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TV Review: 'Melrose Place'

The CW debuts the new version of ‘90s drama Melrose Place, starring Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Katie Cassidy and Michael Rady, Tuesday at 9 p.m.  The following are reviews from TV critics around the Web, compiled by B&C.

Melrose does a better job integrating its two casts [than the new 90210] and it embraces what it is: a trashy remake of one of the most memorably trashy hits in primetime history. It’s still not good, mind you, but it’s more honest and enthusiastic about its badness, you know?”

-Alan Sepinwall, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.)

“There are some adequate performances but fortunately for most of the ensemble, looks count more than talent.”

-Tom Jicha, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“The current version is slicker-looking than the old; the lighting is sultrier, and the stunned reaction shots are fewer. Much of the acting is marginally improved.”

-Gina Bellafante, The New York Times

“For this version to work, all the subplots and characters have to keep moving with precision, and the first episode, directed by Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), does a skillful job of that.”

-Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“The new Melrose Place is just a mess of gossipy plotlines about adultery, murder, and secrets. If it has a moral compass, the arrow is stuck pointing down, to hell.”

-Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe

“The desire to revel in derivative melodrama starring pretty people is nothing to be ashamed of. And the new cast of Melrose Place is indeed good-looking. The problem is, very few of these actors — or characters — are memorable.”

-Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune

“If only it were possible to care, even the least little bit, who did what and why and what will happen next. But as of the end of Episode 2, it just isn’t.”

-Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“The new Melrose Place is more boring than one of the Ashlee Simpson-Wentz’s blank stares.”

-Kurt Soller, Newsweek

“The rebuilt pool-centered complex looks lovely, but nothing else in this pale imitation keeps up, just as no one in the cast, new or old, can compete with Cross or the so-far-missing Heather Locklear.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today