’90210′ Counts Down to Graduation

by | May 2, 2011 at 8:34 AM | 90210, Interviews

AnnaLynne McCord and Trevor Donovan on 90210 (Scott Humbert/The CW)

AnnaLynne McCord and Trevor Donovan on 90210 (Scott Humbert/The CW)

90210” is ready to celebrate. The CW just renewed the show for a fourth season. The characters are about to graduate from high school, a key milestone for a teen show. The past season was the show’s strongest, a blend of over-the-top storylines like Adrianna’s (Jessica Lowndes) attempts to become a pop star and more sensitive portrayals of teen issues. The year’s most buzzed about storyline was Teddy coming out of the closet. Unlike most portrayals of gay teens, he continued to be part of the in crowd, and even had a steamy on camera love scene. Trevor Donovan, who plays Teddy, and Tristan Wilds, who plays Dixon, talked about how the season will end, their third season storylines, and the show’s future.

The final three episodes of the season will ratchet up the stakes. In tonight’s episode, “Women on the Verge,” Teddy and Marco’s (Freddie Smith) relationship hits a snag. Donovan reveals, “They’re developing their relationship and there’s some trust issues. Teddy’s going to catch Marco in some lies and become suspicious about whether Marco is dating somebody else or what the lies may be. It definitely causes a little conflict.”

Preview “Women on the Verge”:

Will the hot gay duo survive? Donovan hints, “[Next week] in the prom episode, you’ll find out whether their relationship is going to work out or not.” In fact, leaked photos reveal that the two of them attend the big dance together — and that Teddy is voted prom king. According to Donovan, it will not be a typical prom. “You think of a prom as very conservative and elaborately decorated. Well, this prom is a little different. Dixon gets his hands on part of the decorating committee. You’ll see. It’s a bit shocking at the core of the prom. It’s definitely fun for everybody.”

In the season finale, characters will put on their caps and gowns — and a wedding dress. “There will be a wedding. I can’t tell you who,” reveals Donovan. “There will be the possibility of someone not graduating. I can almost guarantee it will not be who you think it is. There’s all sorts of cliffhangers. It’s definitely going to get people a reason to tune in to the fourth season for sure.”

Looking back on this season, Donovan is proud of playing a character who is not stereotypical. “I think that was part of the reason for writing Teddy’s character, because he’s the last one you’d suspect. It’s to break down the stereotypical walls and say just because I am a certain way doesn’t mean I should act a certain way.” He admits that shooting his first major gay love scene was awkward — but only because he was working with a long time friend. “Alan Ritchson who played Tripp, I’ve been friends with him for about six years.  I used to work for he and his wife as a trainer at sort of a boot camp. Filming a scene like that with my buddy was a little bizarre. The first scene we shot was the scene you saw of us stumbling down the hallway together. So that was our first day of working together. It was interesting. It was quite funny.”

Wilds, who spent much of the season on the backburner, insists he is happy with the writing for Dixon. “”Honestly, I’m not even mad. I’m just glad to be on the show. For a show to break so much ground with storylines like Teddy, or past storylines like Silver and her bi-polar disorder, it’s definitely touching on a lot of real subjects.”

The fourth season will be a new era for the show. The characters will no longer be in high school. The transition to college can be difficult for a teen show, but Wilds is confident that “90210″ will succeed. “We’ll definitely have the show evolve with the characters. We could do what “One Tree Hill” did and just skip the whole college [time], but I think if you play the college years the right way, it can be very, very fun. There are a lot of great stories in the college years that you can play upon.”

Behind the scenes, showrunner Rebecca Sinclair is leaving the show. Her replacement has not been announced. “She’s done an amazing, super more than top-notch job. She turned the whole show around and made it what it was. So for her to leave and us to get another showrunner, it’s definitely going to be a transition,” said Wilds. “But I do think that the CW, with their efforts, is going to find someone to come in and either keep the same flavor or bring in a brand new side of “90210” we haven’t seen for college.”

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