|We're not in Beverly Hills anymore.|
ABC Family has never had much luck with comedies; aside from rarities like Melissa & Joey, most of them fail to garner a loyal audience and see cancellation within their first few episodes. That's why it's so bizarre that they keep trying the same shit, hoping that this time it will stick.
Well, in the case of Mystery Girls, it most certainly does not stick. The show focuses on Holly (Tori Spelling) and Charlie (Jennie Garth), two washed-up TV actresses who starred as detectives on the small screen 14 years ago. Sound familiar? You would only need one hand to count the noteworthy projects Tori and Jennie have taken on since their heydays on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990-2000). Mystery Girls knows this, and everyone, including its two stars, is in on the joke.
They also seem to understand how ridiculous the plot is. You see, while Charlie has retired from the spotlight and settled into family life in suburbia, Holly does just about anything she can to stay relevant. The two reunite, however, when a murder witness refuses to give his statement to anyone except the actress' TV counterparts. And then the girls decide to go into the detective business for real, hiring the murder witness, the overly flamboyant Nick (Miguel Pinzon), as their assistant.
The fact that the show understands its own stupidity is one of its only redeeming qualities. Tori and Jennie aren't exactly comediennes, and while Jennie's four-year stint on What I Like About You gives her a bit of an upper leg, it's clear that they're not meant for slapstick comedy in front of a "live" audience. Instead, they take turns screaming their lines, begging for laughter. And don't get my started on Nick, who is stereotyped within an inch of his life (even screeching over Lady Gaga tickets), that you were watching something made 10 years ago.
At this point, it's worth noting that tonight's premiere episode was not the pilot. So all that plot information I just gave you? Forget about it. Instead, we were treated to episode 3, and we're expected to know what the hell is going on. Not that it's all that complicated. Tabloid rumors of Holly's death lead to the revelation of a sex tape, and the girls let the public continue thinking she's dead until they can locate the tape, which they do after a series of ridiculous hijinks.
The fact that ABC Family chose not to air the pilot, probably because it's not good, is not nearly as concerning as the fact that this episode is what they considered the strongest contender out of the gate.
All that said... I laughed quite a bit at the show. Not at the jokes themselves, but how ridiculous the entire show is. And there's something endearing about seeing lifelong friends Tori and Jennie onscreen together again. An official 90210 reunion seems to be out of the question, but I'll take this for now! And even though I sense cancellation in just a few short weeks, I look forward to seeing how many more "mysteries" and Shannen Doherty jokes these ladies have in them.