Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best 90210 Moments

Looking over my blog posts, I realize that I haven't talked nearly enough about Beverly Hills. Here are some of the all time best vintage 90210 moments:

Another Nerd Bites the Dust

When David Silver (currently known as Mr. Megan Fox) was deemed cool enough to hang with the Peach Pit gang, Aaron Spelling had to get rid of any remnants of David's former, uncool life (i.e., dorky best friend Scott Scanlon). So, in a story so tragic that gun control advocates will be itching to cite it in keynote speeches, Scott accidentally shoots himself in the head at his own birthday party. (For those of you who favored Saved by the Bell, consider this to be slightly less sad than Slater's beloved lizard passing on.) Darren Star generously lets David spend half of the episode mourning his best friend before moving on to his trajectory of becoming the white M.C. Hammer.

Scenes from that episode that ended up on the cutting room floor: One where a rotund, bearded, cap wearing liberal camps out with David outside Charlton Heston's pad with Scott Scanlon's school photo in hand.

Donna Martin Graduates

Before the prom, the school administration at West Beverly High makes a statement that any student seen intoxicated at the event will not be allowed to walk at graduation. Donna Martin gets drunk at the prom. The school, sticking to their guns in a manner that both Cesar Milan and Nanny Jo would approve of, tells Donna she won't be able to walk with her friends. Brandon and the rest stage a walk out protesting the enforcement of school rules.

It's stuff like this that makes it easier to understand why our generation thinks that "Free Snooki!" is a meaningful rally cry.


Emily Valentine gives Brandon his first taste of illicit drugs. And Brandon gave the audience of the 90s a taste of what it's like to party at a rave. An unbuttoned shirt and a good natured lack of coordination are a must. A drug happy moll whose eyebrow color doesn't match her hair complete the look. I have to admit, I kind of liked Emily Valentine. Too bad Brandon was too clean cut (and ripped) to play the Sid Vicious to her especially clingy Nancy Spungen.

Meeting Mr. Pony

After Brenda is robbed at gunpoint at Peach Pit, she starts feeling panicky, having flashbacks, and rivaling Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July in terms of showing that pretty people can deal with PTSD, too.

Roger Azarian

Matthew Perry plays a tennis star named Roger Azarian who goes to West Beverly and has written a movie script about killing his father. When Brandon interviews Roger for the school paper, he discovers that he's got a terrible secret: he stole most of the details of his life from Lyle and Erik Menendez. And as Brandon showed us in episode six, plagiarism is no laughing matter, Mr. Azarian. Off to a rent controlled apartment in the West Village with ye!

Andrea's Secret

Andrea has been using her grandmother's address as her own so she can attend West Beverly. When she wins an award, a paper wants to do a story on her life--including her home and family life. Andrea and the gang struggle to make it work without revealing her secret.

Now that a real life mother in Ohio is facing legal repercussions for using her father's address to send her kids to a better school, Andrea's story is timelier than ever. Of course, in Andrea's case she ended up pulling a Topanga and giving up Yale to attend the Beverly Hills campus of Fictional Sitcom University, so I'm not sure she really needed to go to West Beverly High so badly.

You also have to appreciate the fact that Andrea's Jewish grandmother pulls a major guilt trip on her, invoking her own near miss with the gas chambers. Anyone else shocked that Andrea married out of the faith?

Kelly Taylor and the Date Rape That Almost Was But Then Wasn't (and Then Almost Was Again)

Sorry for the flippant tone, but this scene progresses a bit like, "He rapes me. He rapes me not. He rapes me..." Anyway, the gang attends a Halloween party. Kelly goes as a sexy witch and is almost raped, but gets rescued by Brenda and Donna just in time.

Brenda proves why she was voted Bitchiest 90210 Denizen three years running by taking the opportunity to point out that Kelly had been dressing and acting a little too sexy and what did she think was going to happen? (If Regina George were here, I'm sure she'd point out that Kelly forgot the requisite animal ears to go with her costume--hence, the slut shaming.)