind of stunt casting: The audience for the new Melrose Place has no effing clue who any of the people from the old Melrose Place are.

The original Melrose premiered 17 years ago. The new one is obviously targeted at (very) young adults, not only because it is on the CW but because only teenagers (and not particularly smart ones) could be captivated by the amount of dumbness that is depicted in any given episode. Today's teenagers were babies, either newborns or younger, when the original debuted. Not to make sweeping generalizations, but I conducted an imaginary poll of 100 teenagers, asking them if they cared about the existence of Heather Locklear. The answers ranged from "who's that?" to "not unless she can get me into the Nordstrom New Moon screenings." (At the risk of veering into the inappropriate, the only other possible demographic for this show consists of people who think Katie Cassidy is the hottest girl on television since, well, Heather Locklear. And we they don't need their ogling interrupted by the constant reminder of what she will look like in 20 years. Which is still pretty great, but you know.)

It's nice that Locklear is getting work, if she wants it. But the return of Amanda, or Sydney, or Jane, or Michael isn't helping Melrose 2009. Let's focus on the new characters and try to make the show interesting. We're running out of time. And cast members.

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