In the beginning of 2017, I found myself binge watching Beverly Hills 90210. And boy did it take me back. So much so, that I had to find out the day it first premiered and vowed to do a post about it. Seven months have passed since then. Seven months (and two days early) to finally say ‘Happy 27th Anniversary Beverly Hills 90210!’
Now I don’t know about you, but I thought Beverly Hills 90210 (October 4, 1990-May 17, 2000) was revolutionary. It changed the scope of drama, in particular teen drama. Before, shows geared towards teens were of the bubblegum pop variety.
Oh, they were the occasional life lessons episodes. Episodes that scratched the surface of the issue. Like Jo Polniaczek from The Facts of Life finally learning and accepting her divorced parents won’t get back together. Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell breaking down from stress and using caffeine pills (was originally written for her to be addicted to speed).
It’s one of my favorite scenes. Remember it?:
Anyways, maybe it was the time period garnering to less censor restrictions. But, BH90210 started tackling subjects rarely seen and in-depth. The first season alone dealt with teenage alcoholism, date rape, AIDS, race relations, pregnancy, etc.
But the best part of the show for me was the relationships on screen. In particular, Dylan McKay and Brenda Walsh. They were my Luke and Laura.
So you can imagine my disbelief when the writers made Dylan and Kelly a couple. Especially, when I was team Brandon Walsh and Kelly Taylor.
Other couples I loved was David Silver with Donna Martin and later Valerie Malone. Loved the idea of Donna Martin and college basketball player D’Shawn Hardell (Cress Williams) as a couple. But that relationship never came to be.
Aside from the couples I loved, there are several scenes I equally loved and remember to this day. One of my favorites was when Brenda Walsh broke helpline rules to save a rape victim in season one.
When Dylan lost his wife because of his father-in-law’s murder attempt on his life.
When Donna Martin got caught drunk at prom and the entire student body rallied around her so she could graduate.
And for some unknown reason, Donna doing the Texas dip. Maybe because Kelly disagreed with Donna’s mother, and her remark that she’s turning Donna into a trained seal.
Another of my favorite scenes was when David saved Donna from the campus serial rapist. He knew something was wrong when she called him Dave. And saved the day by taking a bat to the guy. Man, I wish I could’ve found a clip of that.
I’ve seen, no acknowledged Beverly Hills 90210 as a pioneer. It ushered in the next generation of television drama, teen soap. That fully captured the real angst of being a teenager. And the rocky road traversed between a young adult and an adult. It was the gateway of tackling sensitive and hard issues of high school and growing up. Subjects about peer pressure, love, dating and sex, friends and family, drugs, etc. that paved the path to its successors. Successful shows like Degrassi, The O.C., Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Glee, Felicity, etc.
So thank you Darren Star and Aaron Spelling. Thank you for creating and producing Beverly Hills 90210. Thank you writers of the show for writing and making the show popular. And thank you for laying the groundwork for future teen soaps.
Were you a Beverly Hills 90210 fan? Did you watch the reboot 90210? Who’s your favorite Beverly Hills character? Couple?