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Happy 90210 (9/02/10) Day! In honor of this once in a lifetime occurrence, it’s the perfect time to look back on one of the most influential shows of that wonderful decade of the 90s. Back then, many of us who were going through adolescence couldn’t help but become addicted to the Beverly Hills, 90210 gang and marvel at how their lives resembled ours, if only we had a lot more money, were having much more sex, doing many more drugs, and were much, much, much more attractive. Other than that, it was like looking in a mirror. 20 years after we first fell in love with Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Steve, Donna, David, and Andrea (well, no one really cared about Andrea), here’s a look back at some of the shows most memorable moments.
Dylan Loses a Loved One
Dylan’s dad, newly released from prison and finally bonding with his son, meets his end, thanks to an unfortunately placed car bomb. Tragic stuff (even if he did return many years later, apparently not actually dead). But it does give Luke Perry a chance to scream at the heavens while kneeling in the rain (multiple times, from multiple camera angles). Say what you will about Luke Perry’s acting ability, but the man sure could dramatically yell with the best of him.
Kelly Chooses Me (not actually me)
Poor, poor Kelly, stuck choosing between Brandon and Dylan, both vying for her affection. How’s a girl supposed to decide? Do you go with the bad boy who sort of looks like James Dean? Or the nice guy who sort of looks like James Dean? In the end, Kelly goes with “none of the above.” Because of course that’s the sensible solution when offered both Luke Perry and Jason Priestley.
David’s Music Career
Just another example of why the early 90s were a wonderful time. It was back when a show could give a doofy character played by Brian Austin Green a burgeoning singing career, and do so without the slightest hint of irony. Thanks to them, we’re left with enough YouTube clips to entertain generations.
Brenda and Dylan Do It
While some of us were striking out attempting to get to second base after our own Junior Proms, Brenda was romantically losing her virginity to Dylan in an expensive hotel suite. It might have given us an unfair standard to which to compare our own virginity-losing experiences, but it was still damn good television.
Dylan Loses a(nother) Loved One
I remember when I was just a little kid, my dad sitting me down and passing on to me this well-worn piece of homespun wisdom. “Son,” he said, as I rested gently on his knee, “if I’m ever seemingly blown up by a car bomb, and you are able to track down the man who killed me, don’t try to get close to him by seducing his super-hot daughter. You might end up actually falling for her and getting married, and that will only end in pain.” If only Dylan had gotten this same talk, then he wouldn’t have been surprised when his new father-in-law hired a hitman to kill him, only to accidentally kill his own daughter instead. This may be sad, but it does give Luke Perry another opportunity to scream in the rain, as he loves to do. Seriously, it rains like once a year in Beverly Hills. How is it always pouring whenever someone related to Dylan is murdered?
Before we get to the final memorable moment, here’s a brief musical interlude, courtesy of Donna’s boyfriend-turned-abuser Ray Pruit. Thanks to issues with the rights, these songs weren’t allowed to be on the show DVDs, so reruns and the internet are the only places to find them.
Donna Martin Graduates!
When a bit too much champagne on prom night leaves good-girl Donna a drunken mess, she is caught and told that she will no longer graduate with her class. Donna’s friends and classmates aren’t going to take that lying down, though, leading to a full-scale walk-out protest, and perhaps the most recognizable catch-phrase ever to come out of the show. My own attempts to start a “Donna Martin Graduates!” chant at my high school graduation were sadly unsuccessful, but I won’t hold that against the show, just against my classmates’ lack of a sense of humor. The show is still awesome.