I’ve never seen 90210: Episode 1

I am an oldest child. There’s a lot that comes with that label. I took a child development class in college and I would be the first one to tell you that I fit my role in my family to a T. But through a very official study of “living in the world” I can also tell you that it means my cultural references skew a bit younger than they probably should given my age. I didn’t have an older sibling to tell me what was cool or break in my parents in terms of bending the rules. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having a younger brother and sister meant I got to play with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and our Playmobil Dollhouse for much longer than I might have otherwise. I got to stay innocent through middle school and some of high school! I definitely wasn’t cool…but is that really the worst thing? Some of my favorite advice Mindy Kaling gives is “don’t peak in high school!”

Anyway…here are three things that people my age seem to have loved that I either don’t remember or didn’t get into:

  • Crystal Pepsi
  • New Kids on the Block
  • Beverly Hills, 90210

That last one…it irks me a little. Because I know my friends watched that show. And I remember my mom not letting me watch it. Instead, she would send me to bed and then she and our college age babysitter (who lived with us for a bit) would watch it together. It was their thing and I wasn’t invited. Granted, I was in first grade when the pilot aired so you could argue this was “good parenting” on my mom’s part…but still, it feels like this thing that is just missing from my childhood/teenhood. So I’m going to watch 90210 for the first time. And I’m going to take you on this journey with me. I’ll be blogging about one episode a week, every Thursday. #throwbackthursday

So The Pilot is long. I’m not sure if it aired this way originally, but it almost felt more like a TV movie than an episode. We learned a lot. Here we go…

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Brandon and Brenda are not dating! Nope. They’re twins. Who knew? Clearly I have even less knowledge of this show than I thought. Though the theme song did sound familiar…probably from when I would sit on the stairs and try to listen in while my mom and babysitter watched the show in the living room.

We are not in Kansas anymore. Seriously. The world-building to show how different Beverly Hills and Minneapolis are was intense. Most notable were:

  • Getting a nose job is something you brag about!
  • Valet parking at school!
  • An airplane banner that invites you to a party!
  • In Minneapolis, you can eat all winter and hide it under sweaters. In Beverly Hills, you can never pig out because someone is always throwing a pool party.
  • There is NO parental supervision. Ever. (These kids definitely would have been allowed to watch 90210 in first grade!)
  • A rich girl eats sushi for lunch. I don’t think we had even heard of sushi in Rochester, NY in 1990.

As Brenda says, “This is Beverly Hills, you gotta be a little glamorous.”

Brenda is WAY sweeter than I expected. I’m so used to the tabloid depiction of Shannen Doherty that I was pretty taken aback by her character. I like her so far and am sad that I know she’s eventually going to leave the show. Kelly feels like a bit of a dud (she’s no Cher Horowitz, that’s for sure!), but I’m excited to see more of Tori Spelling!

Andrea is not the teacher. She’s just 90210’s version of Paris Gellar complete with a job at the school newspaper…but without all the money and East Coast status.

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The fashion. While we’re looking at Andrea’s clothes…can we just discuss the clothes in general? Yikes…the late 80s/early 90s were rough. Also rough? The cheesy after school special music that was piped into quite a few scenes.

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Creepy relationships. What’s with the bizarrely sophisticated 25 year old man? He seemed like he was 40 and I was pretty sure he was going to take advantage of Brenda when she went home to his apartment after meeting her at a bar. But then he was kind of a gentleman? But in a creepy way that made me not trust him. And then when Brenda finally comes clean about being 16, he says he should “sue her parents.” SUE THEM FOR WHAT? I was not a fan of this plot line. I hope Brenda dates someone at school in the next episode.

Who is the heartthrob? I’m not sure who I’m supposed to have a crush on. Obviously Brandon is a contender. But I think I’m supposed to like Luke Perry? And I don’t think that’s Brandon? But I couldn’t pick Luke Perry out of a line-up so I don’t know yet. (And I’m not googling because I want to discover this information on my own.) So far, my best guess is that he’s one of these freshmen who is going to magically blossom into the hottest guy in school.

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And that’s my summary of The Pilot. Come back next Thursday for Episode 2: The Green Room.

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