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As it is officially 9/02/10, I felt there could be no better time for me to admit that I was and am a fan of Beverly Hills, 90210. I’ve seen every episode of the original series and since I’m confessing things, I’ll go a step further and admit that I TiVo the reruns on the SOAP network and watch them when the mood strikes, which lately is usually right around when I get home from work and am ready to let my brain relax to a mushy state for a little while.
I’m not here to argue that Beverly Hills, 90210 was the best show of the ‘90’s or even among the greatest drama series. I don’t watch the remake on The CW. I’ve long-since outgrown this kind of soapy drama, for the most part. But watching Beverly Hills, 90210 now is like digging out my big book of CDs or coming across an old cassette mix-tape (and wishing I had something to play it on). Every episode seems to trigger associations with wherever I was in my life when I first watched it. Much like with music, if I associate White Zombie’s “Astro Creep-2000” album with senior year of high school, then Brenda and Dylan’s “very special” Spring Dance episode automatically makes me think of seventh grade, when I watched intently and wondered if, “OMG (except back then we said things in words, not letters), was it really going to 'happen' for Brenda and Dylan?! Their love is forever!!!”
Since I just dated myself, there’s no sense holding back now. I was in seventh grade when Beverly Hills, 90210 premiered. The series ended in 2000, the same year I graduated college. 90210 was around for the full duration of my adolescence, and I watched from beginning to end.
Could I relate to the characters? No. None of them. At all. I didn’t act like them, talk like them, dress like them or look like them, now would I ever. They weren’t a reflection of my life in any way. That didn’t matter though. The appreciation I had for the series was never about reality. It was all about the drama. It was about the Brenda-Dylan-Kelly love triangle. It was about Brandon’s political aspirations and Donna saving herself until marriage (or college graduation, whichever came first). It was about David’s ever-budding music career and Steve’s latest scheme to get rich(er). It was about heartbreak and scandal and one-hit-wonder musical guest appearances. For better or worse, I stuck with the series and there could be no better day than today to admit that I still enjoy it to some extent, mostly for nostalgic reasons.
In celebration of 9/02/10, here are a few random things I’ve noticed while revisiting the series in reruns over the years.
1. High School Took Longer Than Usual
Graduating presented its own problem for some of the characters Steve almost didn’t graduate after getting busted for trying to change his grades. And Donna was nearly expelled for being plastered at the prom. Thanks to the passionate students at West Bev, who chanted “Donna Martin Graduates” loudly (and angrily protested dress codes), Donna was permitted to graduate.
2. Kelly And Dylan Had It The Worst
3. The Buffy-90210 Connection
4. Before They Were Famous
5. The Show Was Never Quite The Same Without Brenda