Exclusive: Six Questions For 90210 Music Supervisor Scott Vener

13 06 2010

When 90210 featured The Script in an episode last fall, I had no idea who they were. Fast-forward to April when their single “Breakeven (Falling To Pieces)” went platinum–selling more than one million copies and playing on an endless loop inside my head.

In the last few months, I begun to increasingly wonder about 90210’s music selection process and (politely) stalked the show’s music supervisor, Scott Vener, for the low-down.

Vener took time out for a quick chat via e-mail about working on 90210 and two successful HBO shows.

TeenDramaWhore: What does it mean to be a music supervisor? What is the process for selecting music for a 90210 episode?

Scott Vener: The process is different on all shows.  But, on 90210, I pool together a library of music for the editors so they have music they can cut picture to.  I would say most of the songs come from me.  However, I’m really lucky on 90210 to be working with some really great editors who know music pretty well.  They make a lot of contributions.  Also, the showrunner [Rebecca Sinclair] has great taste and she is really supportive of using eclectic stuff, which makes my job a lot more fun rather than just placing songs that are currently charting on the radio.

TDW: Do you have a favorite 90210 “music moment,” a scene and song that really stands out to you in your memory?

Vener: I really loved using the song “Cat & Mouse” by this new group Nikki & Rich in the first episode of the season [Episode 2.01, To New Beginnings].  You can YouTube it.  It’s great!

TDW: The original 90210 had the After Dark, a club for the characters to gather where popular music artists would perform. This has also been seen on other teen shows, like The O.C., which had a place called The Bait Shop. Aside from The Script playing at the Beverly Hills Beach Club earlier this season [Episode 2.05, Environmental Hazards] and a brief performance by N.E.R.D [Episode 2.08, Women’s Intuition], the new 90210 has stayed away from that. Is that an intentional choice?

Vener: I don’t really know because I don’t write the scripts : )

TDW: How did Soundtrack 90210 come about? Any plans for a “volume 2”?

Vener: The soundtrack was CBS’s idea.  The show really lends itself to being a music-driven show.  So, having a soundtrack made sense.  I’m not sure if we’re going to do a new one.

TDW: You also work on Entourage and, more recently, How To Make It In America [starring Bryan Greenberg (Jake, One Tree Hill)]. How do you balance three shows and how do you think the music style for the shows differ?

Vener: They shoot at different times so it’s not hard to balance them all.  I definitely think the styles are really different.  There definitely is some cross-over.  I used Nas and Damian Marley’s song “As We Enter” and Broken Bells’ song “The High Road” on both 90210 and How To Make It.  But what I love about 90210 is I can use more singer-songwriter stuff that probably wouldn’t fit on either How To Make It or Entourage.  Entourage is definitely closer in style to How To Make It because they both lend themselves to hip hop.

TDW: Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you have a favorite artist right now?

Vener: I really don’t like to use anything I don’t listen to in my personal life.  I definitely search music blogs all over the Internet from people all over the world.  I got a few people (blogs) working for me, who have no idea they work for me.  I feel guilty. I don’t pay them. (No, I don’t. Ha.) Foals’ new album is great.  It’s not out yet but I have it and it’s awesome.  Also, The Morning Benders, Nikki & Rich, and Freddie Gibbs.

TDW Interview Index

Live-Blog: 90210 2.05

6 10 2009

Last Week’s Reaction Post

Keep refreshing this page throughout the show for plot developments, quotes and commentary.


  • Previously on: Dixon and Sasha meet, Dixon lies about who he is, Dixon sees Sasha hugging Debbie, Annie hits someone, Annie meets someone’s nephew, Liam secrely records Jen, Silver sees Adrianna kissing Teddy, Navid and Adrianna have sex
  • LOL Look at that smile on Navid’s face. And that super-happy attitude. We all know what that’s from!
  • So I guess this is the next day?  Navid said that, I think.
  • Liam tells the guys he has a way to get Naomi back but he won’t tell how.
  • LOL Navid is asking the guys if he looks different.
  • Dixon reveals why and Teddy looks very uncomfortable and a bit disappointed.
  • Navid’s kind of an idiot for sharing this in front of Teddy in the first place.
  • Uht oh. Teddy just suggested a double date!  He will take some girl called Jasmine and show he’s “friends with respectable couples.”
  • Debbie getting a pedicure…and who sits down next to her? Sasha!
  • Man, Sasha was following her!  Sketch.
  • Sasha thinks Dixon and Debbie are married until Debbie says she’s been married 17 years and has pictures of her kids, juniors in high school.
  • Debbie shows pics and Sasha figures out who he is.
  • Naomi is in a meeting with a guidance counselor, who clearly isn’t Kelly, talking about college.
  • Naomi wants to go to California University.  Shocker!
  • Apparently her grandfather went there.
  • Naomi says she’ll be in Pi Phi. What happened to the Alphas?
  • The counselor tells Naomi she won’t get into CU because of her grades.
  • Naomi is totally dejected.
  • Liam sees her and approaches with his phone ready to play the message but when he sees she’s crying, he just lets her walk away. Wrong move.
  • Jasper tells Annie he had a good time with her the other night and asks to hang out.
  • I missed a couple of good quotes already! Naomi on CU versus east coast schools and Jasper quote Oscar Wilde. Damn.
  • Navid, Silver and Adrianna are out to a fancy dinner to celebrate Adrianna’s accomplishments–whatever those are.
  • I’m surprised Silver went, giving what she saw.
  • But Navid jsut walked away and Silver is suggestively telling Adrianna how lucky she is to have him.
  • Oh, they’re at an AA meeting!
  • And Silver just spotted her and Kelly’s mom, Jackie!
  • Jackie sees her but doesn’t go after her.
  • Dixon is at Sasha’s with roses.
  • Sasha tells him to go away and not come back because she knows who he really is.
  • Sasha says she feels like a fool for falling for a high school kid.
  • How about the legal implications?!
  • She tells him again to stay away and slams the door.
  • Adrianna is at Kelly’s house to see Silver…but apparently Silver now lives in the garage?!  It’s totally pimped out like a bedroom.  Interesting change. Though, to be fair, we didn’t where she lived in the house before.  It could’ve always been this.
  • Adrianna tells Silver she spoke to Jackie and Jackie really wants to see her.
  • Silver says she doesn’t want to but Adrianna says she’s changed and cleaned up.
  • Silver says Adrianna hasn’t changed and reveals she saw her kiss Teddy.
  • Adrianna is taken aback and says it was a mistake.
  • Silver urges her to tell Navid, because it’s not going to go away.  Silver cites her kiss with Ethan as proof.
  • Adrianna says it’s different because Silver was confused on who she liked and she’s not.
  • Silver said putting it aside won’t word and Adrianna tells her to mind her own business and leaves.
  • Ryan’s teaching. We haven’t seen this kind of scene in a while.
  • Liam gets in trouble when another kid starts playing with his phone and Ryan takes it away. Problematic since the recording is on there.
  • Silver spies Naomi in sweats and the “natural” look (even though she clearly still has makeup on.
  • Naomi says she’s going to end up working in a fast food, so she might as well look the part.
  • Silver recruits Adrianna for help, saying this is a “problem.”
  • Ryan tells Liam his writing is good and he should enter a contest with the LA Times.  (Nice plug there for a publication who covers them a lot!)
  • Liam says he doesn’t want to and demands his phone back. Ryan says he has to wait til the end of the day.
  • The guys are playing pool but Dixon is sulking over Sasha.  Teddy offers a replacement.
  • I didn’t buy all of these guys as a group of friends at first, but now that I’m seeing it again and again, I kind of like it.
  • Liam says Dixon still has a chance with Sasha, saying there’s “a way around obstacles” but Navid says he shouldn’t “get [his] hopes up.”
  • Dixon resolves to try again.
  • HOLY CRAP! THAT IS NOT CU!  Unacceptable.
  • Guess they couldn’t shoot at Occidental again.  But then make it a new college, dammit.  Stop changing original 90210 things!
  • Silver and Adrianna took Naomi to lunch on the campus to try to restore her faith.
  • They point out Naomi never takes no for an answer so she shouldn’t now.  Their examples are pretty funny.
  • Naomi perks up again when a guy flirts with her.
  • Liam sneaks into Ryan’s classroom.
  • Adrianna and Navid have sex again…and are craving food. Um, okay.
  • Navid says Teddy asked to double date and Adrianna refuses, claiming she just wants to be with Navid alone.
  • Navid says he already said yes and it’s just one night.
  • Ade reluctantly agrees.
  • Ryan catches Liam searching his desk for the phone.
  • Liam claims his phone was that important and Ryan gives him detention.
  • They start arguing.
  • Liam wants to know why Ryan is after him and Ryan says this isn’t his first problem with him so he’s going to call his parents.
  • Liam gets upset, saying his stepfather is a jerk.
  • But Ryan points out that he has a problem with everyone so maybe HE’S the problem.
  • Naomi is “studying” to go to CU. But she really plans on dating the dean’s son and using him to get in close with the dean herself.  ‘Cause this will end well.  (And I bet the dean is no Chancellor Arnold!)
  • Naomi says she’s going to pretend to be environmental, because that’s what the guy is interested in.
  • Dixon goes to see Sasha and asks for her to just listen to him.
  • Does he really think this can work?  Apparently.
  • Dixon says he lied because he thought was “cool, down-to-earth [and] beautiful.”
  • He says he’s glad he lied because he got to know her and everything else he told was true.
  • He asks to start over.
  • Interesting…he seems so childish now when we knew he was a kid all along.
  • Sasha tells him to get lost. Aw. Sad for him but I think it’s for the best.
  • Silver finds a letter from her mom, asking her to come to the AA meting.
  • Silver confides in Naomi about her mom but says she doesn’t know if she’ll go.
  • Jasper and Annie did hang out, apparently, and are continuing to bond.
  • I really like Jasper’s spiky, messy hair and his clothes.  Totally the guys I loved in high school.  Though his voice annoys me a lot.
  • Jasper invites Annie to see The Script play at the beach club but she doesn’t want to go because most of the people she “hates” will be there. He promises she won’t have to see them.
  • LOL Naomi drove to campus but now is riding around her bike.  And she lies to the dean’s son–Richard–about how she got there.
  • Naomi is BSing her environmental knowledge and Richard is quite impressed. And a bit socially-awkward.
  • Naomi gets him to agree to go to a movie together.  Guess he doesn’t care about the age difference. LOL
  • Adrianna and Navid meet Teddy and Jasmine for the date.
  • Teddy insists on a hug from Adrianna.  Oh boy.  And then Ade kisses Navid.  Double oh boy.
  • Jasmine is pretty. Apparently she just moved from Hawaii.
  • Teddy is being overtly sexual/lovey-dovey and Adrianna is alternately trying to do the same and get in Teddy’s way.
  • Strange. That overhead shot of West Bev looked more like the old CU.
  • Liam’s step-father is going off on him.
  • Liam’s mom is trying to defend him but the step-dad won’t give in, calling Liam “a bad seed.”
  • Ryan shows up and reveals that Liam isn’t in trouble and says he wanted to tell them how great Liam’s been doing.
  • Mom is proud and step-dad is clearly shocked.
  • That was very nice of Ryan. I guess he thought about things more and it gave him some perspective.
  • Jackie is at the AA meeting and clearly disappointed until Silver shows up.
  • I am intrigued to see them interact, since we haven’t really except for a drop last season and when Erin was little.
  • Liam thanks Ryan for doing that and gets his phone back.
  • He also says he’ll enter the essay contest.
  • Teddy is MIA from the table and Adrianna excuses herself as well.  They end up meeting in the hallway.
  • Adrianna asks him why he asked for the double date and points out he’s only doing it for “revenge.”
  • Teddy asks why does she care who he dates when she has a boyfriend.
  • Ade denies that she’s jealous. She clearly is.
  • And at least teddy admits he’s trying to make her jealous.
  • OMG! Ade tells him to kiss whoever he wants, so he kisses her! Intensely! And she was into it!
  • Ade finally breaks away and tells Teddy he shouldn’t have done that.
  • I did not see that coming.  And it was kind of hot.
  • And is kind of making me torn about this!
  • Could I finally be getting into a storyline? Hmmm.
  • Though I did feel for some of last year’s triangles, too.  Double hmmm.
  • I think I just love love triangles and couples that want to be together but can’t.
  • Adrianna and Navid leave, presumably after hte meal ends, and Navid senses something’s up. Adrianna lamely (and rudely) claims she has a headache.
  • Naomi is back on campus and the cute guy she flirted with earlier–Jamie–is back and flirting with her again. Hardcore.
  • Apparently Jamie is everything Naomi said earlier that he wants.
  • Richard comes up…apparently he and Jamie are roommates!
  • Naomi is clearly embarrassed.
  • Liam and Dixon are at beach club for the concert.
  • Dixon says he’s hoping it gets his mind off Sasha…but she’s there!
  • Sasha says the band are “adult friends” of hers.  Not fair of her to claim a band or a hangout.
  • Liam says they can leave but Dixon says they’ll stay.
  • The Script perform.
  • Dixon longingly gazes at Sasha, who tries to resist staring too.
  • Why can’t they just end this?  There’s no way for it to work.
  • Jasper and Annie are listening to the concert from a room.  They’re at the concert but away from the people Annie didn’t want to see. Voila!
  • Annie seems quite happy.  Falling for him?  You bet.
  • Jackie is speaking at the AA meeting, apologizing for her faults and vowing not to let her daughters down again.
  • Silver gets up to speak. This won’t go well, I know it.
  • Yep! Silver slams Jackie and tells her to stay away.
  • This must be mortifying for Jackie!
  • Silver calls her a “terrible mother” and “the worst of the worst.”
  • And says “you’re dead to me.”  Wowowow.
  • Very harsh but I understand why Silver doesn’t trust her.  Then again, I have to assume this is the first time Jackie’s fallen off the wagon since Erin was born. You would think she would cut her more slack and be more helpful.  But I guess the damage is done!
  • Apparently Jackie gave her a car? I missed that somehow.
  • Promo for The Stepfather, starring Penn Badgley (Dan, Gossip Girl).
  • Dixon asks to leave, saying it’s hard to be where Sasha is.  I can understand that.
  • Liam spots Naomi and approaches, ready to reveal the recording.
  • But she’s there with Richard! And now they’re kissing!
  • Though Naomi is grossed out and only doing it for her plan.
  • Liam tells Dixon that Naomi moved on so they should leave.
  • Sasha stops Dixon from leaving.
  • Richard says the kiss was inappropriate for a tutor-teacher relationship but says he liked it.
  • He always says she’s not like the typical Beverly Hills girl. Ha!
  • Naomi moves things along by asking who his parents are.
  • Liam listens to the recording in his car…and deletes it! There goes that! Yikes!
  • Adrianna calls someone, saying they need to talk and apologizing for her actions.  But who is it?
  • Someone calls back.  Again, who is it?
  • Sasha and Dixon are having sex again! For “the last time” to say “goodbye.”
  • Adrianna shows up at Silver’s and tells her she was right–the Teddy thing didn’t go away. But that’s not why she’s there.
  • Ade says Jackie called her and Silver says to let it go.
  • Adrianna reveals that Jackie has cancer and is dying.
  • Silver is understandably shocked into silence.
  • Fade to black.
  • 75/25 on this episode: liked the Silver, Silver, Adrianna and Annie storylines but disliked Naomi and Dixon’s.
  • Preview: Hookups (Annie and Jasper, Teddy and Adrianna), breakups (Adrianna and Navid), shockers (Navid, Adrianna and Teddy), stalkers (Jasper and Annie) and mockers (Naomi and Adrianna).

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