Melrose Again: Bloggin' about Melrose Place

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Note to Melrose Place producers: hire Jenna Dewan Tatum as a regular.

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Jenna Dewan Tatum's Kendra would make a worthy rival for Katie Cassidy as Ella.

The current commercial for the upcoming Melrose Place episodes got me thinking about ways that producers can spice things up to get the ratings to climb. Although Heather Locklear’s return as Amanda managed to give the audience numbers a bump, her presence has yet to prove as potent as it did for the original show back in the ’90s. Could it be that today’s coveted demographic of viewers ages 18 to 34 aren’t as impressed by big, bad Amanda Woodward (as Sydney would put it) or has Locklear’s material so far not been up to snuff? I vote for the latter explanation, but it may not matter if the show remains on hiatus until spring as was rumored this week in blog comments on TV by the Numbers, which has a funny index that measures the probability of a TV series getting canceled. Don’t expect me to explain it because statistics aren’t my thing, but suffice it to say the show seems to be in a tenuous position and needs to strike a collective chord among the CW target audience the way The Vampire Diaries has. I’m no script doctor (except maybe in my fantasies), but I have some ideas on how Melrose can spruce things up and I’ll share them in the coming weeks as we Melrosers make do with repeats and the umpteenth showing of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” My first suggestion picks up on a smart casting move they made to set the stage for Jonah and Riley’s breakup: the introduction of the film producer babe, Kendra, played by Jenna Dewan Tatum. On a show loaded with gorgeous girls, Jenna made a memorable impact and I think she should be promoted to regular cast member. I figure producers always planned to get Jonah together with Ella (the amazingly talented Katie Cassidy) and Kendra’s two-episode stint started the leak that broke the damn, leading Jonah to fall into bed with Ella in the last episode. This being Melrose Place, however, we can’t expect them to live happily ever after and remain interesting to watch so there needs to be an obstacle to overcome and keep things spicy. A return visit by Kendra would give Katie Cassidy, who’s a force to be reckoned with, a formidable adversary. One of the formulas for success on nighttime soaps is catfights. Not just the physical ones, although those are always fun to watch, but ongoing battles of wiles that divide viewers into camps, just like Joan Collins and Linda Evans did back in the ’80s on Dynasty.  I can see Kendra and Ella having some good bitchy confrontations over good guy Jonah and neither of them would need to play the role of villainess nor heroine. Jenna’s portrayal of Kendra was smart, sexy and self-assured and she had great chemistry with Michael Rady. Her dark-haired beauty would contrast nicely with Katie’s leggy blonde style and the fireworks would fly. Keeping their storyline in the world of movies is a natural given their respective connections to the biz (and their interest in Jonah’s career, of course). And if they end up in a lily pond a la Dynasty’s Krystle and Alexis, so be it.

Photo: copyright 2009 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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David (Shaun Sipos) suspects he killed Sydney on Melrose Place.

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Sydney the black widow

Is David (Shaun Sipos) being framed for Sydney's murder?

David’s Bloody Blackout

The November 3 episode put David in the hot seat as detective Rodriguez continued his probe into Sydney’s murder. After the good detective pressured him to fess up about providing Ella a fake alibi, a spooked David ran to Ella to get their stories straight about the night Syd died. Ella thinks her shady private eye offed Sydney when the randy redhead discovered him searching her pad at Ella’s instructions. David knew differently, with good reason. His flashback sequence revealed that his relationship with Sydney started much like all the other Melrosers’ love/hate interactions with her. Dressed like a high-fashion widow in black, Syd came upon him while he mourned his dead mom and wasted no time in distracting him from his heartache with a rigorous roll between the sheets. Like all Sydney’s relationships, things turned ugly when David realized she had maneuvered him into an affair to get back at his dad Michael Mancini. He later remembered waking up covered in blood with a blood-soaked knife in his hand just as Syd was doing her floating fish impression in the Melrose pool. Racing to the construction site where he remembered burying the evidence, David was bummed to discover it gone. It was tagged and bagged by the cops, much like David may be if the fingerprints on the knife match his.

Kendra

Will Kendra (Jenna Dewan) pave the way for Jonah to cheat... with Ella?

Medical Intervention

Auggie had a very bad day when Riley, sensing that Jonah is drifting from her, stopped by Coal to tell him they can’t be jogging buddies anymore since it makes Jonah such a green-eyed monster. Things got worse when his increasingly obnoxious boss Marcello made some crude remarks about Riley’s shapely bod and he snapped, beating the Stove Top stuffing out of the frisky foodie. Sensing an opening, Violet paid a well-timed visit to Auggie when he was lonely, jobless and, most importantly, shirtless. Following Mama Sydney’s lead, she made him feel all better with a rigorous round of boot bumpin’ on his sofa. Over at WPK, Ella and her boss Caleb went into crisis-control mode to cover up the near-fatal drug overdose of one of their top clients with a clean-cut public image. The stakes were so high that the pretty publicist offered Lauren a $50,000 bribe to create fake hospital admission papers for the drugged-out star. Lauren didn’t appreciate the insinuation she would sell out (at least when it comes to her day job) and further resented Ella’s accurate conclusion that she’s paying her med school bills by toiling in the world’s oldest profession. Ella decided to take the high road and gave the media the truth about her client’s overdose to do the right thing by him (for a change) and the roomies called a truce. Previews for next week’s episode indicate Ella may get sidetracked from her suspicions about Lauren by finally making her move on a slowly straying Jonah. Tune in Melrosers!

Photos: Copyright 2009 CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Melrose Place beauties featured in In Style magazine!

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Check out the November issue of In Style magazine for some great party shots of Melrose Place stars Katie Cassidy, Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and newcomer Jenna Dewan, who plays movie executive Kendra (and happens to be Mrs. Channing Tatum). The Melrose sirens posed prettily at In Style’s L.A. Soiree at the London West Hollywood Hotel. Here’s a scan of the shots, which appear on page 72. Enjoy!

Melrose girls in In Style

Written by tvteaser

October 28, 2009 at 8:15 am

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