Before being recreated into a mediocre retread of every late-teen-angst show since the original, and which barely managed to get a third season based on some very anemic reviews and ratings, 90210 was a powerhouse guilty pleasure show on the FOX Network back in the early 90’s created by Darren Star.
Now today is September 2nd, 2010, or 09/02/10 … or simply 90210.
All of you from the rest of the world who think of your dates in order of ascending magnitude (i.e. day, month, year) just move along – you had your celebration back in February!
Here is the synopsis:
Just as Fox’s 21 Jump Street injected the cop drama with a dose of hip, Beverly Hills 90210 infused the primetime soap with youthful energy. Like Aaron Spelling’s Dynasty, most characters don’t lack for disposable income, except for middle-class twins Brandon
(Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty, Heathers). Created by Darren Star (Melrose Place), the class-conscious concept scored an instant hit. In the two-part Tim Hunter-directed pilot, the teens have just arrived from Minneapolis. “Nobody knows me,” Brenda tells Brandon on their first day at West Beverly High. “I can be anyone I want.” The two soon befriend Steve (Ian Ziering), Kelly (Jennie Garth), Donna (Spelling’s daughter, Tori), David (Brian Austin Green), and commuter student Andrea (Gabriel Carteris). Then there’s Dylan (Luke Perry), who debuts in the second episode (“The Green Room”). A poetry-reading surfer with a shady past, he’s the James Dean of the piece, and Brenda falls hard for his bad-boy charms. Guests include Debbie Gibson (“East Side Story”) and Matthew Perry (“April is the Cruelest Month”), while recurring characters include understanding parents Cindy (Carol Potter) and Jim Walsh (James Eckhouse) and Peach Pit manager Nat (Joe E. Tata).
Beverly Hills, 90210 ran for 10 years. Though it would move away from issue-oriented episodes in the seasons to come–in the first, it takes on shoplifting, cheating, and date rape–without it, there would be no O.C., no Veronica Mars, etc. Just like the 1980s films of John Hughes (The Breakfast Club), it set the standard to which all others must be compared. As nice as it is to have the show on DVD, it should be noted that not all musical selections made the cut, i.e. “Music has been changed for this home entertainment version.” Otherwise, this guilty pleasure remains as pleasurable as ever.
Babble.com has a ‘where are they now’ feature for the show. Here is a sample from perhaps the shows biggest star:
Luke Perry aka Dylan McKay
The character of McKay was like the James Dean of West Beverly High. Perry shot to fame playing the brooding bad boy with as much money as problems. McKay romanced innocent teen Brenda Walsh and created one of the most talked about love triangles in high school history when he cheated on Brenda with her frenemy Kelly Taylor.
Ironically, he had originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, that eventually went to Ian Ziering. Perry played McKay from 1990-1995 and 1998-2000. It has been rumoured that although he and Doherty were the show’s golden couple, that the two really couldn’t stand each other in real life.
Perry could never reach the kind of success he had with 90210 outside of the show. He has done bit parts in film and tv, and also a large amount of voice work. He has also been revealed to be the father of character Kelly Taylor’s son on the spinoff series 90210. Unfortunately for us fans, Perry has declined to do a cameo on the show, saying that he could never appear on the show since Aaron Spelling isn’t behind it. I still hold out hope.
Perry is divorced and has 2 children.
For my wife and I (this was before kids) the show was too ‘young’, and we tuned to Melrose Place for our shameless weekly guilty pleasure viewing! What about you? Were you a fan? Who was your favorite character? Have you kept up with the series in the spin-offs? Are you planning to watch reruns on DVD to celebrate 90210 day? And really, is anyone surprised that none of the actors has gone on to major critical acclaim?