Happy Season One wrap party! While this finale had nice bits with pesky young whippersnappers standing up to challenge old-time pros Amanda Woodward and Michael Mancini that will surely make for fun back-stabbing plot twists next season, isn't the real cliffhanger here whether the CW will even let the show get a next season? A look at where things stand:
It's been about a week in TV show time since we last left our friends at 4616 Melrose Place and things are just starting to pick up.
-- Ella is still scheming to find some dirt on Amanda, so she tries to seduce Jonah, the apparent IT whiz, into helping her (Really? It took her a whole seven days to think up the sexy lingerie act?).
Jonah says "you can't undo one illegal action with another" (does he know what show he's on?) and opts to go for the roller coaster ride that is getting fired and then re-hired on his movie. This is all for the love of Riley Richmond, who seems to have run into Drew's waiting arms.
Oh, "Melrose Place." First you entice fans of the first show by dropping former cast members into various plot lines as quickly as you drop said plot lines. Then we're told that we've moved on from the old characters and that the children are the future. Then, in this episode, you give us the best of both worlds when all four former characters who have shown up on screen and who are not really, really dead reunite, appropriately in the courtyard. And they weren't even the ones who fought and ended up in the pool.
Are we living through Jack Bauer's last day?
Is "Flash Forward" a flash in the pan?
Are the "Melrose Place" tenants gonna have to move out?
The five broadcast networks are busy producing TV pilots, some of which will replace shows that have either gotten too old or never went anywhere. With so much TV and so little time, it's hard to keep up with what's in and what's out.
We will keep it straight on TV Watch for you. Check in periodically for updates. The networks make up their minds in mid-May.
— Maria Elena Fernandez (follow me on Twitter @writerchica)
Photo: Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. Credit: Fox
Oh, Ben. That dog. He went and broke up with Amanda because he was bored with her, and now he's turned on by Riley's earnest quest to better the public school system.
I cannot fathom how Riley, with all her years (months?) teaching kids, could be so naive when it comes to her love life and didn't see this coming. Still, she sees the pot-kettle-black parallel to her messy situation with Jonah and Riley and doesn't want to hurt Amanda, "the very person who got [her] this job" (and got her fired from her teaching job and helped botch her modeling gig).
-- Amanda's broke -- in it for a lot of cash and may end up taking her firm down with her. Plus, she might have inadvertently opened the door for her boyfriend Ben to be Riley's rebound man. We've seen before that Ben doesn't mind a bit of flirtation with the under 30s. So, what part of her presentation did he like more: her portfolio of information or her, ahem, total package? But hey, Amanda still looks smoking hot in that red dress.
-- Speaking of Riley, I'm still a bit stumped as to why she would seek Amanda's help with anything after the whole fiasco with the modeling campaign. But Riley is clearly a glutton for punishment, as she's willing to hang out with a movie star, Jonah and Jonah's new girlfriend Ella to rehash old times in an attempt to cast Jonah's film. Riley, there's being nice and supportive and there's masochism.
Sure, there are lots of mentions of "last night" -- mostly of the who-kissed-whom variety, not who-drowned-whom. There isn't even some yellow tape around the pool, and I'm almost positive that at least David, Jonah and Lauren don't have a clue about last night's skirmish. Wouldn't David at least be concerned? It was his step-mom who killed his ex-lover. But since that's what they're giving us, let's concentrate on the dewy-eyed, post-coital-cuddling kind of morning afters.
Jonah -- having directly or indirectly alienated everyone else in the complex -- asks David whether he should tell Riley about his late-night tryst with Ella. David suggests bottling up his guilt and angst; something David seems to do to get the superhero strength he needs to pummel the guy who made Lauren sick.
Question: If the guy of your dreams finally leaves his boring schoolmarm fiancee and winds up in bed with you, wouldn't you want said boy to tell said (currently unemployed) teacher about last night's shenanigans? But it did make me feel a bit better that Ella's motive for wanting to spill about their night together seemed to be that she wanted to lock in her man, not to hurt Riley. Deep down, she seemed to know what she did wasn't right.
Our favorite West Hollywood tenants are behind on the rent! It's been several months with no new episodes while they went and did some remodeling or something. Since the show returns on Tuesday, Michael Rady -- who plays "Melrose Place's" resident film geek/Don Juan -- acts all suave and secretive as he attempts to get out of his late fees by answering some burning questions about what's in store for the rest of the season.We've been told "Melrose" was going to go through a bit of retooling. Can you tell us why Melrose 2.5 is worth checking out?
We amp up the fun factor on it. The murder mystery gets wrapped up so you're not swept back into these flashbacks. They replace that with fun L.A. stuff. And they also add a lot more sex. We did a shoot at the [Speedzone in City of Industry] and it was so much fun. At seven in the morning I'm doing drag races in zero to four seconds. People are going to watch and be like 'wow L.A. is a really cool place to live.
Wow. What brought your character there?
[Jonah] had this opportunity to work on his film and he's working on casting and one of the crazy eccentric Hollywood A-listers that he's courting to be the lead in it loves arcades and my character meets him out there for a business meeting.
Oh, it's on, baby. But since the "Melrose" writers cleaned a lot of story lines off the drawing board this week, this post will be riddled with spoilers to anyone who was out at a holiday party or doing some shopping on Tuesday night. To make it a bit more fair to them, we'll put the rest of the recap after the jump. SPOILERS BELOW.
Finally, a Michael-Amanda reunion. If for only a few minutes, first-generation "MP" fans got a taste of the good life. But much like early '90s fashion, some characters seem tailor-made for this generation, and others whom we might have had high hopes for seem to be fading with age. But alas, this rekindled friendship is short-lived, and the two are too busy prying into everyone else's lives for even a few moments spent catching up at a coffee shop.
Amanda! My goodness, how time flies. And you haven't aged a day. How was the island? Did you get bored? I thought you'd get bored. Was it like "Lord of the Flies" out there after a while? Yeah, yeah. Thought so. But hey! Good to have you back.
No, no. Don't worry. I didn't expect presents. Your presence is thank-you enough. In the span of an hour (OK, OK. 45 minutes, give or take) you've managed to drop-kick junior publicist Ella's frenemy-boss Caleb to the curb, blindside Ella by tapping into her sapphic side and then try to make her choose between friends and work only to -- wait for it -- still rat Riley out and get the schoolteacher fired when Ella couldn't bring herself to do it. (Shouldn't Ella have seen that coming? Did you leave the "do what I say or suffer the consequences" part out of your Publicist 101 "Vanity Fair" article?). And this is all while spouting some awesome repartee ("You could have been a leader, Caleb. But your focus shifted from your client's assets to your client's .... " and preaching the gospel ("Riley Richmond ... is about as real and interesting as a plastic mannequin.) OK. Those are my ellipses. You were really just talking about Riley's new stint as designer jeans cover girl.
Amanda Woodward walks into the WPK office she owns on "Melrose Place" tonight and immediately tears into her employees, proving she's always been and always will be the boss. It doesn't matter how many years she spent on that island with Peter.
"This office is pathetic," she announces with nary a hello -- and we love it. Amanda Woodward is back, and so is her 'tude. It's like the last 10 years never happened.
For Heather Locklear, walking in Amanda's shoes again has been a little challenging. For one thing, the renovated "Melrose Place" courtyard has stone floors that are very slippery.
"Have you seen what Ella (Katie Cassidy) wears? The shoes are insane," Locklear said. "That's what I've been wearing. And they're very high and you should be on your back wearing them. Or on your hands and knees, whatever you want to do. You can't walk in them. They wet down the floor a lot and you're in these high, high shoes and there's a lot of slippage going on and tilting over. In one of my first scenes, I had to walk and talk there and address the cast all at the same time, and you can imagine. It was all 'You don't know me, which is nerve-racking to begin with, and now I'm going to walk here and act like I have confidence.'"