Jennie Garth

Jennie Garth may play the guidance counselor of 90210's West Beverly High, but that doesn't mean she feels compelled to dole out advice to her on-screen charges when the cameras stop rolling.

On the controversy over the leading ladies' shrinking bodies, Garth demurred. "I don't know them personally that well, and I think that that's their private business," she told press at Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's Respect Awards on Friday. "If I were the director or the producer or the showrunners," she added, "maybe I would deal with it differently."

Yet, it's not just a touchy topic of debate that sets the new 90210 apart from the old. Original Beverly Hills experts may be living the dream this year, but Garth believes that the redux is starting to find some autonomy from its past. "It's a show of its own, it's starting to find its legs," she told TVGuide.com. "Viewers are starting to accept the new characters, instead of worrying about the old characters quite so much, which is a good thing."

A challenge of that newness, however, is navigating a TV sea that's now filled with countless 9-0 spawn. "The original 90210 was the first of its kind," she said. Now, "there are a lot of other teen shows out there, they're a dime a dozen," she continued. "So it's hard to come up with fresh and exciting ideas. And it's also hard to blend the original show and the new show."

Hurdles aside, the blending continues: Just this week, Jason Priestley confirmed he'll direct an episode. Garth couldn't yet promise a return for other former castmates, like Tori Spelling, who has equivocated on the subject, or Luke Perry, with whom she chatted en route to the awards. "He didn't mention coming back at all," she grinned. "I don't know if that's going to happen, but I would love it." Perry previously told TVGuide.com he wouldn't be back — but that was before on-screen fatherhood arrived.

And as for her future on the show? "One day at a time," Garth said. "I'm on episode 10. That's all I know!"