I didn’t stick with the CW’s rebooted 90210 (mostly because “Erin” went by “Silver” instead. Lame.) so I still refer to the original as 90210 so just know, for the duration of this post I’m saying 90210 but am referring to Beverly Hills, 90210. Duh.
This show was on from 1990 to 2000. Which means I aged from 6 to 15 when it was on the air (since it premiered after my birthday and had a finale before my birthday). I don’t know for sure but I think I was watching it pretty diligently for the second half of its run. I remember a girl in 6th grade had a 90210 shirt and I thought it was the coolest. It was definitely a show I WANTED to be watching much earlier but I don’t think I properly got into it until middle school. Like most TV shows from when I was growing up I can’t pinpoint HOW I was watching this show. Sure, in middle school and high school that makes sense – but was I watching in elementary school? If not, how did I see those first few seasons after the fact? The world may never know.
I do know that even as a kid I was confused by Gabrielle Carteris’ obvious age difference from the rest of the cast and if you didn’t say Ian Ziering’s name as “eye-an” you were stupid. (Also if you haven’t seen the pictures of him as a Chippendale’s dancer you are missing out.) This show forced me into finding Brian Austin green attractive (though I’m def more of a Brandon girl) and I was convinced the Walsh’s move to Beverly Hills was how I’d feel if I ever made it out to Southern California. (Spoiler alert: that’s not the case) But it also brought me a lot of life lessons and a lot of evil or semi-evil brunettes to love as well as a pre-Anya Emma Caulfield (who I was obsessed with on 90210). And, of course, I was grateful to have Tiffani Amber Thiessen back in my life. (I think since I knew her from Saved By the Bell I figured 90210 would be a similar show and boy, was I ever wrong. Still loved it but a little intense).
Here are five ways Beverly Hills, 90210 ruined my life:
1. Want The Peach Pit In My Life
I don’t know if there was something else I was supposed to be focusing on over the 10-year run of 90210 but my biggest takeaway was “I want to hang out at the Peach Pit.” I mean, I’d even WORK at the Peach Pit. Hanging out with Nat would have been amazing. Plus, once they opened the Peach Pit After Dark and I got to be excited about the Barenaked Ladies performing ON one of my favorite shows (true story), I was even more obsessed with this establishment.
When I got forced into getting a summer job at 15 (by my parents), I was pretty annoyed about having to work mornings at a “hot dog restaurant” in the park down the street from our house. BUT, my thought was, “maybe it’ll be kind of like the Peach Pit.” You know? Like maybe my friends would come visit me and hang out there and we could have a good time. Instead, it turns out it was a popular summer job for the cool kids and not being a cool kid myself this wasn’t a perfect set up. I mean, I got along with everyone and they were pretty nice but the first day back at school was a definite, teen drama-esque, moment of “oh right, now we’re not friends anymore.”
Later in my summer job history I worked at a local Italian bakery and still had to get up early, but the only people I ever worked with were middle-aged Italian men, my best friend and an old woman, so I was pretty much in heaven.
2. Can’t Get “Losing My Religion” Out of My Head
I so closely associate the R.E.M. classic “Losing My Religion” with 90210 that, the summer after high school, I incorporated that into a short film I directed. (To explain the whole detail of the short would be too boring/embarrassing but just know, there is a scene where one of my teachers is acting as a “Dylan” character and my BFFs younger brother is singing “Losing My Religion” in the corner while a high school student is being “Brenda.” It’s a movie-within-a-movie kind of thing. Whatever.)
So, if you’re keeping track:
With or Without You : Ross and Rachel :: Losing My Religion : Dylan and Brenda
Come on, that MIGHT show up on the SATs!
I’m now so concerned that they don’t even do that on the SATs and I’m showing my age that I’m going to stop. Please enjoy this video tribute to Dylan and Brenda and their young, troubled love.
3. Was So Stressed Someone Would Have My Dress On At Prom
I mean, 90210 is where I learned this was something to be worried about. It would never occur to me to stress that someone would be wearing the same thing I was wearing until I saw this episode. Basically Kelly and Brenda (bffs/enemies – girls, am I right?) BOTH buy the same (hideous) dress to go to the Spring Dance AKA Prom. They are NOT pleased.
So I spent a lot of time being very concerned this horribleness would befall me. I got invited to Prom my sophomore year and was terrified I’d accidentally have the same dress as a junior or senior and get beaten up in the bathroom. Luckily that didn’t happen.
Then junior year I go to Prom and what do you know, a senior is wearing my dress. SIGH! Guys, I got Brenda and Kelly’d! Obviously, no hair was pulled and no one was beaten up but it was pretty weird. Here’s the dress from like, Filene’s, probably, that TWO people at my high school chose to wear to Prom 2001.
4. Started My Love Affair With Lindsay Price
Remember how like, Steve Sanders starts a newspaper or whatever and then Lindsay Price, who was working for Brandon (in college, I guess), then works for Steve and then they fall in love?
Well, that was one of my favorite things that ever happened.
For some reason, Lindsay Price and her character, Janet, really charmed me. And so I appreciate anything involving Lindsay Price. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I watched ALL of Eastwick and was disappointed it got canceled.”
My love for Lindsay Price is also why this is one of my favorite jokes from 30 Rock:
5. Was Convinced Terrible Things Were Going to Happen to Me Always
I mean, “Donna Martin graduates!” was pretty stressful and that wasn’t even one of the worst things…in that season. If someone wasn’t getting shot and killed, or getting almost (or fully) raped or getting trapped in a fire, it was run-of-the-mill high school stuff like your bestie dating your boyfriend.
And it goes on like this throughout the series! There’s Ray Pruitt and then there’s Toni Marchette and Dylan McKay. I mean, just recently, something came up about Rebeca Gayheart (I was probably talking about Urban Legend again) and I described the entire saga of her character to my husband. His exact words were, “I thought 90210 was a primetime soap and not just a regular soap.”
Nothing is as intense as 90210 when it gets intense.
I also want you to know I can’t get the theme music out of my head.