Moving Into “Melrose Place”

I didn’t need a crystal ball to predict that the CW’s updated version of “Melrose Place” was going to be kind of awesome. It seemed like Laura Leighton, aka Sydney, was going to be the major player on the show—she was sprawled out in a chaise lounge in the center of the show’s cast promo pics, which was confusing because any “Melrose” addict knows that she died in a car crash on her wedding day back in the ’90s. Turns out that she only faked her death, with the help of Dr. Michael Mancini, and now has come back to be Melrose Place’s landlord. She was already, of course, sleeping with one of Melrose’s tenants, David—conveniently, Michael’s son. But then, just a few minutes into the episode, Sydney was floating face-down in the infamous Spanish-tiled pool. She’d confessed to David that she’d done something “really, really bad” and no doubt she’ll become this show’s version of Laura Palmer—the season will be about figuring out who killed her. Was it Michael, who wanted to keep her from telling his wife that they’d been boning? Was it David, who was pissed she was also getting it on with his dad? The other characters on the show are interesting, though not as much so. There’s Ella, the apartment building’s resident blonde who’s a bisexual publicist. There’s cutesy couple Jonah and Riley, who got engaged in the premiere and are bound to become the backstabbing trainwreck that was Michael and Jane on the original series. There’s Lauren, a med student who takes a guy’s offer of $5,000 for sex to pay for student loans, even though she should have held out for more. Then there’s alcoholic chef Augie, who burned some clothes in the episode’s last scene and practically has “killer” written across his forehead, which in Melrose speak means he’s innocent. Then there’s Ashlee Simpson. I don’t quite understand why the show hired her for this gig as her acting is pretty atrocious. She made us yawn with quotes like, “We’re good girls. It’s just not as fun.” So change that, Ash!

Still, I’m already hooked. [EW]