Today is September 2nd, 2010 otherwise known as 90210 Day. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize this day in my blog.
Growing up there were certain shows that were life altering. Beverly Hills 90210 was one of them. The show first arrived in 1990, and I was 12 years-old. It was the first time since Saved by the Bell that I developed real life crushes on TV stars. Before I only had Kelly Kapowski to dream about, but now there was Kelly Taylor (the hot blonde) and Brenda Walsh (the bitchy brunette.) My female classmates brought in lunch boxes and calendars—the boys didn’t have them, but we sure liked looking at them.
90210 pulled me right in. It was kind of like an R rated version of Saved by the Bell. It took place in high school, had special episodes, and there was a lot of skin and sex. It was where I learned about the birds and the bees, and how to make good decisions. Even today, when I am in a conflict, I often think WWBWD—what would Brandon Walsh do. “Gimme the keys Dylan, you’ve been drinking!”
Beverly Hills 90210 was not a great show, but something was addicting about it. I loved that Steve Sanders and Dylan McKay looked like they were thirty. I loved that Andrea Zuckerman was annoying but still was accepted by the crew. I loved that these super rich kids hung out at the Peach Pit with Nat (played by Joe E. Tata—great name!). I loved the on and off again romance between David and Donna. And even a random episode about Mr. and Mrs. Walsh entertained me.
As the show developed so did I. I was getting older and so were the characters. That was when Valerie Malone was introduced. I never thought I could have a crush on two TV characters played by the same actress. Tiffani-Amber Thieesen pulled me in as Kelly Kapowski, and then developed into one of the baddest, hottest characters of all time as Valerie Malone. I still remember watching the first episode when she blazed up a joint while lying in bed. Wow--what a temptress!
When I got to college, people actually threw 90210 parties. Today, you might get together with friends for True Blood or Lost, but the 1st show to start that trend was 9-0. As I started college, the 90210 gang was just finishing it. I learned invaluable lessons like: how to throw a rave party at the Peach Pit (After Dark), people named Ray Pruit are crazy, if you drive under the influence of heroin you might crash and end up into a coma, and KEG parties are fun.
Beverly Hills 90210 jumped the shark a number of times, but it remained on air for 10 excellent years. The last few seasons were a mess, but survived in an unintentional comedy kind of way. (I sort of had a crush on Claire so that kept me going for a few seasons.)
Two years after the show ended, I worked at a summer camp at the Beverly Hills High School 90210. I was so excited. Maybe I would run into Kelly or Brenda. Maybe Brandon would give me advice. Or Dylan would get me into some trouble. But it was not like TV. It was real life. There was no drama; just a basic summer camp that had the same zip code.
Although Beverly Hills 90210 has been off the air for 10 years, my ears perk when it comes up in conversation. If I’m flipping through the TV, and I see Jennie Garth starring in a Lifetime movie, I immediately think of Kelly Taylor. Or when I drive through the Welcome to Beverly Hills sign, I think of the gang.
Today, I still occasionally hum the theme song, and randomly chant “Donna Martin graduates!” Some shows will just always be a part of you!
Happy 90210 Day!!!