Tonight at 10 p.m. ET, TV Land resurrects the former WB franchise High School Reunion, but with a twist: Instead of reuniting people in their late 20s who have been out of school for 10 years, it reunites classmates after 20 years.
As a result, the cast is in their late 30s, and have both life experiences and grudges. Specifically, there’s a love triangle between three of the classmates: exes Mike and Lana, and Mike’s former best friend, Steve, who Lana cheated with. There’s also a Kat, who came out as a lesbian since high school, but now wants to experiment with men, and Glenn, who shows up late to confront Jason, the class bully.
I’ve watched the first two episodes, and although those are very contrived, the age of the contestants makes the show far more interesting. There are the subtle things–“The Stud” Rob has a developing bald spot while the former “Pipsqueak” Justin is the first man selected to go on a date with one of the women.
The producers still their best to inject drama; they introduce people like Steve late, after the others have bonded, and also send cast members to “detention,” where they ridiculously have one hour to solve a problem with someone from their past, and give them “hall passes,” which allow the cast members to take someone else on a date. Since they graduated in 1987, the editors use ’80s music in appropriate places, and more significantly, the cast has had time to move beyond high school and have life experiences–one classmate’s wife recently died, for example.
Still, they remember each other clearly, which makes for some drama, although by episode two everyone seems to be getting along (which is why Steve and two other classmates show up late). The series is only six episodes, though, so it won’t have much of a chance to get old.