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We last saw Spelling and Garth together on 90210, the updated-for-millennials version of that other show they starred in together, Beverly Hills, 90210. So, there. I've already made the requisite reference to the dreamy teen drama of my youth. Surprisingly, Mystery Girls managed to show a little more restraint in conjuring Donna Martin and Kelly Taylor.
I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but it's easy to feel a little confused when writing about a show that’s being shown out of order. The episode I watched, "Death Becomes Her," aired as the show's premiere on June 25, but was actually the third episode filmed. I guess it's a good thing that we're familiar with the leads since we're thrown into a cold open before we know the show's premise: Holly (Spelling) and Charlie (Garth) are estranged former stars of a detective show called Mystery Girls, who are reunited by their biggest (and slightly delusional) fan Nick (Miguel Pinzon) to—you guessed it—solve mysteries but for real.
Holly and Charlie have to be brought back together because . . . well, we don't really get that information. After all, we're watching the third episode, and so the cause of their rift has probably been established already. Suffice it to say that the women drifted apart, with Holly stuck in the past and Charlie moving on from fame to family. We do get callbacks to the Donna-Kelly friendship dynamic of yesteryear, with Holly/Donna seeming to fall in line behind queen bee Charlie/Kelly.
But where Donna was naive (initially, anyway), Holly is just ditzy. And where Kelly was coolly confident, Charlie is grating and controlling. And anyway, the Donna-Kelly friendship was the breadsticks of the teen angst meal that was 90210 Version 1.0—it wasn't the main course, just filler you kind of absorbed subconsciously while you were waiting to gorge on the fallout of the Dylan-Kelly-Brenda love triangle, or feast on schadenfreude as Donna and David dealt with being step siblings.
Garth has more experience in sitcoms (she played opposite a different Holly in What I Like About You), but she doesn't appear to be trying to teach Spelling much more than the broad strokes. And Spelling just seems relieved to get a break from appearing in dramas like either of the 90210s, or her reality TV shows. I don't think I need to give you any more clues: Mystery Girls is a waste of everyone's time.
Mystery Girls, ABC Family, Wednesdays at 7:30 PM