Melrose Place and 90210: Not Must-See TV

Fall doesn't officially start until September 22nd, but now that Labor Day is behind us and the kids are back to school, it feels like fall is in the air. Another sign autumn is kicking in: the fall TV schedule gets underway in a big way this week.

Tonight's standout premieres are throwbacks to the nighttime soap operas of yore. Melrose Place and 90210 have their back-to-back premieres tonight on the CW starting at 8 p.m. Though both shows may have been on your must-watch list back in your teenage years, you might want to think twice before flipping the channel to these sexy new series - especially when the kids are in the room.

90210, 8.p.m, CW
Over at one of TV's most familiar zip codes, the sexual innuendo is far less than subtle. According to Entertainment Weekly critic, Jessica Shaw(who, incidentally, gave the premiere episode an A- review), the show features a thinly veiled reference to a man's genitalia and "drunken hookups". Another reason it might be a good idea to steer clear of this series: the stars of 90210 have some seriously emaciated looks going on, and have been pretty open about their shameless pursuit of the preternaturally thin look -- not exactly the physical ideal you want to instill in your children.

Melrose Place, 9 p.m., CW
In the event you've missed the seemingly ubiquitous ads for Melrose Place, one clue that this isn't going to be a family-appropriate affair is in one of its taglines: "Tuesday is The New Humpday" (bad pun fully intended). New York Times TV critic Ginia Bellafante, who makes her opinion of the show clear by referring to it as "mind gunk," informs us that some of the much-ballyhooed humping takes the form of prostitution. In order to make tuition for grad school, one character accepts her date's offer of $5,000 if she will spend the night with him. No one claimed Melrose Place was ever the address of role models, but this is a bit much. Far as we can tell, the only reason to tune into this show is to see if a certain cast member has any acting ability to speak of: Ashlee Simpson-Wentz appears in two episodes of Melrose Place. It bears noting, however, that according to E! News, there's a chance Ashlee's character will be "getting it on" with "a man old enough to be her father."

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