'Melrose Place' Meets '90210' on 'Desperate Housewives'

Remember the days when TV's guilty pleasures didn't involve competitive singing (or dancing or joke telling or portrait painting)? You know, back when you didn't have to call/text/tweet your vote each week, but simply sit down and enjoy some so-dumb-it's-brilliant dialogue? Remember when Wednesday nights were reserved for Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place, and everyone at the office talked about them the next morning? Yeah, I miss that, too.

Sure, campy nighttime soaps still exist, including the current-day version of 90210, on The CW. Actually, that network is doing its best to keep lots of similar sudsers alive, most successfully with Gossip Girl and The Vampire DiariesBut these shows aren't ultra-popular, like Aaron Spelling's Wednesday night juggernaut was in the nineties. They don't attract viewers the way that Dancing With the Stars does. And that's understandable: they're not as compelling. Gossip Girl et al. tantalize viewers through pushing the envelope (by, say, featuring teenagers having three-way sex). On Melrose Place, envelope pushing was part of it, but the effect was just...fun. All those cheeky characters with their bed-hopping storylines seemed to wink at the audience. We viewers laughed at the outrageous, onscreen action, but the writers were in on the joke. (As were the promo writers, who delivered such delicious "scenes from next week" spots.)

Desperate Housewives is its own, unique mix of drama, mystery, comedy and camp. But it's as close to those—dare I say trailblazing?—90's shows as anything on TV right now. So it's been good fun to watch 90210 alum Brian Austin Green (Keith) sidling up to Melrose Place alum Marcia Cross (Bree). These two veterans of the winky-winky, tongue-and-cheeky school of guilty TV were doing what they do best on last week's episode. That is, Green is taking his shirt on and off like a bored underwear model, with Cross barely (and humorously) trying to contain her sexual attraction. For a moment, watching this scene, I'm transported back. Ah, those good old, guilty days!

Based on the promo for next Sunday, there's more eye-rolling fun to come with these two, and I'll be there to see it. Dancing With the Stars isn't on until Monday, anyway.

Do you like the Brian Austin Green storyline on Desperate Housewives?

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