Monday, May 17, 2010

Favorite Episodes: Beverly Hills, 90210

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This one was a big undertaking, let me tell you! Not only did this show run for ten seasons, but each episode was a full hour, so a lot took place each episode. Storylines continued for weeks, months, years. Some characters came and went, others were there for the entire duration, and some are even still connected to the show through the spin-off(s). I wouldn't have been ready to watch it when it came on originally, but I am glad that I've now seen every episode, thanks to a combination of the internet and SOAPNet.

Beverly Hills, 90210 offers a lot to write about. There's the whole idea that living in Beverly Hills and having money causes certain types of problems (scarcely a soul on this show doesn't deal with addiction in one form or another). Pop culture was a big part od the show... many of the episodes had awesome opening music sequences. And, let's not forget how old some of the actors were that were playing the characters. You could also discuss the roles of those actors - many came and left and did behind-the-scenes stuff for a long time. And this is completely disregarding the idea of how the new 90210 factors in the lives of the original kids in such a different way than something like Degrassi does.

Still, there were a lot of great episodes in the series. I had favorite half-seasons, really. This is because there were story arcs that I hated that went on FOREVER (like Dylan & Toni or Steve & Hilary Swank's character or the Brenda & Donna in Paris sequences). Below, I present my favorites from each season.

Season 1: "Slumber Party" (S01E13). Brenda has the girls over for a slumber party, but Kelly brings an older friend who doesn't want to attend. Things get tense when secrets are revealed, and Kelly has to choose to stay when her friend wants to go party. I like this episode because we learn a lot about the female characters in the show. Oh, and Steve and Brandon have Steve's car stolen by two pretty girls, lmao. Watch the whole episode on Youtube.

Season 2: "Things to Do on a Rainy Day" (S02E26). There's a big concert in town, and when they can't get tickets, Donna, David, Kelly, and Brenda sneak into the hotel that the band is staying at, trying to meet the band and get in that way. Well, Donna sees her mom cheating on her dad, and the rest of the group doesn't do so well trying to find the band. Meanwhile, Steve, Dylan, and Brandon are bored, so they hire a stripper... except Andrea crashes their party and that doesn't work out, either.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Season 3: "Home and Away" (S03E10). There's a shooting at a different high school. But West Beverly is scheduled to play that high school in football, and the school decides to forfeit, in order to make sure there is no violence. Brandon meets a reporter from the other school, and the two of them try to make peace by merging the schools together for a dance. Some of the kids are too preoccupied to care about what's going on, like Dylan and Kelly who go together. Whole Episode.

Season 4: "The Little Fish" (S04E03). Brenda decides to quit college in Minnesota, and arrives back home to everyone's confusion. Brandon had big plans for her room, and her parents thought she was doing fine. She came home in the middle of the night thinking that it would save her parents money by dropping out before tuition was completely non-refundable. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is starting college locally. Everyone decides whether to rush Greek Life, and Andrea finds out that her Jewish background matters to the sorority of her choice. Brandon decides to go the political route instead. And Dylan decides not to go to college at all. Whole Episode.

Season 5: "Hazardous to your Health" (S05E18). Dylan is determined to find Erica, and enlists Valerie's help as they head to Mexico and try to get her back. It's quite the ordeal, but while all of that is going on, Kelly starts to be sucked into a cult, posing as an ordinary student group. um, for some reason this one seems to only be available in Spanish online...?

Season 6: "You Say It's Your Birthday, Part I" (S06E32). Steve is turning 21, and he's having a big party on a cruise ship. Everyone comes, including Andrea, who flies in. Those who can't be there send video messages, and the group finds out that Dylan and Brenda are seemingly back together. Colin tries to hop a freighter to get out of going to prison, and Valerie tries to track him down so she doesn't lose the club (she had put it up to get Colin's bail). ...and again with the Spanish...

Season 7: "A Ripe Young Age" (S07E22). David and Donna visit her grandmother, who truly supports their relationship. They hear about the romance history between Donna's grandparents, who only knew eachother for a few months when her grandfather was killed at war. Steve is making an infomercial for a class, and Kelly deals with a runaway child. Oh, and annoying Valerie has started a relationship with a movie star. Not the whole thing, but a couple cute clips. Clip 1 | Clip 2

Season 8: "Comic Relief" (S08E13). The doctor that Kelly works for has been hitting on her, and she finally decides to expose him, so he is fired. Donna's dad takes over the clinic. Brandon spends time with Emma, who tries to expose her relationship with Brandon through her column in the paper. David, working at a car wash, tries to reunite a gay teen with his parents. Steve tries out stand-up comedy.

Season 9: "That's the Guy" (S09E27). Kelly was raped a few episodes ago, but in this one she finally tells Matt, Dylan puts up a reward, and Kelly finds out that the rapist is a client of Matt's. The rapist comes into the store when Kelly is alone, and he locks the door. He pulls a knife, and Kelly pulls out the gun that Dylan got her. She shoots a bunch of times, killing the guy. Meanwhile, Donna and Noah are having problems, and Wayne wants to be with Donna. He's on his way out to a bunch of volleyball tournaments, but then decides to stay in LA. Gina tells David about her bulimia, even though she's still sleeping with Dylan. Lastly, Steve and Janet have a party since the newspaper has finally turned a profit, even though Janet's still not thrilled about the sleazy material in it. ...more Spanish...

Season 10: "The Phantom Menace" (S10E01). Janet tells Kelly that she is four months pregnant with Steve's baby. Kelly is arrested and held overnight for murdering her rapist, but is let go when it is declared justifiable homicide. Gina talks to reporters about Kelly, so Donna throws her out, and she moves in with Dylan at a hotel (David threw him out). (And yes, it was hard not to choose the final few episodes, where David & Donna finally marry!)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Were you an original 90210 fan or do you like the remake better? Did you watch it in its original form or catch it on cable television later? What storylines did you love?
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