I recently caught up on two trashy TV shows: Private Practice and 90210. Both have me hooked so I watch every episode, despite bad writing and outrageous plotting. But while Private Practice inducing little more than eye-rolling, 90210 sometimes makes me care about its characters. So while I didn’t care about Addison’s struggles with her parents, I invested in Silver’s quest to reconnect before her mother died. But the most pronounced difference between these two series, (both of which are about overly dramatic teenagers, including the one with no teenage characters) is the Naomis.
The creative redirection that 90210 took for its second season put the character of Naomi Clark right at the center of the action. Naomi plays into the TV convention of the “bitch with a softside”, luckily for her that might just be my favourite archetype. She may not be on new territory, but AnnLynne McCord’s character is consistently engaging, funny and interesting. She’s also fiercely loyal once she’s on your side, my favourite quality in a character. Oh, and her wardrobe can’t be matched.
Over at Oceanside Wellness, however, their Naomi is lowpoint of my TV week. Audra McDonald’s self-righteous fertility specialist is the preachiest on a preachy show. Naomi’s holier-than-thou attitude plus best friend’s brother bedding and co-worker abandoning makes her the most hypocritical character I’ve seen in a long time. She’s grating and cautious and irrational and needy. And any fertility specialist who accidentally puts the wrong embryo in the wrong uterus can’t be as capable as this show pretends she is.
Ding, ding, ding, this round goes to 90210.