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'90210' preview: Can the new kids survive on their own?

October 7, 2008 |  1:16 pm

No Brenda. No Kelly. No familiar "Beverly Hills 90210" faces to fall back on.

For the first time, the "90210" cast is entirely on its own. Tonight's episode will rests on the strength of the stories in progress, not to mention the talents of its young actors (best known, so far, for their weight -- or lack thereof). Here's what you can expect:

Newly single Naomi will table trying to reconcile her folks and instead refocus her efforts on helping pill-popping thespian Adrianna kick her drug habit. Would-be couple Annie and Ethan will get paired  on a class project involving baby raising. And new couple Silver and Dixon will celebrate her half-birthday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Meanwhile, grown-ups Harry and Debbie will get the news that Naomi's mom (Harry's former GF) has hired a private investigator to find their son, whom she gave up for adoption years ago. And Ryan, left behind by Kelly who is off to make a go of it with Dylan, will attempt some online dating.

Thoughts? Can the next generation shine on its own? Without the fanfare and inside-baseball references (Said Brenda: "I can almost still hear the chanting. 'Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!'") that pleases old fans but can't possibly be doing much for new ones?

Will we finally see some personalities emerge? (Naomi's popular, spoiled bratty side could rise. Annie could overcome that nasty case of "cute." Navid -- remember him? -- could, I don't know, do something.)

And for gosh sakes, someone please give Tabitha more screen time.

-- Denise Martin