“Melrose Place” (the new class) debuts tonight on The CW. Is it going to be taking home those primetime Emmys? Hardly. But it’s got a decent cast of characters and I love the murder mystery thrown into the mix. At least there’s something substantive there right out of the gate, instead of the horrible first season of the original that just floundered around, not sure what it wanted to be.

Also, I immediately 20-something actors being 20-something SoCals, as opposed to 20-something actors being ridiculous teenagers on “90210.” Full review after the jump (beware spoilers).

The aforementioned murder mystery centers around Sydney Andrews, Laura Leighton from the original “Melrose Place” (looking fantastic, I might add). She’s found stabbed to death in the MP complex pool within the first 10 minutes. Whodunit? I’m guessing the writers don’t even know yet. For all of you who are wondering, “Hey, didn’t Sydney die in the original Melrose Place?” In true soap opera fashion, it will be revealed that Michele Mancini helped Sydney fake her own death 12 years ago.

She was the landlord for the MP building. Her new tenants include Ella Simms (the Amanda Woodward), new girl Violet (the Allison Parker), cute just-engaged couple Jonah Miller and Riley Richmond (Ella is in love with Jonah and can’t hide her disappointment at their engagement), sobered-up chef Auggie and med student turned prostitute Lauren. Oh and David Breck, Dr. Michael Mancini’s illegitimate son who also had an affair with Sydney. Way to keep it in the family, Syd. Maybe when Josie Bissett guest-stars, David can sleep with her too.

All in all, it’s not a bad start. It’s totally a guilty pleasure show, but that’s what it’s supposed to be and it makes no bones about it. I’ll keep tuning in because I like the murder mystery aspect of it and I can’t wait to see more guest-stars. So far I hear Bissett and Daphne Zuniga have signed on, in addition to Thomas Calabro and Laura Leighton that we saw in the pilot. Should be entertaining.

Bring on Heather Locklear and Courtney Thorne-Smith!