The Return of “Melrose Place” Tonight!

By Emily Mitchell

I have never seen an episode of the original Melrose Place. However, the generation gap between the original and the new doesn’t leave me or the new generation of viewers in the dust. Its tagline is still the same: “Lying, cheating, stealing, seduction, backstabbing, betrayal, murder … it’s just another day at Melrose Place.” Let the drama begin.

This time around, the cast is full of “Young Hollywood” starlets, including Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Katie Cassidy (daughter of ’70s teen heartthrob David Cassidy). These names are sure to draw a crowd, in particular Simpson-Wentz. (Because let’s be honest: the reason she got this job is because …?)

The actors and actresses are “hot” by most standards, and the plots are even hotter.

The first episode introduces you to all the inhabitants of Melrose, an apartment complex in the West Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The new cast has seven characters:

Ella Simms (Katie Cassidy) – She is a quick-tongued, bisexual publicist who is career-driven and extremely confident.

Auggie Kirkpatrick (Colin Egglesfield) – He is best described as a guy with a “dark past,” including alcoholism, but works as an accomplished sous chef at trendy restaurant Coal.

Lauren Yang (Stephanie Jacobsen) – She is a medical student putting herself through school while working grueling hours at the hospital, who is in dire need of cash after her father is unemployed.

Violet Foster (Ashlee Simpson-Wentz) – An “innocent” girl from small-town America who just moved to L.A.

Riley Richmond (Jessica Lucas) – She is an inner-city kindergarten teacher who is in love with Jonah, but is unsure about marriage.

Jonah Miller (Michael Rady) – A documentary filmmaker, he is in love with and engaged to Riley. They have been together for five years.

David Breck (Shaun Sipos) – He has lots of father issues and inner turmoil and anger. His father from the earlier Melrose Place, Michael Mancini (Thomas Calabro), returns and stirs up his life.

Also returning from the previous Melrose is Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton), who is the landlady, and who is entangled with former lover Michael Mancini’s son David.

The new Melrose Place will be a guilty pleasure of mine. Katie Cassidy does a great job portraying a female Jeremy Piven-esque, power-hungry publicist. And while the acting may be sub-par at times, the script is entertaining and juicy.

Catch the series premiere of Melrose Place on The CW Tuesday, September 8, 9pm ET.