Second Annual 90210 Evaluation

30 05 2010

With the One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl evaluations complete (results for GG will be posted later today), the last set before the final match-up is 90210.

You have until Tuesday at 11:59pm to answer the polls.

**Please remember your answers should be based solely on the season that just ended, except for the last question, which is about the show overall.**

Note: The format is wonky for the open-ended questions.  Please put your answer in the “other” space.

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Spoiler: Watch With Kristin

20 04 2010

RELEVANT QUESTIONS–DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!!!

Mike in Alexandria, Va.: I’m dying for news on One Tree Hill! Please tell us, will it survive? Or will the CW pick up Life Unexpected instead?
Still no decisions yet, but they both could come back—possibly with shortened seasons, so keep the faith! We’ll find out May 20. As for OTH, I’ll be (hopefully) talking to James Lafferty and/or Rob Buckley this week, so please email me any Q’s you have or send them via twitter @kristinalert.

Erica in Turkey: We need some Chuck and Blair scoop that is good please on Gossip Girl!
I’m so sad to have to say this, but I don’t have anything new to report on the Chair front. I’m trying to keep the faith with you, and I know they will reunite at some point, but it might not be superquick, sorry.

Elise from Austin, Texas: I just can’t get on board with Gia and Adrianna on 90210. I miss her and Navid being together. Any hope?
Well, I’d say yes, after sitting down with Michael Steger to talk about the rest of the season. He says Navid and Adrianna (Jessica Lowndes) “develop a strong friendship again.” That’s good news, yes? I can also tell you that their bond gets stronger because of some changes in her music career. And what of Navid’s new girl Lila (Amber Wallace)? “We take it to another level, but it’s a temporary thing,” Michael dishes. So hope is lost for all you Adrianna/Navid fans!

Rebecca in Oregon: Any hope for Naomi and Liam?
I’m told she’ll be single for a while. Sorry.

Credit: E! Online

****

Notes:

Life Unexpected stars Kerr Smith (Jack, Dawson’s Creek).

I think there’s a typo in this sentence: “So hope is lost for all you Adrianna/Navid fans!” Based on the sentences before it, it probably should read “So no hope is lost for all you Adrianna/Navid fans!” Or, alternatively, “All hope is not lost for all you Adrianna/Navid fans!”





Exclusive: Amber Wallace Talks 90210, Looks Back on One Tree Hill

4 04 2010

Regular TDW readers know what a small world the world of teen dramas is. We see it each week with Six Degrees of Teen Dramas, finding how one actor leads to another. But the best connection is when you need just one actor.

That’s why I was thrilled last December when I spotted Amber Wallace on 90210. Previously seen as Glenda on One Tree Hill, Wallace was introduced on 90210 as Lila, a star reporter for the Blaze. When the show came back from hiatus in early March, we saw Wallace’s role grow.

In our exclusive interview, Wallace and I chatted about her characters on both shows as well as her musical inclinations.

TeenDramaWhore: 90210 viewers first met you in an episode that aired in December [Episode 2.12, Winter Wonderland]. When did you know you would be coming back again?

Amber Wallace: I already knew about the episode with Navid [Michael Steger] and the date [Episode 2.15, What’s Past Is Prologue]. I knew I was going to be in it for, I thought, maybe a couple of episodes. I didn’t realize I was going to be in it for the length that I actually am.

TDW: Wow. So all those episodes back, all those months back, this was technically coming up and we, as viewers, had no idea that the seeds were being planted for this current storyline.

Wallace: Exactly. I think this season they had the writers come in and do this whole outline for the whole thing so they knew what was going to be happening. And, like I said, I thought I was only going to be in a couple of episodes and every time I would go to the script reading, it was like, “Is my character going to be written out this week?”

TDW: But you ended up doing a batch of six.

Wallace: Yes.

TDW: What’s coming up next?

Wallace: The band plays live and everything that goes along with that. That episode is really fun and really cute. Nothing too heartbreaking in that. And then the episode after that, jealousy comes into play.

TDW: It seems that Navid and Lila have the common journalism interest going for them and they remembered they shared a past when they were young. But Navid and Adrianna [Jessica Lowndes] are so different. Do you think opposites attract? Or does Lila have the upper-hand?

Wallace: I don’t know. It really depends. I think when opposites attract, it can be better because things won’t get boring. It kind of adds life to the relationship. You learn things from the other person. Navid and Adrianna, they have such a strong past with the things that they went through, so I think that’s where their bond comes from. But I think it helps to have things to talk about, things in common because that helps with little every day stuff, what you want to do and sharing it with someone else. But it really depends. It can be different.

TDW: Is Lila familiar with everything Adrianna and Navid went through the year before?

Wallace: You know, it never said anything in the script but I made a choice to be aware of most of it. Lila doesn’t run in the same crowd so I don’t think she knows everything that happened but everyone in the school knew that Adrianna was pregnant. I made a choice to have Lila be aware that they went through pretty significant events, regardless of whether I knew exactly what each one of them were. So whether or not Lila knew–weren’t they engaged at one point or something?

TDW: They kind of were.

Wallace: I think that’s something that Lila did not know.

TDW: Coming into this, where you’re playing opposite two characters who have this intricate backstory, did you have to read up on last season or did you watch the episodes or anything?

Wallace: I definitely did. When I found out I was going to be on the show, I went and I got the [first] season and I made sure that I watched all of the episodes. When I was on set, I tried to ask the actors, for the episodes that hadn’t aired yet, “What’s happening? I need to know” and they told me. I think it’s really important to know the [characters] and what’s going on. It can be a little intimidating to go on a set and be a new character and not know anyone, especially when you’re coming between two characters that are so huge in the show so I better have my info straight!

TDW: What’s the deal with you coming back next season? Is it possible?

Wallace: Maybe, yeah. I think it’s one of things where it really depends on how everyone takes Lila, if they like her a lot. It’s one of those things where people need to write in and say, “I really like this character. I’d really like to see her again” and if there’s an overwhelming majority vote on that, then I think it’s a definite possibility that she can come back.

TDW: I can’t interview you and not ask about One Tree Hill, where you played Glenda. Your first episode there was the school shooting [Episode 3.16, With Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept].

Wallace: Right.

TDW: Do you remember what kind of reaction you had when you first read the script for that episode?

Wallace: Well, actually, I was not given the full script for that episode. That episode was very hush-hush because it was so dramatic and so much happened. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I knew that there was a school shooting but I didn’t know who was doing it. Really, I knew what my character knew. I’m stuck in a gym with this girl [Brooke, Sophia Bush] and there’s a shooting going on and we all have to go home. I literally knew what Glenda knew and that kinda helped in the acting. So I had no idea and when I saw the episode, it was so stunning. I felt so honored to be part of something like that. The episode was so beautiful and heartfelt. I cried.

TDW: Were you surprised when the next season came around and they asked you to come back?

Wallace: I was completely surprised and thrilled. I had one scene [Episode 4.04, Can’t Stop This Thing We’ve Started] and I became a goth all of a sudden, which was really funny to me. When we were filming that scene with me and Sophia, they were like, “Oh, we’re going to bring you into wardrobe and get you fitted the next episode.” And I was like, “Next episode? I’m doing another episode?” It was taken episode-by-episode and I wasn’t really sure when I’d be gone. I actually had to turn down an episode. I was asked to be in the finale of that season but I was filming a movie at the time and I couldn’t do it.

TDW: Oh, wow. Did you know what you were going to be doing in the finale?

Wallace: No idea. With that show, I didn’t go to any of the script readings. Sometimes I would get a script and sometimes I wouldn’t. It was a little bit different. The set was kind of different. So I have no idea what I would’ve been doing.

TDW: One of the other episodes you did, though, where you’re paired up with Lucas [Chad Michael Murray], is one of my favorites [Episode 4.13, Pictures of You]. That was a fun episode but there’s such meaning there in the conversations you had, in teaching each other about stereotypes and judging people before you actually know them. Really, you were on for a short amount of time overall, but you took part in two really meaningful, memorable episodes in the series, in  my opinion.

Wallace: Yeah, I guess you’re right. I think it helps that I have a different look from a lot of actresses today. That’s something that I really enjoy because I do tend to play characters that impart that message. It is an important message, not to judge people if they’re different and that people need to be happy with themselves if they are different.

TDW: Going along with that–and I want to word this as respectfully as possible–I’ve seen some comments from people who have said they are thrilled to see Navid with Lila because she’s full-figured. She’s not model-skinny.

Wallace: Curvy, I like to say.

TDW: That’s a great way to put it. The show has gotten criticism in the past for having these lead female characters who are stick-figure thin and now people are refreshed to see this new body type on the show.

Wallace: I’m glad.

TDW: Going back to One Tree Hill for a second, are you still in touch with the cast?

Wallace: No. That’s the funny thing about filming as a recurring character or in a movie or something. You work with people closely for a short amount of time and you do make friends but then you go about your way. I didn’t live in North Carolina. It’s hard to stay in contact with people when you’ve only worked with them for a short amount of time and then you go some place else and your lives go separate ways. I think I’m friends with people on Facebook, maybe, but you never really know who’s actually running their Facebook or who’s running anything.

TDW: Speaking of Facebook, and Twitter, too, I see you’re using them increasingly so to interact with fans. What’s that experience been like?

Wallace: It’s not overwhelming if I’m not really working at the time and people find me with “I really liked your character on this…” Sometimes when an episode, like on Tuesday, airs, you get inundated with messages and it can be a little overwhelming. But it’s really cool. It’s very surreal to have people know who you are from your work. This business is so hard to break into. It’s so hard to get roles and be seen and have people comment on what you do. People are really thrilled when you talk to them. “I can’t believe somebody famous is talking to me!” And I’m like, “What?! Me?!

TDW: You forget that you’re the famous one.

Wallace: Exactly. I’m like, “Uh, I’m thrilled that you’re talking to me!

TDW: Your Twitter handle is AmberBrookeBand. Do you have your own band?

Wallace: I do. I have a band that’s based in Atlanta. When I go back, I try to perform shows and rehearse with them. I’m trying to get them to come out here for month or two so we can book some gigs out in L.A. I’m also writing with another friend, actually this girl Jen, who taught everyone their instruments on 90210. She and I have been writing together. I’m just trying to keep myself creative. I love music.

TDW: In the band on the show, you play the bass, right?

Wallace: Yes.

TDW: Do you play that in real life, too?

Wallace: I don’t. I play guitar in real life, which, obviously, is not the same thing but it helps a lot. Our instructor, Jen, she’s brilliant. She helped me so much. It was a little bit difficult but I think I picked it up pretty quickly.

TDW: What’s next for you?

Wallace: I have some projects possibly on the way. I’m talking to people about that. And then just trying to audition. I just moved to L.A. from Atlanta, when I started filming 90210. I was like, “I’m going to go out and film that, I might as well stay and make the big move and really go for it.” There’s nothing at the moment to talk about, though, but hopefully good things, hopefully more projects. We’ll see.

TDW: Keep us posted!

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Spoiler: You Ask, I Answer

23 03 2010

RELEVANT QUESTIONS–DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!!!

More “90210” please, you haven’t done a Q&A in a while. -Casey
This week’s hour will feature the rebound of Mr. Navid Shirazi. His suspension for coke possession is finally up and he starts dating that new chick, Lila… who ends up having a connection to his ex, Adrianna, that is hardly comfortable.

How much trouble is Dixon’s birth mom going to cause now that she’s in Bev Hills? -RR
Mother and son will have some trouble connecting at first, but their mutual love of basketball may ease a bit of the awkwardness. Unfortunately, I’m hearing her influence may indirectly incite an online gambling addiction in Dix.

Are we finally rid of that creep Jasper? Tell me it’s over between him and Annie. -P

I can tell you no such thing. Creep be stalkin’ little miss Wilson this week. He won’t let up that easy.

Teddy and Silver on “90210”? Will it last? -Grace
There will be bumps in the road. Silver actually sends Gia (Rumer Willis) on a recon mission this week to find out if he might already be cheating on her. It doesn’t go over well. But I think these two are going to go the distance despite their issues.

Any “90210” scoop? -JenniferC
With Dixon’s biological mom staying at their house and Debbie’s yoga instructor (Greg Vaughan) being more supportive of Deb’s feelings than Harry, we’re going to start seeing the first major cracks in the Wilsons’ marriage…

Credit: Zap2it

***

Only thing really new here is the gambling thing with Dixon. And to that I say, see Brandon’s storylines in seasons 3 and 6 of Beverly Hills 90210.





Exclusive: 90210’s Michael Steger Talks Navid’s Future, Journalism and More

7 03 2010

I first interviewed Michael Steger in spring 2008, shortly after The CW announced they ordered their 90210 pilot as a full series. He and the rest of the cast didn’t know much about their characters yet but he did know this: he’d sort of be Andrea Zuckerman version 2.0, via his association with the West Beverly Blaze.

I was sold. After all, Andrea had been the Beverly Hills 90210 character I identified with most (at least until she got pregnant and married–in that order–while a freshman in college…can’t say that happened to me!). A season-and-a-half later, I’m more than pleased to see Steger’s character Navid Shirazi still has the journalism connection.

While chatting on the phone earlier this week, Steger shared with me his favorite real-life journalists, filled me in on Navid’s storyline for the next few episodes (is there a possible battle of the red-heads brewin’?) and expressed where he’d like to see 90210 to go in season 3.

TeenDramaWhore: I’ve been reading up and watching the other interviews you’ve done lately. There’s a clip showing Navid by the lockers in school, wanting to plant some drugs on Jasper [Zachary Ray Sherman].

Michael Steger: I end up finding a way to get cocaine and I have a plan to use it to get Jasper kicked out of school. I’m trying to recruit Dixon [Tristan Wilds] and Liam [Matt Lanter] to help.

TDW: What is his motivation? Is it strictly because he wants his own revenge or is it out of concern for Annie [Shenae Grimes]? Or both?

Steger: I think it’s a little bit of both. I know Jasper pushed me down the stairs and no one else believes me. I also caught him selling drugs to Adrianna [Jessica Lowndes] and he’s also hurting Annie. So there’s a lot of reason for Navid to have pure hate for this guy. There’s a lot motivating Navid.

TDW: Is Navid any way connected to the Adrianna-Gia [Rumer Willis] romance?

Steger: I think Navid is questing his manhood. His self-esteem is really hurt. He’s asking himself a lot of questions, like “Does she not like men because she was with me? What’s going on?” He’s kind of perturbed a little bit that they’re together. He’s not used to it.

TDW: I’ve also heard that Navid gets a girl of his own.

Steger: Yes. Coincidentally, we’re both dating red-heads. I end up dating my star reporter, Lila [Amber Wallace (Glenda, One Tree Hill)], who’s almost as ambitious as I am. She works for the Blaze. I went through so much with Adrianna and Jasper and it’s made me completely devoted to journalism.

TDW: Speaking of journalism, I really like the journalistic side of Navid, for obvious reasons. I was wondering if you have a favorite journalist or someone in the media world you really admire.

Steger: Yeah, absolutely. Love Charlie Rose. Every time I catch him late at night, I really enjoy watching him. The questions he asks–I think he’s so smart. Diane Sawyer, love her. I really enjoy Bill Maher. I don’t know that he’s necessarily a hard-hitting journalist. More like a personality.

TDW: Going back to the show, I heard that the season finale is called Confessions. So I’m wondering how Navid figures into that. What might Navid be confessing?

Steger: Ohhh, you’ve got the good questions! He does have a confession. I can’t say what. It’s such a good episode. I think the fans are really, really going to like this one. A lot goes down and you see everybody’s true colors come out. He’s going to take everybody by surprise.

TDW: Is there anything in particular you’d like to do in season 3? Any storylines you want to tackle?

Steger: I’d like for the Blaze to showcase more hard-hitting issues, bringing hot topics to the forefront and educating our audience. I feel like there’s so much out there kids should be aware of. For instance, what’s going on in Haiti and different things around the world. I think those topics should be intertwined in storylines to get people aware. We’re part of pop culture and as much influence as we can impress upon kids, the better. So I would say promote more positive messages, because I know we’re busy always pushing the envelope and all the drama but it’s always good to throw some good examples in there.

TDW: I think that’s a really good idea. Something else I’ve heard from readers is that they want to know more about Navid’s family. We’ve seen your parents briefly here and there but will we see them again, maybe in a larger capacity?

Steger: Yeah, I think so. The writers, we’ve been talking about diving more into Navid’s relationship with his dad and the porn industry and how dysfunctional it is and how Navid feels about it. It’s almost like Navid is trying to escape that and wants to find success in something he finds classy and artistic. I think there’s a lot of room for stories with his family. He has to deal with this materialistic life as best as he can but it’s overwhelming. He drives a Lamborghini; he lives in a mansion. It’s a lot to deal with. It’s a lot of pressure for him.

TDW: You’ve already finished filming for the season, so what’s next for you?

Steger: I went to New York right away to see a bunch of theater. Now I’m getting back to my actor roots, looking for jobs and projects to get involved with. I’m having a great time. I’m really excited for this break.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





News Roundup: 90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and More

5 03 2010
  • Have you taken the TDW Survey yet?
  • The Hollywood Reporter has a very interesting interview with CW head Dawn Ostroff, where she discusses 90210 and Gossip Girl, in addition to One Tree Hill.
  • TeenTelevision.com and Digital Spy have spoiler-filled interviews with Michael Steger (Navid, 90210). I’ll be posting my own interview with Steger on Sunday.
  • Amber Wallace (Glenda, One Tree Hill) will be reprising her role as Lila on 90210. Zap2it has some spoilish details and I’ll have some, too, in my Steger interview.
  • There’s some evidence that this newly-made Twitter account (and the linked Facebook page) is actually Shannen Doherty (Brenda, Beverly Hills 90210), particularly because verified accounts for Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano are communicating with it. But her reps insist to me it’s not. Interpret as you wish.
  • Also found a listing on Amazon for Doherty’s upcoming book, Bad Ass. Have to say I’m kind of surprised…
  • Rebecca Gayheart (Toni, Beverly Hills 90210) and hubby Eric Dane welcomed a baby girl earlier this week.
  • Last night’s Jimmy Fallon featured a super-awesome reunion of the super-awesome California Dreams cast, which included Heidi Lenhart (Ellen, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • NYU Livewire has a very interesting article with suggestions on how to improve Gossip Girl.
  • One Tree Hill co-producer Kelly Tenney has another SoGoPro blog post about filming in Utah.
  • MTV has a video interview with James Van Der Beek (Dawson, Dawson’s Creek), where he says he and Michelle Williams (Jen, Dawson’s Creek) would be interested in some sort of “reunion show.” Don’t get that at all since A) Van Der Beek said last month he wasn’t interested in one, B) creator Kevin Williamson said during November’s Paley Panel he wasn’t interested in one, C) The series finale took place 5 years in the future, D) Jen died in the finale and E) Williams didn’t even participate in the Paley Panel.
  • Jeri Ryan (Charlotte, The O.C.) has been cast in Body of Evidence, an ABC pilot.







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