Worth Watching: ‘BH90210,’ ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘Hypnotize Me’ on The CW, Finales of ‘grown-ish’ and ‘Florida Girls’
A selective critical checklist of notable Wednesday TV:
BH90210 (9/8c, Fox): A soap within a soap, a reboot within a reboot, a post-modern satire about pop-culture icons who are beyond satire. In one of the summer’s wackier and happier surprises, BH90210 honors the fandom of Fox’s brand-defining Beverly Hills 90210 with a comically twisted homage. The gang is back, playing heightened and fictionalized versions of their formerly famous selves: Tori Spelling (pretending to be broke, having “milked your brand from every angle” on reality TV), Jennie Garth (weathering another busted marriage), Jason Priestley (now directing more than acting, and struggling with rage issues), Brian Austin Green (a househusband living in the shadow of a famous pop star), Ian Ziering (wed to a potential future-Real Housewife), Gabrielle Carteris (spoofing her own identity as SAG president and facing a midlife crisis), and by long distance, Shannen Doherty (saving the whales or some such). Missing most poignantly is Luke Perry, whom the crew remembers fondly as they gather for a 30th-anniversary fan fair in Las Vegas. A silly caper and a ton of sudsy subplots propel them, especially Tori, to consider whether now is the time to reboot the series — and their careers. However you felt about the original 90210, this fondly fractured tribute is fun, frothy and most definitely bizarre.
Bulletproof (8/7c, The CW): The network’s latest acquisition is a raucous but mostly forgettable buddy-cop action series in the Lethal Weapon tradition, imported from the U.K. Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke are undercover detectives Pike and Bishop, Bad Boys lite who engage in thickly accented banter when not sparring in the boxing ring or engaging in high-octane car and foot chases.
Followed by the premiere of Hypnotize Me (9/8c), a comedic game show in which hypnotist Keith Barry mesmerizes four contestants, planting outrageous suggestions (“You’re on a roller coaster!”) that make performing group tasks much more challenging. Taye Diggs hosts the redo of the U.K.’s You’re Back in the Room, and if you suddenly find yourself getting sleepy, this isn’t doing its job.
Finales: Freeform’s grown-ish (8/7c) closes its second season with the opposite of a sophomore slump, as Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and her classmates experience emotional upheavals and potential breakups before term is over… Hopefully, they won’t grow up to be like the underachievers known as Pop’s Florida Girls (10/9c), which wraps its first season with an existential crisis for Shelby (Laura Chinn). When girlfriend-made-good Mandy (Hillary Anne Matthews) returns to town to report that the outside world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, Shelby has second thoughts about pursuing her GED. But first: Kaitlin’s (Melanie Field) “island party of the year.”
Inside Wednesday TV: How tables have turned on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, with Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) now a prisoner in Canada… America decides who’ll be the last couple standing on CBS’s Love Island (8/7c), although standing might not be the right word… Things could get ugly on Paramount Network’s Yellowstone (10/9c) when the Beck brothers (Neal McDonough and Terry Serpico) get antsy waiting for the Duttons to follow their sinister lead. Back on the ranch, poor Jamie (Wes Bentley) is looking for purpose, and good luck with tha… The latest series to take a serious look into whether aliens have made contact with Earthlings, Discovery’s Contact (10/9c) enlists ex-CIA, Marine Special Ops and Green Beret officers along with scientists and journalists. They’ll use innovative software among other tools to ascertain if the truth is truly out there.