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'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

Comments () | Archives (9)

Hilarious blog post! "Dr. Pepper" really did take over 90210 tonight! But I also agree there were good things about this episode. It's getting better.

this show sucks big time

Dr Pepper presents an infomercial with Diablo Cody and her film Teenage Mummy Girl now out on DVD. It makes you wonder if they just want to be cancelled, the mute button was a godsend.

The Dr. Pepper cooler shot was over the top. I wish marketers would realize there's better way to integrate product into a story line. Why couldn't the cans be at least covered in ice before they pulled them out?

If the Dr, like the cola bozos, had bothered to put out a caffeine-free version, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

stephanie, i feel bad that you have to watch this show every week. the fact that these brand robbers are making creative decisions about the iconic saga without any creative equity or real knowledge of what made the original great is sickening. the old man must be spinning in his urn.

The placement of Dr. Pepper has always been over the top on this show, but this week, the fact that the camera followed the Dr. Pepper can after whoever changed radio stations had me laughing so hard, the Dr. Pepper I was drinking at the time came out through my nose ;-)

I didn't see the episode (I was off drinking Coca Cola a the time that takes up a lot of evenings) but it doesnt' sound half as bad as the sincerely lame Campbell's product placement that were 'integrated' (and boy, do I use that word loosely) into All My Children and One Life to Live for the month of February. People offering others V8 Juice (and clearly there's nothing else in the frig), others offering to heat up some soup (label not quite facing camera, good try but you'll get better the longer these ridiculous promotions go on) and the topper being the town villain on AMC telling the pregnant girl who's trying to con his son into marrying her to go to the kitchen so the maid can fix her some 'heart smart' soup. Anvil-licious.

My husband and I find it a guilty pleasure to watch 90210 solely for the blatant Dr. Pepper plugs. I think they may have been poking fun at themselves a little in this last episode. Love how Dixon held up the Dr. Pepper to his face with the logo facing out-so funny!!


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