'90210,' brought to you by Dr. Pepper
There is so much I want to say about tonight's episode of "90210." So much that was good, really good! I want to talk about the way I teared up a little, when Dixon Wilson watched his birth mother laugh with Annie Wilson in Arizona. I want to talk about the way the unlikely friendship between Ethan Ward and Liam Court charmed and surprised me, and the way Ethan's faux-peyote realization gave his character -- finally -- a reason to be there on the screen; that was powerful stuff.
But I can't. Because I need to interrupt this edition of "90210"-Showtracker to bring you a special message from our sponsor: Dr. Pepper.
Were they kidding with that tonight?
Tonight's episode of "90210" deserves an award, for the single most egregious example of product placement in the history of television. Once or twice, it felt like a "Saturday Night Live" spoof of a television show doing product placement.
Perhaps the most offensive of the (myriad) Dr. Pepper placements tonight came when Dixon and Annie were in the car on their way to Arizona. Dixon was driving, and he designated Annie as the refreshment manager. She reached into the back seat and cracked open a huge cooler. "No," I thought; "they won't put a Dr. Pepper in the cooler. It's too ridiculous." But not only was there Dr. Pepper in the cooler, there was nothing else in it! Dr. Peppers in a huge pile, with maybe a single Diet Dr. Pepper for variety's sake, crowded the space.
But it got even better (read: more ridiculous). The road-trippers pulled over at a rest stop so Annie could use the bathroom, and an exasperated Dixon sighed, "maybe if you stopped drinking so much Dr. Pepper!" Annie didn't miss a beat: "We're on a road trip! Drinking Dr. Pepper is practically a requirement." OK, now they're just messing with us, right?
Anyways, in that scene, we discovered that Dixon was really plotting this trip to Arizona not to scope out water parks but to find his birth mother, Dana Bowen. Then eventually, Annie and Dixon found her, at her workplace, but Dixon was too flummoxed to approach. Instead, he watched as his mother unloaded a pile of tupperware from her briefcase. It's a wonder she didn't not pull out a Dr. Pepper.
After Annie's heart-to-heart with Dixon's birth mom, she and Dixon headed home in the car together. One of them changed the radio station, Dr. Pepper in hand. Close-up. Would it be easier if these characters just had Dr. Peppers instead of hands?
Listen. I am really not trying to be negative here. I am rooting for this show to be great, and for the most part, I actually think it was tonight. However, product placement was so ubiquitous and clunky it was almost insulting. And so, this blog was devoted to Dr. Pepper tonight. Mmmmmm ... Tasty.
-- Stephanie Lysaght
Photo credit: Wireimage