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

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Live-Blog: 90210 2.08

3 11 2009

The Last Live-Blog

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

EPISODE 2.08: Women’s Intuition

  • Previously on: Liam meets Ivy who he feuds with, Teddy and Adrianna hook up and she breaks up with Navid, Teddy tells Ade he doesn’t want to date her, Liam wants to tell Naomi the truth, Dixon breaks up with Sasha, Sasha says she’s pregnant
  • There wasn’t a new episode last week and this is the first episode of sweeps.
  • Annie in front of the Hollywood sign in black-and-white film
  • It’s a clip of Jasper’s movie
  • He tells Annie she’s beautiful and a “damn good actress”
  • She’s modest about it but Jasper says she shouldn’t be
  • She praises him being “incredibly talented”
  • Japsper, once again, says she’s his muse
  • Gia and Navid walk in as they are kissing
  • Navid is very uncomfortable. Memories of Adrianna?
  • Q1: Wouldn’t want to get in the way of Woodward and Bernstein.–Jasper
  • They leave so Navid can host his Blaze meeting
  • Navid wants to do as story on drug abuse in HS
  • Gia says she has a friend who is a junkie–and Jasper is her drug dealer
  • Ivy, Liam and Teddy are having lunch, bantering with each other
  • Q2: “What, you have a measuring stick?  “Yeah, in his pants.”–Liam and Ivy on Teddy
  • Ivy plays a prank on Teddy and Liam, laughing, says “I love this girl.”
  • Ivy definitely notices.
  • Navid comes over and Teddy leaves.  They, understandably, aren’t getting along.
  • Navid says he’s keeping busy because otherwise he remembers how broken his heart is.
  • Liam says he’s better off single because girls are “trouble and drama.”
  • Ivy is insulted, especially when Liam says he’s not a girl.
  • Dixon goes over to Sasha’s, where she is playing Susie Homemaker.
  • Dixon is disturbed by the sight and reminds her that she’s pregnant and they need to talk.
  • It was a week ago Sasha told him.
  • Every night since then, they’ve just been hanging out.  They haven’t once talked about it!
  • Dixon says they need to talk, insinuating they are running out of time for her to have an abortion.
  • Sasha is immedialed POed.
  • Dixon reminds her that he’s in high school and she’s a grown woman.
  • Oh, and they’re not even dating.
  • Sasha insists she’s keeping the baby.
  • Navid is trying to film an intro to news piece on unsafe lunches LOL
  • He hears someone singing and follows the sound.
  • It’s Adrianna, with a guitar, playing and singing how she’s sorry she broke his heart.
  • Forgot that Ade could sing.  Don’t think we knew she could play.
  • She asks him to forgive her.
  • He reminds her that she cheated, broke up with him and broke her heart.
  • And says she only wants him because Teddy won’t date her.
  • No, he tells her.  “I’m done.”
  • Jen comes over to Ryan’s place. Uninvited.
  • She’s shocked to see Ryan is with another girl, Ramona.
  • I think it is the girl from the bar a few episodes back.
  • Rather than leaving, Jen asks how they meet.
  • Ramona says they met at the bar she works at.
  • Sasha makes an insult about the neigborhood and leaves.
  • Dixon goes into the kitchen, saying he’s late due to surf practice.
  • Harry says that’s weird, since he knows he was kicked off the team.
  • At the same time, Dixon is getting text after text from Sasha, who is writing how much she needs him.
  • Harry and Debbie are urging him to ignore his phone and tell them what’s going on.
  • Q3: Fine, fine! You wanna know what’s going on? I got a girl pregnant!–Dixon
  • Definitely sounded like he said the F-word the first time!
  • Dixon’s now sitting at the table with his parents, who have been stunned into silence.
  • Debbie is teary-eyed a bit.
  • Dixon tries to talk and she tells him not to. Points out that he didn’t get a girl pregnant, he got a WOMAN pregnant.
  • Harry adds that he lied to the girl/woman and to them.
  • Debbie says if she has the baby, his life will be over.
  • Dixon tries to defend himself saying they used protection “almost every time” and says Harry had a baby at his age, too.
  • That didn’t go over well.
  • Sasha texts that she’s not feeling well and Dixon says he doesn’t know what to do.
  • Debbie says he’s going over to her house.
  • He does…and so does she.
  • Sasha is taken aback to see his mom and claims that she’s feeling all better.
  • Debbie asks for her doctor and Sasha hesitates and then gives a name but still insists she’s feeling better.
  • Debbie asks some more questions and Sasha says she’s a month along.
  • Debbie asks if she’s keeping the baby and Sasha says it’s none of her business!
  • Wow!  It is SO her business.
  • Sasha says it’s between her and Dixon, and tells her to leave!
  • Debbie stays polite and just tells her to stay well.
  • So who thinks Sasha is making the pregnancy up?  Not the first teen drama to do it, that’s for sure.
  • And does Debbie realize she met Sasha already in the nail salon?
  • Ryan tells Liam his essay got an honorable mention in the essay contest.
  • They joke with each other a bit.  It’s cute.
  • Wow. Ivy just made a vulgar joke.  Not liking her.  At least not this side of her.
  • There’s talk of a party and Liam says it’s not his thing and takes off, much to her disappointment.
  • Navid sees Annie kissing Jasper and catches up with her after Jasper leaves.
  • He tells her Jasper is a drug dealer.
  • Annie doesn’t believe him and he says there’s no reason he would lie to her.
  • Q4: I’m just telling you this because we used to be friends and I guess I’m worried about you.–Navid
  • Annie tells him not to be.
  • Jen is at the bar Ramona works.
  • Ramona remembers her but Jen pretends she didn’t recognize her and then slams her for “looking older” close up.
  • As she orders water (since there’s no champagne), Jen tries to make conversation and asks her to tell her about herself.
  • She tries to guess Ramona’s real career goals and she just says she’s a bar tender.
  • Jen goes on to call her a “charity case” and says Ryan normally doesn’t date girls like her.
  • Naomi and Silver go into Adrianna’s room, where she’s in bed with the lights off.  Apparently she skipped school.
  • She explains she messed everything up, and adds that she went to Navid but he won’t forgive her.
  • Q5: I sang for him and he still rejected me.–Adrianna
  • Q6: I would do anything to make my heart stop hurting.–Adrianna
  • They suggest she go to a “meeting” (read: AA) and she just says she wants “the pain to stop.”
  • Debbie tells Harry she now remembers meeting Sasha at the nail salon.
  • She concludes that Sasha must’ve been dating Dixon then and hid it.
  • She says something’s weird about Sasha,what she says and her body language.
  • Debbie says to call it “women’s intution.”
  • Harry tells her to calm down and says he’s upset about the situation, too.
  • Silver and Naomi tell Navid that he’s not doing well.
  • He says he doesn’t care and they say they’re worried she’ll start using drugs again.
  • They urge him to talk to her.
  • Ryan catches up with Jen at the beach club, asking “what the hell did you say to Ramona?”
  • Jen pretends not to know her and then acts like nothing happened at the bar.
  • Ryan calls her jealous.
  • Jen says she just doesn’t like him dating all these “hipster girls” and calls it “unbecoming.”
  • Ryan says he’s not happy seeing her date trust-fund-based guys either.
  • He says he won’t stop dating other people unless she does, too.
  • He asks if they’re fighting or dating.
  • She says she doesn’t know and asks if he’s going to kiss her.
  • And he does.  Intensely.  Sigh.
  • Annie and Jasper are at Pink’s, a famous hot dog stand in Los Angeles. (I went there in January, on the trip where I visited all the BH90210 filming locations, and some of the 90210 ones.)
  • When he goes to pay, Jasper pulls out a wad of money and Annie is taken aback.
  • She asks where he got the money from and he makes jokes about capitalism.
  • She just point-blank asks if he’s a drug dealer.
  • Jasper asks why she would think that and she explains what Navid said.
  • He calls himself an idiot for thinking Annie was different than the other girls.
  • When everyone called her a slut, he says, he stuck by her.
  • He says he “lost faith” in her, dumps the food and takes off.
  • Not sure if he’s always this short-tempered or just POed because Annie found out the truth.
  • Is it the truth?
  • Liam is in his garage working on something (the mysterious project?) when Teddy and Ivy barge in.
  • He covers up his stuff and says they can’t just barge in.
  • They say they are forcing him to go to the party.
  • Liam is shocked to see Ivy dressed up and wearing perfume.
  • She makes like it’s no big deal.
  • Apparently it’s a “Hollywood party.”  AKA fancy.
  • Jen walks over to Pharrell.  Apparently they are old friends who haven’t seen each other “in ages.”
  • Jen introduces Ryan as her boyfriend.
  • Pharrell introduces his bandmates in N.E.R.D. What a publicity stunt!
  • Ryan says he wants her to meet one of his favorite students…Liam!
  • Liam is shocked to see them and Jen says she feels like she met him before at a party.
  • Oh yeah you did!
  • Liam walks away.
  • Ryan apologizes and Jen says Liam seems troubled.
  • Ryan admits he has anger problems and is trying to help him.
  • Jen says Ryan is a great teacher and if anyone can help, it’s him.
  • Way to avoid the real truth, Jen.  Of course.
  • Navid goes to see Adrianna.
  • She’s happy to see him but starts crying again and says she’s sorry for everything.
  • He explains Naomi and Silver are worried she’ll do drugs and says she needs to go to a meeting.
  • She asks him to go with her and he refuses.
  • Q7: I’m not your person anymore.–Navid
  • Your person?  Really?  That’s almost as bad as Ade’s song line.
  • He leaves her crying hsyterically.
  • Liam is telling a story when he spots Naomi with Jason. (Was that his name?)
  • He walks away to avoid watching them.
  • Ivy asks Teddy what happened with him and “Barbie” and he explains they had a bad break-up.
  • He calls Ivy out on liking Liam and she denies it.
  • Jen goes over to Liam and says earlier was awkward.
  • Liam says she’s scared of him, scared he’ll tell Ryan what happened.
  • She denies it but says she must be, otherwise she wouldn’t be talking to him.
  • Debbie runs into Sasha at a restuarant.
  • She reminds Sasha that they met in the past and asks why Sasha acted like they hadn’t.
  • Sasha explains that she purposefully followed Debbie to the nail salon and says that whole situation is how she found out Dixon was in high school.
  • At least that part is the truth.
  • Debbie sits down with Sasha and tells Sasha she shouldn’t be drinking coffee.  Sasha says she’ll stop soon.
  • Debbie asks again which doctor is hers, and she says Karen Alderman.
  • And whattaya know, that’s Debbie’s friend!
  • Debbie says she’ll tell the doc to take good care of her and Sasha insists that she doesn’t.
  • Debbie changes the subject to the sonogram and says how nice it is to hear the heartbeat.
  • Sasha agrees but then Debbie points out that you can’t hear a heartbeat for six weeks (and Sasha said earlier she’s only a month pregnant).  Sasha is confused.
  • Q8: I’ll give you a hint. It starts with: you’re not pregnant.  And it ends with: stay away from my son.–Debbie
  • Jasper drives to a cliff, where you can see the whole city below.
  • Looks like the spot where Brandon and Dylan each took Emily on the original 90210.
  • Jasper takes out his film equipment and walks up to the Hollywood sign.
  • I’d say I didn’t know you could do that but then again, they did on BH90210!
  • Jasper is surprised to see Annie there.
  • She’s crying and apologizes for not believing him.  She says trusts him and, like he said earlier, “it’s me and you against the world.”
  • He hugs her and they kiss.
  • He tells her not to ever doubt him again and she says she won’t.
  • Oh, apparently Silver is at the party, too.
  • She gets a text from Adrianna, who said she’s coming to the party.
  • Cut to Pharrell and N.E.R.D. performing.
  • Everyone’s watching in different places.  Getting After Dark and Bait Shop vibes but it’s different because this is a random party.  Still wondering when they’ll introduce a club of their own.
  • Navid runs into Teddy.
  • Teddy apologizes for being a “jerk” and messing up his stuff with Adrianna.
  • I actually believe him.  It was really sincere.  At least that’s how it appeared.
  • Navid accepts the apology and thanks Teddy for being straight with him.
  • He sees Liam (who seems to be a little drunk?), who points out the girls he should be talking to.
  • Samantha Ronson walks by and calls the girls cute (shocker) and agrees that Navid should talk to them.  He goes over.
  • Teddy goes over to Silver and asks if she’s having fun.
  • She says not really and Teddy says at least she’s trying, since dealing with cancer is hard.
  • Silver says she doesn’t want to talk about cancer so Teddy makes a joke about his hair and they start petting each other’s “locks.”
  • Adrianna walks in and is stunned to see them together.
  • Ryan brings Jen some food but Jen is clearly upset.
  • She says she’s sure Liam is a good kid but calls him “self-destructive.”
  • She explains that when they met before, he propositioned her.  She says she didn’t tell him before because it wasn’t a big deal…until he did it again.
  • Ryan is appalled and says he can’t believe he tried to help him.
  • Jen says Liam doesn’t deserve his help and others do.
  • Harry and Debbie go into Dixon’s room, where they find him crying.
  • He says Sasha called and said she had a miscarriage and doesn’t want to see him anymore.
  • Dixon says he doesn’t know what to think or feel, but then says he feels sad and guilty.
  • Harry says they have something to tell him but Debbie cuts him off and tells Dixon they know this is hard but he’ll be OK.
  • Harry isn’t happy with Debbie keeping the truth from him.
  • Liam apologizes to Ryan for earlier and Ryan yells at him for “hitting on my girlfriend.”
  • Liam is shocked and POed, as he knows Jen made it up.
  • Harry asks Debbie why she didn’t tell the truth.
  • She says the truth would break his heart (I’m pretty sure it already is broken) and tells Harry–twice!–that he needs to trust her.
  • Ivy comes to Liam’s garage, claiming the reason is give him “swag” from the party.
  • She asks why he left the party so abruptly and he vaguely says Ryan got him mad.
  • She then asks if he wants her to leave and he says no.
  • She thennnn asks what’s under the tarp but he won’t show her.
  • Liam comments on how she’s no longer dressed up and she says she’s just trying to remind people that she’s not a guy.
  • Liam is surprised and she says he thinks she’s a guy.  He says he doesn’t…
  • And she kisses him.
  • He says he doesn’t want anything serious and she jokingly calls him a girl (showing that she doesn’t want something serious, either).
  • They kiss some more.
  • Jasper and Annie are still being lovey-dovey.
  • His phone buzzes and he says he needs to get more film from the car.
  • He goes and pulls out a baggie of pills.
  • Standing nearby, looking incredibly worn out from crying, is Adrianna.
  • He gives her the drugs and she takes off.
  • Preview: Annie wants to have sex with Jasper, Adrianna buys more drugs from Jasper, Navid calls Adrianna out on it, Navid tells Annie again that Jasper is a drug dealer and she tells him he’s “not a good judge of character,” Adrianna takes more pills and Navid says he wants “to bring this dirtbag down.”

Those are my thoughts.  What’s yours?








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