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It's easy to forget (or not even know) that at one point, Beverly Hills,
90210 (created by Darren Star who'd go on to Melrose Place before the
phenomenon that is 'Sex & The City') was the biggest teen-orientated show in
the world. Yes - the world! One minute, it was struggling to survive and the
next, the stars of the series inspired scenes reminiscent of 'Beatlemania'.
And justly so because in those halcyon days of yesteryear, 90210's blend of
drama, cheese, humour, pure unadulterated escapism, great scenery in terms
of cast and location and strong characterisation was compelling viewing.
The early years concentrated on the Walsh family - who promptly became the emotional core of the show - and their efforts to adjust to life in Beverly Hills after relocation from Minnesota.
Twins Brandon and Brenda (Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty) befriend a diverse group of mostly-rich rich kids at West Beverly High: spoilt son of a movie actress, jock and joker Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering), persistently in trouble and always relying on Brandon to bail him out. Brainy (but not as affluent) crusader Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris) doomed to an unrequited love for Brandon. Ditzy, naive Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) - probably the most (in)famous virgin on American TV. Insecure, school DJ David Silver (Brian Austin Green), desperate to be accepted by the gang. Blonde bombshell Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) who'd go on to sleep with her best friend's boyfriend and also, her ex-boyfriend's best friend. And last (but by no means least), moody alcoholic Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) - the quintessential troubled teen.
From High School (Seasons 1-3) through to College (Seasons 4-7) and life after College (Seasons 8-10), they face a series of crises together ranging from the death of a friend to depression, drugs, physical and sexual assault and tumultuous love triangles.
The earlier High School years are undoubtedly the best; the original cast is intact, the strongest scripts are to be found within this time frame and it's the period that, to this day, defines the show.
However post-Shannen Doherty and with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as vivacious, vampy schemer Valerie Malone and Kathleen Robertson as the acerbic, sarcastic Clare Arnold on board, 90210 remained very entertaining viewing right up to College graduation at the end of Season 7 - notable as the episode in which High School sweethearts (and future spouses) David and Donna finally consummated their long on-again/off-again relationship.
Admittedly, the last three seasons are weaker than previous ones. A deadly combination of changes to cast and crew (it survived the loss of Darren Star, Shannen Doherty and Luke Perry in Season 6 but to all intents and purposes, the show ended with Jason Priestley's departure in Season 9. Not even Luke Perry's return could compensate for that), a more overt soap opera format and weaker new characters (embodied by the faux-Dylan imitator Noah Hunter ineptly played by Vincent Young) sounded the death knell for a series that had become a shadow of its former powerhouse self.
Still, in the cutthroat world of TV, you've got to have something very special to last ten years on an American network and that's exactly what Beverly Hills, 90210 did. It outlasted all its contemporaries such as the infinitely superior teen drama 'My So-Called Life' starring Clare Danes and Jared Leto, which only made it to air for a year, and it gave the likes of 'Buffy', 'Party of Five' and 'Dawson's Creek' a recipe for success to follow.
Love it or hate it (and I LOVE it) - Beverly Hills, 90210 is a TV institution.
While "Beverly Hills 90210" was making its ten year run, I never
watched a single episode. The affairs of rich kids in Beverly Hills
really didn't interest me; and, even though Jennie Garth and Tiffani
Amber-Thiessan are real eye candy, that wasn't enough to tie me to
watching a weekly continuing drama with what I thought would be such an
uninteresting subject. However, when the Soap Opera Channel offered the
show in sequence five days a week and my wife encouraged me to watch it
with her, I reluctantly agreed. I'm glad I did, because "Beverly Hills
90210" is, in my opinion, the best written and produced continuing
drama in TV history. Why do I say this? Because "Beverly Hills 90210"
survived two radical format changes and remained consistently watchable
for its entire 10 year run. Actually, "Beverly Hills 90210" is three
different shows: an excellent "high school teenagers in love" show; a
very good "college kids antics" show and a good "Yuppies in love" show.
The creative talent managed to produce three above average shows with
an amazing consistency of story lines and talent, using mostly the
original cast. Nobody else has ever done this, at least to my
knowledge. The producers are to be commended for keeping the cast
remarkable intact, even down to the minor characters. To the best of my
knowledge, only one character was played by two different actresses,
that being Andrea Zuckerman's grandmother. Compare that to the more
prestigious soaps, "Dynasty" and "Dallas." On "Dallas" alone, two
actors played Gary Ewing, Digger Barnes, Miss Ellie and Kristen
Shepherd (who shot J.R.), and three actors played Jenna Wade, and all
of these characters were more important to the show's plotting than
While all three shows are above average, the "high school teenagers in love" episodes are the best. However, I believe they were also the easiest to plot, since teenagers have more restrictions on their behavior and their problems are generally more direct, easier with which to relate and generally easier to resolve. This is only slightly less true for college students, but it's a whole different ball game by the time one gets out of school and into the "real world;" and, by the time these episodes were written and produced, the characters were no longer fresh. The loss of Shannen Dougherty ("Brenda Walsh") was the series first major blow, and the series slipped badly her first season away (the fifth). However, after a weak start, Tiffani-Amber Thiessan ("Valerie Malone") became a very impressive cast member. However, Shannen brought an inventiveness to the series which was never regained.
The second major blow the series suffered was the loss of Kathleen Robertson ("Claire Arnold"), at the end of "the college years". While other original cast members had left, including Gabriella Carteris ("Andrea Zuckerman"), Carol Potter ("Cindy Walsh") and James Eckhouse ("Jim Walsh"), I felt the loss of Kathleen Robertson the most. Kathleen's "Claire Arnold" was a fascinating blend of three of the main characters; she exhibited Brenda's daring, Kelly's poise and Donna's madcap sensuality. The show lost a lot of it's warmth with Kathleen's departure, as well as the (unfortunately) correct decision to place less emphasis on the older adult cast members. This happens in life as well as young adults leave school and are out on there own. The show also lost it's innocence when Donna (Tori Spelling) lost hers to David (Brian Austin Green).
The final blow to the series happened over two seasons. The departures of Luke Perry, Jason Priestly and Tiffani-Amber Thiessan badly shook the show, but for very different reasons. Luke Perry (Dylan McKay) brought a lot of romance to the show; Jason Priestly ("Brandon Walsh") brought a brash, crusading spirit; and Tiffan-Amber Thiessan brought a wholesome, mature sexiness that was sometimes at odds with the character she played. Worse, for their first seasons at least, the replacement characters, Vincent Young ("Noah Hunter"), Lindsay Price ("Janet Sosna"), Daniel Cosgrove ("Matt ) and Vanessa Marcel ("Gina") while all fine actors, did not bring the missing ingredients to their characters. While Season 9 was clearly the worst of the season (due mostly to unconvincing plotting), Season 10 was a triumph, starting strong and getting better every week. Lindsay Price shed the somewhat dowdy image of his first season and a half and showed how beautiful and sexy she can really be (not to the mention, the best natural figure of the female stars). Daniel Cosgrove gained stature as "Matt"; and, while never acquiring the "Brandon brashness," certainly captured Jason Walsh's earnestness. Most importantly, warmth and romance returned to the series. I watched the last episode wanting more and that's a great testimony to any show.
Here's my rating of the series pilot and 10 seasons
PILOT ** ½ SEASON 1 - *** SEASON 2 - **** SEASON 3 - **** SEASON 4 - *** ½ SEASON 5 - ** ½ SEASON 6 - **** SEASON 7 - *** ½ SEASON 8 - **½ SEASON 9 - ** SEASON 10 ****
Well, growing up during 90210's run, I missed out on all the hype that
this show received. Now, thanks to SoapNet, I can watch shows that were
on while I was busy playing dress-up.
Let me be the first to say, that I never ever thought that I would EVER watch 90210, or get hooked on it. During a few weeks that I was grounded from my computer, I didn't have anything to do after I did my homework at 5 o'clock, so I turned on the TV. I normally would have put on Angel, but it was an episode I didn't care to watch, so I stopped on SoapNet and low and behold, 90210 was on. Immediately I went for the remote to change the channel but then I stopped and actually watched it. I was HOOKED. Mostly what hooked me was the romance between Dylan and Brenda.
Anyway, mostly what I remembered or heard people talk about 90210, was that it was all about drugs and sex and who was sleeping with who what week. (I don't know if that's true yet, but I have a feeling that it's getting to that point. I'm still in the "high school years".) As I watched more of the plot lines going on in the first, second and third seasons, things seemed really familiar. As I looked more at them, I really began to realized that 90210 curved the pathway for today's teen dramas like "Dawson's Creek", "One Tree Hill", "The O.C.", etc. Without 90210, these show's most likely wouldn't have been created.
So, the question becomes, do I think 90210 is a good show? So far, yes. But I think it was essential to have something like this (at least in the first few years) on the air for teenagers to watch so that it could make a pathway for other shows of this kind.
This series aimed at teenagers and young adults was a major hit during the 90's. Leading the pack was the turmoil-ridden saga of rich kids at West Beverly Hills High School who all faced the common problems of love, pregnancies, drugs and family crises subjects that are somewhat more common to youth and young adults. The best stories centered on the Walsh family, newly arrived in town, in particular fraternal twins Brandon (Jason Priestly) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty). The gang then included friends Kelly (Jennie Garth), Steve (Ian Ziering), Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris), Donna (Tori Spelling), David (Brian Austin Green) and moody Dylan (Luke Perry). Later other characters came on like Tiffani-Amber Thiessen while others had left. In the final season of the show most of the original cast had left the cast saw many changes during the ten year run. Most of the stars became major celebrities due to the success of the show.
I practically grew up in Beverly Hills.
When 90210 first aired in 1990, I was 2 years old. I watched the first
episode together with an older brother, and I was hooked.
I really liked the "Brenda-years". She show became rather weird when Val
came to live with the Walshes.
The original cast was the best, IMO.
The show should've ended with the gang's college graduation in 1997.
Or, when Brandon left. It always seemed that Brandon and Brenda were the "main" characters of the show, considering that the show started with the Walshes moving from Minnesota to LA.
The last episode was sort of a dissapointment. It was a very bad ending for *the* show of the 90's. Dylan should've stucked with Brenda, they were great together, and Brandon should've married Kelly. David and Donna were the only "good couple" who got together in the end.
Even though I didn't like the show in the very end, I watched it because I had very fond memories from the early 90's, and I wanted to see how Aaron Spelling ended the show. But, when I think of 90210, I only think of their high school years. For me, Beverly Hills will always be a fond childhood memory.
"BEVERLY HILLS, 90210," in my opinion, is an absolute FOX classic! I don't think I've seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. It would probably have to be the one where Brenda (Shannen Doherty) has a fight with Kelly (Jennie Garth). However, I think it was always sad when friends fought. I always wanted to cry at that. It would have been nice if all the main characters stayed with the show throughout its entire run. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope some network brings it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
Beverly Hills 90210 is one of the best drama shows of the 1990's! Especially since this show aired on FOX were most of the good drama shows air. This series is about the lives of a group of high school students living in wealthy Beverly Hills neighborhood, then in the later seasons of the show they move on to their college days as they got older. The kids become friends and enemies, fall in and out of love, and go through an endless series of crises as this small group somehow becomes personally involved in every newsworthy social issue from alcoholism to South African apartheid to pregnancy to AIDS. Jason Priestley was one of the coolest actors on this show and so was Ian Ziering! The best actresses on this show were Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Kathleen Robertson. Tiffani Amber Thiessen was also on another FOX series called Fastlane and Jason Priestley is currently on another good FOX series Tru Calling! I can not believe that this series went all the way through the 1990's! I can't wait until they start putting this show out on DVD!
This is one of the best shows you will ever see !! I remember the first
episode, all of the characters being sophomores in high school, just
starting to gain some identity . To me, each character is a fantastic
representation of the different situation a teenager faces in life. You've
got the girls Kelly , Brenda, Donna (the good girl) , and Andrea
(pronounced ON-dreea), and the guys Brandon (won my vote for best looking!)
Steve, nerdy David, and soon to follow cool hand Luke - Dylan . The gang is
as close as a bunch of high-schoolers are going to get, but let me tell you
why to watch . This show crosses everything - drugs, sex , abuse, you name
it . The characters bring the topics into their own hands and show how it
affects their friends, family and lives. It has actually taught me a few
lessons as well . One being that you never know your friends, and don't be
surprised by their actions . This show proves that you never really know
anyone . 90210 doesn't hold anything back, it shows emotion, and best of all
My favorite episode, well let's just say I don't have just one, because I happened to enjoy all of them, but I will narrow it down if you're looking into checking it out . One episode that you must see is the episode where Dylan's dad dies, I myself was sympathetic to the character . The next best episode was of the 97-98 season, when the gang takes a trip to Hawaii, love is in the air, and everyone for that moment is just happy, but until the end where Kelly is shot .
If you are looking for a reason to quit doing drugs and drinking, check out the episode where David is addicted to speed , or when Kelly's co-dependency leads to her addiction with cocaine. Watch the chain of episodes where Dylan is over his head in drinking . If you are looking for abuse intervention, tune into the episode where Brandon mentors a physically abused boy, or when Donna overcomes her battering boyfriend (ray). If you are looking for some good-old fun episodes , check out the early college ones, when everybody is either pledging a fraternity or a sorority .
I strongly recommend this show to anyone who is interested in a reality based show, that is not focused on just the snobs of Beverly Hills, and is always teaching a different lesson .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Beverly Hills 90210 was one of those shows you look back on knowing it
defined its era. Along with shows like Saved by the Bell and Dawson's
Creek, 90210 was one of THE 90s shows. It had an amazing ensemble cast,
the music was great, it was generally fun to watch.
However, many people say the downpoint was when Shannon Doherty departed, but for me, the real loss was Jason Priestley's Season 9 departure. As Brandon Walsh, Jason was central to the show. A lot of things revolved around him, and he played as amazing a guy as he was a sexy teen idol of his time. Seasons 4-7 were amazing because it was the time when Brandon and Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) were romantically involved, and continued to love each other whether they were dating or seeing other people. I will forever disrespect the writers for what they do to Kelly/Brandon in Season 8. The whole calling off the wedding at the last minute when they were clearly meant to be together was pathetic and a huge letdown to fans who not only followed the show but followed their relationship through its ups and downs.
And worse still - now I haven't seen all of Seasons 9-10 because I couldn't bear it knowing Jason wouldn't be in it, but I know Luke Perry returned as Dylan McKay. And personally I never really loved the guy anyway, even though he had a huge fanbase. He was great... with Brenda, Brandon's sister, played by Shannen Doherty. But having him get back together with Kelly after all those years and after she had chosen Brandon over him for real in Season 7? This really is taking the fans for granted. And the characters, too. Because I don't believe Dylan was the love of Kelly's life at all, it was Brandon. And the only way I can make myself feel better about this is just by knowing had Jason returned for the finale, Brandon and Kelly would have been endgame.
So, unforgettable show it was, exciting and cool show it certainly was, but the way it ends? I'd rather forget. There are only two characters who end together like they should, David and Donna. And they didn't mean as much to me so that doesn't make the finale any easier for me to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the show that helped me get through the 90's! From sophomores in high school to college graduates, I was hooked to the entire gang. I will never forget Brandon, Kelly, Steve, Donna, Dylan, Valerie, David, Brenda, Noah, or Clare. In 1990, Aaron Spelling (Dynasty, Love Boat, Charlie's Angels) unleashed the FOX teen drama Beverly Hills 90210, a show based on the lives of the rich, snobbish high school students of Beverly Hills. Who would have known the show would last 10 years? New to California, siblings Brandon and Brenda made friends with the students of West Beverly High. Through high school, David witnessed best buddy Scott accidentally shoot himself, Donna kept her virginity, Brandon and Andrea became great friends, Steve was the sexed up prankster, and Brenda found out Dylan and Kelly were together when she was in Paris. After graduating West Beverly, the gang moved onto college. Donna got involved with abusive musician Ray, Brandon and Kelly dated, Brenda moved away, Dylan got married only to have his bride shot and killed by his rival, bitchy Valerie moved into the Walsh house and made enemies with Kelly, Kelly's druggie boyfriend Colin got arrested, and many of the gang had already had addictions (Dylan, Kelly, David, Valerie, Colin). After college, the gang got out into the real world. Brandon and Kelly nearly married, Dylan returned, Valerie accused Noah of rape, Steve met and married Janet after getting her pregnant, Donna's sister Gina moved to Beverly Hills, and in the end, Donna and David got married. The memories will never be forgotten. Kelly getting shot at LAX, Donna loosing her virginity to David on graduation night, Dylan's father "killed" in a car explosion, Kelly caught in a fire at Steve's rave, Brenda/Dylan/Kelly/, Valerie and Kelly rivalry, Andrea sleeping with married man, Gina slapping Kelly, and David and Donna's series finale wedding. Dylan, Kelly, Brandon, David, Donna, Brenda, Steve, Valerie, Clare, Andrea, Gina, Noah, Carly, Matt, and Ray: You will never be forgotten!
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