Willa, Melrose Place seems utterly redundant to me now. Its great innovation was, as I recall, to make TV watching cool again. Before Melrose Place, TV was in a sit-com stupor, a vast wasteland of cinematic junk suitable only for children and old ladies. Then suddenly Melrose Place came around, and my post-college friends were gathering in batches weekly to watch what was really just a daytime soap that happened to air at night. (For the record, I will say that I resisted, in a smug, self-righteous way, and made endless fun of my then-boyfriend, now-husband for participating.)
Of course, making TV cool again gave us Sex and the City , The Sopranos , The Wire , and also endless bad reality shows and night time drama rip-offs. But why we need a new Melrose Place in that mix is beyond me. The new show is, as you say, just as dreadful as the old. It seems to have updated by throwing in a little ER , a little CSI , a little Gossip Girl , and some offhand web-speak: "Let's give them something to tweet about," says our new Heather Locklear, as if that will mask how outdated her type really is.