Synopsis for
"Melrose Place" Pilot (2009)

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To the beat of trendy pulsating music at a nightclub, David is making out with Mary (sexy Jennifer Missoni) on the dance floor. Ella (pretty blonde Katie Cassidy), a junior publicist, is trying to score new clients by inveigling herself. An e-mail for David on his cellphone, it is from Sydney, he is urged to come quickly. Fearing the worst, just in case he is too late, David contacts Lauren, a nurse at Wilshire Memorial to get some tips on dealing with a possible drug overdose. He tries to get his friend Auggie to come along, but Auggie is at work as a sous chef. Arriving at 4616 Melrose Place, the viewer enters old familiar stomping ground. Sydney (the very same Sydney Andrews who apparently (?) died at the end of Melrose Place #5, seems fine. "I've done something really, really bad." Still up to her usual old tricks then, situation normal. "Everyone's abandoned me." Trying to get David to stay, she reminds him that he has told her some pretty incriminating things, and she now blackmails him with this.

Jonah wakes up with live-in girlfriend Riley (doe-eyed brunette Jessica Lucas) in his arms. He is a videographer with nerdy interests, tonight it is the director's cut of Reservoir Dogs. His five-year anniversary with Riley seems to have been completely forgotten, and she is perturbed about this, as he only worries about getting some green clover flavor in his cereal. An attitude of 'having realized everyday is their anniversary' just sounds like he is glibly excusing himself in a masterful nerdy way. Grabbing the remote control, he switches on the TV, and just sits there, selecting a channel, and she feels so forgotten and neglected.... But onscreen appears a lovingly-filmed short film he made of Riley, "Happy Five Year Anniversary, Riley Richmond", with a cue leading up to him popping the big question.... Would she marry him? She is just about to answer, when a scream pierces the air. They rush out. Everybody is gathered around the pool where Sydney's dead body is floating.

While the police are dusting the crime scene, Auggie blames himself. Violet (hot, shy-looking redhead Ashlee Simpson), who had been living there for less than a week, and is a slightly awkward girl, had found the body, and is pitied.

But the beat of the drum and the rhythm of life goes on. Ella has advised Jonah to make the most of his given opportunity, film producer Gary Sarling's daughter's 18th birthday party, to come to the attention of the influential Hollywood insider. Sounds a bit tacky and desperate, even to Jonah. Auggie meets Violet, she clearly goes for him in her bashful way. They talk about Sydney, he mentions having met her in a church four years ago, and she assumes he must be very religious, but it was actually an AA meeting in the basement, and Sydney had chided him for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day.

The police are questioning David. Ella provides an alibi. "You couldn't have killed Sydney, because you were at my place." David reminds her about what the gossip-mongers back at the building would think, the two of them together at 5:30 AM?, but Ella blithely responds that it would just give them something to Tweet about, so what?

At the hospital, Lauren is taking good care of an elderly woman who has had a heart attack. She makes a good impression on Toby, the woman's son, and he invites her to dinner. Lauren's father phones, he is very upset at having been laid off at work, and she consoles him, but has to learn that she is now out on her own, and there are college tuition fees to be paid.

Jonah has forgotten to take Riley's car for a gas refill, reminding Riley that Jonah tends to be untrustworthy and immature. He reminds her about having asked her The Big Question, and she is hesitant, stalling, requesting a day to think it over. Jonah is slightly huffed, "Whenever is convenient for you, okay?"

Leaving the police office together, Ella is questioned by David as to why she trusts him. His reckless nature aside, she responds, "You, my friend, you're not a killer. And as for herself, she reflects that she is a neat freak, she couldn't have made such a messy job. She flashes back on a recent stand-offish encounter with Sydney, arguing about her friend David - Sydney is spitefully in bed with him to get back at his father - and Sydney reminded Ella that she was indebted to her, how she'd still have been 'wearing Juicy shirts, painted tips and a bad dye-job' had it not been for the older woman, who clearly knows some dark secret. And Sydney then threatened "...when I'm through with you, you're leaving LA the same way you arrived, a pathetic wannabe". A flashy silver latest-model Mercedes-Benz flashes down on them, it is David's dad, who turns out to be yet another Melrose Place stalwart, Dr. Michael Mancini. Little love lost there, as David recounts to him that Sydney told him that although she merely went for him to get back at Michael, he was so much more impressive in bed, and that made David feel a hell of a lot better. For his impertinence, Michael dumps David off at a bridge frequented by tramps.

To the tune of Ciara's "Love, Sex and Magic" at the 'dbutante beach party', a Bollywood-styled birthday bash for young miss Sarling where thong bikinis and long bare legs are de riguer, Ella questions Jonah re Riley and the engagement. She is clearly hooked on him, furthering his career just to be close to him, even though she shows clear signs of sexual ambiguity, being quite interested in a hot, half-naked girl whose ample charms are oozing out of her straining bikini top, "Ooh, I want her!" Jonah recounts Riley's lack of enthusiasm. "She didn't actually say yes yet." Ella is skeptic.

Career-oriented Lauren wants nothing more out of life than to become a doctor. And now, this financial challenge. Riley is very sympathetic to Lauren's plight. "If you need a loan, I'm sure we could scrape something up." But proud Lauren doesn't want to sponge off her friends. She is preparing for her date with Toby, but doesn't have the high heels to go with her one good outfit. Riley is quick to help out. "That's why God created neighbors with the same shoe size!" She bemoans her misgivings re Jonah, his box of Lego in the closet, and those Saturday morning cartoons clear signs of not ever going to grow up.

David ominously confesses to Auggie that he blacked out the night before, he doesn't know what happened. Auggie also reassures his friend that he is not the murderer type.

Trying to push his student film on the producer, Jonah strikes out miserably. His luck changes considerably when, totally intent on ably filming the big 18-shaped birthday cake, he stumbles, filming camera in hand, up against a window where Mr. Producer-Man is hitting it off nicely with a cute young fox, obviously one of the birthday bunny's just-out-of-school girlfriends, and, wow, is this ever going to go down ever so well with his snippy wife...!

"If you were happy, you wouldn't have called me." Michael thinks back about Sydney, remembering an unsettling encounter. "If you're not going to talk to your wife, somebody else will have to." Clearly, he had motive to want to get rid of her...

Lauren's date with Toby goes well, he likes her rambling off. Unfortunately, he is going back to New York, his mother has recovered well enough to be transferred there, and being a business man with interests, he cannot stay any longer. He admits having peeked at the fax she received. Understands her plight. Offers a donation to the college fund of a certain upcoming superstar doctor - in exchange for sex.

Mr. Sarling desperately wants that video, but if Jonah hands it to him now, he cannot edit all the key scenes into the birthday video. The flushed producer offers Jonah $10,000 for that humble student video, and while Jonah is flustered, the price skyrockets to $25,000, $100,000.

Lauren tells Violet about the offer she has had. They both reflect that while they need such good fortune, they are good girls. Lauren reminisces that she liked Toby so much, he could have had her for free. She insists that she is not a prostitute.

Jonah's shares have risen. Word is out that big-time producer Gary Sarling has offered him umpteen dollars for his film. He informs Riley that he considered taking the 100 grand to be the man she was looking for, but in the end, he just couldn't build his film career on that, and he rejected the offer, so Riley could now see what a loser he really was. Stunned, and loving him even more for having made a steadfast moral choice, Riley realizes she is the one making a big mistake, and accepts Jonah's proposal right there.

A remembrance, and a toast is made round the swimming pool to departed Sydney. Ironically, Jonah recalls that it was always Sydney who spurred him on to get up off his butt and get a ring on Riley's finger. And now they're finally getting married, but Syd isn't there to join in the happy occasion. David tries scoring with Ella, they could just as well be doing it for real, but no, she doesn't go for the idea, moping about Jonah slipping away. Violet tries for a date with Auggie, but he takes a rain check. He has other important things on his mind as he takes his motorcycle for a ride to a deserted alley.

Ella notices a girl making eyes at her in a restaurant. She has a fling with her. David goes off on a B&E and steals a painting. Michael lies awake in bed, unhappy, his wife and little boy not where his heart is at. Lauren pitches up at the executive suite for her paid date. And there in the darkness, Auggie is burning a torn, bloodstained shirt...

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